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Dining at Walt Disney World can be a challenge. Wait, let me say that another way. Having your dining reservation when you would like to dine can be a challenge. So today’s post is going to offer tips on working Disney’s Advanced Dining Reservation System — henceforth to be called ADRs.
The first thing to note,ADRs are not like reservations that you traditionally make at a restaurant. ADRs guarantee you the next available table for your party size. If you have an ADR for 12:00 pm at Le Cellier, there won’t necessarily be a table waiting for you at noon. Sometimes you have to wait and sometimes you don’t. Keep that information in mind when making your ADRs. If you are late, Disney isn’t going to refuse to seat you. If you are only able to snag an 11:00 a.m. ADR and your party gets delayed on Soarin’, no worries. You may have to wait, but you will get to eat. Getting to eat is what an ADR guarantees you. It’s your foot in the door of the legendary Disney restaurants.
Tip #1 — If you really want to eat at a particular restaurant, take whatever ADR you can get.
Let’s say you’re going last minute or you had no idea that you even needed to make ADRs. What should you do? The first thing: walk up and ask if they by chance have any availability. One of the big flaws in Disney’s ADR system is that tons of reservations are taken, but not all are fulfilled. It may be your lucky day, so give it a try.
Tip #2 — Walk up
You didn’t have any luck with ADRs and no Walk up availability or you just like to live on the edge. Plan C. Eat at the Bar. There’s a plethora of restaurants that have bars that offer a full menu. Flying Fish and California Grill are two of my favorites. There is also the option of trying Biergarten as it has family style seating. Getting in is rarely a problem. Give Kona Cafe at the Polynesian a try. It’s one of my favorites in all of Walt Disney World and because it’s housed inside a resort hotel it’s lesser known. Trails End over at Fort Wilderness is a great option — out of the way, flies under the radar with good food.
Tip #3 — Eat at the Bar or Resort Restaurant
My best universal advice when going to Disney World: be on the flex team. Put your type A personality aside and be the best type B or C you can be. Crankiness has never upped the fun factor. Don’t live or die by your dining reservations. Use them as a guide to plan your day — not an absolute, written in stone contract.
Tip #4 – Be Flexible
Eating at Walt Disney World is one my life’s great pleasures. I’ve visited with ADRs and without. Either way, it’s been a culinary success.
What tips do you have? You can follow me on Twitter @Caroline251.