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Disney Dinner Reservations

Old Nov 18th, 2008, 06:56 PM
  #1  
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Disney Dinner Reservations

Planning a trip to Disney World in January - I keep reading that dinner reservations must be made in advance. Is this the case in January?!! We do not plan on any character meals.
Debbieger is offline  
Old Nov 18th, 2008, 07:39 PM
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Yes, it certainly is the case. The earlier the better, particularly if you want to dine at Artist Point, California Grill, Victoria and Alberts and perhaps a few others. Don't wait. Do it now!
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Old Nov 19th, 2008, 04:13 AM
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Definately make your reservations. You would be surprised what restaurants fill up. Besides then you have the piece of mind of having made plans. I also think this gives you a chance to look through your eating options and perhaps choose a restaurant you were unaware of beforehand.
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Old Nov 19th, 2008, 05:10 AM
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For character meals, or the ones mentioned my Orland Vic, yes, it would probably be a good idea. Otherwise, unless it's a holiday weekend, I think that you can wait till you are there and make them in the morning or the day before. This might give you some more flexibility to figure out where you will be on what day, and to change your plans if you so choose. It also helps if you aren't absolutely set on eating at one particular restaurant, in which case, I would just make the reservation (1.407.wdw.dine). Otherwise, I've had no problems calling and asking what is available for that evening and having a good selection to choose from especially at Epcot.
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Old Nov 19th, 2008, 06:36 AM
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In January, a usually slow time, you may be fine w/o advance reservations. However, we just got back from being there from 11/5-11/9 and we found that there were many places unavailable at the last minute. So, if you have your heart set on a certain place make your res now. If you are totally nonchalant, you can probably go with amcc's advice. My hypothesis for places being so full is that *many* people are purchasing the dining plan, thus making the restaurants even busier than previously.
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Old Nov 19th, 2008, 09:33 AM
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It is not too early to make reservations now- esp if you want ot eat at favorites in prime time. If you wait you may get shut out - or have to eat dinner at 5:30 in the afternoon with a pack of kids.
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Old Nov 19th, 2008, 11:59 AM
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If you want to get fed, make reservations. You might not have a problem without them, but why run the risk of having to dine in a food court? And yes, that can happen. Traipsing through Disney on an empty stomach, looking for a restaurant that is not completely booked, or begging the cast member in reservations for something, anything, is not going to increase your enjoyment of the vacation.
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Old Nov 19th, 2008, 06:20 PM
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Thanks to all. I guess I will get on it and make reservations! Better safe than sorry (and hungry).
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Old Nov 20th, 2008, 05:00 AM
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Yes, you need to make reservations "asap" if you want to eat in the sit down restaurants for lunch or dinner. You can always eat at the counter service places. While January (except MLK weekend) is generally a slower time at WDW, the park hours are shorter and therefore, restaurants in the parks have shorter hours. Because of the decreased dining capacity due to shorter park hours, it can be just as difficult to get a table, including at the hotel restaurants, as it is at the busier times during the year.

Also, since Disney created its "Disney dining plan" (allowing visitors to pay a fixed amount to dine during their stay as part of a vacation package price), the sit down restaurants have become much busier (which was Disney's intent in creating the dining plan) because the dining allowance under the plan includes meals in the sit down restaurants. Because WDW permits dining reservations to made in advance (as early as 6 months as I recall), many visitors make their dining reservations as soon as they book their WDW trips or as soon as dining reservations for that time period are open so they can use their dining allowances for which they have already paid.

There is a website (not owned by Disney) that has the menus for the WDW restaurants. I'm sorry I can't recall the name of the site.
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Old Nov 20th, 2008, 08:02 AM
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The website with the menus (and other information) is

www.allears.net
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Old Nov 20th, 2008, 12:00 PM
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HI, just a caveat.....some of the menus on all ears are more useful as examples than as sources of exactly what is served. We just got back and we ate at Bistro de Paris. Many, perhaps most, menu items are not the ones on the site. But even so, it does give you a good idea of the type of food served. Of course, not all places change their offerings......
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Old Nov 20th, 2008, 12:25 PM
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The dining plan worked out well for us. I made reservations for 4 out of 6 nights and took a chance with the last 2. The character meals fill up fast so if there is anything you really want to do book it now!
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