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3 days till we can book ADRs - advice pls?

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posts: 1,283
reviews: 38
3 days till we can book ADRs - advice pls?

We are travelling to Orlando for 12 days (after 8 nights in New York) and are now having to plan our restaurant bookings for September 2 - 12! Not easy to think about what we'll be eating in 6 months time, but obviously it has to be done!!

Our family consists of me, hubby & our daughter who will be almost 12. She's still madly in love with all things Disney having been to Hong Kong Disneyland when she was 6 and Disneyland in Anaheim for her 10th birthday.

So before she potentially reaches an age where it's no longer cool & exciting we're off to the king of all Disney parks in Orlando.

When I asked her which character meals she wants to do she excitedly said all of them! Unfortunately not possible, but I'm now trying to work out how to maximise as much as possible, like everyone else I guess.

So here's my plan:

Chef Mickeys for breakfast - around 10 I think as I assume later is better for charachter interaction?

O'hana - dinner maybe??

Cinderella's Royal Table - not sure which meal

California Grill - dinner to watch the fireworks

Fantasmic Dinner Package - no idea which restaurant so open to any thoughts there

Tomorrowland Terrace Fireworks Dessert Party - I know there were some recent bad comments about this, but I kind of think as a one off, it's just worth going even if there is only minimal dessert??

Does this give a good spread?

Also, not sure what time to book California Grill as I'm not sure what time the fireworks will be in September?

We're gluten free if that makes any difference to anyone's thoughts too.

Also, hubby possible wont come to all the meals as he'll go and have a golf day one day, if I reserve for 3 and it ends up being 2, will there be a penalty if it's only a last minute change?

Lots of questions I know, but hopefully I've covered everything I need to know as we can book soon!!

Thanks for any thoughts, much appreciated.

Valley Stream, NY
posts: 12,298
reviews: 33
1. Re: 3 days till we can book ADRs - advice pls?


here's an article about the cancellation policy, there's a list of the restaurants in which it applies.


here are all the menus, on the left it lists some dietary stuff, not sure about the gluten, but they're very good with special diets.

Edited: 10:36 pm, March 02, 2013
Valley Stream, NY
posts: 12,298
reviews: 33
2. Re: 3 days till we can book ADRs - advice pls?


here's a thread about the desert party, if you don't want to read it all on the last page is a review from someone who just went, sounds good.

posts: 1,633
reviews: 25
3. Re: 3 days till we can book ADRs - advice pls?

Here are my suggestions!

I don't think it matters what time you have breakfast. Character interaction will be the same.

Are you visiting California Grill just for fireworks? Just on food I much prefer the food and ambiance of Narccoossees. They also pipe in the fireworks and have an observation deck but you will get a better view at California Grill. It's food vs viewing IMHO. Also California Grill will have been refurbished but when I went the tables were very close together, it was very bright and open. I found Narccoossees more intimate and my children love it.

You are visiting in September when the crowd levels are lower. Do you need the Fantasmic pakage? Would SciFi diner be a more fun experience on a night when fantastic is available and then queue for the show?

Ohana is good for children, particularly younger children and dinner can be fun. There are vo characters though so would breakfast be better? Also have you looked at Whispering Canyon at the Wilderness Lodge?

Check out the park hours calendar for days when fireworks are shown.

Kauai, Hawaii
posts: 805
reviews: 14
4. Re: 3 days till we can book ADRs - advice pls?

Good information Princess,

We loved CRT this was just an amazing experience. We also did Chef's Mickey but for dinner, the character interaction was fantastic. We really liked Ohana's for Breakfast with Lilo and stitch. Dinner there is a Luau of sorts not a character meal.

This last time we did 1900 Park Fair with Mary Poppins ans Alice the food was really good. There is so many choices have fun choosing.


posts: 1,283
reviews: 38
5. Re: 3 days till we can book ADRs - advice pls?

Princess thank you for that reference to the dessert party, I don't know how I missed that latest update. And thanks for the other links too.

SRAJ, I have to say the I want the whole experience and am not so fussed if the food is perhaps not quite up to Narcoosees, but will have a rethink about that one. And you might be right about the Fantasmic Package, I don't quite know what to expect about crowds etc and if it will make that much of a difference, but happy not to book I guess if it's not needed.

LiheuGirl, thanks for your feedback re Ohana's - Ms 11 says she'd love to do the character breakfast with Lilo & Stitch - but the Luau sounds kind of fun. Maybe it's worth doing dinner & breakfast there. And I did think about the 1900 Park Fair, you're right there are so many choices!!!! I know there'll be people laughting when I say this but I really can't see us getting back there in much of a hurry, and even if we do, Ms 11 won't be as starry eyed anyway, so just want to do it all really!!

I have tried clicking on park hours but it's not working at the moment, so if anyone has any ideas about the time for the fireworks that would be much appreciated.

Thanks for everybody's thoughts. Really grateful!

posts: 12,308
reviews: 95
6. Re: 3 days till we can book ADRs - advice pls?

For making the most value out of the dining plan I would choose dinner and tell Your husbond to make it to dinner so You all can dine there after all it will be to dark after 6 pm to golf I think lol

Take a couple of breakfast with characters that You and Your daughter can join together while Your husbond is at the golf courses

Horsham, United...
posts: 21,502
reviews: 35
7. Re: 3 days till we can book ADRs - advice pls?

I would do 'Ohanas for breakfast (fabulous) and dinner at Chef Mickeys. I also wouldn't bother with the California Grill, it is very overrated IMO. Unless they have vastly improved the food, service and ambience on their refurb I'd give it a wide birth.

Another great breakfast, for when you are visiting EPCOT or DHS is Cape May Cafe with Miss Minnie, Goofy, Pluto & Donald, loads of interaction at this one and much less manic than some of the others.

posts: 1,633
reviews: 25
8. Re: 3 days till we can book ADRs - advice pls?

Yes forgot about Cape May Cafe. We liked the breakfast there too.

posts: 1,283
reviews: 38
9. Re: 3 days till we can book ADRs - advice pls?

Thanks mutter38, we're not thinking of doing the dining plan at this stage. Just not totally convinced of the value. But you're right, hubby will be there for dinner with us and most breakfasts too as he just adores watching his daughter's face light up with the characters.

USLovers, thanks for responding as I was so looking forward to reading your thoughts & appreciate another negative opinion about California Grill. Very overrated doesn't sound good at all!! Cancellling that idea!! I hadn't even considered Chef Mickeys for dinner, didn't realise they did a character dinner. And will definitely look into Cape May as Ms 11 simply adores Pluto & Goofy for some reason - as well as all the others of course. - and less manic is always a good thing.

Thank you - getting very excited and can't wait till we can actually book!!

Edited: 6:32 am, March 03, 2013
Horsham, United...
posts: 21,502
reviews: 35
10. Re: 3 days till we can book ADRs - advice pls?

If you do Chef Mickeys for dinner you can go to the observation deck and watch the fireworks from there. I think it's on the 4th floor. We always do this :)

Edited: 8:12 am, March 03, 2013