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Dining – The Real Disney Challenge

So much to choose from!!  Am I the only one that gets overwhelmed when my 180 days draws near and I have to start planning my dining reservations for an upcoming Walt Disney World vacation?  It’s a bigger challenge than the New York Times crossword puzzle!

How will I know six months in advance if I’ll feel like Japanese or German when I’m standing in EPCOT waiting for the Candlelight Processional to begin?  How can I choose between the fun and family friendly 50s Prime Time Cafe or the upscale and delicious Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios?

I spend hours poring over reviews at http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/ – where the team of fantastic foodies tempts me with cupcakes and pastries, new menu items and must try snacks.  Then I hit http://allears.net/index.html, where I spend an equal amount of time checking out the menus at each restaurant that I’ve put on my short list (how did my short list come to include 40 restaurants??).

After thinking I had all my dining in place and ready to go for our Christmas vacation this December, I’m rethinking everything.  I’m trying to accommodate different palates, different personalities, and different pleasures.

Set in stone is Christmas dinner at Artist Point at Wilderness Lodge.  And yeah, pretty much nothing else.

So, what are some of your favorite holiday time dining experiences at Walt Disney World?  How about any other time?

2 Replies to “Dining – The Real Disney Challenge”

  1. I don’t know how I missed this posting, Anna. I try to keep up with all your writings, but somehow my crazy life must’ve gotten the better of me. Any who….this whole adr thing drives me nuts. This August will be trip number 40…or it may be trip number 41. I went one time before Jim and I were married so I never remember whether I counted that one or not. Anyway, I miss the good old days. The days before dining had taken over life at Disney. Remember when you could get to your resort and THEN think about where you’d like to go and eat that week. Then you would call a number, from your Disney room, and without too much fuss you had plans for a few dining experiences. Or even better, there were some dining places you could think about and call that very morning, and still make a ressie for dinner. But wait, remember the days when you could actually walk up and say you’d like to eat that very meal there….Okay, so you still had to make reservations way in advance even way back then to eat at “Hoopy Doo”, King Stephan’s, (which never made any sense since he was never Cinderella’s father but always Sleeping Beauty’s dad, geesh) and I can remember booking the character breakfast way in advance for the kids on the “Empress Lily”. But, now I am supposed to know not just which park I will be in on a particular day, at what time, and what kind of food I will be in the mood for. Thank goodness I don’t need to do that here at home. I am more the “What do you feel like for dinner?” kind of girl in my normal day to day life. So, I am the only one that kinda liked it a few years ago when Disney changed the adr system and you could only book your dining 3 months in advance? It was still asking me to make a choice far in advance, but not 6 MONTHS! So, Anna, I hope you got all the adrs you were hoping for, and as for me, I have some for our trip this August that my great travel agent booked for me because she knows us so well….but, I will have to go find that email she sent me, or I won’t know where I am supposed to be for dinner.

    1. I drove my family crazy! Everyone kept telling me they didn’t care and how would they know what they wanted to eat, but we’re traveling with extended family, picky eaters, and Christmas time – I HAD to make ADRs. Fortunately, I did get most of what I wanted, but I dare not think about changing them – I mapped out days, times, which kid wanted to be where for what – I believe I could balance the national budget with the amount of planning that went into this! I just hope everyone enjoys their meal wherever we are – and that I can talk someone else into doing this next year!

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