Can I just start off my very first on this site by saying that I am so incredibly excited and amazed at how this blog is evolving and growing! I can’t thank Sarah and Amy enough for the work that they’ve done to help make this a reality. And while I’m on the subject of thanking, I’d like to give a special shout-out to Sarah’s DH (Disney Husband. It’s Disney Code, and don’t worry if you don’t recognize it. You’ll learn it soon enough! ^_^ ) for creating and managing our new blog’s home! I’m loving the ease of commenting now, and we hope you all are too. And last, but certainly not least, to you all as readers and Disney fans. Thank YOU for following, commenting, and enjoying our posts. This has been an exciting venture for me and I hope that you all continue to enjoy and feel compelled to share your Disney stories too!!
Sooo, here we go!! Since we’re changing our format up just a bit, I’ll go ahead and let you know that I’ll be taking over Fridays and sharing all things Disney tech! Let me tell you, the Imagineers have been hard at work creating some amazing things. From apps and games to the incredible innovations they’ve made with park attractions, I’m gonna share it all with you! And while I can’t say I’ll ALWAYS stick with my fellow Moms’ weekly theme, I’ll try my best to make it fit in somehow 🙂
This week, since Sarah and Amy covered breakfasts in the world this week, and I’m going to show you how to book your own ADR’s for your next trip! Now let me be clear, this post isn’t to say that you shouldn’t use a TA, this post is to simply let you know how to make your ADR’s should you want to. If you want the easy way, definitely book with a TA and enjoy! They’re almost always amazing and help plus your trip, but with the innovations that Disney is making, it’s easier than ever to book on your own . And it’s information worth sharing. Best yet? It’s super simple!! And let’s be honest, I live for the incessant planning anyway ^_^
Screenshot of Disney’s Dining website
To start our reservations, we’re going to assume you already have your date and resort reservations taken care of. Start by going to WDW Dining or Disneyland Dining and exploring the options they have online. As you can see from the screenshot above you can search for specifics OR use the checkboxes to narrow down your results based on what you’re looking for. Let’s search for a Crystal Palace reservation and we’ll make it 180+10 days out from our vacation date. (Tip: You can make ADR’s up to 180 days in advance of your first day there, which means you can technically make ADR’s 180+however many days you’ll be there!) For today, we’ll say we’re going to make an ADR for me and my family (DH and 2DD) for the Crystal Palace breakfast that looked so yummy and fun. Just select your date, meal time, and party size and it’ll show you what’s available. Now, this isn’t ALWAYS going to work. In fact, it’s just a bit of software after all, so let’s not assume it’s going to do us any favors and squeeze us in to that special character meal we’ve all been dying for. Still with me? So, what happens then if their new online reservation system doesn’t work? You gotta go old school tech on them! That’s right, more times than not I’ve ALWAYS been able to find exactly what I wanted simply by calling (407) 939-1947. In years past, it’s always been 407-WDW-Dine, but I’m not sure that’s the case anymore as a recent search for it only brought me to a page with contact numbers and this being the only one for US dining reservations. I called to check and it is INDEED a valid and working number for Disney Dining.
Once you’re speaking with your CM, they’ll take all your trip info and help you find your favorites. Before you call however, be sure to have some info written down for yourself and a pen ready to jot down those confirmation numbers. The info you need ready will be what types of dining experiences you want or price ranges to stay within. If you’re a crazy planner like me, you can use Disney’s website or MyExperience app to browse and check out all the wonderful restaurants and experiences they have to offer.
°o° A Good Tip for browsing Disney’s online website is to be sure and right-click on the restaurant you’d like to see more information for and select “Open Link in New Tab.” This will allow the window that you’ve already got open with all those special search criteria to be saved and you can simply close the restaurant tab out once you’re done without having to click the back button to find your search selections messed up or gone. Yeah, that’s happened to me too. It should save it, but I wouldn’t bank on it 🙂 °o°
(screenshot of MyDisney Experience app for ios)
You can always ask us too either here on our blog, or over on our fb page! We’ve even set up a few pinterest boards with our favorite restaurants and have them mapped out for you too! Here’s the Character Dining board, our Must-Do’s, Favorite buffets, and Parks Favs. And all of our pins are mapped using pinterest’s new mapping system. It’s paired with foursquare and you can actually follow our boards for instant and easy access to not only which restaurants are great, but where you can find them too! All from your handy-dandy pinterest app. And be sure to follow them as we’ll surely be adding to them!!
Screenshot of our Pinterest Board with the new map feature so you can not only pick browse the restaurants, but know where they’re located too!
I usually plan out my whole week using TP, so I always know which park we’ll be at on which day and time. Knowing that I’ve already narrowed it down to a few for each park, I”ll already have the next choice ready and never have to worry about fumbling to find something else. The CM can always suggest similar dining options as well. , Another added benefit of talking to a real human being, is being able to tell them specific things like any special allergies you or your family members might have or if you require special accommodations for a disabled family member. For me and my family, this is THE reason I almost always call. Because even though they have the little checkbox for allergies and disabled concerns, it’s not always noticed when you get to the restaurant. By calling in, the CM I’m making my ADR’s with will make a special note on the reservation specifically for that concern and will note what the allergy is or the type of disabled chair, etc will need to be accommodated. My grandmother has gone with us on 3 Disney vacations now and has taken 2 types of power chairs since she can no longer walk. It’s nice to know that when arriving for the meal, the CM’s will have already taken care of this for us! And best yet, they can tell you the best restaurants for gluten-free and other dietary needs. They’ll also know off-hand which restaurants will work better for you and your family’s needs and can sometimes help squeeze you in, even if the online system says there’s no availability. No seriously! This has happened to me before and I’m so thankful for it!!
So there it is! My first post on our new site. Love it!! If you do too, please let us know! And feel free to share and pin away!!
But before I go, I’d just like to add that while I’ve covered the ADR’s for restaurants, there’s a new way to reserve mealtimes using the fastpass+ systems. And while I’d LOVE to cover that for you all (No seriously, anyone wanna send me just for research purposes??) I just haven’t had any experience with that yet. We got to use the magic bands on our most recent trip but restaurants weren’t using the fastpass+ system then. So, I’m opening it up to you all. Have any of you been recently and used this new system to reserve a meal? If so, what did you think about it and would you recommend this to others or not?
Thanks for hanging with me and make sure to be watching our fb page this weekend! ~M °o°