ADR HELP! :) Trip May2017

I know this is silly but how in the WDW to I book ADR’s when #1 I have never eaten at WDW before and #2 do not know the parks layout? I know what days I will be at what park and plan to use QS lunch and Table dinners. I also know several restaurants that are a must hit…but as for times Im clueless. I don’t want to miss various parades or fireworks while I am eating and DH is a diabetic…so late dinners probably aren’t an option…UGH…so confused

You know you can look at menus at the restaurant’s page on the WDW site, right? You can also sort them by area, like park or resort, so you know the vicinity of the restaurant.

You can also find reviews for all the restaurants on this site, as well as others, so that should help.

What time do you eat dinner at home, you could book your ADR’s for then. It’s recommended that you avoid QS between 11:30-2, possibly 11-2:30 with high crowds, so take that into account. Check out the expected time of the nightly entertainment on TP, and see what happened last year.

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Make a spreadsheet with a) what days you will be at which parks and b) the times of the shows that you want to see. And, make a list of all the restaurants you want to check out w/ their locations. And, the rest is straightforward… Understand that some restaurants have to be booked well in advanced (180 days out)

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I found reading the Unofficial Guide really helpful the first time I was choosing restaurants.


Check out DisneyFoodBlog for additional information about food/restaurants. The WDW website and TP website have maps of all the parks. I agree with @Marycap, too. The Unofficial Guide Book really helped me. You have lots of time…don’t stress and have fun with it! You will not be able to do everything/eat everywhere so just pace yourselves and pick a handful of must-dos. You’re going to have a fabulous time no matter what!! :slight_smile:

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One of my favorite past times is looking at all the menus in the Touring Plans app (browse menus by location). Search this board for some amazing food threads like this one

The only daytime parade is in MK at 3:00 so you do not want to plan anything from 3:00-3:45 in that park.

Also- when you start to think about trying a restaurant ask here! We all love to share our very strong feelings on them all!

This is fun! Enjoy!


I was so intimidated at first, just like you! But then, I came here and got so many tips from a ton of amazing liners. (People who will help you here) :slight_smile: first, click on this link - it will take you to an interactive map of WDW It’s interactive in the sense that you can first choose the park you’re interested in and then choose what topic you’re interested in (you can choose dining, attractions, entertainment, guest services, etc.). In a separate window, I opened and for the more popular restaurants, you are able to see reviews. I also like the idea of asking here - @PrincipalTinker is absolutely right, strong feelings and opinions abound! :smile:

Also, after making reservations (I find online is easiest), I would call WDW and provide them with all of your reservation numbers and ask them to make a note that your husband is diabetic on each reservation. Sometimes, there can be a wait even with an ADR and I would think that a medical note on your reservation would ensure that you eat at your reservation time and you won’t have to worry about his blood sugar.

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This is where the help of a Disney travel planner can help!:smiley:

you can add the restaurants to your touring plan to see where it is in relation to where the rides you want to hit at that time. YOu can look up park maps on the internet and see exactly where everything is located and then either work your meals around your TP or work your TP around your meals.

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It is extremely overwhelming, yes, but looking on the bright side of that, it’s because there are SO many awesome options to choose from. Like @GinaGallagher1 I used the Disney World website map to get my bearings for where things are and like @PrincipalTinker says, I came to this awesome community to bounce ideas off of, great opinions and I loved hearing the reasoning behind why they did or didn’t love/hate something.

I ended up compiling a list of recommendations from other Liners, added recommendations from a friend of ours who is a WDW AP (not a Liner) and then made a spreadsheet to keep track of the details and information attached to those recommendations. With just the recommendations I had a long list (at least 16). Husband and I discussed how much money/time we wanted to spend on dining for 8 park days plus a 1/2 day outside parks (leaving day). Then I went back to the list and decided to focus on which ones would be most fitting for a first time trip and when push came to shove when I only had 2 spots left but still 6 restaurants I couldn’t decide between, I had each of my two kids pick one to fill the slots and that’s how we ended up with our final 8.

Those 4 that they didn’t pick though, I am ITCHING to go back and try because we loved all the dining aspect that WDW has to offer. Good luck and can’t wait to hear what you report back with!!!


As for location, other than Epcot, it’s really not possible to be more than a 10 min walk to any TS restaurant from anywhere in the park, so I wouldn’t really worry about that; chose where you want to eat and work your plan around that. EP is a bit of a different story; you DON’T want to go from FW out to the far side of WS for a meal and then come back to FW. Once you’re in WS, unless you are doing something like Canada to China or UK to Mexico, you’re probably still in a 10 min walk range.

As for where to eat… Looking at the menus is really the best approach. Other than EP, the parks only have 3 to 5 TS selections each (and fewer if, like me, you want to avoid character meals and buffets). Look at the menus for each park and choose what you like best. Epcot is the same basic procedure, but with 15 TSs to choose from, it’s a bit more daunting. But even there, you can narrow things down by basic international cuisine.

Many of the “best” fine dining restaurants (called “signature” in Disney-speak) are located in the deluxe resorts, and only serve dinner. And although those of us who have been to many of them have favorites and least favorites, they are all uniformly excellent.

All of the TSs are excellent with working with dietary restrictions; the chef will come to your table and make recommendations based on your needs.

It’s kind of hard to make broad recommendations on where to eat, not knowing what you like, who’s in your party, budget, etc. But if you have questions about specific restaurants, I think you’ll get a lot of opinions here (sometimes conflicting) :slight_smile:


It is a really good idea to pick which parks you are going to on which days FIRST, then pick your dining. You wouldn’t want to go over to HS to eat lunch if you had planned to spend all day at MK. Also, transportation BETWEEN resorts can be super time consuming if you choose to depend on the bus and don’t want to spring for a cab or have your own car.

I just want to offer my 2 cents. You only get a first time at Disney once. You’ll be overwhelmed by everything. Many of us have the advantage of having first gone to Disney when there were only 1 or 2 parks, and they were nothing like the way they are now! I don’t say that to scare you. I think you should try to embrace the madness and let yourself enjoy whatever you do get to do on your first visit.
If you don’t get the ADRs that you think you need to get, don’t sweat it. As @bswan26 mentions, there’s options at every turn.
You still have several months before you can book. Relax and take up some or all of the suggestions on this thread.

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Absolutely you should pick your parks first. When planning a trip, the first thing I do is determine which park(s) which days, based primarily on CL and EMH schedule. I then come up with my plan for which ADRs I want on each day. On the RARE occasion that one particular ADR is so important to me that I’m willing to change park days to get it, I make alternate plans. On my last trip, my number one goal was to get the V&A Chef’s table, and for whatever day I got it, I would build the rest of my trip schedule around it. As a result, I had 7 different 8-day trip plans (with 14 ADRs in the mix). Once I locked the V&A ADR in, I knew which of the 7 plans to follow to make the rest of them. This was a bit excessive, and probably took OCD to a whole new level; I can’t think of any other ADR that I would go to such extremes for - but` I got everything I wanted, for the day I wanted it, within 30 min of my “ideal” time. Once I have my ADRs, I virtually never change them, unless it’s to slide them forward or backward an hour or so to make a TP work better.

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