Are arrival day ADR's too risky?

We are arriving to MCO at 9:05 a.m. Plan is to ride ME to POP to check in and head directly to AK. I have the choice of Tusker House at 1:05, 4:35 or 6:15. I was really liking the 6:15 option until I learned that there are no characters then. We will, however, be seeing them later in the week at Chef Mickey’s. 1:05 would probably be a good time. We would certainly be hungry by then and we could spend the rest of they day how we want. (AK is open until 8). Last option is 4:35 which is still lunch so characters would be there. My only concern is hurrying to eat lunch ASAP somewhere so we are good and ready to eat again at 4:35. Or is scheduling an ADR on arrival day just a bad idea altogether?

Oh, forgot to say. Obviously, there is concern about making it to the 1:05 ADR due to the possibility of unforseen delays.

4:35 is still lunch? Wouldn’t that be cheaper than dinner, with characters but basically the same food?

Yes, Disney site says lunch is from 11-5 that day and dinner is 6:15 to 8. I know that it usually switches over at 4:30 in the summer. I think is is because AK was to originally close at 5 that day (this is in November) so I had the 4:35 which was the latest possible time I could find. Once the hours changed, they opened up some dinner ADR’s.

Free dining so price is not an issue. Just getting there in time after flying in and weighing pros/cons of characters vs no characters.

I’ve done adr’s arrival day before and it worked but you never know. I’ve heard that sometimes hotel concierge can call restaurant or override the penalties sometimes.

We do arrival day ADR’s I’d do the 430 or later one though if you are worried about the fee. We often do them earlier but we roll the dice more than most.


IMO it is risky. If you really feel strongly about doing it, though, I would take the latest available.

What time of year are you flying? That would make a diff to me. Winter - NEVER.

I drive, so I’m not at the mercy of the airlines always “fluid” schedules. But if I DID fly, there is no way I would make an ADR for 4 hours after projected landing time; just too many variables that you can’t control. I would probably feel comfortable with the 4:35 ADR…

I am definitely in the minority on this - I would go for the 1pm ADR. I think it gives you enough lead time, and gives you reason to hurry up and get where you really want to be, which is the parks. I am scheduled to land at 2:45 and I have a 7:15 ADR this trip, so about 4.5 hours. I am not worried, and here is why: the reservation will automatically be held for 20 minutes. If you are going to be even later than that, call and let them know. They may not hold your spot, but I highly doubt that if you show up at 2, after having called, that they would really charge you. If they say they are going to charge you, talk to guest relations and explain your situation. The absolute worst that can happen is that you get charged. I don’t have money to throw away, and I would certainly be annoyed by that, but it’s just not the end of the world, either.

1 Like

Just to follow up on this, I am so glad that I made my arrival day ADR! We landed right on time, were on ME by 3pm, at hotel by 4ish, and to the park by 5. We squeezed in a FP for TSMM, Frozen Singalong, visit to the funland for snacks, and even a quick stop at the HISTK playground, all before our 7:15 ADR at HBD. Once we got to HBD, it was so great to sit down and just relax after a long travel day.

1 Like

For me, making an arrival day ADR means both stress worrying and also I swear it jinxes airline/traffic/etc. Why do that to yourself?

Yes, things can work out perfectly. But it would be so much easier and risk free to just not start your vacation at a sprint to an ADR.