Dinner package reservation plan, HELP!

I am traveling to WDW over Xmas with 7 and 9 year old, us two parents… and my parents, including my Dad who is impatient, not excited about WDW and has arthritis in his back that limits standing, walking etc (but he refuses to get a scooter). So… with is backdrop, my basic plan (I think) is the following:

Early morning with kids until afternoon, then back to off site hotel for rest and swim. Then get reservations with dinner package that we can take my dad to, and hopefully he can participate and not have to wait in a lot of lines.

Night one: Jamboree thing at the frontierland
Night two: Candlelight processional
Night three: River of Dreams fireworks at AK

So my questions: 1. Am I crazy for thinking this approach might work? 2. I really don’t understand the reservations system. It seems impossible to get reservations anywhere even when you are doing a dinner/show package.

Any help, ideas, tips would be great. Trying to balance the different needs of the family is completely stressing me out.

Most often advance reservation are a must. To get the very hard reservation like BOG, you should make reservations as far a 6 months in advance. Now I said should, but that is not written in stone. Some restaurants are not hard to get reservation for even at the last minute. Disneyworld is a lot of waiting so expect it. Walking can be in excess of 6 miles a day so if this could be a problem by all means rent a scooter. Christmas season is a very hectic time. Expect the crowds to be more than usual. A dinner package is also going to be hard to score at the last minute. You might get lucky but----. Don’t mean to rain on your magic but this is what to expect over the holiday. If you relax and take your time and have a contingency plan in case you can’t get exactly what you want, you will still have a magical time.

What are your dates? As @DocHopper says, Christmas is a busy time and lots of folks have already scooped up dining reservations during that period. I did just poke around and find a RoL package for six at Tiffins for 12/26, so it’s not impossible you’ll find something … just be prepared to be flexible with times/restaurants.

Depending on how limited your dad is, Candlelight might not be a good option … have to get him all the way to the back of Epcot and last time we did dining package, we still had to wait in line to get into theater. (RoL we just strolled in, by contrast.) Maybe a dessert party at MK instead (though that might be hard to get at this late date). Luau at the Poly and watching fireworks from the beach there might be another good alternative.

Oh these are good suggestions. I mainly feel hopeless about the whole thing. It just seems so hard to get reservations to things I don’t know how to make all sides of the family happy. Thank you so much for the advice.

You’re welcome. Please try to not stress too much … some people are just going to be grumpy.

You might want to try the reservation finder to help if you decide to do regular dining (I don’t think it finds packages):

Reservation Finder

Something like dinner at Citricos before fireworks time might be festive and a way to include your dad.

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May I also suggest three restaurants that are usually not that hard to get last minute reservations at. Biergarten in the German pavilion in Epcot. I love this place, great food and lots of it plus they put on a music show where the kids can parade and dance around. Great fun. Second, if you like seafood then Cape Mays Café in the Beach Club resort is the place to go. All you can eat crab legs, huge cold shrimp, claim chowder, and corn on the cob to just touch on the menu. If you are in Epcot walk across the International Gateway to the Beach Club resort. Ask someone to point the way. Last is Teppan Edo. This is a Japanese dinner where they prepare the meal in front of you. These three places are wonderful and they are not that hard to get reservations to. That said, don’t count on a walk-up but they do happen. Make a reservation even if it is 2 hours before. Everyone has there favorite places so you will get a lot of suggestions out here. Happy eating.

No fireworks at DAK due to the animals.

definitely use reservation finder, however it won’t work for the dinner packages and they are very hard o get.Doc Hoppers suggestions were very good and the shows are fun. You might have to be flexible with the dates and times but you can change your reservations often without penalty provided it is done before the one day in advance deadline. You should be able to get hoop dee doo review as a show on the Disney website just keep putting in your different dates and times and search. You might also like 50’s prime time. It is home cooking and the wait staff treat you like family telling you to eat your veggies, etc. Keep trying because many people change their plans. A character dinner is also fun You may be able to get Akershus with the princesses, Crystal Palace with pooh & friends.

You don’t mention attractions but play with touring plans which will give you a good idea of wait times and will give you a plan on how to proceed with your day. Make sure you include lots of breaks. It may be better to change your plans and do rope drop with your dad because the waits may be shorter and then for dinner go to resort dining and look at the Christmas decorations and watch the MK fireworks at the beach at one of the resorts or watch the electric water pageant. You may also want to try the some of the wilderness explorer badges in AK or pirate adventure treasures of the seven seas in MK they are fun and don’t require a lot of waiting. You can pick up a free handbook at many of the AK explorer locations. Finally Epcot has Christmas around the world with various cast members doing a short presentation about holidays in their county which your dad might like. There are also the regular street performances in Epcot that are fun.