Family Card Game / Deciding on Dining

We will be in WDW for 12 days in December. As usual, the 6 of us have very different opinions on food. Some had the best meal ever at Coral Reef, while I silently promised I’d never give them another dollar that last time I ate there lol.

Here’s what I did, and it did take some time-- which is part of the MAJOR fun for my planning overload.

  1. I wrote down restaurant names on note cards. There were 23 we were picking from. I didn’t include signatures we wouldn’t take our toddler to, expect for Le Cellier, which to me is semi-signature.

  2. Each person was asked to order the cards from best to worst. No other family members could watch. I went first, because I’m always tempted to do what everyone else wants, and I was going to see their answers. I had to lock mine in before being swayed. Each person wrestled over the ranking. They love so many things at WDW!

  3. When each person was done done, I left every card in place and flipped them over. I had everyone’s initials on the back of the card. Under their initial, I numbered the cards in order, thereby ranking them. (I ranked on the back so that they would have to be honest and give their OWN opinions, rather than being swayed, as we ALL tend to want to make everyone else happy)

  4. For each person’s first choice, I starred the card on the back as well.

  5. Once everyone had ranked, I added up the scores on the back. It’s really an average, but why divide when the denominators would all be 5?

  6. On our dining list, everyone got their first choice. If the card was starred, we are eating there. My son’s favorite meal is as important as my husband’s, and vice versa. Everyone get’s their favorite. After that. I simply put them in order. We get 12 meals, so after the 5 of us got our first choices, the next 7 meals made the cut.

  7. When my family saw how hard it was to cut out meals, they began to talk about what meals they could share in order to eat at more places. By sharing meals that are not buffets, we added a few more ADRs, and included 2 credit meals like HDDR and Candlelight Processional.

Everyone knows their opinions are important. They also know that we have to work together to make it all fit. Together, our plans are shaping up and we are ready to EAT! So, if you are trying to fit in all your family’s opinions, try this method. It takes out the guessing and involves everyone. (My youngest child who ranked was 11. He could have done this years ago though, if I had thought of it back then.) We didn’t ask our 2 year old, but I saw each of my kids say, “This isn’t my favorite, but M would sure love it…” so he was factored in as well. As I mentioned, we all aim to please. I just didn’t want us to all do something thinking everyone else wanted to do it and no one really did! :wink:


Love it! Thanks for sharing your process!

I love this idea. We’re trying to narrow down our choices too and I was looking for ways in which to do it. Might give this a go.

Great Idea! Please share the places y’all will be dining and let us know the favorites chosen and by who! I LOVE THIS!

Our first choices are–
DS11: Ohana
DD17: Teppan Edo
DD14: Sci-fi
DH: Le Cellier (HD and I will do this for a date night)
Me: CP (just to ensure we get into MK on Christmas night. So, CP is NOT really my favorite, but a strategy I needed)

The rest of our meals ranked in order are:
Hoop Dee Doo
Chef Mickey’s (arrival night tradition)
Coral Reef (who knew?! I would have never picked it, but everyone else wanted it)
1900 PF dinner
Tusker House (Christmas breakfast)
WCC (I was shocked)
50’s PTC
T-Rex (OOP)

Later, we added Tutto Italia candlelight processional on Christmas Day. I might change the restaurant, if I can think of anything better. We haven’t eaten there, but my family didn’t want asian on Christmas, and I didn’t want to pay good money to eat at CR (bc we will split meals there when we do go). The only other thing we can think of is Garden Grill, but that always looks so lame. Plus, with the package, we get appetizers, so a family style meal is a waste of a cool perk we never get.

We also booked dining with an imagineer, but that’s a surprise for our son who dreams of his future working for Disney as an imagineer. DH will take him to HBD, and I’m a bit jealous. :wink:

Anyhow, that’s what we have! :smiley:


Sounds GREAT! and several of our favorites made the list! Have a wonderful trip!

That is such a great way to do this! Your ADRs sound fabulous.

Terrific idea!