First Night - Where to Eat?

We’re taking an anniversary trip to Disney in Jan/Feb 2017. After checking in and getting settled, meal would probably be around 8pm on a Friday. We’ll be getting annual passes so we can eat at the parks, at the resorts, or anywhere in the surrounding area off property. Boyfriend really likes steaks but we’re open to anything as long as it’s not crazy expensive and somewhat easy to get to. I like to make ADRs since that keeps us pushing to stay on schedule and guarantees that we’ll have a place to eat (been turned away from O’hana on the first night of a previous trip because we didn’t have a reservation), but I really DON’T like making ADRs on the first night because then we don’t have to rush if we’re running late nor will I lose that deposit.

Here’s the short: January, Friday night, around 8pm. Can eat anywhere (counter or quick service). Having ADR makes us rush. No ADR possibility of being turned away.

So…what restaurants do you recommend for a first night and should I go ahead with the ADR?

What resort? I would say the easiest may be to go onto Open Table when you get to your resort, and then book a table somewhere in DS.

Are you flying? If so, I’d avoid an ADR in case of travel delays, etc - it is winter!

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Raglan Road in DS. Everything from “pub grub” to steak, all done VERY well. Lot’s of beers and whiskies to choose from (plus anything else you might want to drink), fun entertainment, etc. Easy to get to by bus from any resort.

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If you prefer a sit-down style but don’t want to worry about an ADR, look for bars/lounges that serve from the main dining room menu (in part or in full) - it makes a good fallback to eat in the bar if you can’t get a main dining room table.

We’re most probably staying off-site so anywhere on or off property is fair game.

We’re driving from Southern Louisiana to Orlando. I don’t expect any freezing weather delays but crazier things have happened. (I’ve only seen snow maybe 3x in my entire life and I just turned 30!)

I didn’t think of Raglan Road! I was already thinking of the Boathouse since we’ve never been there before. I may just wait till that night and check the crowds. Hopefully we would be able to easily get a table for 2. I’m used to traveling during free dining and NOTHING is available!

I did think about checking out the Tune-In Lounge. The boyfriend really likes 50’s Prime Time so I figured that would be a good start to the vacation, but I want to take a trip to Prime Time as an actual sit down meal later on during the trip.

That strategy has worked well for me both in and out of the parks. On my last trip I didn’t have any ADRs on a DS evening. RR had a 90 min standby wait. I went into the bar, ordered a beer, and before I even half finished it a seat opened up.