How would you change your ADR game?

We started planning a December 2020 trip early this year, and I had already written out our ADR game plan before the COVID crisis hit. Obviously, that all has been on the back-burner, but I am still planning to make reservations in a few weeks when they open, likely with some changes.

How would YOU plan your ADRs differently, knowing what we now know (or don’t know)? Avoid character dining, more popular places, or ADR altogether? Are there certain places you would not visit because of layouts or crowd levels (or maybe all buffets)?

Trying to think of this from all angles so I can make a solid plan at 180 days and not have to tinker with it too much afterwards (barring any restrictions or rules that WDW may impose as the year goes on). Thanks for any insight you can offer!

I wouldn’t change anything right now. I would plan to dine as I did before, and would expect that Disney will have in place appropriate steps to keep everyone safe and well. If I arrived to a restaurant and found it not to be so, I would speak to the hostess and cancel my table and insist upon no charge; would follow up with Guest Services if necessary to get refund on fee.

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If we make the assumption COVID is still plentiful in December I would probably avoid buffets. Not sure characters themselves would matter. Places where there’s a little more space between seats may get some preference - like the Coral Sea booths would seemingly keep you more isolated from other diners than some of the other dining configurations.

But in general I’m not sure I’d change a lot presuming DIS would have it relatively covered.

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My new ADR day is coming up May 16. I’ll be avoiding buffets, but I was doing that anyway (not intentionally, they just weren’t included in my list of locations to make ADRs). So, basically, I’ll be scheduling what I did for my May trip, but without as much excitement since I realize the trip may not even happen.

At this point, I’m exploring back up vacation options to a WDW vacation in November. Might put it off until November 2021

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My ADR day is in 31 days, not that I am counting. I had my list made 6 months ago. I will probably make reservations for extra TS meals in case I find changes to some places less appealing. Not sure what to do about buffets, had several on my list, worked well for a group of 7 with varied tastes, and DGD4 and DGD 19 months loved buffets on their first trip.

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I did my ADRs a couple of weeks ago and didn’t change anything. But we didn’t do a lot of buffets.

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There’s probably a good chance buffets will still be closed or need to change their format.

ETA: Found the FDA policy.
“In communities with sustained transmission of COVID-19, state and local health authorities have implemented social-distancing measures which discourage or prohibit dining in congregate settings. We also recommend discontinuing self-service buffets and salad bars until these measures are lifted.”

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Our June visit got moved to December. I’ve got two lists - a table service choice for our main meal, which is sometimes at midday, and a quick service choice. Just in case.

I’ve polled our trip folk for eating places they’ve always wanted to try. Or wouldn’t normally consider trying.

Usually we love buffets and meeting characters. So we’re changing it up, thinking outside the box.

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I had a ton of character meals planned for my end of August trip, but I just changed them to regular sit down meals. My son is 3 and he won’t really understand why he can’t touch the characters. I don’t want him to be disappointed when we can just avoid the whole issue.

If I were going with only adults or older kids, I might still go. I’m sure they will have precautions in place that make it as safe as any other restaurant there.

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Too many restrictions with table service restaurants will likely be the main reason we’d cancel our trips in August, and December. We love so many of the restaurants in WDW. It’s a huge part of our trip. I’m quite nervous about how it will all turn out. I can’t imagine what social distancing would be like in Sci-fi, or 50’s Prime Time? It’ll be very strange. The cast members at 50’s would be yelling at us to wash our hands before dinner…which is a good thing…lol.

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We changed our plans in general eliminating any park hopping. With the talk of having fixed park days in order to control and predict attendance at each park, we adjusted our plans to just one park a day and booked ADRs accordingly.

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I would maybe plan a meal in the park where I want to be that day - just as a little extra insurance that I will gain entry to that park. ADRs can help get you in if phased closings are happening - which seems possible with Covid and the holiday season.

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