Illuminations ADR puzzle

We are going on our first WDW family trip October 2015. Big party of 8: DH & myself, DS10, DS8, DD6, & DD3, and one set of grandparents. We will be there during F&W (also new to us, obviously) and I am completely puzzled about how to choose between our 2 ADR’s or just doing F&W.

We are using the DDP, 3 of 4 kids can be a little non-adventurous when it comes to food, and I’m a little worried about OOP expenses. It will be one evening after the nap (busy morning in MK, starting w/ EMH) so we won’t get to Epcot before 5:00. It will be our only time really walking through World Showcase. We will do Future World and Akershus next day.

Original (preferred) plan was to have a dining reservation that would afford us a great view of Illuminations rather than having to hold down a fireworks spot… but not sure if that will work, and don’t know if we want to commit so much time at a restaurant. But it might be good after such a busy morning!?!

the 2 ADR’s I have now are R&C for 5:45 and and SanAn at 7:30. I think everyone in the group will equally like either restaurant; i just need to choose one. eating F&W is the second plan, (canceling both ADR’s) and getting kids’ meals if they can’t be satisfied otherwise. Just can’t decide! Please help!

What day of the week ? I wouldn’t take kids to F&W on a Friday or Saturday night. To continue bad news, don’t count on seeing Illuminations from a restaurant. Even if you volunteer to wait, a table for eight is unlikely with a water view. So, you’ve spent more time and then have to hurry your meal to get out for illuminations. I recommend enjoying your meal, then finding a spot and sending dad for desert.

It’s Monday night; I realized that we needed to avoid the weekend after a few F&W podcasts! But you gave some really great advice. I would rather know that my wishes won’t work now when I can change my plan than when I’m there and trying to make it work! It helps a lot to know that a table for 8 with water view is impossible. Thanks! So you would go with R&C at 5:45?

I’m not a fan of R&C, but a lot of people like it. I believe there are no bad restaurants in Epcot, just different people like different foods. Check the menus on Lines app or

thanks for your help!

just wanted to second the caution about food and wine on friday or saturday with kids. We made the mistake of taking our kids (7&9) on saturday last year. never again. I still can’t believe how many large groups of drunk adults we saw all day long. it was a nightmare just trying to walk through.

It’s not that much better during the week during F&W. I think last time I was there on Tuesday, and I had concerns about safety. Not fights, just drunks falling over onto our stroller…and this was about 7 PM.

we were there last year during Food and Wine and there were many drunks even in the afternoon. Middle aged folks reliving their college days??! It was educational for my 9 y/o, but not in the way that we planned…

wow-- thanks for the warnings so i can be better prepared. glad to know that we changed our plan away from Epcot during the weekend. I hope Monday & Tues will be more placid!

I hope so too . . we are trying a monday this year. I’m hoping everyone will be too hungover from the weekend for major shenanigans :smile:

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Your kids may not find a lot to eat the festival booths, but it’s easy to stop by any of the QS spots along the way. If it’s your only night doing the festival, that is what I would opt for personally. The food served in the booths is very good food, and mostly unique offerings. I plan to have my kids do the Phineas and Ferb scavenger hunt and help collect the stamps in my food and wine passport to keep them entertained while we eat our way around the world.

On the issue of rowdiness - we are going on the first day, which is a Friday. I am bit concerned, less for my kids and more for myself because loud people (drunk or otherwise) irritate me. We went on the last two days of the festival last year, a Sunday and Monday, and it was completely fine - we stayed until the park closed and never saw anything remotely frat party like.

My experience is that “holding down a spot” for Illuminations is not as difficult as it is at the MK. Granted, I have never been during F&W so I’m not sure how that might effect the crowds, but I typically have found a good spot 15-20 minutes before the show (my favorite spots are on either side of Mexico, or across from Norway).

I NEVER recommend trying to watch Illuminations from a restaurant. San Angel only has a few window seats, and I do not believe that they can be configured for a party of 8. R&C might be able to accomodate you, but you might spend longer waiting for a table on the patio than you would spend “holding down” a spot for Illuminations - if they even let you wait for an outside table.

For what it’s worth, I think the food is much better at La Hacienda than it is at R&C…

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