No ADRs. No Dining Plan

We are getting excited for our trip next month! This will be our first time visiting and NOT being on the dining plan. We also have not made any ADRs. (We are going to try to wing it this time around - as opposed to stalking out ADRs and trying to maximize our credits like we have for all previous trips!)

Any suggestions on where to eat that won’t require ADR - we are open to counter service/quick meals but will probably throw in a few sit-downs too. My kids don’t care about character meals.

Here’s our touring schedule. The “free” time I have slotted is to hang at the resort/pool or to account for any unexpected plans!

Tues: arrive 10pm, stay at All Star Movies for the night.

Wed: Hollywood Studios for the first half of the day. Check into Boardwalk for the rest of our stay. Evening free. (Dinner in Boardwalk area/Epcot?)

Thurs: Animal Kingdom (rope drop until ~3pm). Evening free. (Dinner in Boardwalk area/Epcot?)

Fri: Magic Kingdom (EMH until ~3pm). Evening free. (Dinner in Boardwalk area/Epcot?)

Saturday: Epcot (whenever we wake up - break around lunch. Lunch in park or outside?) Afternoon free. Return to Epcot in the evening.

Sunday: Fly home :frowning:

Many TS restaurants will have same day availability as people cancel at 24hrs out and/or do the bump and run thing. It is well worth checking for available reservations that day.

For example, I just checked for dinner reservations for today throughout the WDW resort. The list of what is available for tonight for 4 people is entirely TOO LONG to list! Go do a test run for yourself :slight_smile: My point is, you can eat at a TS every day of your trip if you’re willing to look that day and be a bit flexible about your timing.

Best of luck!


Thanks! I’m planning on checking for same-day ADRs. Just trying to figure out the best spots to eat on-the-go if necessary.

If you’re going to be in the Epcot/Boardwalk area for meals you won’t have a problem - there are several TS places in World Showcase where you pretty much always get in, like Spice Road Table and Nine Dragons. You also have the Swan and Dolphin a very short walk away - their restaurants are really good and you’ll get in without a reservation at most of them. :slight_smile:

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At Animal Kingdom Flame Tree BBQ is one of our favorite places to eat. Plenty of good food and can be a nice relaxing place to take a break.


Satu’li. Satu’li. Satu’li.

Love it. Great value, and you can order online and collect your food with zero waiting. Oh, and it’s declious.

Just in case you weren’t clear: Satu’li. In Animal Kingdom. Satu’li.


Good for you!! We usually make a few ADRs - but my family is very “I’m not in the mood” kind of people - so a lot of times we wing it as well.

Haven’t felt like the dining plan has been worth it in years

Do you feel like you have been freed from the shackles of ADRs?

Surprisingly, not really. Haha! I like having a plan - even if that plan is flexible and consists of free time. I also like drooling over menus in advance. I know we will be able to save money by skipping the dining plan and my kids will probably like grabbing a quick snack whenever they want as opposed to making them hold off for a bigger, scheduled meal.

The interesting part of the dinning plan this year is that each person gets two snacks compared to just one in previous years. There are three restaurants that I know of the will be impossible to get unless your very lucky. Ohana, Be Our Guest, and the top of the contempary Resort which I can’t remember the name off hand. Many restaurants no longer take walk-in but on occasion they do. So bottom line is if you want something at a particular time make an ADR.

Not sure of your trip dates, but if F&W is still going on, that’d be my first choice for eating without ADRs in Epcot/Boardwalk–unless you consider ice cream a full meal, in which case I’d do Ample Hills!

We’ve had great luck on recent trips in getting same day lunch at Brown Derby or doing the small bites on the patio next to it.

I could never do this. For me, dining is as much a part of the WDW experience as the rides, and as I really don’t like most QS options, I need to have TS ADRs lined up. On the relatively few attempts that I’ve made at doing walk-ups, I’ve had minimal success. I’ve never gotten one at DHS, and the only 2 in EP that I’ve ever gotten were VN and R&C - and I was solo both times. Never tried at MK or AK.

Same-day ADRs are a different story; if you check first thing in the AM on the day in question, you may well be able to find a good selection. I’ve gotten BG and MM this way.

Don’t forget about the lounges that don’t take ADRs. So, there’s Crew’s Cup at Yacht Club.
But if you feel like venturing away from BW/Epcot: Cali Grill bar, Brown Derby lounge, Nomad lounge, Territory Lounge…
Definitely Spice Road table. What an overlooked gem. Like @lecras said, you can always get in there.

Yes, this too. DH and I had dinner at Territory Lounge last night … decided to leave MK around 6:45, took the boat over to FW and boom, great dinner with no ADR needed.

You can order online IF you don’t have food allergies as I understand it. (Or are on the Dining Plan, but the OP has said they are not in that case.)

We had no ADR’S for our two nights after an event at Cocoa Beach. We ate at Skipper’s Canteen for lunch and grazed through Flower and Garden. We had lunch in the patio area of Brown Derby and dinner at Trails End. I saw they had openings on MDE and we were in MK so we hopped a boat and had to wait about 20 minutes for a table. We got drinks from Crockett’s tavern and found a couple of seats on the porch . Our table was ready about the time we finished our drinks.

In Sept. we were in Epcot with no ADRs. Checked MDE for openings at Rose & Crown but there was nothing at all. My husband went to the CM at the check-in table & after a 5 min. wait we were seated outside right at the lagoon. Never hurts to check.

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