I haven’t been able to sit down and read through my UG to WDW. I feel overwhelmed as I approach 60 days. I’ve been to Disneyland many times but never WDW. I have asked a couple of questions on here, and I appreciate all that feedback. As I continue planning. What are my must do’s for planning? I read through the lines chat frequently to stay up-to-date with things, but what else?

Dinning reservations open up for us in a couple weeks. We aren’t foodies, but like good food. We are a family of six, so I don’t usually plan really expensive meals unless they are character meals. Are there any good ADR’s that aren’t very expensive that I should look for? Or should I just plan on QS? (I have a list from @Jadesfire21 and a few others on lines chat that I plan on looking over, I just haven’t been able to do it yet and time is running out!)


I’m sorry you’re feeling overwhelmed! It is such a different beast right now at WDW even those of us who have been many times are thrown off our game. Planning is so different during the covid-era.

Have you make your ADPs? Assuming so, I’d maybe decide on general food plans for the entire trip and then go from there. I’m taking my kids next month and am planning mobile order/in room dining for breakfast, TS for lunch as I keep reading how swamped QS gets with mobile order at lunch time and then snacks in the afternoon and maybe some QS for dinner.

I’m hoping the TS in the middle of the day will serve as a nice break from the most crowded part of the day as well as from our masks.

Are you comfortable dining inside? If not, I’d sit down and make sure you know the outdoor dining options as well as what’s available at your resort.

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We are also frequent DLR visitors. At DLR we always just eat QS and snacks. I have done TS in Downtown Disney but never in the parks. Well, once eons ago I ate at Blue Bayou. We (me and my DD20 and DD17 now 18) went to WDW in August for 7 nights. We ended up booking some TS meals mostly as a break from the heat. That shouldn’t be as big of a deal at this time of year. Dining reservations are such a big thing at WDW, it can be daunting if you’re a DLR person. I spent some time looking at dining options in the parks ahead of time and went from there.

As far as other planning, I would definitely play around with some TP’s as crowds have grown some. Where are you staying? On site? I have never in my life stayed onsite at DLR, but we did in August at WDW. I loved not having to drive anywhere.

A nice break in the afternoon sounds great! I think we will be doing QS for lunch. We only have 1 day per park and I don’t know when we will be back to WDW so I would rather spend the shorter hours on rides and other things in the park.

We are staying at art of animation.

I think not park hoping seems difficult to me since I’ve never been there. I feel stressed over which parks to pick!

More info please, so we can better help you!

Do you know how many days you are visiting each park? List please
Attractions/themes/ride type your family would like to spend the most time at?
Do you plan to arrive at pre-opening (rope drop) times?

Do you plan on dining at any resort restaurants or all in park?
Would you like 1 table service meal per day for dinner at a reasonable price?
Are your kids 9 or under? This would help with the costs.
There are some good places where you should be able to keep the bill under $100

One day for each park. Possibly a couple hours on arrival day at epcot or HS. I have a beach day planned, but I think I will plan a park for the morning. Can’t decide which park I would do a second time. Debating HS and MK. HS incase we don’t get a boarding group we can try again, MK because I think that is the park my kids would have the most to do. I wish I could plan on hopping that day!

We always Rope Drop, but we will be using SL and Busses, so I’m not sure how good we will do at getting to the parks super early, and probably closing the parks each day since it is such short hours.

Kids 1,5,7,10 Mostly my plans currently include trying to ride things that aren’t at DL and Galaxy’s Edge. (we haven’t been there at DL yet). So FoP, FE, Seven Dwarfs… but I honestly am having a hard time starting to plan.

I have no plans for dinning yet. I think I would like to do QS for lunch in or near parks, snacks in the afternoon and TS or QS outside of parks since parks close early. We usually eat breakfast in the hotel to make the most of rope drop.

I think you have a really good handle on things so don’t worry! With your large family and the various ages, you can be very flexible with your plan. With no FP+, it will actually help to ease your mind!

If you have not already, make your tentative park passes for HS soon. And, there are a bunch of folks here who can help you with Dining at dinner time outside of the parks.

You might want to try for ADRs outside the parks at times that don’t interfere with park hours so that you have as much time for rides as possible. TS can eat up a lot of time. There are plenty of decent (not to mention cheaper) QS options in the parks.

So, for example, on Epcot day, book and early lunch or brunch somewhere. On AK day, book a later dinner, etc.

If you have a particular interest and the theming of the restaurant goes along with that it might make certain restaurants appealing to you. I know that sounds obvious but there are so many restaurants at WDW that are unique to WDW. For us it was much more about the experience than the food. I won’t go into a bunch of examples but what comes to mind immediately are Cinderalla’s Royal Table (CRT) and Be Out Guest (BOG). Those have really beautiful theming, but are also difficult to book.

I totally get it. I find MK a little under-whelming because it’s not DLR. I prefer to not spend more than a day there. However, my kids are older so your littles might be happiest there. If you haven’t done SWGE yet at DLR, I would suggest two days or 1-1/2 days here, rather than MK. Especially if anyone is a SW fan. You can always book the days at HS and then decide later to switch the half day to MK.

AK is pretty easy to do in one day.
Epcot is also do-able in a day but you might have to rush around World Showcase.
HS is do-able in a day, but worth a second day. It has a lot of rides that are not at DLR - SDD, ToT, RnRC - plus the ones you haven’t experienced yet MFSR and ROTR.
MK highlights for a DLR person are 7DMT, Splash, PPF, HM, Pooh, People Mover if it’s operational, Little Mermaid. Not saying I wouldn’t do other rides, these are just the ones I would definitely plan on doing because they’re either better than the DLR version, different from the DLR version, or not offered at DLR. I also have a soft spot for the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse.

Once you’ve picked days, I would definitely play around with some touring plans if you can.

I’m not quite sure what to make of this, but WDW is huge compared to DLR. Look at Google Maps, satellite view, to get a better sense of scale. When I think of beaches there, I think of driving to a coast, which are at least 1 to 2 hours away. Any natural beaches at WDW are off-limits for swimming due to alligators. Use the pools instead. Maybe you can take an afternoon swim break while some nap? At the same time, I understand your reluctance to take any time away from a park.

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We live in CA so we go to DLR more often than WDW. WDW is so different than DLR!

WDW is much bigger and it can take a long time to get around. You can’t just exit one park and make a quick walk across the plaza to the other park. DLR has never been about the food but WDW has so much delicious food to eat!

With reduced hours, it would be an excellent idea to focus on rides and attractions not in DLR. With 4 young children, I would have QS in the park, just because it takes so long to get around. If you can get a grocery delivery, you might want to consider brown bagging a couple of lunches to save on time and save some money for TS.

With young children, I think Coral Reef would be a fabulous choice. It really feels like you are sitting inside a fish tank. My kids loved watching the fish in the tank when they were that young. I don’t think there are that many character meals right now. Look at what your family likes to eat. I would do Topolino for breakfast since it’s at a resort and you don’t have to spend precious park time to eat there. An in-park option would be Garden Grill. This is very standard American fare. We ate there last year and the characters were fabulous. So sad that we can’t hug them right now! For character meals, everyone except the baby would have to pay. It adds up quickly. At QS and other TS, the kids can share or eat off the adult plates. Some of the entrees are rather big. P&J Southern Takeout is good and reasonably priced. Homecomin at Disney Springs has very large portions.

And don’t forgot all the yummy snacks! :yum: We are foodies but our stomachs are small!:sob: We had to balance between snacks and regular meals. Look at the menus online and use touring plans. Enjoy!


I was going to suggest Topolinos for breakfast too. It is just a skyliner ride away to get to the Riviera and wouldn’t cut into park time. I love doing at least one character meal (even tho no hugging right now) because you really can’t do them anywhere else!

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I understand that the beach is not close. We only get about 1 chance a year (at most) to see the ocean and my kids absolutely love the water and the ocean. I’m going to talk to them about the possibility of not going to the ocean. Can we use pools at other resorts if we are staying onsite? The big blue pool at AoA will be under construction during our stay :frowning:

FWIW, I like the pool at the cozy cone in the cars section of AOA better than the big blue pool, so you at least have that (and the little mermaid pool) available. And the smaller pools are easier for keeping track of the little ones at as well.

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If you don’t get to see the ocean very often, then it probably is worth a day to make that trip. We used to do a beach day on our annual spring break trips to DLR. Never regretted it. It was good to have a more low-key, relaxed day for one thing. A couple of times we (well, the kids) took surfing lessons. I would not sacrifice the beach if that’s an important element for you.