Personalized Touring Plans - Food

Hi. Visiting DL with my family (three children - 7, 6, and 4) in a few weeks (late Nov/early Dec). Working on a personalized touring plan. Food isn’t a priority for us - i.e., not feeling a need to identify a specific restaurant at a specific time for lunch/dinner. Seems more helpful (to this novice) to approach meals with a “we are ready to eat, what’s nearby” strategy. Is this recommended as an approach? Or, better to identify a specific dining option and build it into our plan for the day?



My family generally only does one, possibly two table service meals on a given Disney trip, and otherwise, are pretty similar to what you are saying here. I will say we attempt to eat our meals at “off times” which for us ends up being late, (ex, lunch at 2 or so, and dinner after 7 if possible) that might be difficult with your younger kids. I would put mealtimes and places into the plan, but realize it’s really pretty easy to change that up.

Something that I recently learned about Disneyland is that the reservations system doesn’t actually guarantee you a table at a specific time. It just puts your name “on the list” ahead of walk-ups. A reservation is always a good idea, but not required.

I see you are going in Nov./ December. If you aren’t going in a peak time, like Christmas week, you should be fine. Yes, you’ll have to wait for a table - but that’s the case at most places outside of DLR too.

Good advice above - I specifically recommend that you eat at off times! “We are ready to eat - what’s nearby?” will result in you joining a queue of hundreds of others with the same thought pattern. I always try to eat lunch around 11am and start dinner before 5pm, but later works as well.

You don’t need reservations except at a few of the most highly coveted restaurants (Blue Bayou, Lamplight Lounge, etc.), which it sounds like you wouldn’t be interested in anyway. Again, just don’t expect to walk up to a popular restaurant and be seated instantly between 12-2pm or 5-7pm.

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The “we are ready to eat” will work best if you utilize mobile ordering. I don’t recommend it if you are planning on waiting in line or for Table service. Like @Jeff_AZ, we often eat at off times. We will eat at 10:30 or 11 for lunch, which will usually cover us for breakfast and Lunch (we usually have a snack first thing to tied us over). Then we eat around 4 ish for Dinner with a later treat that keeps us going through the night. Beware that during very busy times, all the table services can get booked up to the point that they will not even take your name for walk in. This happened to us at several restaurants in DCA at Halloween time last year.