The thing I hate about ADRs

You do countless hours of research. You obsess over CL predictions to determine the best days for each park, and set up Crowd trackers to notify you the instant they change. You check KtP’s calendar for advance notice of the actual park hours, because WDW is too lazy to post them before Day 180. You pour through menus, making sure that there is something for the picky eaters, the allergy-prone, and the people with imaginary food issues. You determine the best PPO breakfasts, and then worry that WDW will change the park hours and make them worthless.

You then plan obsessively. Main plans, backup plans, backup backup plans. Hard to get later in the stay, several options for the “must have” Character Meal, etc. Every “what if” accounted for. All while making sure that you get good value out of the DDP. And don’t forget the tactical plan for getting the ADRs on Day 180.

And then Day 180 arrives. You are up at 0-dark thirty, making sure that everything is up and running. You have multiple devices going, with more keyboards than Rick Wakeman. Then at the stroke of 6:00 you are madly clicking and typing. Unless MDE is having a spasm, and you are dialing the reservation hotline at the stroke of 7:00.

But you survive, and all looks good - you got everything you wanted, and if not you have cued up the Touringplans Reservation Finder to get the rest. You sit back, take a deep breath, and bask in the glory. And think about how great these meals are going to be.

And then it hits you.



We did chef mickey breakfast in January, and we were not impressed with the buffet options or the character interactions. I find ADRs blown way out of proportion most of the time.
That being said we are picky and it seemed really expensive for the food quality and the few moments and photos with characters.

We have decided to focus on the rides and just eat quick service for our next trip.


:laughing: :laughing: :laughing:
It’s so true!
We only made a couple of ADRs: BoG lunch and Crystal Palace breakfast (which we ended up canceling when we changed around park days). Next trip I’m hoping to use ADRs for afternoon dessert breaks.

and then they chance hours anyway…

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This is true. If you are comparing ADRs with the rest of the world, I think it is easy to find them seriously lacking. I think it is key to only compare them to QS.

And for me the key is the characters or the theming anyway - never the food.


Yes!!! Agree 100%. After our trip we said the best restaurants were for theme or meeting characters. You can’t compare Disney food with other food where you live.

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You mean like … “OK now we are running MNSSHP for 4 to 6 nights of your 7 night stay and have just taken away any chance you had of availing yourself of MK evening hours” ??


Another prime example. :woman_facepalming::woman_facepalming::woman_facepalming:

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I Kept exactly 2 of the 7 ADRs I made at 180 days out. We are 28 days out now and I think it’s all balanced now. We are mostly eating at the same restaurants but the times/days changed. Res Finder saved my bacon.


I find they have better values in quick service. Theres a few sit downs we do occasionally, never breakfast.


hahaha…yes, you nailed it

Totally agree here. In general, I make ADRs very strategically - they generally have a good reputation food-wise and I am getting additional value out of them. For example, last trip we had reservations at La Hacienda where we could watch Illuminations, at Hollywood Brown Derby for a long early afternoon break and the Fantasmic package, and at Liberty Tree Tavern as a break before MVMCP started. This trip our one and only ADR is the Chef’s Table at V&A.

I guess my post is more about what other people go through rather than what I do. :smiley: That being said, getting the hardest ADR at WDW did involve a bit of planning and anxiety, and I do hate that fact that it will now be 6 months before I get to truly savor my hard-won victory.

Good strategy, but that still requires planning - some QS is definitely below par, so you only want to go to the good ones… :rofl:

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My fav QS is MK- Columbia Harbour & Pecos Bills; AK- 8 Spoons & Flame Tree; HS- Rosies, Fairfax & Catalina Eddies; EP- La Cantina, Tangeirine & Sunshine Seasons


My fave TS are MK- Skipper Canteen (never did BOG😳); AK- Tiffins & Rain forest, HS- Mama Melroses; EP- Coral Reef, Spiced Roads, La Hacienda, Marrakesh, Via Napolia

me too! I was so impressed with my ADRs at first, but 6 months is a long time and almost all of ours changed

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so long! And I also found last trip that I cancelled a few because we ate something a little while ago and family wasn’t hungry or were just in the wrong area and starving and couldn’t wait!!

I now try to only do one sit down a day!! I also prepare to have plans change at a moments notice

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We only do 2 real meals, not big breakfast ppl, early lunch around noon, dinner around 6:30, plus desert!

It’s so early to make reservations. Changes to park opening hours, SWGE opening and crowd calendar changes have thrown out all my careful dining plans and ADRs for our Sept/Oct trip in any event. I’m hoping they work out as I have planned!

YES!!! The planning is exciting but also exhausting.

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I am a vacation planner but WDW planning borders on ridiculous!

We went for our first trip in 2012. It was 14 days in August. This December will be our second trip. It will be 10 days. And this time, we will be staying off-site. One would think a second trip would be easier to plan. But no… so much has changed…

In 2012, we didn’t even know we were going to WDW until 6 months before. We didn’t buy a park hopper. We got all of our ADRs around 100 days for 7 people and nobody had to wake up in the middle of the night to make the ADRs. We didn’t have to decide which parks we were going to each day until we were closer and had the luxury of changing parks the day of as when we got up in the morning. We loved WDW and my husband said we would return for our 25 wedding anniversary for Christmas. That’s 2019. During Summer 2018, the now college kids asked if they could join us at WDW! We are flying out 5 days earlier that the kids to do some laid back resort touring, special activities, and MVMCP.

This December’s trip has been an eye opening, stressful, frustrating planning experience compared to 2012. Good thing we already knew for years that we were going to return to WDW. We bought the old tickets last November.

At 180 days before our December 2019 trip, I was supposed to know what I’m going to be doing each day and what I’m going to be eating. We are on the West Coast. We are not on dining plan and only selected 4 restaurants to minimize cost. CA Grill is the only restaurant we all wanted to return to because the food and fireworks were fabulous in 2012. The other 3 restaurants are new to WDW since our 2012 trip. Because of the way ADRs are structured for reservations, we kept all of the ADRs out of the park.

At 2:45 AM on five 180-day ADR mornings, all four of us were up and working to get ADRs. We were successful with days but not all of them were at good times. We have a number of duplicate reservations, which we will drop as we get closer and our itinerary firms up.

We still have 140 days to go, with FPP reservations and touring plans to work on. The planner in me is wilting!

We had wanted to return to WDW a third time for the Flower and Garden Festival. After working on our December 2019 trip, we are less inclined to return. It is a lot of money, which we are willing to pay, but it requires too much time to plan.

BUT we may forget about all the ludicrous planning, and middle of the night ADRs and FPP reservations once we are in the bubble…