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  • On Nov 30, 2009
    Rebecca from SK Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Hi , my husband and I are bringing our two children (4 and 9) Jan 18-28, 2010. We thought the dining plan would be good but how hard will it be for us to get sit down meals without booking all our meals in advance?

    Hi, Rebecca!  There are some meals that are going to be very difficult to get last minute reservations for, but that doesn't mean you won't find any sit down meals without a reservation.  Character dining experiences, such as the ones at Cinderella Castle and Chef Mickey's are going to be nearly impossible to get, but I have had some luck walking up to the Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom or the Garden Grill at EPCOT's The Land and gotten a last minute table!

    If you are flexible about where you want to dine and what time you want to go, you should be able to find some table service availability.  Check out restaurants that have larger capacities or are lesser known, such as Restaurant Marrakesh at EPCOT or Sanaa at Animal Kingdom Lodge.  We've also been able to get last minute tables at some of the resort restaurants, like Whispering Canyon at Wilderness Lodge.

    What you could do is contact 407-WDW-DINE to inquire now about restaurant availability for your trip.  That will give you an idea of how difficult it might be when the time comes to walk up to a restaurant and find a table.  If it were me, I would probably go ahead and book a few reservations, knowing that you can cancel without penalty at any time.  That way, if your plans change, there are no worries; but you will know that you have table service meals to make the dining plan worth purchasing.

    Have a great vacation!
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Meet the Panelist: Anna, New Jersey

My name is Anna and I am a retired teacher with a J.D., a proud Navy wife with 30+ years of experience, mom to three daughters and a son-in-law, and grandmom to three tiny Disney fans. I have planned vacations for all sorts of special occasions and celebrations, but I really enjoy DVC vacations, helping military families, and assisting those with special dietary needs.    Learn More About Anna

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