Family With Medals; RunDisney 10K; Stitch Hat; Lilo and Stitch Costume
  • On Dec 10, 2013
    Amanda from NC 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.

    I am traveling to WDW in September, probably during the free dining. Do I need to make reservations for lunches at resorts or could I just walk up? We want as much flexibility as possible, but I have a 3 yr old so I also don't want to wait for a long time

    Hi, Amanda!

    I completely understand your desire to be a bit more flexible because you'll have a little one with you on your trip to Walt Disney World; great point!

    However, September features the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, which is so popular, some Guests schedule a visit just for this event. This often results in many of the most popular dining locations booking up well in advance. In addition, if you do travel to WDW during Free Dining, imagine how many other Guests will be taking advantage of Free Dining as well; many of them will make Advanced Dining Reservations well in advance of their stays, too...up to 180 days prior to check-in.

    Here's what I recommend: at the 180 days to check-in date, book some ADRs, one per day. Decide which park you'd like to visit each day (I look at park hours, crowd-predictions, variety of park per day) and place a convenient ADR in or close to that park. When my guys were little, we'd book a very early lunch or a very early dinner, so that naps could still take place and tummies weren't yet starving for a meal. On a day with a lunch ADR, we'd visit a Quick Service location for dinner; when dinner was an ADR, Quick Service lunch or breakfast is the way to go. This plan will also cut down on the amount of time you spend waiting IF there is an available walk-up ADR. Plus, if you wait until that day to seek a Table Service location, the only times available may be way too late for your little one.

    Send another question if you'd like advice on booking a plan that works for you, Amanda; I'd love to help!
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Meet the Panelist: Andrea, Pennsylvania

I am a teacher, wife and mom who has been a member of the Disney Vacation Club since 2003. I love discovering a new favorite DVC resort, fantastic restaurant or hidden gem onboard a Disney ship! I'm a micro-planner who can help you capture your own magic! Learn More About Andrea

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