• On Mar 9, 2010
    Cynthia from OH 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.

    We're visiting Disney for the first time at the end of March. We have no idea where we'll be at meal times - is not having any reservations at any restaurant going to be a big problem for us? Character dining is not something we want to do, but . . .

    Hi Cynthia! You're traveling to Walt Disney World at one of its busier times of the year, as your trip at the end of March coincides with spring break and Easter holidays for many school children. While I understand your desire to just "wing it" and not plan where you'll be or when you'll eat, I think that you'll really have a much more relaxing vacation if you do a little advance planning. Because the parks will be very crowded during your visit, it's quite possible that you would have trouble finding a table at any sit-down restaurant, not just the character meals. There's nothing worse than being hot and tired and finding that the restaurant in which you'd like to dine is booked not just for that meal, but for the rest of the day. That's happened to me, and I don't want it to happen to  you.

    I recommend that you take a look at the park calendars to determine the operating hours of the parks during your visit, as well as the times of any parades or shows you'd like to see. Use that information to decide which park you'd like to visit each day, and then pick at least one restaurant in that park that you'd like to try, and make a reservation for lunch or dinner. If your plans change, you can always cancel the reservation, but you'll have it if you need it.

    If you were visiting at a less busy time of year and were willing to eat at non-peak times, you could probably be more "spur of the moment" about dining. However, I want your first trip to be magical, and I really think you'll enjoy it much more if you do a little advance planning.

    Please don't  hesitate to ask us additional questions if you need more help planning your first trip. Hope you have a wonderful time!
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Meet the Panelist: Amanda, North Carolina

I'm a busy mom of two from North Carolina who loves to find ways to stretch a Disney Dollar so that I can enjoy the luxury of Disney's deluxe resorts and fine dining. Learn More About Amanda

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