Dinner reservation - 6 months out

ryman471

Earning My Ears
Joined
Oct 30, 2019
I am going mid June for 5 days. Not doing dining plan. We will mostly do quick service and order that ahead as we go day of just winging it, however, we would like to have 2 or 3 nice table meals reserved for character dining. Sorry if missed it, but i don't see a thread or guide on this. 2 adults going with one 10 year old daughter. Should i definitely reserve these few spots 6 months in advance (less than 2 weeks away)? suggestions on places? Is this the best bet on seeing the characters up close? Daughter is 10 now so not a must to see them all with lots of time but we want to make sure we see them to figure that part out and thought best way would be with a nice dinner on a couple / few days. been too busy reading how everything else works lol. Thanks!
 

ryman471

Earning My Ears
Joined
Oct 30, 2019
Which characters?
Which table service meals?
Great questions, i dont know lol. I am at a loss on this part of the trip. I know my girl enjoys the princesses but not obsessed with them at 10 like she was at 1-8 obviously.i didnt know if there was a guide for recommendation based off of age or which ones are "hot" that have to reserve 6 months in advance?
 
  • Pumbaa_

    >Hakuna Matata!<
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jan 7, 2001
    Nope, no recommendations. Each family is so very different in what they enjoy

    I really enjoy garden grill breakfast, preferably ppo. It’s nothing fancy, but I like the slowly turning restaurant, the food!, the characters are the best. The best part is everything is served family style

    Tusker house is another favorite. Love the food options. And the characters. Last seating for bfast will also see some lunch offerings as the food turns over to lunch
     

    DisneyLore

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 5, 2017
    If she likes the princess, you might consider Akerhaus in Norway for breakfast. It has a lot of princesses but isn't totally that little girl feel. Just my two cents
     

    sharonabe

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 22, 2009
    Should i definitely reserve these few spots 6 months in advance (less than 2 weeks away)?
    Not necessarily 6 mos in advance, but I would do them as soon as you can. Character dining does get booked up, so if it's important to you, you want to get the ADRs you have your heart set on. Just go to the Disney website and peruse the character dining spots to see what fits your family. If the trip is not a surprise, maybe have your DD sit with you and choose what she wants to do most.
     

    Taylor'sMom

    Wish I was there...
    Joined
    Jan 21, 2007
    I have a 16 yr old girl, and we've been visiting since she was little. I can appreciate the desire to still do a character meal or 2, but that its "different" than when they were little. My suggestions...

    'Ohana (breakfast) at the Poly is nice. Charcater are Mickey (gotta have a Mickey photo), Pluto, Lilo and Stitch, all in Hawaiian Luau outfits. Teens tend to like Stitch. That meal has a nice, relaxed feel in a beautiful restaurant. Its not super "little kid" feeling. She can just enjoy a nice meal but stand for a few cute photos.

    Tusker House at AK is also nice. More traditional characters (Mickey, Donald, Daisy and Goofy, in safari gear). The food there is great and charcater interaction has been good also.

    I hear good things about 1900 Park Faire, but have not personally been. That could be a good option for more of a princess feel.
     
  • Nancyg56

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2005
    If she likes the princess, you might consider Akerhaus in Norway for breakfast. It has a lot of princesses but isn't totally that little girl feel. Just my two cents
    This would be my suggestion for a Princess breakfast.

    I just returned from a trip with two 13 YO girls and these are the character meals they enjoyed:

    Hollywood and Vine dinner. Minnie's Seasonal Dine. I was a little surprised the liked it so much, one is definately "too cool for school" so I was a bit concerned. The girls were hysterical. Bonus: we booke the Fantasmic! Dining package.

    1900 Park Fare. This one was fun, but I am not sure it was their favorite. It was our first night meals and they were not totally into the "It's okay to be a kid in Disney" thing yet. They liked the Tremaine family a lot, and the "cool kid" even cracked a few smiles.

    Storybook Dining at AP: They loved this one. Grumpy, Dopey, Snow and The Queen. They liked the meal, and truely enjoyed the shenanigansin the dining room.

    If I was to add one more I would add Garden Grill. My 18 YO DGD likes this one a lot. It is laid back and the food is good. The characters are a lot of fun without being "kiddish" KWIM?
     

    Nancyg56

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2005
    I am going mid June for 5 days. Not doing dining plan. We will mostly do quick service and order that ahead as we go day of just winging it, however, we would like to have 2 or 3 nice table meals reserved for character dining. Sorry if missed it, but i don't see a thread or guide on this. 2 adults going with one 10 year old daughter. Should i definitely reserve these few spots 6 months in advance (less than 2 weeks away)? suggestions on places? Is this the best bet on seeing the characters up close? Daughter is 10 now so not a must to see them all with lots of time but we want to make sure we see them to figure that part out and thought best way would be with a nice dinner on a couple / few days. been too busy reading how everything else works lol. Thanks!
    I also want to add that if you are doing character meals, I suggest you do some math. They are expensive, and these are the ones that added up on our trip, so when you add counter service meals and perhaps a few beverages and snacks, the cost will mount quickly. Once you determine what meals you will book, look at the rest of your trip and what you will likely order over the course of the trip. The adults in my family order alcohol with dinner (Lunch too with the teens in tow, LOL) If you will, add the cost in, If not, so not "plan" to do so. Add it all up and then compare the cost to the regular dining plan.

    If you book 3 TS character meals on a 5 day trip, is it 4 nights? You may end up doing better with a plan than without. The math is worth the time.
     

    ryman471

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 30, 2019
    Thanks All! Great insight. I did the math on this website that has a dining plan calculator that they say is accurate. They say out of 6 days, i am not doing nearly enough meals / food to do any of the diner plans.
    What i reserved:
    Akershus tue 5pm
    CRT wed 720pm
    Artist point 410PM
    Tusker house Fri 6pm


    I will be canceling 3 of these 4 above to only do 1 character meal (for cost). I am leaning towards keeping CRT, even though most expensive because when i asked my 10YO daughter about doing a character meal and meet, she was interested but when i mentioned we MAY do it in the actual castle and told her this may be her only meal ever in castle, lol, her eyes lit up with excitement. holding on to all of them until i do fast pass selections in April though before cancelling. Any problems with such a late dinner dealing with the MK fireworks show? Any tips if we do CRT? Do most people dress up or is it very informal, since so hot out in June!

    Also, we will eat simple breakfast at hotel, take some snacks in a small backpacks, water and do a couple quick service meals and wanted to do just a couple other nice meals.
    The ones that seem to get good ratings i got reserved are
    Coral Reef Tue 1pm (if no Akerhus)
    Sci-fi Thurs 7pm
    beaches cream Fri 8pm
    We are doing one park each day and 2 at MK. i matched the restaurants up with the days i plan on being at that park (late night EMH)

    Trying to save some money by not eating too much expensive meals but splurging a little for the memories.

    let me know your thoughts, thanks!
     

    cmarsh31

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 5, 2015
    Ok, I'm not sure you have the dining plan quite sorted out... just because the others you reserved are non-character doesn't mean they don't count in the dining plan. Right now you have 8 TS credits booked. 5 days or 5 nights? 5 days/4 nights means you would get 4 TS credits - so if you kept CRT and the other 3 you have booked, you're at 5 TS credits. You might want to double-check how you're calculating costs vs. dining plan. It definitely doesn't always work for everyone, but I always check.
     
  • ryman471

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 30, 2019
    Ok, I'm not sure you have the dining plan quite sorted out... just because the others you reserved are non-character doesn't mean they don't count in the dining plan. Right now you have 8 TS credits booked. 5 days or 5 nights? 5 days/4 nights means you would get 4 TS credits - so if you kept CRT and the other 3 you have booked, you're at 5 TS credits. You might want to double-check how you're calculating costs vs. dining plan. It definitely doesn't always work for everyone, but I always check.
    Maybe i should double check and not rely on the calculator i seen. I am having hard time finding what the actual cost is of the dining plan though
     

    sharonabe

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 22, 2009
    Maybe i should double check and not rely on the calculator i seen. I am having hard time finding what the actual cost is of the dining plan though
    The regular DDP is $78 per night per adult and $30.51 per night per child aged 3-9. Your 10 yr old DD will be an adult for dining purposes. You will have to pay adult price for the DDP or adult price for any fixed price meals. All of your character meals are fixed price. The others, she can order from adult or child if paying OOP.

    You definitely need to do the math yourself. No matter what the calculators say, they have a tough time keeping up with the changes in prices and what is allowed on plans. If the true adults (21 and up) will drink alcohol, you need to figure that into the math since the DDP does allow alcoholic drinks for both your QS meal and your TS meal.

    If you get the DDP, you'll need to eat more meals in the parks/resorts and you won't need your bag of snacks. The DDP gives each person 2 snacks per night. You may still want your breakfast stuff in the room, though.
     

    Pumbaa_

    >Hakuna Matata!<
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jan 7, 2001
    The dining plan calcs are not accurate. They can’t be. It’s averaged. But an average for a vegan and a Cocktail filet lover are not anything alike
     

    DisneyLore

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 5, 2017
    One thing to remember when doing the cost calculations regarding the dining plan is that the dining plan cost of $78 includes tax and covers the tax on the meals, but when you are adding up menu items to determine OOP costs you need to add the tax as well for an accurate comparison. tip is the same on both.
     

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