Mom and daughter on Expedition Everest
  • On Aug 31, 2012
    Angela from VA Asked

    I am starting to plan our WDW vacation. I am having a hard time trying to decided where and what time we will want to eat. I do want to have a least one character dining experience. Is it possible to find places to eat once you arrive?

    Hi Angela,
    Possible but not likely, especially if you are traveling during a busy season or any period in which Free Dining was offered to guests booking vacation packages.

    While you can find somewhere to dine, failing to book ahead of time is likely to result in having to dine at inconvenient times or in a location that is far from where you are touring. For example, if touring the Magic Kingdom, you may find all the restaurants booked solid. You would then need to leave the park and visit a nearby hotel. Often the Grand Floridian Cafe is a nice place to dine (with walk-in availability), especially during the lunch hours.

    Or, you might find an opening at your preferred restaurant but you'll be dining at 9p.m. for dinner.

    I usually plan a rough draft itinerary of where we will be each day. Then I make my reservations so that they are convenient to where we will be touring. If we are in the Magic Kingdom for the afternoon, for example, I might book a dinner at Trail's End over at Ft. Wilderness before heading back to our hotel for a break OR a buffet meal at the Crystal Palace inside the park.

    On a morning that we are touring the Animal Kingdom, we might opt to have breakfast at Tusker House inside the park or dine a bit earlier at the Animal Kingdom Lodge's Boma restaurant.

    Character dining must be booked in advance. It's very unlikely that any openings would be available unless you are traveling during a very slow season.

    Best wishes and stop back for any further guidance that you might need!
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Meet the Panelist: Kimberly, Tennessee

I am a stay-at-home mom with a 12 year old son. I thrive on planning vacations, especially to WDW. Inspiring families to vacation at Disney with a memorable itinerary and budget-saving tips is extremely rewarding for me. Learn More About Kimberly

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