Disney Trip Planning: 180 Days Out (Well, more like 177)

Howdy friends and neighbours!  It’s been a long time – I keep meaning to come back and get into the blog habit again, but things keep getting in the way. 😛 So here I go to try again!

That's the spirit, Ralph!

That’s the spirit, Ralph!

I figure maybe I can make weekly updates on my planning for my family’s upcoming Disney World trip.  This is our first trip as a full family since 2011; my daughter was just about to turn 5, and now she’s 9. (If you’ve followed at home long enough you know that my daughter and I took a trip together in 2013, which was awesome! but now it’s time for my son and husband to get to come too ^_^)

I hate the fact that we typically have to wait, on average, 2.5 years between trips. Because of this prolonged and enforced patience, I tend to compensate by obsessive planning.  To many it probably seems like “Um, Rebecca? You’re 6 months out, this really isn’t obsessive” but I just haven’t been blogging before now about what I’m doing. 😉 I’ve saved it up. LOL.

I have a problem.

I have a problem.

If you’re an experienced Disney vacationer, you know the significance of 180 days… that’s when you get to book your dining reservations!  This trip will be the third time we’ve done a free dining plan, and as that gets more popular each year, I decided not to leave it to crossed fingers when it came to getting our first choices, so I set the alarm, and…

Actually before I get to that point, funny story.

Since I’ve got all this time to plan, I wanted to get *just* the right restaurants. Last trip we thought having the dining plan for the full time was a little too much actually, so we are doing a split stay and only using the plan on the first 4 nights. That gives us 4 sitdown restaurants to hit up; they therefore had to be ones that were EXACTLY right. How many new? How many returns to favourites? How much character dining?  Can I squeeze in a trip to Sci Fi Dine In or is my husband going to kill me if I try that?

Tinay Fey likes it. And she's always right!

Tinay Fey likes it. And she’s always right!

I ended up getting methodical. Nothing beats a great plan!  We sat down, went over the restaurants, narrowed down, narrowed down some more, and finally got a husband-approved list of selections. (If it was just up to me and the kids we’d go pretty much everywhere.)  Then I had to wait 2 weeks for the 180-day mark, at which point I set the alarm and got up at 5:50am, ET so that I could be on the internet when the site opened up for booking.  I figured if I had to, I could call when the phones opened at 7, but this way I’d probably be able to get what I wanted. I mean, none of them were Be Our Guest or Cinderella, so it couldn’t be THAT hard even with free dining and the 10-day window for guests arriving a little before me.

Well, yeah, best-laid plans. 🙂  I think we’ve mostly finalized our dining plans now… MOSTLY. Half of the list changed and for one selection I’m still looking for an earlier dinner time. All this week there has been researching, shuffling, considering, menu-scanning, and finally “OK, that will work” and reserving.

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first…” Wait, that’s not this speech. And it doesn’t even apply here! Worst blog photo effort ever.

Here’s the current final – compared to our original list:

Day 1: Lunch at Teppan Edo, 1:20pm (Never been! :D)
Original selection: Biergarten (husband’s first choice). It was full for lunch and dinner every day. EVERY. DAY. BIERGARTEN is booked solid! Huh. Our original backup was Captain’s Grille at Boardwalk, but then other restaurants opened up. Whew. And I’m happy to say that husband is well-sold on Teppan Edo!

Day 2: Dinner at Whispering Canyon Cafe, 8pm (Also never been and sounds so fun! Still hoping I can get an earlier res time though)
Original selection: ‘Ohana. I was able to get a reservation there initially… but at 9:30pm. NOPE! Not with kids. 🙂 I couldn’t get anything earlier than that on any other days, either, and now there is nothing available there at all. That’s OK. Another time I guess… Husband is not interested in a breakfast there, only dinner.

Day 3: Dinner at Garden Grill, 6:55pm (Favourite character dining)
We’ve done this on all our family trips. This will be my third time there. I know several people who don’t like the food, but I’m not picky about food. I really like meeting Chip and Dale. 🙂  The food is simple and as long as it’s not poorly done that’s about all I need.

It goes around and around!

It goes around and around!

Day 4: Dinner at Boma, 7:10pm (2nd time)
Our last big trip, I decided like 3 years before we actually went that I wanted to eat at Boma. We did and it was all I wanted it to be, plus I loved Animal Kingdom Lodge and vowed we would stay there someday. Happily my husband liked it too, so we get to go back! 😀

Since counter service is usually a lot easier to do on the fly than table service (unless it’s called Be Our Guest), I’m not sweating that one yet.  I do have to go to Flame Tree Barbeque though. MUST DO!! ❤

What would your list be? And would you recommend for or against any of my choices? I’ll tell you now, you cannot talk me out of Garden Grill, it’s no use trying!

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3 thoughts on “Disney Trip Planning: 180 Days Out (Well, more like 177)

    • Actually I’d love it, but I don’t want to give myself the stress of trying to find an availability. I figure it’s not going anywhere. 😉 I am going to try to make a lunch/quick service ADR, but down the road a little.

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