Your trip is booked and now you are patiently waiting for your 180 day mark so you can make all of your advanced dining reservations (ADRs) and have some satisfaction that this is indeed a real trip and that it IS going to happen.
Chart and park hours in hand, you plan your meals according to your resort reservation, park schedule, and all the memories you have acquired of your favorite dining locations throughout your trips to Walt Disney World.
This is the emotional science of planning ADRs.
I realized while looking at our ADR spreadsheet that many of our choices are based just as much on emotional reasons as on food reasons. I thought I would share with you our upcoming ADR schedule and the reasons for our selections. Then I thought it would be fun if you would comment as to your own selections and why you chose them. So, to get us started, here is my list of selections:
Day 1: Dinner at Chef Mickey’s
Why? This is our first day back at our favorite place in all the world. We will celebrate it just as we always have, with a welcome from Mickey at a favorite character dining experience. We get right into the spirit at Chef Mickey’s and it is a great way to start off our trip.
Day 2: Dinner at Whispering Canyon Cafe
Why? There are a couple of reasons for this selection. First, we are staying that the Wilderness Lodge so this is a very convenient choice. We will be enjoying hot cocoa at the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights before dinner so when we get back to the resort we will have a late dinner and chill. Secondly, we love the food at Whispering Canyon and the fun, loud atmosphere that the servers bring. Fun is what Disney is all about.
Day 3: Dinner at Tusker House
Why? We are going to sleep in a bit this day and have a late arrival at the Animal Kingdom Park. We love the Tusker House breakfast and we have decided to give dinner a try this time.
Day 4: Dinner at The Coral Reef
Why? This will be a day spent at Epcot’s Future World. It is also the day we will have our 20th Wedding Anniversary celebration with our family at an Illuminations Dessert Party. Having a wonderful early dinner at this beautiful location is a great choice. My husband and I have eaten here before and we share great memories, but this will be the first time we will enjoy it with all the family.
Day 5: Dinner at 1900 Park Fare
Why? Our family shares many treasured memories of Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner at 1900 Park Fare. I have pictures of all of us through the years with Cinderella, Drucella, Anastasia and all the characters at this fun character dining experience. Plus, we love the food, the fact that it is a buffet, and especially the Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce. Yum!
Day 6: Dinner at Via Napoli
Why? This will be a day spent at Epcot’s World Showcase. To me, that means a nice, relaxing day to enjoy with family. And, what does an Italian girl with a pizza and beer fetish love more than great Italian food with her big, wonderful family? All 8 of us will be stuffed to the gills when we leave here. My favorite – Margherita Pizza – is already calling my name. Can you hear it?
Day 7: Dinner at Trails End
Why? We will be lounging around the pool and hanging out at the Wilderness Lodge today. Truth be known, I may wash some clothes if I am up for it. After a restful day at the resort, we will boat on over to Trails End at the Fort Wilderness Campgrounds. Here, you get the same great food that they serve at the Hoop Dee Doo Revue without having to use 2 table service credits. Plus, my family is certainly entertaining enough!
Day 8: Thanksgiving Dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern
Why? There is nothing that says Thanksgiving more than enjoying traditional Thanksgiving fare while having Minnie visit your table dressed in pilgrim attire. This will be a great feast and time for giving thanks for all of our many blessings!
Day 9: Breakfast at Kona Café
Why? Generally, we tend to use our table service credits for dinner but we do love the Tonga Toast at the Kona Café. Plus, we like hanging out and touring the Polynesian, then walking along the beach to the Grand Floridian. This will be our last day before heading home so we will fuel up for the day ahead. Taking some time to relax and enjoy great food and then a walk on the beach is like a breath of fresh air.
Dinner at Whispering Canyon Cafe
Why? Since this will be our last day before heading home, that means a day of shopping at Downtown Disney. Coming back to our resort exhausted and carrying lots of bags, we will be able to just drop those bags and head to the restaurant for a fun meal. Then, we will pack up our vehicle for the next morning when our broken hearts drift out to the van with all of our wonderful memories and notes for the next trip, which I will be planning on the way home.
I hope you have enjoyed my choices. I would love to hear about yours.
Brenda writes here and at Ideally Disney. She’s also an Authorized Disney Travel Specialist with Pixie Vacations. She loves helping families plan magical Disney vacations, so email her at Brenda@PixieVacations.com or send her a message on www.facebook.com/thepixiebrenda.