June 1, 2016

Your Guide to ADR’s- Advance Dining Reservations

Hello friends! Having recently made my dining reservations for my next trip, I thought I would put all information about making dining reservations in one place. So what are ADR’s? They stand for Advance Dining Reservations, and when they say advance, they mean ADVANCE. You can book dining reservations 180 days out from your trip! I thought I would make a fake reservation to show you how easy it is to make a reservation, and share some of my thoughts having recently done it. Let’s get started:

Your Guide

My first piece of advice is book your trip as soon as you can, if you know when you want to go. I know that is not always possible, so luckily you can make dining reservations without having booked a trip! You just need to have an account through the Walt Disney World website.  Let’s take a look at my thought process. Keep in mind this is how I look at it, and you may want to adopt a different “strategy” for your trip. As for planning, I think about where we want to be on what day. Park hours are released about a week before you can book your dining reservations, so I checked that out first. Because we generally stay on site, I paid attention to the Extra Magic Hours for the week, and generally made a reservation at the park that has EMH. What are Extra Magic Hours you ask? I go through all of that information in the Should I Stay on Site post. Basically, it’s one of the advantages of staying on site, because the parks open early and close later for Disney Resort Hotel guests. I laid out the schedule based on park hours and thought about restaurants I wanted to try at the different parks or Disney resorts near the parks, and wrote it all out. I tried to take all of the guess work out of it, so as soon as my booking window opened, I knew exactly what I was looking for. If you want to know more about the Disney Dining Plan and the types of meal reservations, check out the Dining Plan: Yes or No? post. I talk a little about it later in this post.

The Reservation Process

You can make reservations for your entire trip from the 180 day mark of your arrival date, for up to 10 days. This means that if you are going for 9 days, you are technically making some reservations 189 days in advance. Now when I was going to book, we had already booked our room and got a fancy little package from Disney that spelled out all of our important dates at the back. It says when we can make dining reservations, FastPass+ selections, and online check in. Your window “opens” at 6am EST on the 180 day mark, if you are making reservations online. If you want to call to make reservations, phone lines open at 7am EST. You can call407-WDW-DINE to make reservations over the phone.  Making reservations online is super easy (I’m going to show you just how easy!), so if you want to have an hour head start, make your reservations online. Yes, I got up at 5:57am to make my dining reservations. You certainly don’t have to do that, but I knew exactly what I wanted and wanted as much availability as possible. Also important to note is a credit card is required to make your reservation. It is not charged at the time of booking (or even for the meal), but more on that later. If you are comfortable with it, you can save the credit card information on your account, which can save some time later.

Making Your Reservation

First head to the Disney World website.

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Under “Things to Do” click “Make Dining Reservations” and you’ll get to this page:

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or go to the page of the restaurant you know you want, and check availability from there.

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I decided to do it from the main page for the purpose of this post, in case you don’t know exactly where you want to eat, and want to see your options. Start by selecting the date, meal and number of people. (Hint: if you are making your reservations for the whole trip, start at the beginning of you trip and go day by day). Once you click “Search Times” the restaurants with times available will be listed like below:

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If you see a time you like, click on it. If you don’t like the times you see, you can search again for a specific time. If you aren’t signed into your account, you will be asked to.

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If you are planning on using the Disney Dining Plan, you want to make sure that the plan you are using is accepted at the restaurant you are booking. Luckily the Disney World website spells this out for you. I suggest getting all of that information before you make your reservations. Once you have logged into your account, you’ll see a recap of everything you selected before confirming. You also have to select who is managing the reservation, and who is going to be dining.

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If you saved credit card information to your account, you can select it now, and if you haven’t you will be promoted to enter it on the next page:

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Don’t forget to agree with the  guest policies!

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A confirmation email will be sent to you, once the reservation is made, but a phone number is also required. I’ve never been contacted by phone for a dining reservation.

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Next you will see this magical page!

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When you go to “My Disney Experience” and look at your reservations, it will be listed by date.

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Cancelling a Reservation

To cancel a reservation, click “Cancel Reservation”

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Remember when I mentioned you need a credit card? That credit card will be charged if you don’t show for your reservation, $10 per person on the reservation. When making a reservation that you might not keep (I know people who make a bunch because they don’t know what they’ll feel like that day), you need to pay very close attention to the cancellation window. Make sure you cancel within that window, or you will be charged for it!

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Once you cancel your reservation, you will receive an email confirming the cancellation. It’s that easy!

Final Thoughts

Be Our Guest. Everyone wants it. I’m really sorry to burst your bubble, but you are most likely not going to get a dinner reservation here. At all. For your whole trip. Like do not get your hopes up. Remember how you can technically make reservations 189 days in advance? All the guests who are going to be there before you have taken those spots away from you, because they arrive earlier and can book earlier. I found this out the hard way. The good thing is, Be Our Guest is open for every meal. The only difference is the type of service. Dinner is Table Service, where you have a waiter. Breakfast and Lunch are Quick Service, where the food is still brought to you, but is more like McDonald’s or Burger King. If you can’t snag a dinner reservation, try breakfast or lunch! This way you will still get to see the restaurant. This is the most frustrating thing with dining reservations, but that restaurant is THE HARDEST to get into. It’s also the only restaurant that operates as both a Table Service and Quick Service, so when you are making reservations with the exception of Be Our Guest you are making reservations for Table Service Meals.

The only reservation I couldn’t get was Be Our Guest, but I got everything else for my trip, and we will still be going to BOG for lunch! 🙂 And if you haven’t guessed… while I’m not giving the date away, my next trip is less than 180 days away!

I hope this posts takes some of the confusion out of making dining reservations for you. What’s your favourite Disney restaurant? Let me know in the comments!

As always, thank you for reading!

Kelsey
May 25, 2016

May Planner Addict Box

Hi friends! I have an unboxing for you today, my May Planner Addict Box! This box includes goodies to use with My Erin Condren Life Planner, (you can see how much I love it here). The box was $39.98 this month (it changes sightly with the exchange rate). To check out the links, just hover over the shop names! Take a look at my unboxing video below:

 

 

What’s Included:

A pen from the people at The Planner Addict Box! It’s nice to get a new pen each month, and they are always so pretty! They also provided the floral sticky notes and the adorable Washi Tape! The Washi Tape  goes so well with the monthly colour of my planner, so it’s perfect to use.

The Flower Paper clip is from Angel Shoppe, and is so cute I just have to use it! I’ve been using the ruler that clips into the planner, but it’s getting a little worn after almost a year so I’ve switched to this beauty. It’s perfect for the May colours!

The sweet treat this month was a giant Sour Patch kid! I always love sour candies, so I was happy to see this! I actually gave it to Ethan for him to enjoy 🙂

The adorable paper flags are from Pineapple Paperie! The one set has more of a floral design, and the other set that looks like paint strokes in greens, pink, and red. I think I will use these vertically when I run out of stickers, and they fit the theme as well.

I think this notebook might be my favourite thing from this month’s box! It’s from Ashley Shelley, and I can’t wait to use it! I’m thinking of using it for an on-the-go task list. What do you think?

Stickers!

The first page is from Inspire Ever After, and I love the colour combos they used! I’m in the process of  figuring out how I can use the half boxes, and using the stickers more in general. Let me know if you would like to see how I’m currently using my planner, as it always changing!

The other sticker page is from Hurry Up & Plan and they make the organizer in me happy! So many lists and spots for everything I want to get done! The colours are beautiful as well I’m a serious sticker lover if you can’t tell.

Final Thoughts

I do really like that the items that are included in the box are generally the colour scheme I’m using in my planner, but I find that when I get it in the month and the cost makes me question the value of this box. As an update, I have cancelled this subscription, but I believe I will still get the June box. I have subscribed to a different monthly package that I will show all of you!

Do you have any monthly subscriptions? Let me know in the comments!

As always, thank you so much for reading!

Kelsey
May 18, 2016

Underrated At Walt Disney World

Hi friends! It’s been a while since I’ve written a Disney post, so I though I would share one today! There are so many things to do at Walt Disney World, and the massive fan following with tons of fan opinions can create a lot of hype. While they are things that I think are overrated (more coming on that later) they are also things that are underrated. Let’s take a look at a few of them!

Attention to Detail

I think the attention to details is what sets Disney Parks apart. It’s great to take a slower pace in the parks, just walking around and seeing things that you wouldn’t notice when you are rushing around! Even just looking around the parks for Hidden Mickeys I’m sure you will notice something you may not have before. So many people are just running from ride to ride that everything just goes over their head, seriously, look around the next time you are at a Disney Park, I dare you!

This Tangled themed area? It’s a rest station and washrooms. That’s it. And look at how detailed!

Spaceship Earth

Yes, it’s the big globe at Epcot, but the attraction inside of it is certainly underrated. It’s relaxing, and you might even learn a little. A travel through the history of communications is a must do for me. People see the line as you enter the park, and get in the queue, but the attraction is so much more than that! I think people give it a lot less credit than it is due.

Spaceship Earth

Living with the Land

Yes I’m talking about the tour of the greenhouse. Living with the Land is a boat ride that takes you through the greenhouses of the Land pavilion, and it’s actually really interesting. If you’ve ever eaten at The Garden Grill, the scenes you are looking at are part of the Living with the Land attraction. The food that is grown in the greenhouses is also served throughout Epcot! Most people wouldn’t think that Disney World would even have a greenhouse, and I guess this is the part I think is underrated. Disney goes so much farther than you think!

Quick Service Options

When heading to an amusement park, you probably think all you will be eating (other than table service) is burgers and fries. While you can definitely find those options, there is so much more available! Especially being a vegetarian, I notice what other options there are. On our last trip, Ethan and I found a place in Animal Kingdom (thanks to the My Disney Experience App), we had an Asian Noodle Salad (currently available at Thirsty River Bar & Trek Snacks), and a Falafel (currently available at Mr. Kamal’s). We both really enjoyed both options, couldn’t believe how different the option were, and found a quiet spot to eat it.

Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover

I have to admit something about this ride, I used to not get it. I thought it was stupid, actually. Then on our last trip Ethan and I gave it a try. It’s a great way to relax and see a new view of the park! The narration is a nice touch, and the display of EPCOT probably goes unnoticed. I think you should go on it at least twice; once in the day, and once at night, when Tomorrowland comes alive with neon lights! This ride can be popular, but I don’t think it gets the credit it deserves, especially because of what I used to think!

Citrus Swirl

While you have most likely heard of a Dole Whip, you may not have heard of it’s friend the Citrus Swirl. I’ve only had a Citrus Swirl (I’m coming for you Dole Whip on my next trip!) but I really enjoyed it and don’t think it gets the attention is deserves. This citrus soft serve is delicious! You can pick one up at Sunshine Tree Terrace.

Sunshine Tree Terrace

Peanut Butter & Jelly Milkshake

I’m sure you saw that and don’t think that could possible be good, but it is so good! You can also get it in chocolate, which I had on my last trip. This is something that is pretty popular, but not everyone knows about it, or knows how amazing it is! You can grab one if you are dining at 50’s Prime Time Diner, or from the Tune in Lounge at the bar, and get one to go!

50's Prime Time

Animal Kingdom

Of all the parks in Walt Disney World, I think Animal Kingdom is the most underrated. While the list of attractions may not be as long as Magic Kingdom, there is so much to explore that you wouldn’t even know! I wrote all about exploring Animal Kingdom in this post. People give this park a hard time because of the animals, like it’s a glorified zoo or something, but I definitely think it is much more than that. I think you’d be surprised with how much time you could spend there!

Animal Kingdom

Look at that detail!

Carousel of Progress

The message of this show is definitely underrated, but I think the entire attraction is too! I don’t want to just focus on what this attraction was when it was created, but I think the fact that Walt actually touched it means it should be recognized more. I doubt many people even know that, but it has been in Magic Kingdom for how long, so that should mean something too, right?  I hate to think of how many people don’t even see this attraction, because I think it’s great. And I know a lot of people “see” it but actually nap. But you can force people to see something that is right in front of them , so I guess I will take advantage of the shorter wait times! As you may be able to tell it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what makes something underrated, I hope you get the gist of it through my ramblings!

The Enchanted Tiki Room

Oh, The Tiki Room. I can’t imagine how many people skip this. For me, it’s a must do. When this attraction was created, the technology was amazing! While I understand that the technology is much more advanced now, I think this Classic is just that, a classic! It’s something that fits the Adventureland theme perfectly, and deserves a spot there. I’m definitely a fan of the original and not the “Under New Management” version that forced Zazu and Iago in there, but this show is definitely underrated.

The last two on the list could easily be put into a category of “Classic Disney”, and I think that category of attractions is definitely underrated. Not to put down the attractions that are coming out now, but back then they were different. They weren’t based on the latest film, they were different. I think this is partially what makes the attractions mentioned above classics, and what has helped them to stand the test of time. Instead of just making this a list of attractions, I thought I would include a few, and expand on it a little.

I urge you to try some of these things especially if you never have, you might be pleasantly surprised! What do you think is underrated at Walt Disney World? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you so much for reading!

Kelsey