Thursday, August 2, 2012

Trip Planning Tip: Reservations STRONGLY Recommended

Apologies for the super long delay (again) my loyal readers, but I'm back!  Hopefully more permanantly this time.....

When planning a Walt Disney World vacation, it is important to give some thought to dining reservations.  Do you plan on eating at any of the restaurants on property?  If so, dining reservations can be made as early as 180 days in advance (don't worry, you can cancel up to 48 hours prior at almost all restaurants without penalty).  I know what you might be thinking, 180 days is a long way out to be planning where you're going to eat.  But for some restaurants, if you don't call the first day you can, you may as well forget about getting a reservation.

Canada Pavillion, home to Le Cellier

Le Cellier Steakhouse (Canada Pavillion, Epcot) - Le Cellier Steakhouse is one of the most popular dining locations in all of Walt Disney World.  With romantic (read: dim) lighting, a wine cellar setting, and unique twists on steak (coffee bean crusted, for example), Le Cellier is extremely difficult to get a reservation for unless you call the first day you can. What makes this place so tough to get in?  Some say its the size of the restaurant, which seats far fewer people than many other Disney restaurants.  I, however, say that its the Cheddar Potato Soup (in my opinion, the best thing about the place).  If you can't get into Le Cellier, there are several other places on property to get a good steak, including Teppan Edo in the Japan Pavillion, Yachtman's Steakhouse at the Yacht Club Resort, and The Turf Club at Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa.

Cinderella Castle, the location of Cinderella's Royal Table

Cinderella's Royal Table (Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom) -  This is quite possibly the most popular character dining experience in all of Walt Disney World, and it is one of the first reservations to disappear.  At Cinderella's Royal Table, every family is treated like royalty as they dine inside Cinderella Castle.  The restaurant also features Disney Princess meet and greets during all three meals.  Characters are subject to change but usually include Cinderella, Belle, Ariel, Snow White, and Princess Aurora (thanks to Kenny the Pirate's Character Blog for this information).  If you can't get reservations at Cinderella's Royal Table, Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in the Norway Pavillion at Epcot is a great alternative with many of the same characters available (except, typically, Cinderella).  Dinner at 1900 Park Fare, located at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, is also a good alternative, and features meet and greets with Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, and the two ugly stepsisters, Drizella and Anastasia.

Cinderella and Prince Charming share a moment together between visting guests at 1900 Park Fare
Chef Mickey's (Contemporary Resort) - If Cinderella's Royal Table is the most popular character dining restaurant on property, then this is the second most popular, mainly because it is the only character dining where you can meet all of the Fab 5 (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto) together. In fact, everything that I've heard about this restaurant suggests that most people go for the characters, not the food.  Character dining is available at all three meals, and because this restaurant caters to young children, it can get quite loud at times.  If you can't get into Chef Mickey's, breakfast and lunch at the Tusker House at Animal Kingdom feature character dining with Mickey, Goofy, Donald and Daisy.  Dinner at the Garden Grill in The Land Pavillion at Epcot is also a good (and quieter) alternative, and features Chip, Dale, Mickey and Pluto.

What do you think?  Any other popular restaurants that you can never get into?  Any other suggestions for alternatives?  I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Thanks for reading and please join me again next time when I discuss great places to make last minute reservations!  Until then, have a magical day!

No comments:

Post a Comment