Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Oh, Happy Day!

This morning I set my alarm for 6:45 a.m. Last night I had showered so I was all set and wouldn't have to shower this morning in case I was on hold with Disney Dining for a long time.

Since the new "online dining reservation system" has opened, we've been told that if you booked your vacation through a travel agent or DVC, the online system cannot recognize your vacation at your 90 day window so you cannot book 90 +10 days like you can do on the phone.

The online reservation does have a great advantage over the phone reservation system. The booking window time begins at 6:00 a.m. eastern standard time online while if you call... you need to wait until 7:00 a.m. So, the people able to use the online system have a great advantage when it comes to getting "hard to get" reservations.

I was up and ready on the couch at about 6:50. I decided to mess around with the online system anyways before I started calling. Just for kicks I typed in my confirmation and phone number into the system to see if it would recognize my reservation (booked by Magical Journeys). Well... IT DID! Right away I started going head first into booking.... letting 7:00 a.m. roll right by. The whole time I had this huge fear that this was some sort of glitch or joke and I was going to be screwed out of everything I had put into my "cart."

Luckily, I got to the end of my reservations, crossed my fingers, and clicked "check out." IT WORKED! I got my confirmation e-mail sent to me and everything. So, here are my final reservations.

September 29th - Tusker House @ 4:00 p.m.
September 30th - Coral Reef @ 2:25 p.m.
October 1st - Kona Cafe @ 8:45 a.m. & Raglan Road @ 7:30 p.m.
October 2nd - Cape May Cafe @ 5:55 p.m.
October 3rd - Mama Melrose @ 5:30 p.m.
October 4th - Le Cellier @ 4:30 p.m.
October 5th - 'Ohana @ 5:15 p.m.

The only thing I'd like to change is Coral Reef's time. I couldn't get anything later and i'd really really like a dinner time on the 30th. Originally, I had Le Cellier on the 30th and Coral Reef on the 4th. I couldn't get ANTHING for Le Cellier on the 30th or any other day before the 4th for that matter. At first I thought I was going to have to give up Le Cellier completely but then I noticed that since the system recognized my reservations I was able to go past 5 days from the 29th. When I checked Le Cellier on the 4th I was able to pull up a 4:30 p.m. only! Nothing else at all. It was just fine with me! No complaining here! I was actually surprised how easy it was to book 'Ohana. I got the exact time I asked for.

Glad this is all done and over with. Only 90 days to go!!


  1. I wish Disney would get rid of priority seating or whatever they call it. I wish it was all just first come, first serve. Either that or do REAL reservations.

  2. Yeah, I agree. You can't just walk up and ask for a table anymore. You'll get rejected a lot of the time. :(

  3. We went up to ask for a table at a place in MGM (can't recall what the name was.) And they told us it could be a 20 minute way or maybe an hour. We went and got pizza and salads instead.

  4. First come, first serve might create a madhouse. They should probably improve the "lesser" restaurants to create more viable options.

    That being said, one of my favorite Disney moments was eating in the lounge area of California Grill when we had no reservations anywhere. That kind of spontaneity doesn't really exist anymore.

    (Great blog!)

  5. I wish Disney would have more options for counter service. Or maybe they do. I'm going to do more research this time. At least to have some idea of places we can eat while there. One main issue I had was that so many places were closed.

  6. Yeah I know what you mean, I think. They have many places to buy, but have similar food in a lot of places. The Noodle Station is *never* open when I go, and who doesn't love noodles? It would be a nice change of pace from chicken fingers.

  7. A side salad is my old standby. Or a burger. But I just can't eat that for every meal.

    I was hoping to eat the noodle station but it was closed when we were there (January 2008.)

  8. Hi... just happen to cross your site...

    Im planning to go to Tokyo or Hong Kong Disney this Christmas. Hoho and I found some stuffs from Hong Kong Disneyland here as well:

    I will definitely take tones of photos there!!!

  9. Now that I was thinking of it - I think the key is to stay at a hotel with a great counter service restaurant. The unusual Pepper Market at Cornonado Springs has a huge variety of food - I usually get the fajitas, but they have deli sandwiches too. (BTW - this place is a GOLD mine if you're on the dining plan. You can order the most expensive things on the menu as part of a regular meal). I remember the counter service at Contemporary and AKL having some great, out-of-the-ordinary food.

  10. I totally agree on the counter service topic with you, Scott. Coronado is wonderful as far as variety from what I hear. Although, there was a rumor floating around at one point that they were going to take it off of the dining plan. Just rumor though so who knows what's going to happen. Don't you also have to add in tip at CSR though?

    Jill, I think your biggest problem is being brave enough to try "different" counter service places. My favorite CS is in Epcot. I love the food at all the countries and especially Sunshine Seasons. AK also has some really interesting food now. Yak and Yeti is pretty awesome.

    I'm a vegetarian so I have limited choices anyways. The best places for me are actually places that don't serve the average burger and fries (even though a veggie burger is almost always available). I love trying new food. And, if I don't end up liking if I don't feel like i've wasted my money because i've been so smart with my Table Service Credits and my snacks.

  11. From what I remember, the tip is included in your counter service credit (at Pepper Market). The people there are nice and open to providing you with different options. For example, my friend and I didn't want our included dessert, and we asked if we could take a packaged trail mix - and our cashier said "Sure!" You can make your sundaes decadent over there too.

  12. Looks like you have a great plan! We are going in August, and using the QSDP, so no ADRs for us...and I didn't miss it that much to be honest. We will see how we like this plan!!! Any thoughts on some good Counter Service places? I have a list, but we haven't gotten into it too deeply yet....yeah I know, we gotta get going!!!!!

  13. I don't like trying new things at places like WDW because they are so darned expensive. I don't want to spend $15 - $20 on a meal I may not eat just to have to spend more money (and time) on something else since I'll be starving.

    Food at Disney is basically a necessary evil for me. If i could...I wouldn't eat the entire trip...except some desserts. Haha. I only eat because I'm hungry and need the food for energy.

    I did like the food at the food court at POR though. Their create your own salads and pastas were nice.

  14. I've taken to trying new things when I'm on the dining plan. I would NEVER order dessert - especially stuff I never heard of - but with the dining plan, you're pushed into trying because you get dessert with your meal. Jiko's desserts are spectacular.

    Maybe it's psychological, but having the food paid for makes it easier to eat without seeing $$$ on your plate.

  15. That makes sense, Scott. If we did the dining plan I probably would be slightly more likely to try things. But we don't do the dining plan.

  16. STACEY! You haven't written in a long time. Have you done anymore planning? What are your flight times? I'm annoyed with my flight options.

  17. I checked this today.. for the first time in a while. Oopsy.

    Right now we are just finishing paying it all off and getting excited.

    Our flight times keep changing by like 10 minutes back and forth every month it seems so i'll talk about our flights once we know exact times. They are great times and i'm totally pleased I got what I did.

    Life has been upside down lately and I've barely been on the computer outside of work. Hopefully it will all slow down soon.