Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What?!?! I Don't Have to Have ADRs At DLR??!?!

What?!?! I Don’t Have to Have ADRs At DLR?!?!

I call Disneyland my Home Park. I love the compact and intimate feel of the parks. There are major differences between DLR and WDW and the one that is the most interesting to me is the need for ADRs.

At WDW I’ve been informed over and over that you MUST make Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) EARLY. In fact on many Disney forums and Facebook pages I hear people crowing in joy that they got the restaurant of their choice but to do it they had to call 180 days in advance of their trip or date they wish to go to a particular restaurant at the moment the Dining Reservations phone line opened! I’ve also heard many say they called right at opening just to get a busy signal and when they did get through, after 2-3 hours of calling back every couple of minutes they were not able to get the restaurant they wanted or not the date/time they wanted! If you don’t get an ADR your food choices are limited to mostly Corn Dogs/Hot Dogs, Hamburgers and Chicken Fingers.

At DLR you can’t make reservations at the restaurants more than 60 days out. The majority of the sit down restaurants you can call and get a reservation for if you call just a few days before your visit. You may have to be flexible on the time you eat when calling the day before but often you can get near the time you wanted. Carnation Café on Main Street at DL is a great example of a sit down restaurant that you can get into without an ADR. Just walk up and the usual wait is 15-20 minutes to get a table. I will often call as I drive into the park (I live an hour away from the park) and make a reservation at Carnation Café for when I will get there. That saves me the 15-20 minute wait.

If you don’t make an ADR at DLR it is not a problem! You can find a Cuisine to your liking. There is American, Asian, Cajun-Creole, Californian, Healthy Selections, Italian, Mediterranean, Mexican, Steak and Vegetarian. These are all counter service! Check out the menu at Flo’s in Cars Land! No Hot Dogs or burgers here! In fact there are few places in DLR you can get burgers. Most of these locations have plenty of tables to sit and enjoy your meal. In DL the majority of the seating is outside. At DCA there are a lot tables inside to sit at.

The best tip I can give you for dining at a counter service at DLR is eat off hours. Choose to dine between 11-12 or 1-3 for lunch. For dinner dine before 4 or after 6. Some of the locations also have live entertainment! Check for the show schedules for the Golden Horseshoe, French Market Café, the Paradise Garden Band Stand or Pacific Warf. There are two restaurants next to the Paradise Garden Band Stand. One serves Pizza the other serves Mediterranean food.

I am glad I don’t have to plan that far ahead at DLR for meals or just eat hot dogs and the like. As often as I go to the parks I’d be very sick and heavy if they did not have these options at quick serve counter service.

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