ADR is a common Disney abbreviation used by the Disney online community. If you have started planning your Disney vacation for the first time and taken a look around the many blogs and forums you will find thousands of acronyms that will leave you scratching your head. All Ears has a great list that you may find helpful.
ADR = Advance Dining Reservations
In my opinion this is an essential part of every Disney vacation. It is not the first step but it is very high on the list, following length of stay selection and which park to visit on each day. Dining selection can actually happen before you even book your room.
We have our length of stay chosen and our Wilderness Lodge reservations are made. On Sunday our group of approximately 14 will be meeting to discuss our park choice and dining plans. One of the most debated topics when planning for a group is always where and what time to eat. My suggestion is to have everyone write down their “wish list” and then go about fulfilling at least one off of everyone’s list. This may sound difficult, but from my experience there will be many repeats. If you are new to the Disney vacation world, read up on the offerings and reviews. If you aren’t planning on buying a park hopper ticket, and even if you are, plan your meals according to which park you are visiting on that particular day.
There are two dates that every Disney vacation planner should abide by. 1st – the day you leave! But a very very close 2nd is at the 180 day mark. This is the day that you can make your ADRs. For us March 11th is the DAY. There are a couple things that dictate what makes this day so important.
- The time of year. If it is the peak traveling season, ADR’s are going to be important. If you don’t have a reservation you will either not be able to dine at a table service restaurant or the wait time can be excruciating.
- Is the free dining promotion being offered? If it is, ADR’s will be just as important in October as they would be in July. It is next to impossible to get a last minute reservation during free dining month.
- If you are traveling with a large group, making ADR’s on the 180th day out is crucial. Most of the table service restaurants are not set up to accommodate big groups. They will accommodate you, but you will need to work with them on the times you want to eat.
- If you have a time of day that you would like to eat, then you should not wait to get your reservations set. If you want to eat dinner between 5:30 and 7:00 each night make sure you plan accordingly.
- Finally, if you have a must have dining experience make sure you are prepared.
There are 2 very easy ways to book your ADR’s.
- By phone 407-WDW-DINE: This is the old fashion way, and offers a personal touch. You will be able to speak to a human (although you could wait on hold for awhile) and they can help you navigate through the perils of ADRs with a professional touch. If you are booking for a large group (10+) I would suggest calling. They will be able to help book the reservations properly.
- disneyworld.com: I had my first ADR online experience last summer when we were planning our October 2012 trip. We had 7 people in our party. It was super easy and gave other time and place options if the one you picked was not available.
I will leave you with my “wish list” for this trip.
- Cinderella’s Castle: Even though in my opinion is that this is not the best place for princesses my 3 year old already asking to go inside the castle.
- San Angel Inn: I am obsessed with Mexican food, and I have never been here. If this does not make the cut for your group (as it probably won’t mine), we love the quick service located in the Mexico pavilion.
- The Garden Grill: It has been years since I have eaten here, and I would like to try it out as a character meal.
- Kona Cafe: I would love to try out the breakfast here. I have heard wonderful things.
- Be Our Guest: I have heard mixed reviews, but I would like to eat in the newest Disney edition. My guess is we will probably do so as a quick service at lunch.
What is on your “wish list” for your next vacation?