Sunday, August 12, 2012

828. Disney Dinner Dilemma

We are planning a Disney family vacation in November.  Our pre-paid package includes hotel, airfare, ground transportation, and meals.  I am super-excited to take the boys there, and in true Virgo fashion, I made myself a big bowl of fresh popcorn and started perusing two Disney guide books I recently bought so I could obsess over every tiny detail of our trip. 

Turns out, Disney is Virgo, too. 
In fact, when I called to make our dinner reservations like the book suggested, I was told (politely) that I was about three months too late.    

Six months?!  Who books dinner reservations six months in advance?
“The smart people,” answered Cailey, the Mousecation Specialist.  “Most people, you know, when they call, they go ahead and set up all their restaurant reservations right then.  But even though it is super-close to now, I’ll see what I can do for you.” 

November is apparently super-close to now. 
I could hear Cailey typing furiously at her magic keyboard.  Click-click-clickety. 

“Let me check here … hmm.  You wanted to go to Pluto’s Paradise Pavilion?  Yes, looks like I can definitely get you in there for dinner at 10:45 PM.  Shall I book it?” 
“Wait, 10:45?” I gasped, choking on popcorn.  “At night?  On a Tuesday?!” 

“Or if you’d rather eat a little later, I also have an 11:15 PM slot still open,” she replied cheerfully. 
“I have kids,” I whimpered.  “So there is nothing around 6 or 7, then?”       

I thought I heard suppressed giggles, but then Cailey calmly explained that it was just static on the line. 
“Maybe we should focus on lunch reservations instead?” I offered wearily, picking stray popcorn kernels off the pages of my useless Disney guide book. 

“Sure!” she chirped.  “How about Daisy’s Dining Adventure at 3:30 PM?” 
“Cailey,” I said as nicely as I could, “does 3:30 sound like an acceptable time for lunch to you?” 

“No, you’re right … let me book you at 10:15 AM instead.”  More typing.  Clickety-click. 
“I’m sorry, we can’t eat lunch that early.”  I tried hard not to let my frustration show.  I wanted to be that organized person that calls six months ahead instead of the wannabe who calls only three months ahead and is still expecting to eat something at a normal hour. 

“Cailey, are you telling me that I cannot eat at a normal hour when I get to Disney?” 
“Ma’am, no!  That is not what I am saying at all.  Sometimes people cancel.  Or die.” 

“Well, what should I do in case that does not happen?” 

More typing.  Clack.  Clickety.  Click-click. 
“I know!” squealed Cailey.  “I can change your entire reservation!  We will just move your stay to another week.” 

Why had I not thought of this before?  It was the perfect solution.  If I just booked the first week of December instead of November, I would not have this problem. 
“Okay, Cailey.  Let’s do it.  Let’s change the whole reservation.”  I felt immense gratitude to Cailey for setting me straight. 

“Ma’am, I can get you in on March 30, of next year.  And then you can have dinner at 9:30 and lunch at 2.” 
Or I can just smuggle in some popcorn.   



  1. I suppose I should be embarrassed to admit that I stood at the hotel, as in AFTER we arrived, trying to make dinneer reservations! Nobody went hungry if that helps.

  2. Don't feel badly. Hub and I thought we wouldn't have difficulty getting a room at one of the big box hotels last year. HA! We drove on and on as everything was booked solid, HoJo (whatever) after another.

    1. oh, that happened to me in Napa Valley once. I told my (then) boyfriend in advance that we should make reservations. He felt confident we didn't need them. Everything was booked solid and we ended up sleeping in the car. We broke up right after that.

  3. "Sometimes people cancel. Or die." There is your ray of hope, right there. "It's OK kids, let's just hope someone dies so we can have their dinner reservation. Stop crying and eat your microwave dinner." Ha! All we ever eat is popcorn on vacation anyway...

  4. I've been to CA and Orlando Disney. We never planned that far ahead. If you eat in Downtown Disney (which is not actually in the park), I'm guessing you might do ok?! Worth checking, maybe? Or popcorn works..

  5. Whatever you do, CHECK OUT THIS SITE! (Sorry for shouting).

    My kids' pediatrician told me about it, and it was a life saver! As a Virgo, this should appeal to you especially. You tell the site when you will be there and it will tell you what specific days to visit which parks and which parks to avoid based upon anticipated crowds. By using the tips we learned there we were able to ride all the best rides with no wait at all. When we visited in October two years ago we never once waited in line longer than five minutes.

  6. Thanx for the heads up. We'll start planning our Disney vacay for 2016 NOW!

  7. I had a great laugh. It can certainly seem that way when dealing with Disney, but we have rarely had a difficult time getting reservations. For the "bid deal" events, such as the princess dining I imagine it would be a problem, but fortunately I have all boys. The first time we went I made two or three reservations before we left (O'Hana, and the restaurants in Mexico and Morocco). However, everything else - we just called the day of and it worked out fine. One of our favorite dining experiences, the Liberty Tavern. We were walking by, stopped in, and were seated immediately. We enjoyed a delicious family-style dinner with Chip, Goofy, Mickey and Minnie.

  8. It's stories like this that make me stick to "camping" in my parents backyard. No need to worry about reservations at grandma's place.

  9. Downtown Disney may be a good idea as someone commented. Pretty cool there too! I walked past my favorite actor from General Hospital in Downtown Disney, so it will always hold a special place in my heart. (probably for him, it holds a memory of a mom of 4 having a panic attack at the mere sight of him.)

    We went to Disney a few years back, and called a week ahead. We were able to get reservations at the Restaurant that you can see from the Pirates of the Caribbean, and it was an actual dinner time too. We then wound up cancelling. So I have a strong, good feeling that you will swoop in on a cancellation ;) That is my prediction.

  10. MOV, I hope you don't get shut out and have to tote around popcorn a family size box of Junior Mints!

  11. I think I might be going to Disney next summer with my friends, since my friend gets us in for free. Though, we definitely don't have the ability to plan ahead so soon to make reservations.

  12. First time I have read your blog - very funny! I am Mary's mom so I do have some experience in reading blogs. I also enjoy the comments you leave on Mary's blog. I hope you were able to get reservations - seems sort of not Disneyish to wish someone would die in order to open up an appropriate lunch or dinner time reservation!!

    1. Welcome Mary's Mom! Your daughter is hysterical. She is the type of person I would like to live across the street from so I could hear her funny stories in person. I'll bet she makes you guys laugh all the time. You can tell her I said that.

      Thanks for reading my blog, and I hope you come back and read more!!!


    2. She does make us laugh, but she got her sense of humor from her Dad so I have been laughing pretty much for 33+ years. Our son is also very funny and our oldest daughter is a great audience so when we all get together we do so much laughing! I definitely will continue to read your blog. Best wishes, Mary's Mom


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