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Old 09-29-2019, 06:39 PM   #11
helenabear
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We have walked up a couple of times to lesser visited locations (like Marrakesh in Epcot) but most of the time now we just look on the app whenever we decide where we want to be. We're usually a party of 3 or 4 and have good luck. If flexible, I can even find things an hour or less prior to eating.
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Old 09-30-2019, 11:37 AM   #12
carolina_yankee
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Indeed. Go to places that don't require reservations. For example, even some seemingly-reservation-requiring places allow sitting in the bar or related areas and getting the full menu. Boathouse comes to mind. Go to happy hours and skip the formal dinner and then reservations are not required. Really easy to do, cheaper, and typically less food. A win all around.

Cheers.
One of the most enjoyable meals we had was Yak & Yeti bar seating. It was right at opening, bar tender was also DVC. We had a great conversation with him until other guests ruined it by coming to sit at the bar.

Boathouse and other Disney Spring establishments are very excellent options, even with last minute ADRs. They may be booked on Disney's site, but go to their own sites (often via Open Table) and book outside the Disney system. You aren't bound by the $10 pp cancellation fee, either!

I will book restaurants in advance, but I almost always end up changing them around. One of my line-wait time-kills is to check the dining app to see what is available that evening. Usually a wide variety of options I would be happy with.

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Old 09-30-2019, 12:57 PM   #13
Mickeyfan0805
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It's definitely possible to dine in a wide variety of places making the decision the same day, but be prepared to be flexible. You may need to head to a resort, try a different place than you would have considered, or eat at an off time.

Dirk
I can't speak for walking up (we've never tried) but this, I think, is the key. If they want to dine 'somewhere,' they should be fine. If they want to dine 'here,' they need ADR's. We make ADR's for the specific places we want to hit. We'll add day-before or day-of ADR's as we go if we want to.
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Old 09-30-2019, 02:37 PM   #14
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Things certainly pop up the day before or day of. But I will say that I've done ok as a walk up to Skipper Canteen on previous trips. I really like the place but at MK I try to be flexible with ride times and just see what's available.
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Old 09-30-2019, 03:53 PM   #15
bakerworld
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Rainforest Cafe, TRex and Yak & Yeti are all part of the Landry group.

One year we were sitting at the Rainforest Cafe bar and the 'tender asked us if we wanted to purchase the Cafe card. With the card you can walk up to any Landry owed venue and be seated in 10 minutes. The cost of the card is $25 but they give $25 each year during birthday month, along with accruing 'points' (or something). We've never accrued anything because we don't eat enough and alcohol doesn't count. But if we're in WDW around my birthday (October -- we usually are) we get a free appetizer (because that's all we order).

Once we did walk up with a line out the door of TRex, party of 5, showed her my Rainforest Cafe card. She seated us in 10 minutes and we received one of our meals free (I forget why).
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Old 09-30-2019, 04:13 PM   #16
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Rainforest Cafe, TRex and Yak & Yeti are all part of the Landry group.

One year we were sitting at the Rainforest Cafe bar and the 'tender asked us if we wanted to purchase the Cafe card. With the card you can walk up to any Landry owed venue and be seated in 10 minutes. The cost of the card is $25 but they give $25 each year during birthday month, along with accruing 'points' (or something). We've never accrued anything because we don't eat enough and alcohol doesn't count. But if we're in WDW around my birthday (October -- we usually are) we get a free appetizer (because that's all we order).

Once we did walk up with a line out the door of TRex, party of 5, showed her my Rainforest Cafe card. She seated us in 10 minutes and we received one of our meals free (I forget why).
Yep - Landry's card works well for this purpose. Ours has only been used 3 times, but it was free, and gives us quick on-demand seating for T-Rex every time (which is a favorite for our kids).
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Old 09-30-2019, 05:54 PM   #17
erikthewise
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Yep - Landry's card works well for this purpose. Ours has only been used 3 times, but it was free, and gives us quick on-demand seating for T-Rex every time (which is a favorite for our kids).
It's nice for those who have the card. Sadly at Yak & Yeti they make a big announcement when seating people with the card -- ahead of those who arrived earlier, which I find obnoxious. Our local Landry place closed so the only time I would use the card would be at Yak & Yeti once or twice a year. Not worth it.
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Old 09-30-2019, 08:14 PM   #18
brp
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Yep - Landry's card works well for this purpose. Ours has only been used 3 times, but it was free, and gives us quick on-demand seating for T-Rex every time (which is a favorite for our kids).
We use our Landry card often locally. Just used my $25 birthday gift

Cheers.
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Old 10-01-2019, 09:22 AM   #19
carolina_yankee
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We use our Landry card often locally. Just used my $25 birthday gift

Cheers.
Personally, I'm truly shocked you eat at a Rainforest!! Isn't it basically Applebees with theming and oversized portions?

Egad, I may be the snob here.

dirk
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Old 10-01-2019, 09:27 AM   #20
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It all depends on where you go and when you go. You will have a much better chance of getting in at most places if you walk up at the beginning of service, aka when a place just opens for lunch or dinner, etc. In terms of empty tables and lack of availability, restaurants plan seating at different times so the kitchen doesn't get overwhelmed and it takes forever for people to get their food so you shouldn't judge availability based on open tables. Its the number of tables allocated for that time you are there versus the availability of those specified tables.
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