So I am in planning mode now. We’re having a different trip this year. Or next year I guess I should say. We’re shortening our trip with the kids, choosing a larger room to accommodate more family members and adding in our fall trip. Sometimes it involves a spreadsheet as I’ve mentioned in previous posts. I do usually toss out the spreadsheet once I feel like there is some semblance of a plan in place. Right now we’re looking at a 2-bedroom for the majority of our stay and hopefully securing a “lock-off” room so that when Granny and Grandpa leave we pare down to our one-bedroom without actually moving. That is the hope anyway. Our goal is to incorporate the grandparents into our trip so that the children get to enjoy them as much as possible without lots of extra running about trying to meet up somewhere. By staying together we’re hoping that this will allow Granny and Grandpa the freedom to roam as they please without feeling the need to follow the grandchildren everywhere because its not like they will be missing out – we’ll still see them at meals and in the room for breaks etc. Of course we’ll do a number of attractions and activities together, but I feel like it should be their vacation as well.
So this time of year is when I begin the careful and minutely detailed plan of dining while at WDW. I figure out how many meals we’ll have and all the restaurants we WANT to eat at and figure in which ones we may have missed over the past year or two (such as San Angel Inn and that beef stew) and then we sit down together and go over the favorites and mark off those that are not as child-friendly for our little ones (ex. my oldest has Aspberger’s and does not do well with a lot of background noise so Chefs de France is just not an option for us any longer). This is one of my favorite parts of WDW planning. Its like looking through a catalog of all the goodies that you might want and then picking and choosing until your schedule is filled up! (A good reference for me is looking through the Service Merchandise catalog as a child trying to decide on all the toys I wanted to add to my Christmas list for Santa. Am I dating myself here? Anyone remember Service Merchandise? Anyway…)
Favorites on my list for this year:
Chef Mickey’s (Granny’s favorite)
O’Hana (food is served quickly – family style and something for everyone)
Crystal Palace (delicious breakfast – a little hard on our Aspberger’s child because of the noise but we try to eat, see characters and dash)
Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe’ (no resos needed and free alien floor show! Also – amazing cheese sauce for fries and chocolate cake)
Flame Tree BBQ (amazing BBQ, no resos needed!)
Boma (buffet, delicious, quick to be seated and served!)
Tony’s Town Square (great with kids, they have cartoons to watch while you’re waiting to be seated)
Liberty Tree (this one we may not do. I like it because its family style for dinner and we are quick to be served – my husband is not so thrilled with it. Neither of us enjoy it at lunch – the menu is different and it takes FOREVER to get your food.)
Contempo Cafe (since this is where we will be staying, we always end up eating one or two meals here)
California Grill (parents’ night out!)
Electric Umbrella (to watch the fountain shows!)
and maybe one of the new Fantasyland restaurants!?
San Angel Inn (if possible – if not, we’ll move that one to the Fall)
For the Fall:
Yak & Yeti
Anyway, so as you can see its all very up in the air – but once we get the kinks worked out its going to be a delicious trip.
If you are planning too – don’t forget (!!) that you MUST call ahead by 24 hours if you are going to miss your meal or change your plans because otherwise your credit card will be charged a fee for holding your reservation.