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    We’re certainly not “wait-and-seers”. We usually book our ADRs close to the 180 day mark, right after we make a rough draft of the park schedule we want to follow. Then, looking at what ADRs are available, we change our park schedule. 🙂

    I can also vouch that Akershus is great for princess interaction (including a parade around the tables with all of them), and Park Fare for dinner with Cinderella and her family is great. (My 6 year old wound up “engaged” to Anastasia by telling her he’d marry her if she sang him a song. She made QUITE a spectacle of herself for him. Later, Cinderella said she would put a word in with Fairy Godmother to undo the engagement. It was so much fun!)

    In December, we’re trying Tusker House and Ohana character meals for the first time.

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    steve singer

    Two things I would like to share. First, I have found that getting reservations at Jiko to be as hard, if not harder than at California Grill. Second, a GREAT spot for character dining, if you like Pooh, is the Crystal Palace in MK. We took our son for his first haircut to the main street barber. After, we were hungry and decided to see if Crystal Palace was available. They gave us a pager, and 15 minutes later we were watching the Pooh characters parade by. I have found that if there a place you want to eat, you have a chance to get in if you walk up, as many people do cancel reservations, even up to the last minute.

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    Hate to say it, if you are an on property hotel guest… especially if staying in a deluxe hotel… the Concierge will get you in most dining places, if you don’t have ressies. Now, this is a last resort tactic, but it has worked for me on a number of occasions for even the very popular restaurants. IMHO

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    FWIW, we were there in 2012 during Thanksgiving week. We stayed offsite, and did NOT visit any parks. Originally, the plan was to go to Cracker Barrel for Thanksgiving Day dinner. But I did give the kids a choice to pick somewhere else. They picked Chef Mickeys. I had tried several times to book a table there and was told every time to forget it. On Thanksgiving Day, we went to the Contemporary Hotel in hopes of landing a seat. Every cast member said it was impossible. Went to the kiosk at 2:40PM, 20 minutes before they opened and asked for a table for 8. They gave me a pager and said don’t leave the floor and it may be 2 hours before I got a table. They opened at 3:00PM. At 3:01, the pager went off and we were seated. Don’t EVER underestimate the power of Disney Magic!

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