I’ve mentioned previously that I’m taking my mom to Walt Disney World in December in our first trip together since 1998. Allow me to outline my plan:
- I organize a trip so amazing that my mom informs my dad that they have been making a mistake all these years, disbelieving my claims that WDW is awesome, and that more trips must be made with all haste.
- My dad agrees to go to Walt Disney World again in the next year or so.
- My WDW hotel bill for one trip is reduced to 1/3. Unless we want to get REALLY pie in the sky here and consider he might not make me go in on the room??? 😀
Clearly I am a MASTERMIND. There are many ways I plan to positively BLOW MY MOTHER’S MIND with the glory and greatness that is the WDW she has never truly seen before, but of course one vital element comes in the form of Advanced Dining Reservations. I’ve got it all lined up, guys: afternoon tea at the Grand Floridian; watching animals frolic out on the savanna at Sanaa; a fabulous tank view in the Coral Reef; breakfast with Winnie the Pooh at the Crystal Palace.
But there was one thing missing. One thing that plagued me. One thing that I waited and waited and waited to grab, terrified that the day I didn’t check for reservations would be the day they opened up and I would miss it and everything would be RUINED. RUINED!
Luckily I caught wind of the day reservations would open several days in advance, and so yesterday morning I was awake and ready at 6AM and I HAVE A 7:30PM RESERVATION AT CALIFORNIA GRILL, MY FRIENDS. Tell me that is not a PRIME reservation time for coffee and dessert over Wishes.
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But actually, that’s not why I’m writing this post. Well, not precisely, anyway. I want to tell a small story about that Coral Reef reservation, for you see, it is not just any reservation. It is a Candlelight Processional Package reservation, another piece of the puzzle I obsessed over for longer than I care to admit. For awhile there I was getting up every morning at 6AM in case.
And then, one morning, by some great miracle, reservations were available! For some bizarre reason I could only seem to get them at Via Napoli. This was not what I wanted, as my mother is a great ocean enthusiast and would doubtless enjoy the ambiance if nothing else. But if pizza was the thing, well, we’d survive.
Because I’m crazy To be sure, I called the dinner reservation phone line when it opened at 7AM, I had the following conversation, more or less:
ME: May I reserve a Candlelight Processional package for Coral Reef on December 7?
GUY: Oh, we haven’t started those yet. We just found out this morning that they’ll be available on July 9.
ME: … That’s funny, I made one for Via Napoli this morning. I was just calling to make sure that Coral Reef wasn’t available, since that’s the one I really wanted.
GUY: If you make a restaurant reservation, it’s not the same as getting the special Candlelight package.
ME: No, I made it through the Candlelight page. It says “CAN” at the beginning of the reservation and everything.
GUY: … Really? Can I have your reservation number? [I give it to him] Wow, you’re right. I see it. It’s a Candelight reservation. This is weird. They’re not supposed to be available until July 9. Let me see if I can bring it up… No, I can’t see it. Not even at 2PM [which is when our reservation is].
ME: I also saw availability at 4PM.
GUY: [tries that] Nope, it’s not available for me either. [He also tries other Candlelight package-offering restaurants, none of which come up] Let me call the help desk…
[Here I am treated to a hold music medley of Winnie the Pooh songs]
GUY: Okay, I talked to the help line, and they think it’s a mistake. The system took your credit card info [it does this just as a hold for more popular reservations; you aren’t charged unless you don’t show up] so you do have the reservation, but they’re not sure it’s going to stick. If it won’t, they’ll call you. If they don’t call you, it’s yours! But since you really wanted Coral Reef you can call back at on July 9…
ME: Yup, I’ll do that. No worries.
GUY: Just out of curiosity, let me see if anyone else made a reservation… Nope, you’re the only one.
I was able to make a new reservation at the Coral Reef on July 9 as instructed, and I cancelled the Via Napoli reservation accordingly. But for a brief moment there, I was the only person in the entire world with Candlelight Processional dinner reservations.
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