Engagement Dinner Drama 7th Try is A Charm?

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Kristen K.'s picture
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Joined: 09/01/2011
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Engagement Dinner Drama 7th Try is A Charm?

On our December trip my son is proposing to his girlfriend. I decided to throw a small family dinner/ engagement party for those of us traveling at that time. My goal was a table for 10 at 'Ohana at 7PM. What followed has been a comedy of errors, I am certainly having the most difficult time I have ever had making an ADR.

Try .5) Let's start with the fact that my computer has been in the shop for the last week, and my 180+ day for December was yesterday. Ultimately that's OK though because I forgot to wake up when reservations went live in the morning.

Try 1) No computer no problem! I'll just do it on MyDisneyExperience on my phone. However, I soon discovered that I hadn't connected the resort reservation yet, so it wouldn't let me book on the day that I wanted. I also hadn't written down my confirmation number anyplace so that I could just enter it in the app.

Try 2) I figured that was fine, I would call DVC Member Services and they would hook me up. After being on hold for about 10 minutes I got to talk with Bob, who said he would be happy to help. The only problem was that there were no tables for 10 available at 'Ohana, and nothing at all available at 7PM. This put a huge wrench in my plans, because I had this evening gathering all planned out in my head. I wanted family style service, so I could control my costs, and I was hoping to head to the beach for fireworks afterwards. We discussed several options and I told Bob I would have to think about it and call back. Bob wanted to make sure that I had some sort of reservation, so he booked me two tables at 'Ohana (one 6 person, one 4 person) at 9:05 and 9:10pm. That was the best he could do, and the reason those times were available was obviously because everyone would be down at the beach watching the fireworks.

Pause and Think) I hung up and considered my options. I was looking for a family style or pre-fixe meal, at a hotel or Disney Springs. I did not want a buffet. I have several picky eaters. With a budget of $50 per person (plus tax and tip), I couldn't afford a signature restaurant. Ideally someplace we could view the fireworks afterwards, but that was negotiable. I dove into research mode and quickly became frustrated trying to find Someplace besides 'Ohana that would fit the bill.

Until the lightbulb went off and I remembered that Wine Bar George has awesome food, and they do family style platters. Hoorah for WBG! Plus the wine drinkers would be perfectly happy imbibing from their amazing selection. Champagne Toast? No problem.

In the mean time my computer comes back from the shop - Hoorah!

Try 3) I try to book WBG online through Open Table. No luck, too far in advance.

Try 4) I try to book WBG online through Disney. No luck, but the error message tells me to call.

Try 5) I call Bob back at DVC Member Services and tell him of my change in plans. He says no problem and I hear the tippy tappy of his keyboard while he attempts to book. He groans, because of course by now he knows my story, and tells me that he isn't able to book a table for more than 7 at WBG, but the error message he got said to called the restaurant directly for larger parties. Bob gives me the phone number for Wine Bar George.

Try 6) I call WBG and tell them what I need. The girl who answered the phone says that they can absolutely help me with that, but that they only take reservations for parties that large via email. She gives me her manager Jamie's email address. At this point I was done. Stick a fork in me, no more brain power down. I decided I would give it another shot in the morning.

Try 7) This morning I sent Jamie an email, explaining what I needed.

Now I am waiting... waiting waiting... waiting waiting... waiting

If I don't hear from Jamie by Friday, I may break down and cry. Never in my life have I had this much trouble figuring out where I was booking a family dinner at Walt Disney World. How long has 'Ohana been a "make it first thing in the morning 180 days in advance" reservation?

Does anyone have any words of encouragement or advice? I could sure use them.

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Mcheal's picture
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Joined: 05/19/2011
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Big group reservations are challenging. Two thoughts. How about calling Disney's event planning group? I don't know the number but they are the group that set up everything from small weddings to big corporate meetings.

Second thought, what about the luau at the Poly? Family Style, can all sit together. Go to the early show, then fireworks. The theme of the show is family, they may even help out with the proposal.

Kristen K.'s picture
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Mcheal wrote:
Big group reservations are challenging. Two thoughts. How about calling Disney's event planning group? I don't know the number but they are the group that set up everything from small weddings to big corporate meetings.

I did look into this, and the cost is more than I was hoping to spend. While I can probably stretch the budget a little if need be, I'm not in the position to stretch it quite as far as they need me to.

Mcheal wrote:
Second thought, what about the luau at the Poly? Family Style, can all sit together. Go to the early show, then fireworks. The theme of the show is family, they may even help out with the proposal.

I have been thinking about this option! The down side of this is that I need the money up front instead. It might be my best option though.

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Allie's picture
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Joined: 06/26/2012
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I would be really surprised if Wine Bar George isn't able to get you in this far out. It may not feel like it right now, but I honestly think it will be a blessing in disguise for you. We've been to O'hana three times over the past couple of years, twice for dinner and once for breakfast, and I have yet to have a good experience. It is also EXTREMELY difficult to get lately, even at 180 days out. Even for a party of two I wasn't able to get an O'hana reservation for the first several days of my client's trip at 6am at their 180 day mark a couple of weeks ago.

Allie's picture
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And congrats to your son, by the way! What an amazing trip that will be for you guys!

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Well aside from the ADR drama, congratulations to you and your son!!! Boy they are growing up!!!

JMed's picture
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Ohhhhh, I hope it works out, I would love a party at WBG!!!! If you can get 11 I will be there laugh laugh

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Kristen K.'s picture
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Joined: 09/01/2011
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Aww thanks everyone! His soon-to-be fiancee's name is Rosie and her personality fits in great with our family. The only time she has ever spent at Disney is a couple of hours at Disney Springs last year. But she is a big Beauty and the Beast fan. We are all very excited.

I still haven't heard back from WBG. sad

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JoAnn C's picture
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Joined: 05/20/2011
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I hope you can make it work out. Congratulations to your son.

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