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View Full Version : Best times to eat at Character Dining restaurants


Pirates life for me
05-31-2009, 10:34 AM
Ok so looks like with everyone's help:grouphug: I have narrowed down the Character dining now I know when I call 90 days out I may not get the exact times I want and I am going to be flexible.

So the question is in everyone's opinion at the restaurants below do you recommend Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner. Thanks again in advance everyone's help is sure making decisions easier:thumbsup2

1. CRT
2. Chef Mickey
3. Crystal Palace
4. 1900 Park Fare
5. Princess Story Book Akershus
6. Ohana
7. Donald Tusker House Epcot

DonaldTDuck
05-31-2009, 10:48 AM
For breakfast in the park, we always try for 8:00. This gives time to eat and still be at rope drop. For lunch and dinner, whatever time you can get that you're comfortable with eating.

dancin Disney style
05-31-2009, 11:53 AM
1. CRT---breakfast
2. Chef Mickey---breakfast
3. Crystal Palace---dinner
4. 1900 Park Fare---breakfast
5. Princess Story Book Akershus---dinner
6. Ohana---characters are only at breakfast---my choice would be for dinner
7. Donald Tusker House Epcot---breakfast


I agree that in park breakfasts should be as early as possible and lunches and dinner based on when you like to eat. Any resort breakfasts are great if you go to the park for rope drop or EMH and then make the ADR for around 10:30am. You can get a lot done in the park and then be ready for a break around 10:30 or so. After the ADR you can either go back to the park/park hop or go back to the resort for a swim/rest.

jcemom
05-31-2009, 01:05 PM
We prefer the latest possible breakfast (consider it brunch). The character interaction has always been much better for us at those times, and we're not in a rush to get out for rope drop.

jana616
05-31-2009, 01:15 PM
I agree that in park breakfasts should be as early as possible and lunches and dinner based on when you like to eat. Any resort breakfasts are great if you go to the park for rope drop or EMH and then make the ADR for around 10:30am. You can get a lot done in the park and then be ready for a break around 10:30 or so. After the ADR you can either go back to the park/park hop or go back to the resort for a swim/rest.


Not to hijack the thread, but I was wondering about this. We are planning on two character breakfasts, Tusker House and 'Ohana. TH we are hoping to get as close to 8 am as possible, second choice is as late as possible, but we'll take whatever since it seems easy to get to and from in the park. But 'Ohana, I couldn't decide. I thought it would be nice to do it as late as possible (I think 11 am is when it says they end breakfast) and use it as brunch.

However, I think we're planning this one on our Epcot day, when we are also hoping for either Le Cellier or Tutto for dinner. Should we try for a 7:45 or so, and hope to get to Epcot close to rope drop/a little after, or aim to get to Epcot for rope drop, then take the break for 'Ohana at 10:45ish? This is our only day with two TS meals, and probably our only Epcot day, so we want to take away as little time as possible, but none of us love the idea of 7:45 breakfast! I guess, if we had a 10:45 ADR, how long will it take to get from Epcot to Poly and back? TIA!

jcemom
05-31-2009, 01:21 PM
Not to hijack the thread, but I was wondering about this. We are planning on two character breakfasts, Tusker House and 'Ohana. TH we are hoping to get as close to 8 am as possible, second choice is as late as possible, but we'll take whatever since it seems easy to get to and from in the park. But 'Ohana, I couldn't decide. I thought it would be nice to do it as late as possible (I think 11 am is when it says they end breakfast) and use it as brunch.

However, I think we're planning this one on our Epcot day, when we are also hoping for either Le Cellier or Tutto for dinner. Should we try for a 7:45 or so, and hope to get to Epcot close to rope drop/a little after, or aim to get to Epcot for rope drop, then take the break for 'Ohana at 10:45ish? This is our only day with two TS meals, and probably our only Epcot day, so we want to take away as little time as possible, but none of us love the idea of 7:45 breakfast! I guess, if we had a 10:45 ADR, how long will it take to get from Epcot to Poly and back? TIA!Isn't there another day where you can put 'Ohana? If you go with 10:45 you're going to need to leave Epcot around 10:00 -- giving you only one hour to do attractions before leaving. You'll need to walk back out through the front entrance, go up the ramps, monorail to the TTC (not a long ride, but you also might have to wait for a monorail), transfer to the resort monorail and ride to the Poly (1st stop, so again not a long ride). The monorail does let you off on the correct floor at the Poly, so that's good, then you'd just need to check in.

If you do an early breakfast, in order to make it to Epcot around 9:00, you'd probably need to eat by 7:15. That would allow an hour for breakfast, then you'd need to monorail all the way around to the TTC (or you could walk over too, but I never want to do extra walking since we do so much of it in the parks as it is, LOL) which is about 20 minutes or so, then transfer to the Epcot monorail from there.

Do you have a day off and could put it there? Or on your MK day?

jana616
05-31-2009, 01:32 PM
Isn't there another day where you can put 'Ohana? If you go with 10:45 you're going to need to leave Epcot around 10:00 -- giving you only one hour to do attractions before leaving. You'll need to walk back out through the front entrance, go up the ramps, monorail to the TTC (not a long ride, but you also might have to wait for a monorail), transfer to the resort monorail and ride to the Poly (1st stop, so again not a long ride). The monorail does let you off on the correct floor at the Poly, so that's good, then you'd just need to check in.

If you do an early breakfast, in order to make it to Epcot around 9:00, you'd probably need to eat by 7:15. That would allow an hour for breakfast, then you'd need to monorail all the way around to the TTC (or you could walk over too, but I never want to do extra walking since we do so much of it in the parks as it is, LOL) which is about 20 minutes or so, then transfer to the Epcot monorail from there.

Do you have a day off and could put it there? Or on your MK day?

Thank you SOOO much for walking me through this. We've never eaten at any of the resorts before, so I have no concept of how long it takes to get places, or the steps involved. That sounds like a tough day; I don't think we'll do it on our Epcot day. We don't have an off day, exactly. Right now, without the Sept. calendar, I'm planning on:

Day 1: MK for a few hours after arrival, Crystal Palace for dinner (people told me to do that vs. CM or Ohana dinner since it's in the park?)

Day 2: MK, CM or Ohana dinner

Day 3: Epcot, Le Cellier dinner (if we don't do Ohana breakfast here we could do LC lunch if open)

Day 4: DHS, Cape May Cafe dinner

Day 5: AK, TH breakfast

Day 6: open morning for whatever park we want more time at, then DTD for T-Rex dinner

Day 7: MK, Ohana or CM for dinner (staying for EMH)

The order might change, but that's still how I'd "like" to plan them. We'll see what happens with ADRs of course! So where would you put 'Ohana breakfast? Day 2 I really want to see rope drop at MK and get a lot done early. But if it's a lot easier from MK, we could do it then late. Day 6 we could do it in the morning, but since I think we may end up at AK, I didn't want a meal way far away. Day 7 we could do it, but we don't want to be up early since we're staying late for EMH. Sigh!!! Or should I skip Ohana breakfast, do CP for a breakfast, and aim for a different character dinner (probably 1900 Park Fare) our first night? Help is greatly appreciated!!

ehaley
05-31-2009, 01:34 PM
I agree with option for later on breakfast, we've done both and had better interaction with charaters at later breakfast than at 8:00AM. Staff also a little less stressed. In the parks (especially for CRT) we do some rides first and build the excitement. Same for lunches - a little later is usually less crowded. Dinners we have good luck going between 4:45 - 6:15, or after 8:30. Just depends on group size and other plans.

jcemom
05-31-2009, 01:55 PM
Thank you SOOO much for walking me through this. We've never eaten at any of the resorts before, so I have no concept of how long it takes to get places, or the steps involved. That sounds like a tough day; I don't think we'll do it on our Epcot day. We don't have an off day, exactly. Right now, without the Sept. calendar, I'm planning on:

Day 1: MK for a few hours after arrival, Crystal Palace for dinner (people told me to do that vs. CM or Ohana dinner since it's in the park?) -- unless you're going to eat dinner, then hit the park -- or spend a few hours in the park and then have dinner, going back to your resort afterwards, I agree. If you're eating in between attractions it's much easier to stay inside the park.

Day 2: MK, CM or Ohana dinner -- I'd try for Chef M's first, so you don't have it back to back with Tusker (similar characters)

Day 3: Epcot, Le Cellier dinner (if we don't do Ohana breakfast here we could do LC lunch if open)

Day 4: DHS, Cape May Cafe dinner

Day 5: AK, TH breakfast

Day 6: open morning for whatever park we want more time at, then DTD for T-Rex dinner

Day 7: MK, Ohana or CM for dinner (staying for EMH)

Are you planning to be at rope drop on Day 7? If you are then you could do 'Ohana breakfast at 11:00, though it's still a pain to exit the park, even though it's nearby (only a 15 minute monorail ride, tops -- it's the leaving and re-entering the park bit that's a pain, going all the way down Main Street, and back up on the way back in, going through bag check again, etc). If you're not going for rope drop you could do the late breakfast and then head over to the park afterwards.

You could also skip 'Ohana breakfast this time around and just visit with Lilo and Stitch on your AK day. ;)

Should you choose to replace it with something else there is plenty to choose from at Epcot... Akershus, Teppan Edo, Biergarten, Garden Grill, Coral Reef.

jana616
05-31-2009, 02:17 PM
Day 1: MK for a few hours after arrival, Crystal Palace for dinner (people told me to do that vs. CM or Ohana dinner since it's in the park?) -- unless you're going to eat dinner, then hit the park -- or spend a few hours in the park and then have dinner, going back to your resort afterwards, I agree. If you're eating in between attractions it's much easier to stay inside the park.

Day 2: MK, CM or Ohana dinner -- I'd try for Chef M's first, so you don't have it back to back with Tusker (similar characters)

Day 3: Epcot, Le Cellier dinner (if we don't do Ohana breakfast here we could do LC lunch if open)

Day 4: DHS, Cape May Cafe dinner

Day 5: AK, TH breakfast

Day 6: open morning for whatever park we want more time at, then DTD for T-Rex dinner

Day 7: MK, Ohana or CM for dinner (staying for EMH)

Are you planning to be at rope drop on Day 7? If you are then you could do 'Ohana breakfast at 11:00, though it's still a pain to exit the park, even though it's nearby (only a 15 minute monorail ride, tops -- it's the leaving and re-entering the park bit that's a pain, going all the way down Main Street, and back up on the way back in, going through bag check again, etc). If you're not going for rope drop you could do the late breakfast and then head over to the park afterwards.

You could also skip 'Ohana breakfast this time around and just visit with Lilo and Stitch on your AK day. ;)

Should you choose to replace it with something else there is plenty to choose from at Epcot... Akershus, Teppan Edo, Biergarten, Garden Grill, Coral Reef.

Seriously, can I just have you plan my whole trip? :worship:

These are the things I have been trying to come up with, but I just don't understand the travel system enough to put it all together. I am thinking I like either of two scenarios:

1) Replace Lilo and Stitch with Garden Grill dinner. Our Epcot day would be LC for early lunch (if we can get it) and GG for dinner. The irony of this is that GG was on my original must-do list, but enough mixed reviews of it and positive reviews of Ohana made me switch.

2) Switch Ohana breakfast to day 7, maybe like a 9ish. Then get to MK after that. We'd have to have CM that night though, otherwise we'd be eating at Ohana twice in one day.

What do you think? And can I just say I love you?!

jcemom
05-31-2009, 03:02 PM
Seriously, can I just have you plan my whole trip? :worship:

These are the things I have been trying to come up with, but I just don't understand the travel system enough to put it all together. I am thinking I like either of two scenarios:

1) Replace Lilo and Stitch with Garden Grill dinner. Our Epcot day would be LC for early lunch (if we can get it) and GG for dinner. The irony of this is that GG was on my original must-do list, but enough mixed reviews of it and positive reviews of Ohana made me switch.

2) Switch Ohana breakfast to day 7, maybe like a 9ish. Then get to MK after that. We'd have to have CM that night though, otherwise we'd be eating at Ohana twice in one day.

What do you think? And can I just say I love you?!LOL... well, it's nice to know my millions of hours spent online are helping someone. :rotfl:

What if you... 1) schedule LC for lunch, and Garden Grill for dinner on your Epcot day. (We have done GG three times and enjoyed it each time. 'Ohana is good too, but GG will be so much more convenient for you. You know you aren't putting 'Ohana on this day regardless, so why not put GG here.)

and... 2) schedule 'Ohana breakfast on day 7, with Chef Mickey's that night.

Schedule 'Ohana dinner on day 2, Chef Mickey's dinner on day 7.

Yep, go ahead and book them all! Then you can take the time to think about it, and see what you like best. The only real 'problem' is that you would have Chef Mickey's and Tusker House both at the end of the trip. That's not really a problem anyway. Maybe it's not absolutely the most ideal way to have your ADRs, but with the characters' outfits being completely different, the characters slightly different, different meals (dinner vs breakfast), and even a day in between the two, I think it's not bad at all.

You can cancel Garden Grill if you decide it's not what you want, or you can cancel Lilo and Stitch. You can even wait until you're there. If you feel that you get enough time at the Lilo and Stitch meet and greet when you visit AK, then you can cancel the breakfast. If you feel like you need another MK rope drop (and 'Ohana interferes with that), then you can cancel the breakfast.

If you're on the DDP and decide to keep everything it might mean you pay OOP for something, but we often do that once per trip anyway. Just choose the least expensive meal towards the end of the trip (just in case you miss one along the way). In your case that would be Tusker House if you're sure at that point you're keeping 'Ohana, or the 'Ohana breakfast if you don't make up your mind until the last day.

jana616
05-31-2009, 04:43 PM
LOL... well, it's nice to know my millions of hours spent online are helping someone. :rotfl:

What if you... 1) schedule LC for lunch, and Garden Grill for dinner on your Epcot day. (We have done GG three times and enjoyed it each time. 'Ohana is good too, but GG will be so much more convenient for you. You know you aren't putting 'Ohana on this day regardless, so why not put GG here.)

and... 2) schedule 'Ohana breakfast on day 7, with Chef Mickey's that night.

Schedule 'Ohana dinner on day 2, Chef Mickey's dinner on day 7.

Yep, go ahead and book them all! Then you can take the time to think about it, and see what you like best. The only real 'problem' is that you would have Chef Mickey's and Tusker House both at the end of the trip. That's not really a problem anyway. Maybe it's not absolutely the most ideal way to have your ADRs, but with the characters' outfits being completely different, the characters slightly different, different meals (dinner vs breakfast), and even a day in between the two, I think it's not bad at all.

You can cancel Garden Grill if you decide it's not what you want, or you can cancel Lilo and Stitch. You can even wait until you're there. If you feel that you get enough time at the Lilo and Stitch meet and greet when you visit AK, then you can cancel the breakfast. If you feel like you need another MK rope drop (and 'Ohana interferes with that), then you can cancel the breakfast.

If you're on the DDP and decide to keep everything it might mean you pay OOP for something, but we often do that once per trip anyway. Just choose the least expensive meal towards the end of the trip (just in case you miss one along the way). In your case that would be Tusker House if you're sure at that point you're keeping 'Ohana, or the 'Ohana breakfast if you don't make up your mind until the last day.

OK, again, thank you so much! I LOVE the idea of booking them all if we are able to get them. That would really free up some time for me to decide what we want to do. Plus I think there's a strong possibility we would keep them all and pay OOP like you said. You are awesome! And I'm not too worried about TH and CM close together. My boys are only 5 and 2, they have short memories and will be thrilled everytime they see Mickey and gang! Plus I may still decide to switch to 1900 Park Fare instead of CM (to get some new faces in, but that's a whole 'nother debate I'm having!)

So again, thank you. I am constantly amazed at how generous people on here are with their time and ideas.:goodvibes

jcemom
05-31-2009, 06:22 PM
You're welcome! I'm really very happy to be able to help. Everyone here has been so helpful to me over the years, it's nice to now be the one helping. :goodvibes