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Old 10-09-2012, 10:21 PM   #1
AllThingsFigment
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Length of character meal

Hi! I am planning to do a few character meals while we are visiting the parks and wasn't sure how much time I should plan for. Does an hour seem about right? Also if we book a meal before the park opens how long before our reservation time are we able to enter the park?
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:26 PM   #2
daraddg
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Dont think an hour will be enough, we have only done 2 of them (CRT and Askersus) but didnt get in right at our reservation time that just ensures you a spot in line you still wait a bit when you get there and then it can take a while for everyone to make their rounds I would plan for 1 1/2-2 hrs
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:36 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllThingsFigment View Post
Hi! I am planning to do a few character meals while we are visiting the parks and wasn't sure how much time I should plan for. Does an hour seem about right? Also if we book a meal before the park opens how long before our reservation time are we able to enter the park?
No, an hour is generally not long enough. I would allow an hour and a half and hope to be out of there earlier. A few things that can help:

1. Make reservations close to opening times of the restaurant: The earliest breakfast at MK would be 8:05am for CRT or CP. The earlier you can get in, the less likely they will be backed up. We've had to wait at CRT for half an hour past our reservation due to them running late. Last trip we had a 8:05am reservation for Tusker House. We waited literally 2-3 minutes to meet Donald and were seated a few minutes later.

Also the characters visit each table, then go for a short break and come back. Obviously if you grab the first reservation, you'll get them on their first walk around of the restaurant and won't waste anytime waiting for them to come back from a break (their breaks are short though, under 5 minutes, but still "wasted" time if you're in a bit of a rush.)

2. If it's a buffet, ask for the bill straight away. As Tusker House, we once waited 20 minutes after we had finished just for our bill.

3. Keep your eye on the characters. If they come back and you're not at the table, you might miss them or have to wait and see if your server can get them to come back Sometimes they can't come back to your table if the restaurant is really busy. You're generally waiting on 3-5 characters depending on where you're dining so that can take awhile sometimes.

If you make a reservation before the parks open, they will generally let you in 15-20 minutes before your reservation. The only time they'll often make you wait if if the park opens at 9am and your reservation is 9am - 9:15am. Then they'll usually make you wait with the crowd, at least that has been our previous experience. We either make our reservation by 8:30am or wait until 9:30am to avoid the mad crowd dash into the parks.

We allow an hour and a half (2 hours for CRT at dinner) and if we get out earlier, terrific!
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:30 AM   #4
AllThingsFigment
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Thank you! Those are some great tips! I forgot about wait times and the time it would take each of the characters to make their way to the table. I definitely want to make sure I plan enough time for everything so we don't have to feel rushed.

I'll have to make sure to ask for the check when we are seated. That's something I wouldn't have thought of but it will be great to have it early so we'll be able to leave when the kids are ready.
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:36 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by AllThingsFigment View Post
Thank you! Those are some great tips! I forgot about wait times and the time it would take each of the characters to make their way to the table. I definitely want to make sure I plan enough time for everything so we don't have to feel rushed.

I'll have to make sure to ask for the check when we are seated. That's something I wouldn't have thought of but it will be great to have it early so we'll be able to leave when the kids are ready.
you're welcome! It's better to plan more time then necessary so you don't feel rushed and have a relaxing breakfast and start to the day.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:28 PM   #6
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Definitely 90 minutes if not first thing in the morning. We did Cinderella's castle last March with an 8:05am reservation. We were first family of the day, had a leisurely breakfast, saw all princesses, and were out to the Fantasyland rope drop by 9:00am.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:35 PM   #7
tiffany0610
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I was wondering the same thing. Thanks for the advice
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