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Old 01-13-2013, 06:17 PM   #1
ktrask
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lunch vs dinner at table service

We are getting the dining plan, so we will have a table service meal each day. We are planning on taking advantage of it and doing character meals at each park (or as many as possible).

DD will be 4 (turning 5) on the trip. I'm trying to decide if lunches or dinners would be better for the character meals. Non character I lean towards a dinner time.

I'm just trying to be smart about those reservations and her being able to truly enjoy them.

So...lunch or dinner...thoughts?
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:24 PM   #2
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I LOVE the dinner at 1900 Park Fare.

Cinderella, the prince, the step mom and the stepsisters are all there. The happy couple does the waltz, the stepsisters bicker about who is prettier, the stepmom looks on unapprovingly (and one time sternly corrected a child who had the temerity to cry in the happiest place on earth. It was totally hysterical. The kid was so taken aback, he stopped crying.) Consider bringing along your daughter's princess costume if she has one from Halloween... about a third of the girls wear theirs.

We also enjoy Aukerhaus in Epcot. But my kids are NOT at all adventurous eaters, so we did a late breakfast and called it brunch. The breakfast foods are all pretty predictable, which is exactly what we were going for. FIVE princesses stopped by for pictures and autographs, and my younger daughter absolutely loved it!!

We love Chef Mickey's for dinner.
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:31 PM   #3
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The problem with being on the dining plan is if you do your sit down meals at breakfast or lunch then you are not getting your value. The dining plan costs about $55 per person without tip. Lunch at these restaurants are usually cheaper. We have done lunch or dinner and they are both enjoyable. Enjoy!
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:41 PM   #4
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When DD was that age, in general lunch was better for us. We typically stay in the parks from open to almost close, so a sit down lunch gave us a nice break and rest. Also, DD isn't much of a breakfast eater, so after running around all morning, she was starving and ready for a big lunch. We noticed that when we did dinner, she was a whole lot more tired and fidgety than at lunch. I can't remember whether she was 4 or 5 when we did Akershus for dinner instead of lunch (we go every year), and I know she definitely did not enjoy it as much as she did at lunch because she was just too tired by the end of the day.

DD (now 6), is a huge Cinderella fan, so we do always do dinner at 1900 Park Fare.
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:30 PM   #5
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We do a mixture. I totally get that using dinner for your TS meal gives you the best value, but sometimes that isn't doable...for us anyway. We aren't breakfast food people. Once in a blue moon we'll eat breakfast, but it's rare. However, dd loves Disney Jr., so we've done the Hollywood & Vine character breakfast. We've done The Crystal Palace for lunch before also. For the most part, it works out for us. For instance, if we have a lunch ADR, we will eat something really small in the room before leaving the hotel. Usually, it's yogurt/fruit or donuts. We then have a big lunch for our ADR and then we won't eat again, besides having a snack, until much later in the evening and counter service is more than enough food to feed us all for dinner. On our last trip, we spent no extra money on food. The dining plan, even with doing some lunch and breakfast ADR's was more than enough. Yes, I know that the $ value is the principal, but sometimes dinner ADR's don't work out. I know that we'll have 3-4 good hours in the parks before sitting down to lunch for an ADR. Dd (4) always does great at lunch ADR's, but there has been times at dinner one's where I could tell that she was just too tired...and that was after even taking a mid-day break and going back to the hotel to nap. However, everyone is different, so I think it is important to do what works best for you and your family. As far as character dining, we also reserve them for mainly lunch. I find that dd enjoys them the most at lunch time. Character meals can take a lot of time and I just find that they work best for us earlier in the day. On our next trip, I think were doing mainly dinner ADR's. I have one TS credit that I can't quite seem to work out. I've got an ADR for everyday that we are there besides check in/out day. We drive down and it's a 12 hour trip, so a sit down meal isn't really doable on those days, so i'm stuck with trying to fit in a second ADR on one of our days...hmmm.
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:45 PM   #6
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I've been twice first trip kids were 6, 3, 18 months we hat sit downs meals mostly dinners. We had to either stay at the park late waiting around for reservations or leave to get to a hotel and then go back to a park to get back to the hotel. Last trip kids were 8, 6, 4 we mostly had sit down meals at lunch. It was a nice mid day break and left the end of the day open for staying or leaving a park when we wanted.
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