First Timer - what time should we eat?

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by Mooker8644, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. Mooker8644

    Mooker8644 Earning My Ears

    Oct 21, 2010
    Hi all! This will be our first time going with kids and we are on the dining plan. We will have six full days that we are there (Sun-Fri) and are coming and leaving on Saturdays. The kids are 9, 7, and twin 5 yr olds. We are more lunch/dinner people than the breakfasts - that in mind - since it is a lot of food (we are basic dining plan) - should we plan early lunch and later dinner? For example if we go to Epcot - thinking of princess lunch at asherkus and dinner at Chef France? That is a lot of food - what times would be good - or should I do them separate days?

    Also any ideas for itinerary - we have boys and girls so it will be equal princess and boy stuff! Thanks and realize this is very vague question!
  2. elainesj

    elainesj Mouseketeer

    Sep 17, 2010
    we're doing mostly buffets and I'm a bit worried about being too full to enjoy rides, etc - so I tried to plan all our TS meals for dinner at the end of the day so we can just roll ourselves to bed.
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  4. Nadjalu

    Nadjalu DIS Veteran

    Jul 8, 2009
    DH and I are mainly lunch/dinner people as well. What we do is eat a snack or split a breakfast at the resort.
    Then I schedule the other meals around the same times we eat at home.

    I found it is best to keep your normal schedule when eating on a WDW vacation.

    Also if you have any character meals booked, they go best with a lighter lunch place.

    Have a safe and happy trip!
  5. mattsmom2000

    mattsmom2000 I am obsessed with everything Disney!

    Jun 14, 2007
    I really enjoy doing the early lunch seating. We bring granola bars to eat in our room before we head to the parks since we are not really big breakfast eaters either. Then we enjoy some rides and then eat around 11am-11:30am. The lunch buffets at most restaurants are very comparable to dinner ones in my opinion. Then we have the rest of the day to ourselves and are hungry by the time dinner rolls around at 6pm and we do our counter service then since it is too crowded for dinner at most restaurants. Enjoy! :thumbsup2
  6. TDC Nala

    TDC Nala 1937, what a year that was

    Jun 22, 2001
    Moving to the main restaurant board as it is a question about planning meals and not about using the dining plan.
  7. MusiqChic99

    MusiqChic99 Love means going out to eat so that your husband w

    May 14, 2008
    Early lunch or late dinner.

    This year we didn't plan very well and ate early dinners or late lunches. The dining plan is more then enough food for us. It seemed that if we used our TS for say 11:30 lunch we didn't even think about eating again until 6 or 7 that night.

    So I would say either 11-12 would be good for lunch. And 6-7:30 would be good for dinner. However keep in mind you dont always get the times you want. That is what we came across this year. We wanted to eat at certain places so we took what times we could get. Next time we will plan much better and give up certain places in order to spread the times out better.
  8. crabbygal902

    crabbygal902 after a lapu lapu, I'm not so crabby anymore

    Feb 17, 2007

    Our boys are nearly the same ages as your kids. We usually do the basic dining plan, too. This is how we do Disney:

    • Light breakfast in the room--fruit, cereal bars, oj, milk
    • Arrive at a park before rope drop
    • Counter Service lunch before 11:15 to avoid long lines
    • Back to the resort for a nap and/or swim in the pool
    • Table Service dinner at the resort or in the park we've visiting for the evening. We make our ADRs before 6 because the restaurants get crowded and there is more waiting involved even with an ADR...not a good situation with hungry children
    • A little more touring at a park or another evening activity until bedtime

    We always end our vacation with a character breakfast before departing. Even though we're not breakfast people, it gives us something fun to look forward to on the dreaded departure day. Also, we are full and don't have to stop for food for a really long time on the way home.

    I have found that 2 TS meals are too much food for us in one day, and our very active boys would rather be swimming or enjoying the parks than sitting for so long at 2 big meals.

    Hope this helps!
  9. eliza61

    eliza61 DIS Veteran

    Jun 2, 2003
    Op, I still haven't gotten meal times right when we visit the world.

    I try to keep it close to how we eat at home, no one wants to stop.
    I try to make it a earlier, no one is hungry.
    I make it later and we snack so meal time is a bust.

    :rotfl2: This was one of the reasons I don't make a lot of ADR's I never seem to be able to keep them.
  10. Princess Mags

    Princess Mags Earning My Ears

    Sep 29, 2010
    I would say early, like 5:30... Last year we went and we had my little cousins who were 6 and 4 at the time and we had dinner reservations at 6:30. By the time we went to dinner, they were way too tired and decided to act out and it was a relaxing dinner for nobody. I don't know if your kids would do this, but its just something to keep in mind.
  11. Hopefully

    Hopefully DIS Veteran

    Nov 3, 1999
    I agree with previous thoughts. I would keep it as close to normal eating times as possible. I also think 2 TS in one day is too much food.
    We do DDP. We are not big breakfast eaters either, so we eat in the room before we leave - fruit, cereal, juice etc.
    Then we usually do CS lunch in the park we are in. Many days we leave the park for a swim/nap break and then return to the park in the evening. We like to eat a relaxing dinner around 7:30.
    This works best for us.
    Have a Great Trip
  12. prncess674

    prncess674 DIS Veteran

    Apr 8, 2003
    Just to make things very clear. The basic dining includes 1 counter service, 1 table service and 1 snack per person per night. So if your stay is 6 days/5 nights then you get 5/5/5. Akershus and Chef de France are each a table service credit, so if you did both of those on the same day you would use 2 of your 5 table service credits.

    MSSANDRA DIS Veteran

    Sep 14, 2006
    With four young kids I would not plan late dinners. Someone will be too tired to enjoy it.

    We have learned a few things about eating at WDW. Often we can share CS meals. You will not need 6 meals, every time. If you are not big breakfast eaters, 1 adult and 2 kids CS might feed you. If you choose well, the same can go for a light lunch or dinner.Otherwise, take breakfast items for a quick light breakfast in the room.

    2nd, we are ready for lunch earlier than we thought we would be. After a light breakfast and a am at the park we are hungry! A early ADR or CS is right for us.

    I do think buffets are better at dinner so you do get more for your money if an early CS lunch and a early ADR for dinner works for you. The snack credit will make a nice snack before bed if you need it
  14. twohokies

    twohokies Earning My Ears

    Nov 5, 2010
    When we go in May, I will have a 8yo DS, 6yo DD & 4yo DD. We have the basic dining plan as well. We've been before and the idea of 2 TS lunch & dinners in 1 day makes my head swim. I would shy away from the 2 meals in Epcot in 1 day if you can help it, try and break them up into 2 days. We do have 1 day, I think, where we are doing a pre-park breakfast at Chef Mickeys & then a TS dinner. Most of our dinners are 5-530 so that we are sitting down before the kids get crazy wild & hungry. And then we are also done and can be back/near MK for the Electric Light parade & Wishes at 8pm.

    Happy planning!
  15. vicki_c

    vicki_c DIS Veteran

    Dec 22, 2007
    For family peace, try to keep to your normal schedule.

    For less crowds and waits, eat early for both lunch and dinner.

    Both pieces of advice worked well for us because we did usually eat an early dinner - so we try and get ADRs for 5-5:30 PM, ideally. Once you get past 6, the restaurants start to get much more crowded.

    And lunch at 11 or 11:15 is awesome, from a crowd standpoint.

    If I had to choose between one or the other (like your family normally eats at 8 PM or something), I would eat early whenever possible.
  16. ktlm

    ktlm DIS Veteran

    Jun 20, 2008
    We normally have DH go down to counter service at the resort and bring breakfast to the room
    ( except for we make an exception on AK day to do the Tusker House breakfast). After that we usually do a TS for lunch, and then just counter service whenever we are hungry for dinner. We find that a TS lunch is a nice break (we don't go back to the resort during the day), and as DD (4) eats much better at TS, it gives her the energy to go through the day. On AK day, we do a CS lunch because of the Tusker house breakfast and then we might do a TS meal that night. We find that when we do TS at night, DD is more tired and she doesn't enjoy it as much. While that is what works perfect for us, it may or may not be right for your family.

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