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Timing of Character Dining

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Glasgow, United...
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Timing of Character Dining

So much to choose from?!? So we will be there in mental season (1st weeks in July) all advice in here suggests do parks early doors then head back to hotel in the afternoon when it gets busy. With this in mind should we get to parks for rope drop and do character meals lunch and dinner? Or really early doors and do breakfast earlier?? I'm worried if we do breakfast we'll either get out later and will miss the quieter queues or I'll be itching to get into the park - any advice appreciated!

We have dining plan do would like to do a character meal in each park or maybe more than one - I'm pretty certain for MK plan would be (if we're lucky enough to get ADR) - Cinderella's Royal Table & BOG (I just love B&TB!) AK: prob Tuskers not sure for HS & Epcot so all experiences good and bad would be gratefully received!

Thanks again x

gettysburg, pa
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1. Re: Timing of Character Dining

One thing that we have enjoyed over the last two years is to go to a park with Extra Magic Hours and schedule the last breakfast seating. So this year we went to Magic Kingdom for the 8 am opening (arrived at 7:30 am) and then did breakfast at the Crystal Palace at 9:30. It was great to get in early and do some of the Fantasyland rides (like Peter Pan!) that always get crowded quickly and then head over to breakfast. This is easiest to do with a breakfast place that is in the park. Of course with Cinderella you will probably have to take whatever times you can get. :) But this will definitely work with Tusker House and early morning at AK is so worth it. We did have a few snacks on hand for the kids to eat in the morning to tide them over but they did fine with it.

Be Our Guest was fantastic and is definitely worth a dinner visit. We loved it!!! Our two boys are not really interested in Cinderella's, but they liked BOG very much and said it was one of their favorites. We did a later dinner here (7:00) and it was nice because we had plenty of time to swim in the afternoon and then head over.

It's not a character meal, but my kids really enjoyed Via Napoli in Epcot. They also liked the Rainforest Cafe in AK, and it was really convenient to spend the morning there, have a 1:00 lunch, and then head back to the hotel. (Rainforest Cafe is not my favorite, but it's a fun experience.) We also found that it was best to try to space out the breakfasts and dinners--not follow a huge dinner with an early breakfast the next day. Our one really early breakfast (Cape May Cafe at 7:30) worked out well with the 9 am Epcot opening, as we were able to walk on over there.

Enjoy your planning!

england
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2. Re: Timing of Character Dining

We have just returned from Disney last week..i have to say the emh & first few hours after opening were a lifesaver. The times we got up early straight into the park had lunch at noon then headed back to resort for a rest worked best. This worked on both emh & non emh days. The first two hours in mk on a non emh morning we got about 9 rides done in the first 2hrs which was really good going.

One word of caution though..alot of the emh that were announced 6mths in advanced actually disappeared off the list as time approached. This certainly messed up at least two of our days.

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for Orlando, Walt Disney World
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3. Re: Timing of Character Dining

We like to get Chef Mickeys or Akerhaus around 10:30. We do a few rides first and then have breakfast. Its nice to take a break mid morning,enjoy breakfast/lunch and meet some characters. Then we go back into the park for a few hours,take a midday break to swim and have a snack and then spend the rest of the day in the park The only thing that is wonderful about having a very early breakfast time is that you get into the park when it is virtually empty and there's some great phot opportunities. But we find it too hectic to get to an early ADR and we don't eat a huge meal first thing in the morning anyway

Orlando, FL
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4. Re: Timing of Character Dining

1st week or weeks in July? If you have a good amount of time at Disney and will be making multiple park trips I don't think I'd stress too much about the timing of it/getting things done. If you are worried about stopping to eat or being too anxious to eat beforehand, why not plan the character meals on your "down days" so you can hit the ground running on your park days and go until you are ready to stop with a nice planned dinner instead. For character meals, we prefer breakfast (though recently enjoyed Play and Dine at Hollywood Studios for lunch which worked into the day very well). Generally we plan a late one which then doubles as breakfast and lunch. We like that. Plus, getting up and out the door beforehand just doesn't work for us. Often, with visiting family, we'll make it the activity for the morning followed by swimming in the afternoon and no park at all.

Brazil
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for Sao Paulo
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5. Re: Timing of Character Dining

I´ve been in July and enjoyed A LOT the late hours...when the parks were cooler

Cape May is a great Character Breakfast close to Hollywood Studios

Ottawa, Canada
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6. Re: Timing of Character Dining

We did three character meals - Chef Mickey's for dinner, and Ohana's and Tusker House of breakfast. TH breakfast was our fave - reservation was for 8:00 - not an EMH day so it was perfect timing - finished at about 8:45 so my hubby and son were first in line for Expedition Everest and I got FP's for Kilimanjaro Safari. We thought it was really nice to go into AK without the crowds. Next time I go, I will do TH again for sure and also will do Cape May early (around 7:30) on a day that HS opens at 9:00 to try something different.

Glasgow, United...
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7. Re: Timing of Character Dining

Thanks everyone for your advice - yes it is 2 weeks so plenty of time. This helps a lot. I think in terms of planning as you say for MK it will depend on what time and if we get availability! Fingers crossed though. In the meantime enjoying the planning and all the helpful advice x

8. Re: Timing of Character Dining

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