Home Disney World How a pre-park opening breakfast can save you time and stress

How a pre-park opening breakfast can save you time and stress

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How a pre park opening breakfast can save you time and stress

For many years guests have coveted the pre-park opening breakfasts at the Magic Kingdom and other parks.  One of the reasons guests wanted those reservations is to try to get an empty park photo with their family.   With recent changes to the Magic Kingdom’s opening ceremony, there could be an even better reason to get a pre-park opening breakfast.

Magic Kingdom

Guests who book reservations for Be Our Guest or Cinderella’s Royal Table for breakfast aren’t held in the melee that has become the recent park opening procedure.  Hundreds of guests line up at ropes along various spokes in the hub area, hoping to be among the first to ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Peter Pan’s Flight or meet Disney Princesses.  Within 5 minutes of the completion of the Magic Kingdom Welcome Show, the wait time for these attractions have wait times of 45 minutes or more.

Each day I see the line for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train extend all the way back to Storybook Circus just after park opening.  Peter Pan’s Flight queue is filled within 2 to 3 minutes of Mickey inviting you into his park.  If you have Fastpass+ for these attractions, you are doing well in your planning, but if you don’t, you might try booking an early breakfast at Be Our Guest.

Be Our Guest and Cinderella’s Royal Table guests are allowed to enter the park as early as 7:45am!  I had an 8:40am breakfast ans was allowed to enter at 7:45am and walked to Be Our Guest and checked in.  I was immediately seated at 8:00am and done with breakfast by 8:30am.

The Be Our Guest breakfast isn’t cheap.  It currently costs $24.00 per person to order a plate of food, some pastry items and a drink.  But a side benefit of this breakfast is the ability to board Seven Dwarfs Mine Train with no other guests in the park.  I was able to board at 8:45am and could have ridden 2 or 3 times before the park was officially opened.

After riding Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, I lined up near Peter Pan’s Flight to be among the first to board that ride.  If meeting Cinderella and Elena were more valuable to me, I could have waited for that instead.  So I was able to enjoy a relaxing breakfast in a terrific setting, then ride 2 of the most popular Magic Kingdom rides before anyone else arrived and saved all 3 of my Fastpasses for other popular rides.

Cinderella’s Royal Table usually takes too long to be seated, order, meet all the Princesses and eat to make it a real advantage.  You’re spending a lot of money at this restaurant, so just relax and enjoy breakfast.  I actually recommend a later breakfast, lunch or dinner here, so you can focus on your optimal touring time at park opening.

Epcot

The Garden Grill

By booking the Garden Grill, you could be able to get a slight advantage to boarding Soarin’ Around the World.  If you complete your meal with Farmer Mickey, Chip n Dale and Pluto by 8:45am on a 9am opening day, you can be among the first to ride Soarin’.  It’s not an inexpensive meal, but if you plan to use your Disney Dining Plan credit to eat here, the pre-park opening meal is a great choice.  You could then use your Fastpass+ at Frozen Ever After.  You’ll want to arrive at 7:45am in order to be among the first seated.

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall

By booking this Princess breakfast before the park opens, you’ll receive an advantage over other guests who are hoping to ride Frozen Ever After with little or no waiting.  They typically begin letting guests ride around 8:45am.  You’ll want to arrive at the park by 7:45am in order to be among the first seated.  My experience here was a bit iffy.  Once I was able to meet every Princess within 20 minutes and another time it took over 45 minutes to meet them all.

How a pre park opening breakfast can save you time and stress

Animal Kingdom

By booking the Tusker House character meal at 8:00am, I was allowed to enter the park at 7:45am and made my way to Africa.  I was among the first guests seated and visited the breakfast buffet to fill up.  Within 5 minutes the characters began circulating and within 30 minutes I had met all the characters and enjoyed a filling breakfast.  It wasn’t cheap, but you do get to meet several great Disney characters in their safari gear with no waiting.

At 8:45am I made my way to Kilimanjaro Safaris and I was among the first to board this attraction.  The animals were active and the guide was willing to make a few stops for photos along the way.  I exited the safaris about 9:15am and had Fastpass for Kali, Everest and Dinosaur.

Once the World of Avatar opens in Animal Kingdom, you’ll likely want to use your Fastpass for one of those rides, so riding Kilimanjaro Safaris without using Fastpass and could be a slight advantage once Avatar opens.

Hollywood Studios

The only advantage you receive by booking Hollywood and Vine breakfast before the park opens is the ability to reserve a spot for your little padawan at Jedi Training Academy before eating breakfast.  If you are able to arrive by 7:45am and head to the sign up area, then eat breakfast with Handy Manny, Sofia, Doc and Jake and be out by 8:45am, you could still join the crowds going to Toy Story Mania, Rock n Roller Coaster or Tower of Terror.  Star Tours never has a long line at park opening.

Note:  Please note that park hours during busy seasons like Spring Break, July 4th, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas often become increased to regular openings at 8am with Extra Magic Hours at 7am some days.  If you plan to visit during those times, your pre park opening breakfast may become a regular park opening breakfast which is a disadvantage.

Have you tried a pre park opening breakfast in order to get to a favorite ride more quickly?




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115 COMMENTS

  1. We got early park breakfast for Be our guest and planned to arrive at 7:30 because we wanted a pic in front of castle before everyone came in. With the new rope drop is this possible?

  2. Wondering if you went ahead with attempting to get seated early? We have an 8:15 reservation but now the park opens at 8. I am wondering just HOW early we can get into the park. We aren’t planning on heading to Pandora early, likely spending a lot of time in Dinoland and looking at animals. Trying to see if there is a way to salvage the morning reservation or just give it up ( we have one at lunch time too as back up!)

  3. What do you predict the hours to be columbus day week of Oct- wanted to try for BOG 8am reservation, but not if Magic Kingdom will open at 8 anyway

  4. If we have PPO BOG ADR for 4 people (2 parents and 2 children), will they let 5 of us (2 parents and 3 children) past the PPO ADR rope?

  5. I have a PPO at AK for Tusker House at 8:30 am. Will we still be able to check in at 7:45 and be seated right then? Or do we have to wait until the 8:30 time to be seated?
    Thanks!

      • That’s okay. We have a FP for fop at 10:50. I was thinking about maybe doing Navi after breakfast. Otherwise, we will go to KS and then EE. Do you think one of those is better than the other?

      • I would ride the Safari after eating at Tusker House then make my way over to Expedition Everest. EE has a single rider line, if you are all over the age of 8, I would do the single rider line for EE.

      • Okay I think we might do that. Thanks! Do you think we could get one ride in with all four of us? My niece has never been and it would be nice to have a picture together.

      • My family of 4 rides most rides together; Dinosaur, Expedition Everest, Safari. You should have plenty of photo opportunities.

  6. I was really sad to see that I couldn’t find one for July as I have one for my upcomg April trip and I’ve had them on 3 past trips as well. It’s never been impossible to get, yet for 180 days + there is nothing.

  7. KP – BOG doesn’t appear to be taking 8:00am breakfast reservations anymore. At least not at 180+ days out for this summer. The earliest anything is available on any day is 9:00am. Any information on this?

  8. Interesting. J/W why it wouldn’t help?

    Safe to assume that if we still want to eat at Crystal Palace, it would be better to book a lunch there and to use our PPO on BOG.

    Is there a specific entrance / line for PPO reservation holders?

    • Crystal Palace is outside the area where 7DMT is at, so it is no help. You can be in the area of CP by just entering the park as a regular guest. Late lunch or Dinner would be better at CP. They have signs for PPO reservations. It’s to the left in the hub

  9. Hi Kenny,

    Planning a PPO at Crystal Palace. After reading all of your information, it looks like I should shoot for an 8 am reservation and be let in at 7:45. Is there a specific line/entrance for PPO?

    Also, would it be better to schedule a lunch at Crystal Palace to ensure that we get on the rides first thing in the AM?

    Thanks for your help!

  10. We have a 9:15 reservation at akershus. Can we ride FEA before and still make the reservation? Will we be allowed entry before rope drop for a 9:15 reservation time?

  11. We have an 915 at akershus. Is it possible to ride FEA first without a FP and make the reservation? Will we be able to enter before RD?

  12. We have an Akershus ressie at 8:10am when the park originally was set to open at 9, but Disney decided to add morning EMH. What are the chances we will get to ride FEA before our ressie? We should be allowed in the park by 7:45 due to ressie, correct?

  13. Great info, its much appreciated, thanks a million. My Padawan hopefuls were pschyed to see this write up, and I am grateful for the external validation. I can confirm your comment re: Hollywood & Vine’s relatively delayed reservation availability. I was able to make an ADR for 6 people at 8:05AM well past my 180 Day mark.

  14. I have an 8:40 reservation for Disney Junior breakfast at HS, but we want to sign up for Jedi training. Am I better off skipping the breakfast and just heading there at opening? We are going Thur, Jan 25, 2018.

  15. I have almost the exact same question…ADR @ CP @ 08:00 and park entry is at 08:00. What time will they allow in ADRs? 07:45 or any earlier? Thank you very much

  16. Kind assistance please! ADR’s 8:25 at CP with park entry now at 8AM for ALL guests and welcome show scheduled for 7:55AM 12/5. What time will they let regular guest in? Will they let those in with ADR any earlier? Now wondering if it is worth it as I also have ADR at 8:00 at BOG. Really want to get the nice photos on the CP morning and ride early on the BOG morning. Thanks for your guidance!

  17. Help. I booked BOG for 8:30 on Nov 30, originally MK was scheduled to open at 9. MK just announced they are opening at 8. What should I do? I like the breakfast at BOG but the first hour or two has low wait times??? I am going to try to get a reservation for 9:30 – 10 but I don’t want to eat any later. We are spending Tue the 28 and the 30 at MK, both days MK closes early. I am going to rope drop the 28th which now means getting to MK at 7- 7:30, right? Please help.

  18. Kennythepirate, do you mean that Kristi can enter the park at 8 am or get to BOG at 8 am? I have a reservation in November for 8:55am. I am confused as to when I will be able to enter the park and get to BOG early, or if I will need to be let into the park after the welcoming show.

  19. We have an 8:50 am BOG reservation in Nov. Will we still be able to enter the park at 7:45 since it is a PPO reservation, but is later than 8:45?

  20. I have an 8:40 reservation for BOG. If we preorder and get seated early do we have to wait until 8:40 to get our meal or will it come shortly after we are seated?

  21. Hello, just wondering if your plan worked out? Were you all allowed to ride 7DMT before crowds? We have a 7:50am reservation for our daughter at BBB, and we are also hoping we will be able to get in line for the ride. Thanks

  22. I was only able to secure a 9:25 breakfast at BOG for December. Do you think we’ll be let in and be able to check in/eat with the early breakfast crowd (arriving at 7:45 at the park entrance) if we pre-order our meal online? Or will we be denied early entrance? Or allowed to enter but prevented from checking in at BOG until closer to our reservation time?

  23. We have reservations at Garden Grill at 8:20 and desperately want to ride Frozen first. Any chance we can finish our meal and run across the park to be in line before 9?

    I’ve been unsuccessful at reserving a breakfast at Akershus.

    Thank you for all the helpful information!

  24. We had 8:15 reservations at BOG, we were checked in and seated about 8. We exited BOG about 8:40 – 8:45, we rode 7 Dwarfs, then rode BTMtn and Splash Mtn (twice) all with no wait. When we exited 7 Dwarfs the line was probably 30 – 45 min wait. We rode 7 Dwarfs twice that day and used a fast pass for Buzz light year and Space Mtn.

  25. Another question – we have 8 am res for 4 at Garden Grill and another at 8:10 am because I could not get seating for party of 8 at 8 am. Will our entire party of 8 be able to eat together at 8 am? Thanks!

  26. We have reservations for BOG at 8 am on May 25th & FPs for Peter Pan, Splash Mtn & 7DMT. Should I change my FP’s to include Space Mtn & BTMtn? Right now the plan is to jump on 7DMT right after breakfast and try to quickly hit all the mountains in the first hour. Does that sound like a doable plan?? I keep second guessing. Any advice would be appreciated. We have only 1 day for MK. Thanks a bunch!!

  27. Hi Kenny. Is there still an advantage to a PPO ADR at BOG on an EMM day at MK? Would they let us ride a different attraction besides 7DMT, PP, or Pooh any earlier since those aren’t part of the EMM? Also, do you know why showtimes are not showing up past Apr. 29th for the Welcome show? Thanks!!!

  28. We didn’t see ANY! ☹️ We had a small crowd of lost BOGers with us who were just as lost!
    Yes, by the red cart @ Adventureland entrance!

    • They stand right in front of the popcorn stand on the Adventureland / Liberty Square side of the Hub. I had detailed that in my previous post when the new Castle Show began.

  29. I was thinking the same thing. Will they have a sign for breakfast reservations? I’m just picturing trying to get through a crowd of people to find a CM to get through for breakfast lol

    • We had BOG PPO reservations at the end of February and early March. The signs were nonexistent and we did not know that sign-up was on the left side of the hub, after we already fought through the 830 CROWD (yes-crowd!) at the fantasyland rope.
      First morning was a mess, we were late but they accommodated (and they were running late so they told us to come back any time before 10:30am), so we went head to do LM and walk around…and thankfully so b/c 7D went offline for 3 hours due to a stuck cart and backed up the entire area!
      We will not do PPOs die MK if they keep the castle show, it’s too much with 2 wandering teens and a 6 y/o, I like to start my days relaxed, planned and energized, not rushed, crowded, frustrated, and off-schedule! (And I’m not a Type A!)

  30. Hi Kenny – If we have 8:00AM reservations for breakfast at Hollywood & Vine at HS, will we be able to sign our daughter up for Jedi training before we sit down for breakfast or will we have to wait until breakfast is over and the park officially opens? Our main reason for getting an early morning dining reservation there is to ensure she gets a spot for Jedi training and to try and ride Toy Story Mania at least once before the park gets too crowded.

  31. We have that exact same reservation for BOG; 8:40am. Did you have your breakfast there recently? It seems to good to be true that we could. Get on 7DMT. We weren’t able to get a FPP.

  32. We were just there last week and went to the opening at the castle first, then a ride. Then had b’fast at Crystal Palace. All you have to do is to set up your schedule like that in the very beginning.

  33. No because of the length of time that character meal typically takes? Or is something changing at Crystal Palace? That’s always a favorite for us to book pre-park opening, and if I snag the earliest reservation we can usually be strolling out near or within 15 minutes of park opening. I’m nervous about how the new MK opening procedures will change things…

    • Crystal Palace isn’t outside the roped area, so it has no benefit besides being a character meal. I would just do late breakfast or other meal time there.

  34. Are the busses running from the resort hotels at that early hour? We have an 8:20 at BOG (park is due to open at 9) and are staying at PO – Riverside.

  35. Great info Kenny, good to know that there is still a benefit of getting a pre rd ADR, especially if you can get in the park at 7.45 am for those empty (ish) Main Street pics. Thanks.

  36. BOG breakfast is a buffet? On the disney website it lists a menu of items and it says I can place my order a couple weeks in advance.

    • The poster was asking about the Character meals. BOG is ala carte menu. You pay as you order, which speeds things up. It’s considered Counter Service, so there’s no tip required, even though they deliver the food to your table.

  37. The parks seem to expand their hours almost at the last minute, seemingly when they realize that they are going to be busier than they expected. I have seen park hours change a month or more in advance, and I have seen them change hours the very same day (to stay open later,) and everything in between. So plan ahead, but also check back to see if any hours have changed.

  38. How do you get out of the restaurants so quickly? Every time we go, it’s at least an hour to an hour and a half before we get the check and can leave….

    • 1. I was among the first to enter. 2. I request the check the moment I sit down because it is buffet and I don’t want to dawdle around waiting on a check.

  39. This is off topic, but is anything going on with Hollywood and Vine in July? I tried booking it 180 days out and there are no times available for both lunch and dinner for all seven days that I am there. I’ve never had an issue booking it in the past. Some cast members told me that they’re not accepting any reservations st this time and others say it’s booked solid and others are saying imagineers may be up to something. Do you know anything about it?

  40. I booked an 8 am BBB appointment for my girls in the hopes that we could get in line for 7DMT before the rope drop crowd. With the new start to the day, will this plan work or will we be routed back out to the crowds in front of the castle?

  41. If I have BOG at 9:10 on day park opens at 9, do you think we can get in and out before crowds OR think we can hop on a ride before we eat?????

  42. We have an early breakfast booked each day of our stay in June. We are doing Hollywood & Vine @ HS on 6/12. My 4 year old is dying to do the Jedi Training Academy – in your post, you said we could sign up for that before our 8 am reservation?

  43. If I have an 8:20 reservation for Garden Grill, will they seat us early if we get there at 8? Trying to get in and eat and get to Soarin quickly.

  44. This is encouraging! I have an 855 I booked before they changed the OC, so we’ll aim to get there by 8am F for sure now!

  45. Is it typical to be seated so much earlier than your reservation? I just made a 8:25 on BOG after reading this article. Sounds like an awesome way to start the day.

  46. I didn’t think you actually get on a ride earlier than park opening. We’ve done CRT PPO bfast but were held back from entering the rides area, I’m pleasantly surprised to hear they don’t do that BOG.

  47. We went the first week of December, 2016 and at 6:30 a.m., the morning of, I got an 8:05 reservation at Be Our Guest. This was the best day, ever. We go to the park about 7:45. There were few people in the park, but more than I expected. We got some photos and went to breakfast. I noticed 7 Dwarfs was operating and I asked if we could ride and they told me it required a special pass. We finished breakfast about 8:40- 8:45, 7 Dwarfs is basically just outside the exit of Be our guest. We rode7 Dwarfs with no wait. When we left the ride, the wait was probably already 45 min. We went over to Frontierland, rode Splash Mtn, twice and Big Thunder Mtn., then began following our touring plan.
    I am very concerned about the new opening procedures and how it will effect the early breakfast reservations. Do you have to get into the park before they let everyone on Main St around 8 or do they let people with breakfast reservations in a special way? What about the reservations at 8:15 – 8:45, are they stuck in this mess of people and missing their reservations?

  48. I did BOG breakfast in late September 2015 to get the jump on 7DMT and got to ride it twice back to back, saving my FP+’s for other attractions. Totally worked out perfectly.

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