8:15 Garden Grill and Soarin'

Hi! This will be our first ever PPO meal, and I’d love to hear from you veterans!

We have an 8:15 at Garden Grill on 10/8 with plans to ride Soarin’ right after. It’s a Monday, Columbus Day, Crowd Calendar 7. I don’t want to rush the character meal, but I’m wondering if you think we’ll be able to beat the crowds that will arrive at park opening?

Are they opening the park to everyone before 9am these days? That would definitely impact things.

Is having an 8am reservation more of an advantage for Soarin’ than 8:15? We’re planning to get there by 8:00 hoping they’ll seat us before 8:15. I’m also using the reservation finder to hopefully get an earlier time but we’ll see.

At what point can I ask for the check and it not be rude? Any other strategies you’d suggest?
Thanks in advance!

We have the same plan and the same reservation time! Ours is next week. I plan to get there before 8 and hopefully get seated as quickly as possible. I have read success stories for this strategy. As for the check, I’ve also read that the CMs know the drill and are fine with it if you ask for the check as soon as you receive your food.

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Your plan should be fine - show up early and you’ll likely be seated very quickly. GG is family style so frankly you can ask for the check as soon as you see the CM as there’s nothing to add onto your bill that would change it. Plus they know the drill that you’re hoping to hop on Soarin’ ASAP…


What time do I need to show up if I have an 8:00am res and want to be one of the first in and seated??

I’d try to be at GG by 7:55 or so - I don’t think getting to the restaurant proper any earlier would give you much advantage. You likely can’t get through the Epcot gates much before 7:45 though so I think that’s your gating time really.

My impression is the character rotation is fairly quick early in the morning so it shouldn’t be a big issue timing wise if you get seated in the first 10 minutes or so, you’ll be fine…

We did this in May. We were a bit delayed due to bus issues so we didn’t get to the restaurant until about 8:10. Our reservation was for 8:20 and we were seated pretty quickly. I haven’t been on the forum for awhile but I remember that in the Spring, there was some question of whether GG had started seating in terms of reservation time instead of arrival time? Hopefully someone can clarify what the recent experience has been!

I asked for our cheque when we sat down which was no problem. We did end up having to leave before we met Chip so that we could get to Soarin’. A couple of the other characters came by twice but for whatever reason our timing was off with Chip.

I would love to hear an answer to this as well. Does it vary from restaurant to restaurant or is there a consistent policy for everything?

I have PPO ADR’s for everyday of my trip. Most of my PPO ADR’s are for 8:00am or 8:05am but now I’m wondering if I need to show up extra early to get my 8am seat…

First, it works perfectly well. I’ve been seated as late as 8:20 and was still able to meet all the characters, eat a lot and get to Soarin’ before the RD crowd.

About the check-in process… I’ve seen them prioritize large groups that arrived later, so that they would have more happy customers. I was upset because my husband and I ended up being among the last ones to be seated. I complained and they gave us a fastpass voucher to apologize for the delay.

The CMs really know the drill and don’t get upset when you ask for the check as soon as you get the food. They know this Soarin’ early access is added value to this specific meal, that’s why they even compensated us.
I have an 8 am reservation for October and I am hoping to be seated earlier since now we are a party of 4.

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For GG, we had an 8:15am ADR. We were first in the restaurant and seated first after we were let in to Epcot at around 7:45am. It did not appear that they were going in order of reservation time. This was in May.

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What time did you get to Epcot to be the first into GG? Did you drive yourself and what time did you leave your room?

I think we got there around 7:15/7:30. We took the bus from POR. My husband refuses to drive in DW. I think we left our room around 6:30, but the bus didn’t come until closer to 7.

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Every time I have tried the bus or monorail for a really early morning, it has been late or broken and I’ve missed getting to the park as early as I preferred. I am using my own vehicle for all my PPO ADR’s but plan to use Disney transportation after our noon nap breaks.

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We had an 8 AM reservation at Garden Grill on July 27th. We hopped on a completely empty bus at French Quarter at about 7:15. There was one family in front of us when we arrived at Epcot. They let us in around 7:45. After eating, we walked down and were the second family in line for Soarin’. It was a great morning!


Sorry to hear that. We don’t stay deluxe, so we don’t use the monorail for PPO ADRs. We have never had an issue with the buses if we are out there by 6:30.

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This was one of the highlights of our trip (7/25 - 8/2). We had an 8:10 ADR for Garden Grill. We were the first dozen through the main gate. They will let you through to the tap stiles (there is a special line on the far right). At 7:55 they started letting us through. We were the first guests to The Land Pavilion, first to be seated at GG and the first guests at rope drop to Soarin’. Great meal, great character interaction and wonderful memories! We joked that Epcot doesn’t have rope drop - everything is chains at Epcot!!! We hit Chain Drop!!

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What time did you get to the Epcot parking lot and how did you get there? What time did you leave your hotel?

Anyone do Minnie Vans for PPO meals at EP?

Show up 20 minutes early. The staff will know/ and remind you of the time to leave to get into the Soarin line, the characters come through rather quickly: frequently for photos, Soarin is only a 2 minute walk after breakfast! Have fun

We stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge and rode in on Uber. It was awesome because the Uber drop off is super close to the front gate. We got the Uber around 7:15 and were at Epcot around 7:40 PM.

I just did this today and also had an 8:15am reservation. We arrived right at 8:15am (due to a long wait for the bus from WL). There were at least 4-5 groups who had already checked in and were waiting. We checked in and were asked to wait, but were called almost immediately. So yes, while anyone with a reservation before 9am can get in, it seems that they seat in order of ADR if there are multiple groups.

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