Best time to dine at HS

Our dining reservation day is coming up in a week, so I am trying to pin down what I want to aim for. Pinning down anything during these times is not as easy as it once was! We are still very wary of dining inside, so I think we will only be trying to get an ADR for Minnie’s Holiday Dining and H&V. We honestly don’t even know if we’ll keep our HS park pass, or opt for a less crowded park like AK (I’ve polled the kids as covertly as possible, and it seems like they don’t care. They just want DISNEY. They don’t know we’re potentially going in December!) I’ve seen some videos of the halloween dining there, and it seems like the character interactions are great, although socially distanced.

So I’m wondering, since HS is the park that seems the most affected by crowds, what time should we eat? Would mid-day be the best time? Do people still kind of clear out after the 2:00 Rise drop? I don’t want to schedule for late afternoon or evening if that is when we would have shorter lines. If anyone wants to comment on swapping the park pass for AK or EP, since I brought it up, I’d love to hear thoughts on that too. We’re going to be returning before October of next year (We have SO MANY park tickets that we bought for May and have to use by then) so there will be a lot less FOMO on this trip than usual. This trip is December 13-17 with park days on the 14 and 15 (the day in question is December 15)

I just read an EasyWDW blog that suggested exactly this. Lots of folks who are unsuccessful at 2pm just head out. I think after 3pm is when the times start to really drop. So really any sort of lunch prior to 2pm is probably fine!

I have no advice on HS vs AK but I definitely think you should account for the interests. If they aren’t big Toy Story or Start Wars then AK starts to sound more appealing.