Best time to plan lunch

We plan to hit parks early, what It best time to make lunch reservations? The plans also suggest to take a 4 hour break, do people leave the park? Take a break from rides, walking, etc.? Thanks, 1st time going, all responses appreciated

If you are planning on eating at a table service restaurant you should definitely make a reservation. They may turn you away without one.


Most places start lunch at 11 or 11:30.

If you are thinking about a table service meal, definitely make reservations as soon as you are at the 180 day mark.

Having a sit down meal usually is enough of a break for us. If you are planning to stay until park closing though, I would probably take a few hours break midday to rest and recharge. Yes, many people will go back to their resort hotels for a swim/nap/shower/chill out time and then go back to a park for the evening. It all depends on how you set up your plan.

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Avoid hangry. If you are RDing you will be ready for food/drinks/bottoms on seats (that are not moving ) by 11.30/12.


We plan to be at parks by 10am, would like rope drop but with my family it’s a struggle. Lunch around 1pm then leave parks for about 3 hours. It worked well for our first visit, we did have a rental car so resort breaks took less time than having Disney transport. Plan to do the same for June

Not sure what your eating style is. We usually eat a light breakfast in the room and then go for an early lunch around 11:00 to beat the crowds. That also gives us more “tummy room” for an afternoon snack since there are so many good ones to choose from. If you eat early at some sit down buffets ( Tusker House at AK) you can get both lunch and dinner items so a 10:40 reservation would be good.

An afternoon break in the heat of the day is nice especially if you are traveling with littles , nap or relax and go back to the park toward evening


A midday break leaving the park is a good idea and crucial for my family but it might be difficult to make it 4 hours especially if you are using Disney transportation. I usually plan lunch no later than noon and head back to the resort to rest. Rest for 1-2 hours and head back out in time for dinner.

Another option is making it a long half day. Snack mid morning and do lunch around 2pm.

Table service OR Be Our Guest. You need an ADR for any meal there. I think the Commissary is ADR for dinner only, but check on that one.

I think you will find your family’s style as far as breaks and how many hours they manage in the parks. My family does not tolerate more than 8 hours in the parks and they would be happiest with 7.

We found going back the resort and coming back to the parks was difficult unless at an Epcot or monorail resort, so we typically do the 8 hours at the start or the end of the day, unless the park hours are long enough for a 4 to 5 hour break.

In the heat, always plan on an inside lunch break whether TS or QS. If QS, get there before 12 when the lines build.

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I am always at a park for RD which means my days start early. By 11 or 11:30 i am hungry. The quick service restaurants are less crowded the. Most days i head back to the hotel, just for an hour or 2. Then i go to a different park in the afternon feeling re energized.


RD or die over here. :wink: With DH, DS4 and me, we’re ready for lunch around 10:30/11, and then ready for an out-of-the-park break by 2 at the very latest. Whatever you choose, enjoy!

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Thanks for all responses, seems like breaks are needed.

This. Although at home I’m up at 5 AM and don’t eat lunch til 12:30 or so, I’ve found after rope dropping we are more than ready to slow it down and eat an early lunch by 11/11:30. We also seem to beat the crowds that way.


Just for a slightly different perspective - much of my family didn’t really feel refreshed after our breaks last trip. For example, my son liked to go to the pool, but that ended up making him more tired. We were often too tired out to enjoy our evenings in the parks. On our next trip, on most days we plan to RD and then stay in the park until the early afternoon. Then we’ll return to the hotel for pool time, dinner, and an early bedtime.

I tried to plan lunch somewhere around 11 or 11:30 on most days. I’m hoping that will help to avoid the worst of the crowds.


Oh - us too. We never leave parks.
We are there before ripe drip snd stay TIL they kick us out. But we do slow it down a spell in the afternoon. :heart:

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This. My kids are very young so we can’t stay out late. We’ll just rest in the park.

I think rest depends on your sleep habits and where you’re staying. If you’re staying at the monorail resort ls, it’s easy to go back. A bus only resort, you’ll spend most of your rest in transit. If you’re night owls then maybe a nap and come back late is for you. If you’re early birds, just leave early. We are leaving by 3:30 on 2 days and the other days 5pm ADRs in park then leave.

I think what’s important as you don’t do RD-close. Either leave early or if you plan to stay late for a show or something then take a break.

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We always grab a quick breakfast at the hotel and RD. If we are doing TS, I book between 12-1pm. If we are doing QS, we tend to do more like 11:30-12:30. We leave by 1:30ish and usually head back to the parks by 5:30ish. For us, this works well and gives us a chance to cool down and relax for a little bit.

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My family is a theme park family, so even with a 2.5 yo we went RD go close without a true break. The little one can do about two days in a row that way.

With MK, the nearby resorts have so many food options, an early dinner at WL (Geyser Point) after the parade was a great way to take a break without really going all the way back to our rooms. For AK, a nice long lunch at Tiffins for the ROL package was perfect as a meal/break.