Early dining reservation at Epcot- Garden Grill

Is there any touring advantage to having a reservation for Garden Grill at 8:30 on a day when the park opens at 9:00? What time would we be allowed to enter the park? I’ve read that at Magic Kingdom you can enter as early as 7:45, but I can’t seem to find anything on Epcot. Ideally we’d like to eat a quick breakfast and beat the crowds to Soarin. Is this feasible?

I’d try to arrive at 8am and see if they can accomodate you early, however, even with a full hour you probabaly won’t have enough time to eat calmly and say hello to all the characters. If you’re willing to sacrifice a calm leisurely breakfast you should be ok. Ask for the check as soon as you order. It’s family style breakfast if I remember correctly so you can pay as soon as you sit down and order drinks in theory. Plan on leaving the GG at 8:45am at the latest!

We had an early GG reservation last December, but had issues getting there on time due to the Epcot monorail being down & having to scramble for a bus from the TTC. So we arrived right in line with your 8:30 reservation (think we had an 8:05 or so originally).

Anyway, when I check pics I get the following timeline for us:

  • 8:22 AM - Picture of the Land sign on the way into GG
  • 8:35 AM - first pic at table
  • 8:44 AM - first character pic (Chip)
  • 9:11 AM - last character pic (Chip again)
  • 9:15 AM - pic of hidden mickey “jungle” mural as we left
  • 9:23 AM - first pic from Soarin’ queue
  • 9:29 AM - last pic from Soarin’ queue around FP merge point

So we ate in a little less than hour, didn’t really rush, saw all the characters - Chip stopped by twice - had a chat with a CM about the Hidden Mickey Jungle mural (she said they wouldn’t show her where Mickey was for a month after she started working at GG) and hit Soarin’ with like a 15-20 minute wait tops.

I’d try to get there a little early and see if you can get seated early, but even if you just get in at 8:30 I think you can eat, see the characters and still hit Soarin’ with a minimal wait time. Last December GG Breakfast seemed to have far fewer tables running than I recall from prior Dinner visits, but it’s possible that was due to to it being the first month or so of them running Breakfasts. But Chip hit us twice in 26 minutes that day…

We had a pre Rd breakfast in EP in July, and they started letting anyone with a reservation for before 9 in around 7:50 or so. Just FYI. Once you check in at restaurant i suppose it’s up to each place whether than can or will seat you a little early. I have shown up 15-20 minutes before my ressie or 5-10 after on several occasions and no one has ever even mentioned it. The hostess just checked me in and told me they’d have a table for me as soon as possible. Other people on here have had success getting an quick ride on soarin after GG. The consensus seemed to be if you arrive early and pay your check as soon as you order your drinks, you generally can eat at a reasonable pace and see all characters and still get out before the soarin line builds too much. But then, I’ve never tried it at GG, so… maybe search for a thread or two on it here.

Did this last week. It was an 8:10 adr, but got to park by 7:45 and they let us in a few minutes later. Anyway, they seemed to seat everyone quickly, and I know there were a couple we talked to on our bus that had 8:20 adr’s. We had plenty of time to eat and all the characters came around, some even twice, AND DH had time to take a long bathroom break, lol. Oh, and this was with an 8 and 5 year old slowing us down. We were at Soarin by 8:50 and walked on. We did NOT feel rushed, and really enjoyed the breakfast.