Lunch - counter service or table service?

I’m considering adding a table service lunch into my tight touring plan in March. The reason is so that I could be guaranteed a table when I want one, that is, after the crowds are forming at counter service places. That way, I can get in an extra morning ride instead of going for lunch at 11:30 to beat the crowds.

My concern, however is that the table service will take longer than the counter service. I usually allow 40 minutes for counter service - get food, eat and bathroom. Having never done table service, what should I expect for the amount of time it will take?

If it matters, I’m deciding between Columbia Harbour House Tavern and Liberty Tree Tavern.

Thanks for any advice you may have.

give yourself a solid hour and 20 mintes

1 Like

I really think it depends on what time of day you go. If you book a time close to when they open (I think 11am) you will be in and out in less than an hour. We ate at LTT on Easter last year and booked the first ADR available at 11. We had eaten and visited the facilities and were out in less than an hour. We do like CHH too, but much prefer sitting down and being waited on versus standing in line to get a meal, and then searching for a place to sit. Everyone has their preference though.

1 Like

We would probably be going around 12:15 or 12:30, so that’s a busy time, I would think.

Did you find they made you have your food at CHH before allowing you to sit down? They did that at Cosmic Rays last year and it really turned me off, because you’re standing there in a line for a table while your food gets cold and the kids are hungry.

I think a lot of CS restaurants are insisting you get your food before you are able to sit at a table. I think if you are not ordering apps, a TS for lunch can be closer to an hour, but plan a little longer.

1 Like

Plaza was a fairly reasonably priced TS with decently fast service, but it took a while to be seated, which is the other problem with TS imo. LTT takes a bit for seating, and in our experience is about an hour to hour and 15 minutes. I mention Plaza because it’s the only other place that immediately occurred to me for TS that might be faster service, but then I remembered the seating time.

Fwiw, there’s a lot of seating at CHH. Even in peak summer, we found seating upstairs in that area that overhangs the walkway. I may be alone in not being very impressed with the food at CHH, but found there to be adequate seating.

Have you considered Pecos Bills? I found the food to be quite good (and actually shared a fajita meal with hubs), and there is lots of seating, as it spills over into the Tortuga Tavern are (which is rarely open for service).

1 Like

I did think of Pecos Bills, but we’re not really fans of Mexican fare. The fish and chips at CHH caught my eye. Other years we’ve gone to Cosmic Rays, which is excellent, particularly because of the condiment bar. I just thought it was time to try something different and our plan has us at that side of the park at lunchtime.

I feared over an hour would be the case, I assume that seating issue is even if you have a reservation. While it’s great to sit down and relax, I know I’ll have wait times going through my head and not really taking advantage of the relaxing.

One of the reasons I asked about having food before getting seating at CHH is that we have Haunted Mansion on our plan right before lunch, but only half our party wants to do that. So the other half was going to go to the restaurant to rest and hold a table until we were done. Obviously, if we had a reservation for table service that wouldn’t be possible, but I wouldn’t be worried about getting the table either.