Timing for TS meals - opinions please!

I am leaving in 12 days and am beginning to finalize TPs, and have a question (well, I have 20 questions but this is the current one, haha)

Can someone estimate the time my family would need at the following restaurants? We are very fast eaters, so the eating part will be quick, it’s the serving, waiting, characters, etc. I’m concerned about.

Restaurants I am wondering about are:

  • Crystal Palace (dinner)
  • Garden Grill (doing this at RD, so this is my main concern)
  • Rainforest Cafe (for breakfast)
  • CRT (dinner)
  • Hollywood and Vine (dinner)


I would plan not less than 60 min for any TS meal. I don’t do CMs, but most people recommend 90 min if seeing all of the characters is important.

The characters rotation at TS restaurants is scheduled take 60 minutes, but that is if everything goes according to plan, which it usually doesn’t. According to the waitresses at Garden Grill it takes 65 minutes for the restaurant to do a complete revolution if that is something you want to see. I agree that I would budget at least 90 minutes at each. We once at Mama Melrose and was in a time crunch with Fantasmic. We asked our waiter what was the best meal we could get the quickest. We were in and out of there in 30 minutes. If you feel like you need to rush maybe just communicate this with the wait staff

I personally wouldn’t do GG at RD, maybe you can find an earlier time 8-8:15 and arrive to the park at 7:30. You could be out of there by 8:45 at that time. I wouldn’t want to spend an hour of prime touring time eating. CRT-Would probably be 75 at a minimum and most likely 90.

Oops, I meant pre-RD. It is at 8:15. Can I still go at 7:30?

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Definitely try to get to Garden Grill early. Last time we were there we were the first in the restaurant and all the characters were there waiting. We got a picture with all of them at once. Also if waiting for all the characters or making the full rotation isn’t important to you, you can get out in 45 minutes or less. We were out by 8:45 and went right to soarin. They opened it up early for us so we road it twice without a wait.

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I would be at the gates at 7:30 and they will let you in around 7:45 (usually) GG will probably seat you as soon as you get there. I don’t know if you have memory maker but if you do, try to find a photographer first, get a picture in an empty park and then be at GG right around 8. Tell the server your intent to be done by 8:45ish and let them know they can bring the check ASAP, pay while you’re eating so you can just pickup an go. The Cast Members know the deal.

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We did a character meal every dinner for 7 nights. We were done with all characters and meals in 60-75 minutes.

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The time we ate breakfast at GG it wasn’t very full so the characters rotated through much faster than at dinner. I think we were duplicating characters in < 45 minutes as a worst case so you should be able to see them all and still dash to Soarin’ without too much difficulty.