TS with Littles

My ADR day is approaching and I just cannot decide which meals to do for TS! We’re not going to do too many, just 3-4 over two weeks, and I think I keep leaning towards character meals because I have girls ages 4, 6, and 8. But I’d love to do at least one TS meal that’s NOT a character meal (you know, for us adults). But I’ve heard that they can take 1.5-2 hours and I’m wondering, and looking for the nitty-gritty from real people, do your kids actually wait patiently for that long? Are there certain TS restaurants that make the wait more bearable for kids?

I was looking at Coral Reef until I learned that large parties don’t get to sit near the tanks. So nix this one, unless someone has a different experience of a party of 8 getting to sit by the tanks?

Saana. Does getting to watch the animals make the time go by faster for the kids?

San Angel. Awesome atmosphere, yes? Would it help kids to wait patiently? Watch the boat ride?

I need a TS meal for our long Epcot day, so something in Epcot or on the monorail (is it worth it to leave Epcot for say, 1900 Park Fare?) would be good. Just trying to figure out if I should buck it up and do another character meal for my kids or if I have a shot at enjoying a full-on TS meal with squirrelly girlies in tow. Any help is much appreciated.

Editing to add: my kids are like all kids in restaurants, I think. They do alright but get antsy after awhile in normal restaurants. We usually bring small games or coloring books. But I’m not hauling those things around the parks!

We were only at a TS meal for 90 mins once (BOG) and were out of all others including character meals in less than an hour. We never waited at all for a table though, so maybe we were just lucky.

I’d say on your EP day it may be easier to go to BC/YC than a monorail resort - maybe Beaches and Cream?

I haven’t done any of the 3 you mentioned, 1900PF is good but I’d do it on an MK day personally.


We took our DS1 to a few TS restaurants on our trip and he did pretty well. He’s a very typical toddler at restaurants but similar to what you said, “does well, but gets antsy eventually.” Our particular experience over many years (with/without kids) is that most Disney restaurants want to get you in and out as quickly as possible. I think most of the 1.5-2 hour suggestions include a wait to be seated, travel time and/or time to meet characters. Barring unusual circumstances, I don’t imagine you sitting at a table over an hour.

If you have 8 people, I’m guessing you have 5 adults? Could you take the kids for a walk/view of the fish while you wait for the food? Like at San Angel, theoretically you could have somebody walk an impatient kid around the pavilion if they are having a tough time. Or also, Biergarten has the fun show and Teppan Edo has the chef right in front of you.

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Most of our TS were closer to 1 hour. I think several had some kind of activity placemat and crayons for us. I had a few activity sheets and crayons in my backpack but I don’t think we ever used them.


I don’t think I’ve had anything over an hour. We also go during ‘off’ meal times - we’ll often do 11:30am for lunch since we had a quick breakfast in the room. I find that helps move things along faster as well since there aren’t as busy.

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There are just too many dang choices. On our MK day I’m trying to decide between 1900 Park Fare and Chef Mickey’s. I know…Chef Mickey’s…but we’re going to do the Bon Voyage breakfast and get a few princesses there and Tusker House just won’t work so…it’s the Fab 5, right? So should I do Chef Mickey’s or 1900? UGH. So then I thought I could do both…one on an MK day and one on Epcot day. But I’d really rather nix one of those and do a normal TS meal. TOO MANY DECISIONS TO MAKE!!! I think I just need to decide and leave it. We can’t do it all. I need to just make a plan and be happy with it and stop tweaking.


Yes, 5 adults. I’m glad to hear that it’s not likely to actually be 1.5-2 hours. I must be reading horror stories… DH nixed Biergarten and last time we did a hibachi thing one of my kids cried…plus DH was not happy AT ALL with the dessert selection at Teppan Edo, lol. I think I might end up making 2 reservations for 4 people anyways, so maybe we just sit at tables next to each other? Too many decisions to make…too many choices and not enough time.

This is good news!

I am ok with this. I’m really hoping that my in-laws are really ok with “whatever you decide, dear.” because if I pick 11 am for lunch and they’re upset about it when they wouldn’t help decide anything I might get :rage:

Hi, I’ve taken big groups whenever I go-8 the first time and 10 the second. I also went with just my daughter. Meals that took the 2 of us 45 min took the 10 of us 2 hours. So I applaud your plan of giving a TS 2 hrs for your group, just in case. I don’t know about the places you asked about, but I can say my kids (1, 3, 7, 9 at time of the trip) really enjoyed the entertainment at O’hana (monorail option) and Biergarten (Epcot option).

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Oops just saw Biergarten is a no! Sorry!

It’s tough!

I wouldn’t leave Epcot as there are a ton of good choices there.

In Epcot, Garden Grill is my favorite restaurant. It is character, but it’s a family style meal, so getting the food is quick and it’s really good. It also rotates, which is fun.

We’ve gone to Chefs de France several times with the children and we all loved it.

I’ve never sat by the tanks at Coral Reef, but have been there twice. Even not next to the tanks, it’s still a great experience watching the fish and sometimes the scuba divers too.

San Angel was very entertaining for us as well since you can watch the “volcano.”

I think all TS restaurants give you crayons and an activity sheet which helps.

I assume every restaurant meal takes 90 min as I’ve rarely been seated right away for a reservation at Disney. I assume Tusker House takes 2 hours as it’s the absolute worst.


We did La Hacienda de San Angel when our kids were 5 & 7. They really liked the food there. They also enjoyed San Angel Inn three years later. One of those would be my picks for kids at Epcot. San Angel is more interesting to look around but it is quite dark and the tables are crowded very close together.

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We did Via Napoli with 5 kids ages 3 to 8. The meal did take a while but only because we were taking our time and enjoying ourselves. The kids loved the food and the activity sheets kept them busy for a while.

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I tried to convince DH but he wouldn’t buy it. How did your kids do with other TS meals?

Yes, I don’t want to leave Epcot. I had Chefs de France on my list but nixed it in order to favor something more “kid-friendly.” Meaning, something to do or watch other than look at the pretty restaurant.

The thing that has deterred me from GG is that I can’t really do dairy. So quite a few of the things are no-gos for me. Some of the other restaurants seem to have more options for me…

Would you recommend Coral Reef or San Angel Inn for kids? I think I’m leaning towards one of those…

I can’t do dairy so unfortunately Via Napoli is pretty much right out. Italian restaurants are hard for me now…

I’m leaning towards San Angel Inn. Especially if we split into two tables of four and could sit next to each other by the water… I think my kids would think it’s way cool.

We sat quite far back from the water but still enjoyed the view of the pyramid. The kids loved the tacos off the kids menu. We were on the dining plan so my 10 year old was an “adult” but they happily made her a larger portion of the kids tacos.

It’s cool watching the pyramid light up over time.

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When we’ve had to break apart a party of 10 for our ADRs, they told us to check in early and see if they can seat us all together - or at least near each other.

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