Even though quick-service meals can afford to be more spontaneous than table-service meals at Walt Disney World, I am all about planning strategy – even for this. Quick-service meals do not require any reservations, but at peak meal times the lines for these restaurants can be formidable. Here are a few tips for planning quick-service meals into your itinerary.
Eat at off times – This is one of the best line avoidance tips for quick-service restaurants. At noon, most lunch spots will have very long lines at their counters because, well, noon is lunch time. If you can visit a little outside of normal meal times, such as 11am or 1:30pm, you will find shorter lines and less competition for tables. This is especially important for lunch at Be Our Guest Restaurant, which is very popular and has long lines for most of their lunch hours. If you plan to eat later than usual, bring some snacks with you, just in case.
Go off the beaten path – Quick-service restaurants that are more visible will typically be more crowded. It’s rare to see Casey’s Corner empty, since it’s right on Main Street facing Cinderella Castle. Venture further to Columbia Harbour House, somewhat hidden in the back of Liberty Square, and you will find shorter lines, sometimes even at peak meal times.
Know your options – Building a quick-service meal into your itinerary that everyone will enjoy is easier if you know what’s available. Peruse a park map, or even browse some menus if you’re looking for particular food items. Try to pick restaurants convenient for your day plan, as well. If you plan to finish your morning tour of rides and shows in Frontierland, it’s going to be a bit of a hike if everyone wants to eat at Cosmic Ray’s in Tomorrowland.
Elizabeth lives in Kansas City with her wonderful family. She enjoys long walks, happy thoughts, and Disney magic! Elizabeth first visited Disney as a child, and when she prepared to visit Walt Disney World as an adult, she foolishly thought she may have ‘outgrown’ Disney. Happily, Elizabeth was proven wrong – but she also realized how good planning can make such a difference for a successful vacation! Elizabeth became her family’s go-to resource for Disney planning. Now she dedicates her planning skills to helping others with their own magical vacations as a Disney travel specialist. She will plan your trip as if it were her own. Her blog, planningformagic.com, has tons of advice on how to plan your next Disney trip, including trip planning instructions, sample itineraries, dining tips, and more. Visit her on Facebook or Twitter for more planning tips and theme park news.