Thrifty Thursday: Planning Quick Service Meals

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…and after all, time is money! Here are a few tips for planning quick-service meals, so that you can make the most of your time in the parks!

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 11 am or 1:30 pm, you will find shorter lines and less competition for tables. 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 day, 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.

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I’m Elizabeth, and I’m a planner, a vacation enthusiast, and quite the nerd. Even better, I’m dedicated to helping you plan an unforgettable vacation without all the stress. I like to say that I specialize in nerd travel – to me, being a nerd has always meant being unashamedly passionate about the stories I love. This is why I love planning for my favorite destinations – these are places that can take you right into the world of your imagination and make it real. If you’re just a grown-up kid like me, you’ll love these destinations, too. Whether you’re imagining fairytale castles or adventures with wizards and dragons, I can help you make it happen! I’m putting all that I’ve learned about vacation planning and my nerdy love of fantasy to work for you, so that you can write your amazing vacation story. Visit my to learn more about how you can get help planning your next adventure, and come visit me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for even more vacation fun and tips. Contact me at to start planning.

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One Response to Thrifty Thursday: Planning Quick Service Meals

  1. Shepard C Willner says:

    The roast chicken and green bean platter looks yummy, but I’m not too sure about those fries! Where was this meal consumed? It can’t have been in Animal Kingdom park because no straws are allowed to be used for drinks there. I think the next time I’m visiting Epcot, I’ll be sure to have a funnel cake at the American Adventure pavilion, and some popcorn, along w/a Mickey ice cream bar, but not at the same time! 🙂

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