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How can you avoid crowds and still have a nice meal at Walt Disney World?

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2016-08-25 07:18:08
2016-08-25 07:18:08

Just a side note: Disneyland in California does NOT operate this way; if you try to wait until after ... or even until shortly before ... park closing to eat, you will get a rude shock, because most of the restaurants in the park will have already closed (the restaurants in Downtown Disney do tend to remain open after park closing, though). Your best option for a less crowded meal is to eat at off-times: breakfast at your hotel (or IHOP, or Denny's, or someplace like that) followed by a late lunch/early dinner in the 2-4 PM time frame is a pretty good option; you can supplement that if necessary with lighter snacks such as a skewer from Bengal Barbecue, or if you're really hungry you might get a turkey leg from one of the food carts. You can also pop out to Downtown Disney; there are a number of counter service venues out there (some of them attached to full-service restaurants) that are pretty quick places to grab a bite.

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2012-04-04 19:11:12
2012-04-04 19:11:12

Here's a strategy to avoid the crowds if you don't have small children: most people don't realize the restaurants often seat until the park closes. They will continue to serve for at least an hour or two after park closing. If everyone in our party can stay up late, having dinner at 8 pm is a great way to avoid the crowds. Don't worry about missing the last bus back to your hotel; ground transportation continues to run at least 2 hours after park closing.

Another similar strategy to the late night dinner is the mid-morning lunch. If you are getting up early for the morning rope drop, you may want to eat a quick breakfast in your hotel room before leaving for the park. By mid-morning you may be hungry enough to have a full meal and can hit the restaurants just before the lunch rush. There are also plenty of snacks to be had when you need to re-fuel later between your early lunch and dinner time. Being flexible about meal times really helps when you are in the parks on very busy days.

Making advance reservations is a great way to avoid a long wait (or being turned away!) at table service locations. There are some that are relatively easy to get into at the last minute: Marrakesh in Morocco at Epcot, the Kona Cafe in the Polynesian Resort and Raglan Road in Downtown Disney are just a few.

Meals at the Magic Kingdom are a particular challenge. One strategy is to take a little break from the park by heading to one of the nearby resorts. The Contemporary, the Polynesian and the Grand Floridian are all easy to reach via the monorail and have both table service and counter service restaurants that are less crowded in the middle of the day. The Wilderness Lodge resort is a short and pleasant boat ride from the Magic Kingdom and also has table service and counter service eateries.

It is quite impossible to avoid the crowds conpletely, you just need to go during the least busy time of the year: January to mid-February or September to mid-November.

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