Whew, what a busy weekend! I am WAY behind on posts here, but it was all worth it. We went to see Beauty and the Beast 3D (very good), visited the National Western Stock Show (always entertaining) and did some planning for Colorado Boy’s 9th birthday party. But, now I’m back to prepping for our trip to Disneyland on Wednesday and I have a great tip that we’re going to use for the first time during this trip.
Did you know that there is at least one restaurant in each park that serves breakfast? And, even better than that, many of these restaurants provide seating times BEFORE the park opens? Yep, that’s right, another way to get those elusive “empty park” pictures in front of your favorite place in the park. Reservations for the first seatings in the morning are often tough to get, so make sure you start planning well in advance if this is something you’d like to do. We’ll be having breakfast at Ariel’s Grotto this time around and our reservation is for 20 minutes before the park opens. Not a ton of time, but I’m hoping it will be enough to get a few good pictures. The Walt Disney World restaurants typically open even earlier, sometimes a full hour before regular park opening, so depending on how quickly you eat, you can get in and out all before the park opens!
I’ve seen early morning seating times at all of the restaurants below at various times, but definitely check with either Disneyland or WDW dining to make sure your preferred restaurant is still serving breakfast:
- Disneyland – The Plaza Inn: A character breakfast called “Minnie & Friends – Breakfast in the Park”
- California Adventure – Ariel’s Grotto: A character breakfast with the Disney Princesses
Walt Disney World
- Magic Kingdom – Cinderella’s Royal Table: The end-all-be-all of Princess dining at Walt Disney World.
- Magic Kingdom – The Crystal Palace: Character breakfast with Winnie the Pooh and friends.
- EPCOT – Akershaus Royal Banquet Hall: The 2nd Princess dining option at WDW and a cheaper option that CRT. We did this with Colorado Princess last May and she had a FANTASTIC time. I highly recommend this if you either can’t get a reservation at CRT or want a cheaper (albeit only slightly) option.
- Hollywood Studios: Hollywood & Vine: A good character breakfast option for the preschool set, this breakfast includes characters from Disney Junior favorites like Little Einsteins, Special Agent Oso and Jake and the Neverland Pirates
- Animal Kingdom: Tusker House: A character breakfast with some of the Fab 5 like Mickey, Donald and Goofy.
Since we’ve never had an early morning reservation, I haven’t experienced the full procedure, but as I understand it, there is typically a single gate available for parties with reservations. Your name will be checked against a list and then you’ll be able to head toward the restaurant (sometimes accompanied, sometimes not). I’ll be providing the full details of our experience at Ariel’s Grotto and will hopefully have some good “empty park” pictures to share!