Happy Thursday friends! Because I had some extra time this week (aka, I took the week off from my full time job, lolz), I thought I’d share some more of my Walt Disney World knowledge and write a second post this week.
So, you’ve read the title of this blog post and you’re probably thinking, “Meagan, what is an ADR?” ADR is Disney-speak for an advanced dining reservation, which you can make at all table service restaurants and select quick service restaurants all throughout Walt Disney World and Disneyland. To be honest, it’s much easier to say ADR to someone than repeat advanced dining reservation over and over again, as it’s kind of a mouthful. But anyway, that’s what we’re going to be covering today!
One our last trip to Walt Disney World, Kyle and I made early morning ADRs at both the Garden Grill Restaurant in Epcot (table service) and Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom (quick service for breakfast/lunch; table service for dinner). We always make it a point to make an early morning breakfast ADR at Garden Grill because it’s our favorite character breakfast, and we wanted to try out the allergy friendly breakfast offerings at Be Our Guest because we had only been for lunch and dinner before.
Both of our reservations were made for 8:00am. Yep, I said that right and I’ll say it again: 8:00am. For some of you night owls, this is going to be an early reservation; however, booking an early morning ADR has its perks.
Epcot: Next to Spaceship Earth
Perk #1: Entering the park before the “rope drop” crowd. For those who don’t know, the “rope drop” crowd is the crowd that forms before park opening so that they can enter the park as soon as it opens and bee line towards their favorite ride or attraction. Now, keep in mind that this perk will only be relevant if you book your early morning ADR on a morning that the park you are going to does not have Extra Magic Hours. Although the crowds will still be less than during the day, you will have to deal with crowds during Extra Magic Hours. However, if you book your early morning ADR on a day without Extra Magic Hours, you are allowed to enter the park starting at 7:45am, as long as you have a reservation that is between 8:00am-9:00am (most parks normally open at 9:00am).
Pro Tip: Find the cast member by the entrance of the park and ask them where the line starts for the ADRs, as there is normally a line just for ADRs.
Magic Kingdom Park: New Fantasyland
Perk #2: Experience an *almost* empty park for a reduced cost for a ticketed event. Although we love Walt Disney World, my husband and I are introverts, and so we are big on figuring out ways to beat the crowd and experience some quiet during our Walt Disney World vacations. As we normally purchase the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan (I can go more into why we do the Deluxe Dining Plan in another post), we are using 1 or 2 meal credits to let us into the park, so it’s essentially “free” (yes, yes, I get we paid ahead of time for the credits!). It’s really cool to hear the park music and see the emptiness around you that is normally covered wall to wall by other guests during the day.
Pro Tip: I recommend making an 8:15/8:30 reservation so that you can enter the park at 7:45am and slowly make your way to the restaurant you will be dining at. This will allow you to take pictures of Cinderella’s Castle, Spaceship Earth, the Tree of Life, and the Chinese Theater without too many people around you!
Perk #3: Enjoy a great meal before heading to your favorite ride! As I mentioned previously, the Garden Grill is mine and Kyle’s favorite character breakfast at Walt Disney World. The food is delicious and all-you-can-eat family style, plus the allergy friendly options are second to none. We also have the added bonus of seeing and interacting with Pluto, Mickey, Chip, & Dale, which I love. From there, Kyle and I always like to walk right onto Soarin’ Around the World, as both the restaurant and the ride are located in The Land pavilion in Epcot, and then go about our day. Kyle and I loved our experience eating at Be Our Guest for breakfast, minus one small snafu that I can cover in my review of the breakfast (it’s not a bad thing, promise!). We couldn’t go on any rides that day because we were leaving, but if we were planning to, we would head over to Frontierland and ride Thunder Mountain Railroad right after breakfast. Note that park rides and attractions will not be open before the park opens, so you cannot ride or see anything in the park before your dining reservation (unless the park is open earlier than normal or you are going during Extra Magic Hours).
Buzz Lightyear’s Ranger Spin: Magic Kingdom
Pro Tip: If you have breakfast in Magic Kingdom, head to either Adventureland or Frontierland after breakfast once the park opens. Both will have less crowds because everyone is headed over to New Fantasyland and Tomorrowland to ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Space Mountain!
Garden Grill Restaurant: Epcot
I hope you enjoyed learning about the perks, or I guess our perks, of early morning ADRs. Again, keep in mind that these perks will work best on days that do not offer Extra Magic Hours or when there is a ticketed event, so make sure to check park hours/events before you book your early morning ADR. Sometimes I even like the early morning ADRs better than Extra Magic Hours because of the quiet, and sometimes I prefer to do Extra Magic Hours and take advantage of the open rides and attractions during that time; neither is wrong and neither is right, it’s all about preference. You do you!
Here’s to living our best and most delicious Disney lives! <3
Meagan has been living with many food allergies and sensitivities since she was 19 years old. She is currently a Personal Vacation Advisor for Magical Vacation Planner, specializing in helping her guests book trips to Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort. Meagan enjoys researching fitness and nutrition and has taken a special interest in finding allergy friendly options at Walt Disney World.
Interested in having Meagan help you plan your next trip? Send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or get a free quote at https://magicalvacationplanner.com/staff/meagan-slone/!