It’s been a while since we’ve been on the monorail as the sun is rising, so we’ll check out the new Be Our Guest breakfast situation with an 8:05am reservation.
With a 9am regular open (even with an 8am-9am morning Extra Magic Hour), the transportation schedule is usually:
- Resort Monorail: Starts at 7am
- Express Monorail: Starts at 8:30am
- Ferry: Starts between 8:15am and 8:30am
- Epcot Monorail: Starts at 8am
With an 8am regular open without morning EMH:
- Resort Monorail: Starts at 7am
- Express Monorail: Starts at 7:30am
- Ferry: Starts between 7:15am and 7:30am
- Epcot Monorail: Starts at 8am
With an 8am regular open with morning EMH from 7am-8am:
- Resort Monorail: Starts at 6:30am
- Express Monorail: Starts at 7:30am
- Ferry: Starts between 7:15am and 7:30am
- Epcot Monorail: Starts at 8am
These hours are usually misquoted to and by cast members, even in official documentation.
It’s Friday March 27th at 7:30am. With just two days to the Sunday before Easter, which marks the beginning of the third or fourth busiest week of the year, we already have about 90 minutes worth of extended queue set up for the Express Monorail. And they’re going to need it.
So with our 8:05am breakfast reservation, our only option from the Magic Kingdom parking lot is the resort monorail, which will make stops at the Polynesian and Grand Floridian resorts before pulling into Magic Kingdom.
The minimum amount of time the trip takes is 15 minutes, assuming a resort monorail arrives within a couple minutes of your arrival and departs shortly thereafter.
To be conservative, I’d bank on it taking 25 minutes. If you’re staying at a Disney resort and have a car, the usual advice is to take the bus in order to bypass parking at the Transportation Center and relying on aging infrastructure. My advice is the same – even if you end up waiting 20 minutes for the bus, you’re still going to arrive ahead of where you’d be if you parked and took the monorail, even under the best of circumstances. Disney is supposedly going to release a My Disney Experience app update that will include information on when the next bus to each Park will arrive at the resorts, which may make the decision about whether you want to walk or drive easier. If the next bus to Magic Kingdom departed just as you leave the room and the next one isn’t scheduled to arrive for 20 minutes, then you may want to gamble. On the other hand, if you usually drive to Animal Kingdom but the bus is two minutes away, you may opt to take the bus and order a second Emperor’s Margarita with lunch.
Fortunately, we didn’t run into any delays. After arriving at the parking lot at 7:25am and arriving at the resort monorail at 7:30am, we found ourselves at bag check just 15 minutes later at 7:45am. This early, virtually nobody is getting on or off at the Polynesian or Grand Floridian, so trips are on the short side, barring (common) technical problems.
Guests with early dining or tour reservations head to the far left of the Mickey floral/main entrance. There are cast members stationed here that will scan your ticket or MagicBand to look up your breakfast reservation. If you have a tour reservation or your ticket won’t scan, they can check by name.
Those without reservations wait in front of the tapstiles/Mickey readers until around 8am, at which point they’ll be let in to wait in front of the train station for the opening show, which is typically scheduled to start 13 minutes before open.
This picture from this post will give you an idea about how quickly crowds form in the morning:
With a 9am open, 8:15am is the sweet spot. You won’t arrive needlessly early and you’ll be there just before the onslaught. By 8:30am on a day with crowds anywhere above a “3,” you’re going to find yourself waiting outside the entrance waiting to scan your ticket after the opening show concludes.
Here at 7:48am, the line for those with reservations is already backed up to the tapstiles and we were actually the last people allowed to scan our tickets before the line started to move just two minutes later at 7:50am.
An empty courtyard as the reservation line snakes around.
Stepping on to Main Street at 7:52am, 13 minutes before our reservation.
The “empty Main Street” pictures are sort of a myth these days, at least between 7:55am and 8:15am, when the couple hundred people who also want pictures of an “empty Main Street” funnel into their 8am to 8:15am breakfast reservations at Be Our Guest, Crystal Palace, and Cinderella’s Royal Table.
While the main drag may see congestion, there are opportunities to be had. In front of Crystal Arts for example.
Or perhaps with your favorite scrim.
Or maybe you are a weird blogger and want to take a picture to chronicle the fact that there are now more tables outside Plaza Restaurant/Parlor.
Or perhaps a shot of dad doing snow angels on the AstroTurf.
Basically, you have free reign over the walk up Main Street, into the central Hub area, and then back through Cinderella Castle to Be Our Guest Restaurant. There are ropes blocking the entrances to the various other lands.
Through the Castle, which recently added new turrets waiting to be unveiled.
A look back.
The line at the entrance began moving at 7:50am and we were back at Be Our Guest ten minutes later at 8am after moseying around and snapping a few photos.
An example of one of the ropes in the distance blocking people from traveling much further than the bridge with a cast member standing guard out of frame on the right.
The Be Our Guest breakfast menu:
The meal is currently a fixed priced affair. According to Disney, breakfast here is a “test” that will continue through June 18th, which means reservations are only available until then. I would expect breakfast to continue after that date, though Disney may change the meal to an a la carte affair or whatever else. Currently, reservations are available between 8am and 10am with lunch beginning at 10:30am.
The instructions are the same as lunch:
Remember that despite ordering at a kiosk and a cast member delivering your food tableside, that this is still a quick service meal that costs one credit on the Dining Plan.
There was absolutely no wait in front of the restaurant and we marched inside to order our breakfast at a kiosk. Pre-ordering breakfast is currently available up to 30 days in advance via My Disney Experience or as soon as five minutes before the reservation begins. Pre-ordering will bypass the kiosks, resulting in even short waits. You pay in a separate line at the restaurant after confirming your order, which you can change if you change your mind at the last minute.
We arrived at 8am and completed our order at 8:05am only to find a mostly deserted ballroom. There was maybe one other table occupied and the Rose Gallery was curtained off with a cast member standing guard.
Our food arrived just five minutes later at 8:05am.
I ordered the Eggs Florentine – Puff Pastry Shell filled with Scrambled Eggs, Cheese, and fresh Spinach served with Country Ham and Roasted Plum Tomatoes.
Anybody that’s ordered the $26.99 Sautéed Shrimp and Scallops at dinner will recognize the puff pastry. The breakfast version was pretty good, but suffered from one of the problems inherent with the dish at dinner – the puff pastry has little flavor on its own and doesn’t contribute much to the dish other than empty calories. But the eggs were cooked well and arrived hot with a nice texture, in addition to the melted cheese. The only problem was a couple of the bites of spinach were cold.
The two small bites of ham were kind of useless, but would increase your daily intake of sodium just in case you’re not sure if you’re going to get it all at Pecos Bill in a couple hours. The tomatoes were probably okay, but I am not British enough to eat them before 9am.
Lisa ordered the Open-Face Bacon and Egg Sandwich Poached Eggs, Applewood Bacon, Brie Cheese, and Arugula on a toasted Baguette. Poaching eggs en masse is difficult, but Disney has somehow figured out how to do it. The thick slices of tomato were ripe and there were several nice slices of brie underneath with the arugula adding some crunch. The bacon was the same thick cut style they have over at Animation Courtyard – very good. The bread was fresh and had a nice flaky crust underneath.
The fruit is the usual assortment of not-quite-ripe-lower-than-grocery-store-quality that you’ll get in just about any Disney “fresh fruit” cup. The addition of a couple small strawberries was nice and it helped freshen up the meal a bit.
The “pastry platter” situation is a little bit goofy. What you see above is what you get whether you’re a party of one, two, three, or four. Tables of five through eight receive two “platters.” So there are a couple of tricks here if you want to go Full Prudence. The first trick is to make multiple reservations if you’re after more pastries. For example, if you’re a party of four, you could make two reservations for two and receive two platters. You can sit wherever you want so your party can still sit together. The second, sneakier trick is to simply all pay separately as each receipt receives a full platter as Disney doesn’t have any idea if you’re actually alone or not. Disney has no way of keeping parties together once they enter the restaurant. So your reservation for four can easily break up into any size party you want for the sake of ordering and paying.
While it’s a fixed price meal, it wouldn’t be too difficult to get around ordering a meal for each person if someone wants to share or doesn’t like anything on the menu. Simply order as many meals as you want at the kiosk and you’ll only be charged for that many people. Or have those that don’t want food find a table before the ordering process starts. There are a lot of options. The meal does require a credit card for a $10 cancellation charge per person, but you’ll only be charged if nobody shows up. So if you have a reservation for four and only three people want entrees, you can make a reservation for four and just order three meals once you get there. It’s not a big deal.
The pastries are otherwise what you would expect from a Disney quick service – largely defrosted and taste okay. They have cardboard to-go boxes, but you may want to bring a Ziploc bag for heavy pastry stowage.
Like lunch service, fountain beverage cups are available for soda products, iced tea, cocoa, and coffee at the dispensers themselves. You can read my thoughts on lunch here, including a bit more information on how beverages and the rose system works.
Since we had our food by 8:10am, we had a good 30 minutes to sit back, relax, and enjoy it before it was time to start thinking about heading out to see if we could beat the mob from the main entrance to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. The ballroom had filled considerably in that time, but there were still plenty of tables for those just arriving.
Still no wait to get in at 8:35am.
After your meal, you are welcome to exit the restaurant at your leisure and head back to Main Street for pictures or hang around here waiting to hurry to either Mine Train or Princess Fairytale Hall for Anna and Elsa.
It’ll be about 15 minutes before anyone from the main entrance arrives here. If you were headed to Anna and Elsa first, this cast member would hang out with you until it’s time to continue to the queue.
Since we were headed to the Mine Train first, we were held just across the bridge from Be Our Guest, maybe 50 feet away from the entrance. There was some confusion as there were already people riding Mine Train as part of commercial filming.
The 8:42am crowd of about 15 people.
Nobody from Cinderella’s Royal Table or Crystal Palace seemed to have made it this far at this point.
We could hear the welcome show end and seconds later we were off toward Mine Train at 8:47am. This is just about the entire group of people headed over.
We were funneled straight through the FastPass+ line to get us through as quickly as possible.
And at 8:54am, riding through the mine just before anyone from the main entrance even arrived at the attraction.
And we’re back out front at 8:58am or two minutes before the Park officially opens. It’s hard to see here with the entrance on the far left, but the line extends all the way back into Storybook Circus, which translates to a 70 to 90 minute wait. We were on and off in under ten minutes.
So…”Is breakfast at Be Our Guest Restaurant worth it?” A dumb question, but I’ll try to answer it the best I can compared to what else you could put your 20 bucks towards for breakfast.
This is your standard Bounty Platter breakfast available at most resort quick services – Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Sausage, Potato Casserole, French Toast, and Buttermilk Biscuit for $8.99. The overall quality is going to be a lot greasier and a little lower quality than Be Our Guest (BOG). For the sake of comparison, we’ll say the BOG entree is worth ten bucks. We’ll assume you ate a croissant or pastry from the platter, which would cost another $3 and ordered a bottled orange juice, which costs another $3.79. So:
$10 for food
$3 for pastry
$3.79 for orange juice
+ $3 fountain beverage you didn’t pay for because you lack morals
+ 20 cent ambiance charge (or $3.20 ambiance charge because you want to go to heaven)
It’s not necessarily a terrible value even if you ignore the head start to the Mine Train or Seven Dwarfs. Crystal Palace (all you care to eat plus the Winnie the Pooh characters) is $26.99 for adults and $15.99 for kids. Cinderella’s Royal Table is ~$55 for adults and $~32 for kids. Add tip and you’re looking at Crystal Palace costing about 50% more and Cinderella’s Table coming in closer to 200% more expensive. It’s an apples to oranges comparison, but Be Our Guest is significantly cheaper, though no characters appear and it’s not all-you-care-to-enjoy.
With that said, I would only recommend the early breakfast. From an efficient touring perspective, just about the worst place you could be is breakfast between 9am and 10am when standby waits are among the shortest of the day.
But the head start on the incoming riff-raff may be worth the price of admission on its own, not to mention enjoying some air-conditioning waiting for the Park to open instead of this mass:
The head start is most worthwhile if you’re headed to Mine Train or Anna/Elsa and to a lesser extent, Peter Pan’s Flight. Otherwise, an 8:15am arrival at the main entrance would put you at the ride around the same time as we’d be able to get there from Be Our Guest.
It would be smarter to head straight to Peter Pan’s Flight after Mine Train, but we opted to go to The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in an attempt to kill some time and sort of simulate where we’d be if we had been in front of the herd headed to Mine Train instead of getting such a big head start. In other words, where we’ll be after Winnie the Pooh is around where we would be if we rode Mine Train after heading in from the main entrance.
From the queue, you still can’t see the end of the line to Mine Train.
So we were off Mine Train at 8:58am and in line for Winnie the Pooh at 8:59am.
And back out front just five minutes later at 9:04am. And you still can’t see the end of the Mine Train line.
Anna and Elsa were also backed out into their extended queue – easily a 120 minute wait with FP+ returners receiving priority.
Peter Pan’s Flight remains the other high Fantasyland priority.
At 9:06am, the posted wait is 20 minutes.
Disney finally unveiled the interactive queue, which is indoors and takes the place of the old Fantasyland bathrooms.
There’s some fun artwork.
A couple neat set pieces.
The shadow effect on the wall is probably the coolest effect.
We arrived at the standby/FP+ merge point 11 minutes later at 9:17am, which is about the amount of time it takes to walk the interactive queue portion.
And after getting stuck here for about eight minutes.
We were back out front at 9:32am with no posted wait due to the technical problems.
Haunted Mansion is next – a much higher priority in the FastPass+ era than it was in the good ole days. A look at wait times over the course of the day:
Magic Kingdom was highly recommended with an overall crowd level of “8” for well above average and these wait times really aren’t bad at all. The weather report had been threatening rain, which didn’t appear until 3pm.
Anyway, we got to Haunted Mansion at 9:38am and boarded our doom buggy at 9:45am.
And were back out front at 9:54am, for a total wait/ride time of 16 minutes.
Tom Sawyer Island on the walk over to Frontierland. Disney opened Aunt Polly’s on the island for spring break, just serving snacks and kids’ Uncrustables. You may remember that a couple of weeks ago I mentioned Polly’s may reopen after the extensive renovation of the Liberty Square/Adventureland kitchen. Since Polly’s hasn’t operated in years, the snack service may be a prelude to a more regular schedule. Or it may not.
We arrived at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at 9:58am to a 20 minute posted wait and a lot of FastPass+ returners already arriving.
Most of the interactive queue was in play here as well.
I’m not sure if you can tell, but the queue at Haunted Mansion is almost nearly filled already, indicating a wait of 25 to 30 minutes.
Otherwise the posted wait was too short.
We got in line at 9:58am, boarded at 10:27am, and were back out front at 10:35am for a 37 minute total experience time. Such is life three days before Easter.
Splash Mountain was up to a 35 minute posted wait.
With the line stretching all the way back here, the actual wait would be at least 40.
We checked FastPass+ availability right after at 10:40am and Splash Mountain didn’t have any availability until 7:50pm that night:
That’s one of the reasons why the website doesn’t advocate using your FastPass+ beginning with the 9am-10am window and hoping to use your third as early as possible. Even around 11:15am, 4th FastPass+ availability isn’t going to be great. If I wanted to get Splash Mountain, that means I’d schedule it now and not be able to schedule any more FP+ until I used that one in the evening. And if I had already used my other three FP+, I’d be sitting here at 11am with no FP+ and long standby waits almost everywhere.
That’s why we’re using our first FP+ now at 10:43am at Pirates of the Caribbean.
The reality of the FastPass+ era…a 30 minute posted wait into the extended queue at Pirates of the Caribbean before 11am.
With FP+, it was exactly five minutes between the time we got in line and the time we were seated in the first row.
Not a particularly memorable voyage. Even in the first row, we only got a light splash.
Back out front at 11am for a total experience time of 17 minutes.
The FastPass+ for Jungle Cruise wasn’t for another 15 minutes, so I went over to check the standby time to make sure it was worth it. 45 minutes.
With a few minutes to kill, we checked the next show time for Enchanted Tiki Room. 12 minutes.
So we went through the shortcut into Frontierland that’s now next to Aloha Isle Refreshments to check the next showtime for Country Bear Jamboree.
And did that instead.
Back to Jungle Cruise at 11:21am with a 35 minute posted wait.
With FastPass+, we were on in six minutes.
And back out front at 11:38am for a total experience time of 17 minutes.
No wait for Sunshine Tree Terrace.
That’s about as far as we go this time around. The original plan was to head to Tomorrowland for lunch at Tomorrowland Terrace and then a FastPass+ at Buzz Lightyear, but we left to try the new menu at Studio Catering Co. instead.
But to continue a tour like this, we’d plan to start visiting a couple anytime attractions, using the third FastPass+, getting a fourth FastPass+ at a kiosk, and grabbing lunch. The picture above is otherwise hub construction on the Adventureland side.
And on the Tomorrowland side.
Speaking of lunch, bad news for the taco salad crowd:
It’s no longer available at Tortuga Tavern, after being removed from the Pecos Bill menu last year. The nachos are also gone. Instead, you’ve got the same Southwest Chicken Salad as Pecos Bill and a new Beef Rice Bowl.
The back side is the same.
The Nutella waffle wasn’t listed on the main menu at Sleepy Hollow:
But it was at the register:
It used to be available all day, unlike the other two that are only available from 11am-5pm. I’m wondering if they weren’t doing the Nutella waffles in the evening with the heavier expected crowds.
The four concretes of The Hub.
Both Wishes FastPass+ viewing areas have been opened up exclusively to FP+ users. You may remember the first night we visited that the East side wasn’t reserved for FP+ users. Since then, both sides have been significantly busier with cast members requiring all guests to stand shortly before the show starts. Consider that if you’re thinking about a Wishes FP+.
This print caught my eye.
Cinderella merchandise from the movie is somewhat widely available.
Some City Hall facade work.
Mr. and Mrs. Bunny are meeting in Tour Guide Gardens leading up to the holiday from 9am-6pm.
That’s what’s going on at Magic Kingdom.
It’s worth noting that Disney tested letting guests visting Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Magic Kingdom pick four FastPass+ choices instead of three on March 30th. Guests that had already selected their FP+ in advance were issued a fourth FastPass+ for an additional non-priority attraction (It’s Tough To Be A Bug, for example). But that fourth attraction was modifiable to another available FastPass+ experience and time.