We return to Magic Kingdom for a pre-opening breakfast at Be Our Guest Restaurant and to see if arriving in Fantasyland an hour before anyone else offers any touring advantage.
Things are pretty relaxed here at 7:15am:
At 7:20am, everyone with theme park admission is being let into the courtyard area in front of the Mickey Floral.
With a breakfast or tour reservation, you’ll want to proceed down to the far left to check in with a cast member. They’ll scan your ticket or MagicBand to pull up your reservation. Without either of those, they can look you up by blog URL or last name.
If you’re headed to Be Our Guest Restaurant or Cinderella’s Royal Table, you’ll be handed this leaflet.
It’ll tell you where to go.
Everyone is then free to wait in front of the train station for 7:45am when Disney lets all guests enter the Park.
It’s a good opportunity to get a picture with the sun rising.
This is all I came away with.
As usual, the tourists will line up straight back from the entrance. You can pull in to the side and be among the first people to enter the Park.
It doesn’t matter if you have a breakfast reservation or not – everyone is heading in at the same time.
Here’s the crowd behind me at 7:42am.
There isn’t necessarily a big rush to breakfast.
As the website has said for years, the “empty Main Street” pictures are largely a myth, though there are plenty of opportunities to get a good picture off to the side.
PhotoPass is out in force to take photos.
You might remember from our original look at the rope drop procedure that Plaza Ice Cream Parlor and Casey’s Corner were offering breakfast to guests before Park open.
I would remind you that this is no longer the case as there was little interest.
Main Street Bakery Starbucks is open if you’re looking for a coffee to fuel those elbows.
We’re going left to head to breakfast. Those with plans to head to Mine Train first and without breakfast reservations want to head to the path to the right of Cinderella Castle.
There’s time to take a picture with the Partners statue.
Or in front of Cinderella Castle.
Or with this fountain.
Crystal Palace accepts reservations beginning at 8am most days, but I don’t typically recommend booking one. The breakfast offers no touring advantage as everyone is let into the Park at 7:45am. If you’re heading to a lower priority attraction (basically anything other than Seven Dwarfs Mine Train or Peter Pan’s Flight), you could enjoy breakfast at your leisure. But you’ll have to rush a bit to get pictures with Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, and Piglet and finish the meal by 8:55am to make the Welcome Show. Instead, consider a late breakfast around 10:45am, which will give you ample opportunity to take advantage of short waits in the first 90 minutes of operation. My review of breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the buffet is available here.
We’re filling in all available space over here.
You’ll flash your leaflet in the general direction of these cast members.
If you wadded it up and threw it at your least favorite blogger while he or she was trying to get the perfect tilted shot, the cast members here can scan your ticket or MagicBand just the same.
Those with pre-opening Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and Cinderella’s Royal Table reservations head in the same direction towards the Back Side of Castle. I’d recommend a pre-opening reservation at the Royal Table even less than Crystal Palace, though it offers the same theoretical touring advantage as Be Our Guest. But that’s a very expensive breakfast to rush through in under 45 minutes if you want to be outside in time to head to your first attraction in front of the rope drop crowd.
We venture onward.
Passing the prize on the way.
Regardless of whether your reservation is for 8am or 8:45am, you can immediately head to the restaurant, check in, and eat.
Don’t wait until 8:30am if you have an 8:30am reservation.
You’ll need to check-in again here – if you’ve pre-ordered, you’ll be handed a large plastic rose with an RFID chip in it and pointed towards the line on the left. Those ordering at the restaurant get in line to the right.
I never get to use any of these pictures.
Breakfast was an expensive proposition when it debuted just about exactly two years ago at $20/adults and $12/kids. It’s gone up 25% for adults to $25/adults and $14/kids in two years.
Here’s the original menu.
There is some benefit to pre-ordering as you’ll be able to bypass the line on the right and immediately pay for your food.
Pre-ordering is easy via DisneyWorld.com or the My Disney Experience app. Click “My Reservations and Tickets.”
And scroll down until you see “Be Our Guest Breakfast – QSR” under Dining Reservations. Then click “Place Your Order.”
Unlike Mobile Order, you don’t pay in advance.
The process is intuitive.
Click the “+” next to an item to add something.
Regardless of which entree you choose, it includes the beverage, which you’ll select after clicking a “+.”
Few selections are customizable, but you can select whether you want the cheese and bacon included on the sandwich. If seeing tomato on your plate will ruin your life, you should be able to make more specific requests when you pay at the restaurant.
Click “Allergy-Friendly Menu” at the top and select “Dietary Preferences” and the menu underneath changes to display what’s safe.
There’s also a reminder about what’s included on the Dining Plan.
Add beverages if you’re feeling fancy.
Once you add everything, you’ll place your order.
And that’s it.
I purposefully walked slowly to check in and upon arriving, found nobody waiting to pay. It’s worth noting that you can change your order when you pay, so you’re not locked into whatever you select in advance.
Here at 8:02am, I have the place largely to myself. You’ll pick where you sit either in the Cafeteria or West Wing.
Hot and cold beverages are self serve with the cups sitting next to the dispensers.
Food started arriving at 8:06am. I have an unreasonable amount of anxiety about whether or not my order is going to be lost.
But $25 worth arrived at 8:10am, which is about eight minutes after I paid.
This is the “Scrambled Egg Whites – Scrambled Egg Whites with Roasted Tomatoes, Chicken Apple Sausage, Fresh Fruit, and a selection of pastries.”
And surprisingly, it wasn’t that bad. The eggs were appropriately fluffy with a sprinkle of green onion on top.
The chicken sausage was tasty too – mildly spicy with a sweet apple flavor. Everyone knows protein goes straight to the elbows.
Even the fruit “felt” freshly cut and was actually in the vicinity of ripe. I left the tomatoes largely alone, but they were juicy with just a bit of pepper sprinkled on top.
One plate of pastries is typically served for each four entrees purchased. You can get around that by purchasing your entrees separately at the kiosk if you really want to.
These exceeded my low expectations – the apple danish in particular was flaky with a sweet cinnamon apple flavor. There’s also chocolate and vanilla muffins, in addition to the croissant and chocolate croissant. I bring a bag to take them to go.
The meal itself is overpriced. By how much is perhaps a matter of opinion. The food is good quick service quality and would run you $10 or so at something like Roaring Fork. Add the $3.50 beverage and you’re at $13.50. The pastries are worth about $7 considering it’s the equivalent of about two full size pastries. That puts us around $20 or $5 less than the asking price.
Prior to the rope drop procedure change, I put a lot of value in being able to enjoy your morning here in air-conditioning instead of the mass of humanity waiting out in front of the train station, in addition to the pleasant walk up Main Street with far fewer people.
Now that everyone is dispersed at the same time, there’s no additional value in the Main Street experience as it’s the same whether or not you have a breakfast reservation.
But there is a distinct touring advantage for those able to finish breakfast and be out front by 8:40am for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train or 8:55am for other Fantasyland attractions.
At 8:30am, a small line for Mine Train has formed – about 15 people long.
If Mine Train is on your list, it’s absolutely what you want to do first.
But it would make sense to go to Peter Pan’s Flight as well. Within 15 minutes of open, the actual wait will be 30+ minutes.
From an efficiency perspective, it doesn’t make much sense to rush to something like Journey of the Little Mermaid or it’s a small world, but you could do that and arrive in front of anyone from the main entrance. Those heading to Frontierland or Tomorrowland will be held in Fantasyland and arrive at those Lands around the same time as those walking in from the Welcome Show.
Where we’re headed.
I had seen some reports that Disney wasn’t opening Mine Train for those with breakfast reservations until the Welcome Show concluded, but I ended up having worse luck.
At 8:50am, we started walking towards the attraction.
And got in the standby queue, which is a departure from what I’ve personally experienced in the past when we walked quickly though the FastPass+ line.
This is all breakfast people lined up past the entrance to The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
But I was still standing the same place after the Welcome Show ended and like a great whoosh, the crowds arrived.
I’m not even sure where all of these people filled in, but the line is backed up somewhere in Storybook Circus.
Finally, at 9:06am, we started moving.
And I was on the ride less than five minutes later:
I was back out front at 9:18am and amusingly, the posted wait was still 30 minutes.
Despite the fact that neither the attraction entrance or the end of the line is captured in this photo. That’s not good.
You can barely see it, but the “Line Starts Here” sign is right there. This is at least a 90-minute wait and just about the worst place you could be right now. If you’re going to wait an hour and a half, it might as well be in the afternoon when waits have peaked everywhere.
At 9:19am, waits are already becoming appreciable at the priority attractions. The actual wait at Peter Pan’s Flight would be 35 minutes right now. If Mine Train had opened at 8:45am, I would have been off the ride around 8:57am and been on my way to ride Peter Pan’s Flight before the rope drop crowds arrived and experience an actual wait of just a couple of minutes, if that.
At 9:25am, Winnie the Pooh’s standby queue has filled and I’m still in line.
I boarded at 9:35am, which means my actual wait was 16 minutes.
That’s a long time when you’re in line before 9:20am.
I wasn’t back out front until 9:39am for a total experience time of 20 minutes. The 35-minute posted wait is unfortunately long and probably accurate.
Mine Train’s posted wait has caught up to the line.
The end of which is still in Storybook Circus.
The last time I reviewed Be Our Guest Restaurant, I rode Seven Dwarfs Mine Train twice and was off Peter Pan’s Flight before 9:15am. This time around, it’s 25 minutes later and I’ve completed two things.
25 minutes at Tomorrowland Speedway at 9:41am.
And over to Space Mountain.
The actual wait at Buzz should be about 15 minutes.
Astro Orbiter is probably 20.
Space Mountain was posted at 20 minutes.
It’s impossible to say what the actual wait will be from the outside given that it’s all enclosed. But this is as far as I made it before hitting heavy resistance.
We’ll take a closer look at Space Mountain wait times when we investigate crowds in January and beyond, but they’ve been horrific over the last 18 months or so. The peak on this particular day was 160 minutes, which is not one hour and sixty minutes.
Both sides are operating. It looked like business as usual.
When I made it to the merge point, I was held while at least 75 FastPass+ users went first. Cast were sending them to both loading areas.
I got in line at 9:49am and wasn’t on board until 10:45am.
Which means my actual wait was a whopping 56 minutes.
Here’s a look at wait times over the course of the day:
By 10am, wait times are already oppressive at a number of attractions. 75 minutes for Mickey. 40 for Big Thunder. 50 for Winnie the Pooh. 55 for Peter Pan’s Flight. 15 minutes later, Buzz will be at 45 minutes as will Jungle Cruise and Tinker Bell. By 11am, the average wait is 43 minutes for attractions that post wait times, including 90 minutes at Space and Mine Train. Considering the long wait times, the 9am-9pm hours seem short.
Here’s July 4th for comparison:
The overall average on a Thursday in March before spring break is 39 minutes, while July 4th sees an overall wait just 8 minutes longer. A 20% increase doesn’t seem that great.
At least the popcorn line looks to be just ten minutes.
Probably 30ish minutes at Astro Orbiter at 10:52am.
I can’t tell where the line to Buzz starts.
But it’s over there somewhere. It’s posted at 45 minutes but would be 90 minutes at 11:30am.
50 minutes at Speedway.
15 at Mad Tea Party might actually be closer to 20, which is pretty nuts.
40 at The Many Adventures.
100 at Mine Train.
Old Fantasyland at 11:06am.
85 minutes at Peter Pan’s Flight.
I don’t even know.
A long time.
Haunted Mansion would peak at 90 minutes later in the day. It’s “just” 45 now.
Fresh off its refurbishment, Splash Mountain was down again, despite the 65-degree temperature.
I used my first FastPass+ at Big Thunder Mountain at 11:22am:
I was back out front at 11:42am for a total experience time of 20 minutes, which is about five minutes longer than average.
Splash Mountain had just started taking guests. It would go down a second time 45 minutes later.
Things seem pretty good here as long as we don’t move.
With Pirates of the Caribbean down for another week or so, things are pretty chill in Caribbean Plaza.
30 minutes for Aladdin.
My second FastPass+ was Jungle Cruise with its 65-minute posted wait at 12:01pm.
I ended up waiting over ten minutes with FastPass+, which is rare.
It’d ordinarily be closer to five:
I arrived at 12:01pm and was back out front at 12:30pm for a total experience time of 29 minutes. That’s six or seven minutes longer than I’d expect.
At this point, I’d use my third FastPass+ and then continue booking as many additional experiences as possible while mixing in the highest capacity shows. But I’ve only managed to do five attractions in three and a half hours, two of which were with FastPass+. And that was with the Be Our Guest Restaurant advantage at Mine Train. If I was coming in from the main entrance, I would have waited at least 15 more minutes, which would have made my standby wait at Winnie the Pooh closer to 30 minutes and probably closer to 75 minutes at Space Mountain. So while the breakfast didn’t result in as much of an advantage as I’ve enjoyed in the past, it still put me in the best position to experience the ride in standby outside of getting in line last thing at night.
So this was largely a bust. We’ll get back out there next week and try again.