Why It's Not A Bad Idea To Skip The Breakfast Rush At Disney World

If you've got a big day ahead of you, walking around Walt Disney World, it can be tempting to begin with a big breakfast. What better way to start the day than by character dining at a sit-down restaurant, like Chef Mickey's in Disney's Contemporary Resort or Ohana in the Polynesian Village Resort? They're both on the monorail loop and offer buffet or all-you-can-eat, family-style meals: putting plenty of fuel in the tank, and allowing you to meet Mickey and Minnie Mouse or Lilo & Stitch and friends. It's a fun experience, and after all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right?

Well, yes, but in terms of traditional ride strategy, morning hours can also be the most important time of day for locking in popular new rides like Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and TRON Lightcycle/Run. This is especially true if you're staying at one of the resort's many official on-site hotels (or select partner hotels), which come with the Early Theme Park Entry benefit.

Seasoned theme park pros will know that entering one of Disney World's four parks first thing in the morning can give you an advantage over all the other guests who are waiting outside for the regular hours to start. With that in mind, here are some tips for why it's not such a bad idea to forego a long sit-down breakfast at Disney World.

Sit-down breakfasts are pricey and eat into your ride time

Even if you're not staying at a hotel with the Early Theme Park Entry benefit, the first hour of the day can be a crucial time at Disney World. This holds true for other Disney parks outside Florida, too, but with Disney World, there's not a whole lot else in the immediate vicinity of the resort. The nearby cities of Kissimmee and Orlando have plenty going on, but the closer you get to Disney, the more it feels like things are tucked away a bit from the outside world.

People are mainly there to hit up the parks, but transportation takes time. The parking lots for Epcot and Magic Kingdom are among the five biggest in the world, according to Jalopnik, and it also takes time to ride the tram, ferry, monorail, or Disney Skyliner up to the ticket gates. This all goes to say that, in the morning, you'll have tens if not hundreds of thousands of people converging on the parks in an effort to get a jumpstart on the day.

If you want to fit in as many rides as you can, it's not the time to be sitting down for breakfast at a hotel, especially if you're staying at one off-site. Breakfasts at Disney hotels also tend to be expensive, and the most popular ones come with the added stress of trying to land a reservation.

Eat a big lunch and do the breakfast buffet on an off day

A former Disney World Cast Member at Real Simple recommends skipping the sit-down breakfast in favor of something a little more on the go. You can pack some food and bring it with you, or grab a bite to eat after the lines for rides have started to fill up more. Snack on a power bar, if you need to, and consider maybe saving your big meal for lunch. An early lunch can be a good time to rest and recoup after the morning rush.

Since hotel restaurants are located outside the parks, you can still enjoy a nice breakfast at one if you have an off day at Disney, where you're not planning to enter the parks. This could be your last day, before you check out, or if you have an in-between day where you're planning to lounge at the hotel or shop at Disney Springs.

There are other ways to ensure that you get to experience the attractions you want at Disney World, from paid add-ons like the Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane services (which have replaced the old FastPass system), to planning your rides around the time of parades or fireworks when the lines thin out. However, if you don't mind waking up early and are able to function without getting tired or cranky, then prioritizing rides over a lengthy breakfast might be the way to go.