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Dining in Walt Disney World During Reopening Phase | Restaurants Guide

Dining in Walt Disney World is definitely one of our favorite activities when we are on vacation, but the entire experience is changing with the parks and resorts reopening. Even if you’ve been to Disney World 100 times, dining here now is going to be a whole lot different!

Walt Disney World Dining Restaurants after reopening

Knowing all the changes coming to the Disney World restaurants will be vital so you can enjoy dining in this reopening phase. Right now, just figuring out which restaurants are open would be a big help!

(Updated 8/25/21) – Buffets are back at Walt Disney World as restaurants start making the transition from family-style back to buffet-style. 3 buffet restaurants have already been announced to be coming back.

Read more about these in the NEWS section of this post…

In this post, we are going to answer all your questions about Disney World restaurants during the initial reopening phase. We’ll cover all the new changes to the dining experience in general, including new safety measures for the restaurants that you will need to follow.

We’ll also go over how all types of restaurants are changing in Disney World, from character dining to quick service to private dining. It’s exciting to see all the new technology Disney is putting to good use to make these experiences possible right now.

Lots of the restaurants are going to be closed or have significantly reduced capacity during the reopening phase, we’ll tell you all the Disney World restaurants currently open or when they are reopening.

Dining in Disney World Restaurants after reopening

We’re shocked at all the dining-related perks that will not be available for a while like the Disney Dining Plan and the Free Dining promotion. Never before have we seen Disney take actions so drastic.

Try to remember, Disney is implementing these new guidelines for dining in cooperation with the CDC and other health authorities. If we want Disney World restaurants to stay back up and running again, we are going to have to follow what they tell us to do.

Not only are the guidelines changing, but Disney is also suspending quite a few dining experiences and not all restaurants will be available right away. Even the ones that are open and the restaurants will be limited in guest capacity and some of the popular menu items and dining features might not be there.

Before we get started, make sure to read our Guide to Walt Disney World Reopening for the latest updates and a look at how the rest of the resort is going to be different.

Here are some other posts about the reopening you should read before your vacation:

If you want the Latest Updates on the Disney World Reopening, don’t forget to sign up for our FREE Weekly E-Mail Newsletter. You can sign up here: Join our E-Mail Newsletter

(NEWS) Buffets Back at Walt Disney World

All-you-can-eat buffets have been closed at Walt Disney World since the parks reopened in July 2020. Now Disney has announced that they are back as 3 buffet-style restaurants are returning.

Buffets return to Walt Disney World

Here is the list of buffets returning to Walt Disney World so far:

  • Biergarten – (August 29)
  • Boma – (Now Open)
  • Crystal Palace – (September 12)

All of these restaurants will be restored to their full buffet glory just like before the closures in 2020.

Many of the restaurants that usually serve guests buffet-style were transformed into family-style restaurants with large, shareable portions of food being brought to each table instead of guests going to the buffet and serving themselves.

Buffets are extremely popular with Disney World visitors as they offer the best bang-for-your-buck over traditional sit-down restaurants. While there have been some complaints about going back to buffets, the majority of guests are happy with this change as things feel like they are getting back to normal once again.

Disney World Buffets return

Our feeling is that this is a good move for guests. It’s been scientifically proven that indoor dining poses a bigger threat to the current health crisis as airborne transmission rates are significantly higher than from surfaces. That means if Disney is ok with doing indoor dining, there technically shouldn’t be a reason they can’t do buffets.

Guests will feel like they are getting more value for their money, and it gives them more options for dining during their visit. For guests who are not ok with buffet dining at this time, the option is simple…don’t go. Guests who feel uncomfortable can just continue eating at traditional quick service or table service restaurants with no harm done.

We’ll keep you updated as more info comes out. Stay tuned for more buffets returning to Walt Disney World soon!

(NEWS) 4 More Dining Experiences Reopening in Disney World

Since last year many of the restaurants in Walt Disney World have been closed, with some opening up one at a time. Now Disney has just released some news about 4 more restaurants and dining experiences in Disney World that are returning in the coming weeks and months.

More Disney World Restaurants reopening in August

The 4 returning are:

  • Columbia Harbour House – (Disney’s Magic Kingdom)
  • Pizzafari – (Disney’s Animal Kingdom)
  • Yachtsman Steakhouse – (Disney’s Yacht Club Resort)
  • Toledo: Tapas, Steak & Seafood – (Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort)

This means there are 2 quick service restaurants and 2 signature dining restaurants coming back. Each of them has some changes from before, and adjustments have been made to allow guests to enjoy them with the same normal experience.

Pizzafari at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (Opening August 2, 2021)

Pizzafari reopening at Animal Kingdom

Pizzafari, a popular choice for pizza is coming back to Disney’s Animal Kingdom starting August 2, 2021. Most people come looking for pizza, but there is more on the menu than just that.

Other entrees include the Chicken Parmesan Sandwich or the Green and Grains Salad. For dessert you can get one of the cutest treats at Disney World, the “Spaghetti and Meatball” Cupcake. To drink try the Blue Lagoon with blue curaçao beverage syrup, lemonade, gummy worms, and a glow cube. There is a non-alcoholic version available if you prefer.

This isn’t my favorite quick service at the Animal Kingdom, but if your kids only eat pizza you’ll be happy about this news.

Columbia Harbour House at Disney’s Magic Kingdom (Opening August 5, 2021)

Columbia Harbour House reopening

The Columbia Harbour House is coming back to Liberty Square at Disney’s Magic Kingdom on August 5.

The extremely popular seafood menu is back and it will have all the menu items you know and love including the Lobster Roll and the Trio Platter with fried fish, fried shrimp, and chicken strips served with hushpuppies and french fries or green beans.

Land-lovers will enjoy the Lighthouse Sandwich (hummus with tomato and broccoli slaw on multigrain bread) and a side of french fries or the Harbour Salad – a mix of greens, shredded cheddar, apples, onion, apple cider vinaigrette, and topped with chicken strips.

We can’t wait to try one of the best Magic Kingdom quick service restaurants once again as its presence has been greatly missed this past year.

Toledo: Tapas, Steak & Seafood at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort (Opening August 5, 2021)

Toldeo Tapas Steak & Seafood reopening

Now, let’s get to the good stuff, the two signature dining restaurants that are reopening. The first is Toledo: Tapas, Steak & Seafood at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort reopening its doors on August 5, 2021.

Even though it has only been at Disney World for a short time, it has quickly become one of our favorite Disney World restaurants with its unique design and incredibly balanced and innovative menu.

Most of the favorite menu items are back including tapas like Charred Octopus, Pan con Tomate, and the delish Flight of Four Pinxtos. For entrees, you can choose from the signature Chuletón Bone-in Rib Eye with tomatoes, onions, and choice of two sides, the Char-grilled Steak with olive oil-potato purée, forest mushrooms, date jam, and sherry vinaigrette and the Rioja-braised Chicken with grapes, sherry vinegar, and roasted tomato bomba rice.

Toledo does dessert well and you might want to try the “Café con Leche” Choux for the perfect ending to your meal.

Reservations for Toledo: Tapas, Steak & Seafood open up July 29, 2021.

Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort (Opening August 5, 2021)

Yachtsman Steakhouse reopening Yacht Club Resort

Last up is another one of our all-time favorite restaurants, Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. It’s been strange without the iconic steakhouse at the resort and it’s a welcome addition for fans of fine dining.

Yachtsman will soon be turning on those oak-fired grills so guests can again savor their premium, grain-fed steaks or the dry-aged Duroc pork chop served with heritage grits, broccoli rabe, and apple-cognac gastrique.

Even if you aren’t a huge carnivore like we are, that’s ok. They have delicious seafood like the Chilled Admiral’s Tower for Two (Maine lobster, snow crab, tuna tartare, jumbo shrimp, mussels, scallop ceviche, and charred octopus salad) and their signature creamy Lobster Bisque.

There is an abundance of choices for dessert including dark chocolate mousse, chocolate decadence cake, mixed berry curd, peanut butter crunch, and mousse.

Yachtsman reopens on August 5 and reservations are available starting July 29.

What to Know Before You Go

Disney World Restaurants in Disney Springs

While there are a ton of things we are going to go over in this post, here are the most important things to know about how dining and Disney World restaurants are changing during the reopening phase.

Safety Guidelines in Place – New safety requirements for guests are being included in all Disney World restaurants. These include increased cleaning and sanitation, face masks, contactless menus, and more.

Using New Technology – In order to help with safety, Disney is using new technology in its restaurants including contactless menus, Mobile Ordering, Mobile Dine Check-In, and cashless payment.

Limited Dining Offerings – Not all restaurants will be open during the Disney World reopening phase. Restaurants will also have limited capacity with fewer reservations available.

Lunch Box Tarts Woody's Lunch Box Hollywood Studios

Limited Experiences – Are you a big fan of character meals and dinner shows? Those are not going to be running during the reopening (for the most part). Other experiences like private and in-room dining are also being shelved.

Reservations Changed – All previous Disney World dining reservations made before May have been canceled and guests have to re-book all their restaurants for upcoming trips. New dining reservations are now available to all guests. Read more about dining reservations below.

Big Changes to Disney World Restaurants

City Works Eatery & Pour House Beer Flights

Let’s break down some of the biggest changes to dining in Disney World you need to know about. These include reservations, decrease restaurant capacity and eliminating popular add-ons like the Disney Dining Plan.

Lower Capacity

Obviously, to comply with guest distancing, Disney could not keep normal restaurant capacity as it was before. Tables have to be spaced out a minimum of 6 feet from each other to give dining guests enough room.

All this results in fewer guests being able to dine in a given restaurant at one time. This at times has lead to reservations being more difficult to get. With distancing requirements relaxing in recent weeks we’re hoping that brings more capacity back to the restaurants again.

Reservations Needed

It was already important to make reservations for table service restaurants in Walt Disney World before the reopening period, and it has become even more important now.

Limited capacity and helping Disney understand how to staff the restaurants means making Disney Advanced Dining Reservations is now more important than ever and you won’t get to make as many decisions at the last minute.

In-Park Dining Reservations

Outside Skipper Canteen in Magic Kingdom Restaurants

Because of Disney’s new park reservation system, this creates some new problems for dining at Disney World restaurants. If you want to eat at one of the table service restaurants in the theme parks, you will need a reservation, but a reservation to a restaurant doesn’t mean you automatically get access to the theme parks.

WHAT?? How does that work?

Entrance to the Disney theme parks will only be given to guests with a theme park reservation. Having only a dining reservation at a restaurant there will not get you in. You need both types.

That means booking your theme parks is going to be first priority for each day, and then from there, you can decide which restaurants you want to eat at.

Disney Dining Plan

Lights in Tiffins Restaurant Animal Kingdom

For the foreseeable future, the popular Disney Dining Plan has been suspended. This came as a surprise since so many guests use the pre-paid dining plan when going to Disney World.

The decision to get rid of the dining plan is a consequence of limiting capacity in the restaurants and in the parks. Disney cannot guarantee guests will be able to use up all their purchased dining points if some restaurants are closed while others will be full. For that reason they decided to temporarily suspend the meal plans.

All guests who purchased the Disney Dining Plan for upcoming trips are getting refunded. Disney has confirmed that the Disney Dining Plan is coming back, but it appears that it won’t be until later in 2021.

Free Dining

white plate of pork belly at Walt Disney World

Disney’s extremely popular Free Dining promotion has also been suspended until further notice. Free Dining is essentially the same thing as the Disney Dining Plan, only it’s worked into the price of your room and you aren’t paying anything additional to add it on to your room.

So without the Disney Dining Plan running, Free Dining can’t happen either. No word yet on when it’s coming back, but rumors are that it too won’t be back until late 2021 at the earliest.

Even though there are a lot of upset Disney fans because of this move, there are other ways of saving money at Disney World and oftentimes waiting for a room only discount saves even more than Free Dining does.

Menus May Vary

Walt Disney World Dining menus

As a result of having fewer people, it’s natural that menus don’t have to be quite as big as they normally are. During the opening period, Disney has warned that menus may vary from normal. There may be a reduced number of options with some regular choices missing from the list.

If you are hoping to eat your favorite dish when eating at a given restaurant, prepare for the possibility that it might not be there.

We hope this isn’t widespread because many restaurants in Disney World have dishes they are well-known for, and we come back time and time again for.

Safety Guidelines for Dining

Guests sitting at tables with face masks in Disney World

Besides organizational changes to the Disney World restaurants, Disney has implemented new safety measures that are put in place to protect both guests and Cast Members. Get familiar with these, and the other guidelines for the theme parks as you’ll need to follow them on your trip.

Face Masks

It’s true that face masks are required throughout The Walt Disney World Resort, this includes in restaurants…to a degree. In some places in restaurants face coverings are required and in others no.

To further confuse the matter, Disney has recently updated its face mask policy throughout Walt Disney World and both vaccinated and unvaccinated guests ARE required to wear a face covering in all indoor areas, including restaurants.

  • Where they ARE Required – You’ll need to wear a face mask when you arrive at a restaurant, during the check-in procedure, visiting the restroom, and anytime you get up from your table and walk around.
  • Where they are NOT Required – When you are at your table eating or drinking, face masks are not required.

Restaurant staff including waiters and chefs will always be wearing a face covering so as to not contaminate the food or guests.

To learn more, read our Guide to Face Masks at Disney World.

Cleaning/Sanitization 

Disney is increasing the cleaning throughout the resort, restaurants included. All areas that are considered “high traffic” will get extra cleaning and sanitization including: tables, chairs, benches, doors, handles, restrooms, buttons, dining pagers, etc.

Expect to see sparkling clean tables like you’ve never seen before!

Self-Service

Self Service Beverage Station Disney World Dining Restaurants

Anywhere in a Disney World dining location where you would normally serve yourself, a Disney Cast Member will be there to serve you instead. This keeps guests from touching too many things and potentially contaminating them for others.

This includes self-serve drinking fountains where a Cast Member will fill your drink for you. This will also be valid if and when buffets come back to Disney World.

Temperature Screening

Temperature screening was required at Walt Disney World for the first year or so of the reopening phase. Now they have discontinued this and temperature screenings are non longer set up.

Dining Experience Types

Glass and bottle of wine in Walt Disney World Restaurants

We know not all restaurants are reopening right away in Disney World, but there are also restrictions on full categories and types of dining experiences too. Here is the rundown:

Table Service Dining

Table Service restaurants are reopening but not all of them. The majority of restaurants opening first are Non-Signature restaurants, and for the most part limited to one per resort. If you are looking for a super elegant meal, you aren’t going to find one for the time being.

The ones that are open will have limited seating and fewer tables than normal to allow for spacing between guests.

Quick Service Dining

From what we have seen so far, the great majority of quick service restaurants have reopened reopening during the initial phase. Capacity is limited here too and guests encouraged to use the Mobile Ordering system.

Bars and Lounges

The lounges and bars at Disney World ran into a speed bump at the beginning of the reopening phase but they are back to normal now and serving guests.

Jock Lindsey's Hanger Bar Disney Springs

Various bars such as Jock Lindsey’s Hanger Bar, Dockside Margaritas and other are now reopened and serving alcohol.

The most popular bar in Walt Disney World, Oga’s Cantina in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge also went back and forth between open and closed at times but it is also open once again.

Character Dining

Character Dining Disney World after reopening

So far Disney is temporarily suspending character dining in Walt Disney World, at least the way it usually runs. One of the best parts of a character meal is when they come around and take pictures with you at your table, but because of the guest distancing policy, this is not currently possible.

There are a few character dining meals that are running during the first phase of the reopening. Some of them include:

  • Chef Mickey’s – Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Cinderella’s Royal Table – Disney’s Magic Kingdom
  • Hollywood & Vine – Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • Garden Grill – The Land Pavilion, EPCOT
  • Topolino’s Character Breakfast – Disney’s Riviera Resort

These character meals are modified experiences where the characters pass by but don’t hug, sign autographs or take pictures with the guests. The spaces are large enough where the characters will be able to walk by and greet guests from a distance.

No word yet when the character dining meals will get back to normal.

Dinner Shows

Dinner shows like the Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue and Spirit of Aloha are not running at this time. Our guess is that they are a higher cost than normal restaurants and require full attendance to turn a profit. It doesn’t make a ton of sense to reopen dinner shows until they can fit more people.

Buffets

Germany buffet EPCOT

For over a year since the Walt Disney World parks reopened, buffet restaurants were temporarily suspended. That has now changed and buffets are back at Disney World!

During the reopening phase restaurants that were normally buffet-style were transitioned into family-style restaurants similar to Ohana’.

This change was recently reversed and we are now seeing buffets come back with 3 of them announced so far.

Buffets currently operating in Walt Disney World include:

  • Biergarten at EPCOT – (August 29)
  • Boma at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Crystal Palace at Disney’s Magic Kingdom – (September 12)

Walt Disney World buffets are going to be the same all-you-can-eat affairs as they were before the closure. Some changes include limiting the number of people that gather at the buffet at one time and pre-preparing some dishes in some areas such as at the omlette stations.

We expect this change to move slowly across Walt Disney World until most buffets are brought back. Restaurants that were previously family-style such as Ohana’ will remain that way.

Family Style Meal Ohana

Stay tuned for more updates on this one as more buffets return to Disney World.

Private Dining / In-Room Dining

Since Disney World reopened, there have been no Private Dining experiences or In-Room dining. I’m not sure the logic behind this one as it would seem that fewer guests taking up valuable tables in the restaurants would be an ideal situation.

It’s probably to just simplify things for the time being and we’ll see these experiences slowly start to come back in time.

(Update): In-Room Dining is now available at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, so this may start to be available at other Disney World hotels shortly.

Which Disney World Restaurants Are Open?

Disney World Dining table service restaurants

One of the hardest part of dining in Disney World now is figuring out which restaurants are open and that you can actually go to.

Disney is reopening the restaurants in phases and doing it group by group. Disney has warned guests already that they’ll have to be patient and that some dining experiences will not be open during their next trip.

Which restaurants are open? Here are some lists, broken down by location at Disney Springs, the Resorts and Theme Parks.

Theme Parks

EPCOT Dining Walt Disney World

Disney has released a full list of all the restaurants currently open in the theme parks during the reopening period.

Restaurants are reopening in phases, and a good number of quick service and table service restaurants will be open with the parks. As the crowds come back so will more restaurants.

Can I Eat in a Park Restaurant Without a Theme Park Reservation?

No, you can’t. Just having a dining reservation to a restaurant in one of the theme parks, does not give you access to that theme park. If you want to eat in one of those restaurants you will need to have both a Park Reservation AND a Dining Reservation.

Magic Kingdom – (Now Open)

  • Aloha Isle
  • Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies
  • Be Our Guest Restaurant
  • Casey’s Corner
  • Cheshire Cafe
  • Cinderella’s Royal Table
  • Columbia Harbor House
  • Cool Ship
  • Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe
  • The Crystal Palace
  • The Friar’s Nook
  • Gaston’s Tavern
  • Golden Oak Outpost
  • Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company
  • Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen
  • Liberty Square Market
  • Liberty Tree Tavern
  • The Lunching Pad
  • Main Street Bakery
  • Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe
  • Pinocchio Village Haus
  • Plaza Ice Cream Parlor
  • The Plaza Restaurant
  • Prince Eric’s Village Market
  • Sleepy Hollow
  • Storybook Treats
  • Sunshine Tree Terrace
  • Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant
  • Tony’s Town Square Restaurant
  • Westward Ho

Not Open:

  • The Diamond Horseshoe
  • Tortuga Tavern

Animal Kingdom – (Now Open)

  • Anandapur Ice Cream Truck
  • Creature Comforts
  • Dawa Bar
  • Dino-Bite Snacks
  • Dino Diner
  • Drinkwallah
  • Eight Spoon Cafe
  • Flame Tree Barbecue
  • Harambe Fruit Market
  • Harmabe Market
  • Isle of Java
  • Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company
  • Mahindi
  • Mr. Kamal’s
  • Nomad Lounge
  • Pizzafari
  • Pongu Pongu
  • Rainforest Cafe
  • Restaurantosaurus
  • Satu’li Canteen
  • Tamu Tamu Refreshments
  • Terra Treats
  • The Smiling Crocodile
  • Thirsty River Bar & Trek Snacks
  • Tiffins Restaurant
  • Trilo-Bites
  • Tusker House Restaurant
  • Warung Outpost
  • Yak & Yeti Local Food Cafes
  • Yak & Yeti Restaurant

Not Currently Open:

EPCOT – (Now Open)

Not Currently Open:

  • Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
  • Cool Wash
  • Monsieur Paul
  • Restaurant Marrakesh
  • Space 220 – Coming Soon
  • Takumi-Tei
  • Tokyo Dining

Hollywood Studios – (Now Open)

  • 50’s Prime Time Café
  • ABC Commissary
  • Anaheim Produce
  • Backlot Express
  • BaseLine Tap House
  • Catalina Eddie’s
  • Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo
  • Dockside Diner
  • Epic Eats
  • Fairfax Fare
  • Hollywood & Vine
  • The Hollywood Brown Derby
  • The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge
  • Hollywood Scoops
  • Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company
  • Kat Saka’s Kettle
  • KRNR The Rock Station
  • Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano
  • Market
  • Milk Stand
  • Oga’s Cantina
  • Peevy’s Polar Pipeline
  • PizzeRizzo
  • Ronto Roasters
  • Rosie’s All-American Café
  • Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant
  • Sunshine Day Bar
  • The Trolley Car Café
  • Tune-In Lounge
  • Woody’s Lunch Box

Not Currently Open:

  • Neighborhood Bakery

Once we have confirmation of more restaurants in the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and the Animal Kingdom reopening, we’ll post them here.

Disney Springs

Disney Springs Dining reopening

Disney Springs was the very first part of Walt Disney World to reopen and therefore got a head start on dining. Most of the restaurants have reopened already with only a couple still missing.

List of Disney Springs Restaurants currently open:

  • 4 Rivers Cantina Barbacoa Food Truck
  • AMC Disney Springs Dine-In Theaters
  • Amorette’s Patisserie
  • AristoCrepes
  • B.B. Wolf’s Sausage Co.
  • The Basket at Wine Bar George
  • Blaze Fast-Fired Pizza
  • The BOATHOUSE
  • Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’
  • Chicken Guy!
  • City Works Eatery & Pour House
  • Coca-Cola Store Rooftop Beverage Bar
  • Cookes of Dublin
  • D-Luxe Burger (Mobile Order Only)
  • The Daily Poutine
  • Disney Food Trucks
  • Dockside Margaritas
  • Earl of Sandwich
  • The Edison
  • Enzo’s Hideaway
  • Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC
  • Everglazed Donuts & Cold Brew
  • The Front Porch
  • Frontera Cocina
  • The Ganachery
  • Ghiradelli Soda Fountain and Soda Shop
  • Gideon’s Bakehouse
  • Häagen-Dazs®
  • House of Blues
  • Jaleo by José Andrés
  • Jock Linsey’s Hanger Bar
  • Joffrey’s Coffee and Tea Company
  • Joffrey’s Handcrafted Smoothies Kiosk
  • Lava Lounge at Rainforest Cafe
  • MacGUFFINS
  • Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante
  • Marketplace Snacks
  • Morimoto Asia
  • Morimoto Asia Street Food
  • Paddlefish
  • Paradiso 37, Taste of the Americas
  • Pizza Ponte
  • Planet Hollywood
  • The Polite Pig
  • Raglan Road
  • Rainforest Cafe
  • Splitsville Luxury Lanes
  • Sprinkles Cupcakes
  • Starbucks (Marketplace)
  • Starbucks (West Side – Outdoor seating only)
  • Sunshine Churros (Both Marketplace and West Side locations)
  • STK Orlando
  • Sunshine Churros at Disney Springs West Side
  • T-REX
  • Terralina Crafted Italian
  • Vivoli il Gelato
  • Wetzel’s Pretzels (Both Marketplace and West Side locations)
  • Wine Bar George
  • Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill
  • Yesake

Get a full tour and the latest updates in our post on Disney Springs Reopening.

Resorts

Grand Floridian Cafe Disney World

Just because some of the Disney World resorts are reopening, doesn’t mean all the restaurants in those resorts are reopening too. So far the list is pretty limited and pretty much eliminates all signature dining and character dining locations (Topolino’s being the lone exception for both).

Here is the current list of resort restaurants Currently Open:

Bay Lake Tower and Disney’s Contemporary Resort

  • California Grill
  • Chef Mickey’s
  • Contempo Cafe
  • Contemporary Grounds
  • Cove Bar
  • Outer Rim
  • The Sand Bar

Disney’s All-Star Music Resort

  • Silver Screen Spirits Pool Bar
  • World Premiere Food Court

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge & Villas – Kidani Village

  • Boma
  • Cape Town Lounge and Wine Bar
  • Maji Pool Bar
  • The Mara
  • Sanaa
  • Sanaa Lounge
  • Uzima Springs Pool Bar

Disney’s Beach Club & Villas

Disney’s BoardWalk Resort & Villas

  • AbracadaBar
  • Belle Vue Lounge
  • Big River Grille & Brewing Works
  • BoardWalk Bakery
  • Boardwalk Joe’s Marvelous Margaritas
  • Leaping Horse Libations
  • Pizza Window
  • Trattoria al Forno

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

  • Banana Cabana
  • Centertown Market
  • Sebastian’s Bistro

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

  • Barcelona Lounge
  • Cafe Rio
  • Dahlia Lounge
  • El Mercado de Coronado
  • Rix Sports Bar & Grill
  • Siestas Cantina
  • Three Bridges Bar & Grill at Villa del Lago
  • Toledo: Tapas, Steak & Seafood

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

  • The Chuck Wagon
  • Crocket’s Tavern
  • Meadow Snack Bar
  • P&J’s Southern Takeout

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Villas

  • Beaches Pool Bar & Grill
  • Courtyard Pool Bar
  • Enchanted Rose
  • Gasparilla Island Grill
  • Grand Floridian Cafe
  • Narcoossee’s

Disney’s Old Key West Resort

  • Good’s Food to Go
  • Gurgling Suitcase
  • Olivia’s Cafe
  • Turtle Shack Poolside Snacks

Disney’s Polynesian Polynesian Village Resort

  • Barefoot Pool Bar
  • Capt. Cook’s
  • Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Deli
  • Kona Cafe
  • ‘Ohana
  • Pineapple Lanai
  • Tambu Lounge
  • Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto
  • Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace

Disney’s Pop Century Resort

  • Everything POP Shopping & Dining
  • Petals Pool Bar

Disney’s Riviera Resort

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort

  • The Artist’s Palette
  • Backstretch Pool Bar
  • Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Cafe
  • On the Rocks Pool Bar
  • The Paddock Grill
  • The Turf Club Lounge

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

  • Geyser Point Bar & Grill
  • Roaring Fork
  • Territory Lounge
  • Whispering Canyon Cafe

Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

  • Ale & Compass Restaurant
  • Ale & Compass Lounge
  • The Market at Ale & Compass
  • Yachtsman Steakhouse

Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Hotels

  • Cabana Bar and Beach Club
  • Chill
  • The Fountain
  • Fresh Mediterranean Market
  • Fuel
  • Garden Grove
  • Il Mulino
  • Il Mulino Lounge
  • Java
  • Kimonos
  • Kimonos Lounge
  • Phins
  • Picabu
  • Shula’s Lounge
  • Shula’s Steak House
  • Splash Pool Bar and Grill
  • Todd English’s bluezoo
  • Todd English’s bluezoo Lounge

As more dining locations open in the resorts we’ll add them to the list.

Find out how the entire hotel experience is changing now in our post on Staying at a Disney World Hotel During Reopening.

Technology

Technology is playing a big part in keeping guests safe in Disney World right now and has made reopening possible. Here are some of the most important ways Disney is using technology right now during the reopening phase:

My Disney Experience

Make sure you have the My Disney Experience app installed and updated on your mobile phone before you head to Walt Disney World. You’re going to need this app more now than ever with all the virtual queues, online check-in and other digital services which will be vital to having a wonderful experience on your trip.

Mobile Ordering

Mobile Order sign at the pick-up counter

If you want to eat at a quick service restaurant in Disney World when it reopens, Disney’s Mobile Ordering service is the best way to do that.

It allows you to order your food ahead of time from your mobile device at the quick service dining location of choice. Choose all your food options, make substitutions, and place you order. Then when you are in the area, pick up your food without having to wait at all in line!

With Disney concentrating on enforcing distancing between guests, it’s a great solution to the normal lines for food. For a more detailed look, read our post on Disney’s Mobile Ordering – The Complete Guide.

Mobile Dine Check-In

host stand Morimoto Asia Disney Springs

Normally, before being seated at a Disney World restaurant, you check-in at the host stand at the entrance to the restaurant. When Disney World reopens, that will no longer be the case and guests will get sent directly to their tables.

How does that happen? Disney’s Mobile Dine Check-In app.

When you arrive at the restaurant you will scan a QR code that will check-in you and your party to your reservation. When your table is ready, you will be notified and directed where to go.

Learn more about how this new technology works and in which restaurants it will be available in our post on Disney’s Mobile Dine Check-In app.

Contactless Menus

One of the cooler uses of technology in Disney restaurants are the contactless menus. This eliminates the need for a traditional paper menu.

At quick service restaurants, the menus will be displayed for guests to easily see on signage. At table service restaurants a QR code will be on the table that guests can scan with their mobile phones. Once scanned the full restaurant menu comes right onto your phone.

Cashless Payment

contactless payment Walt Disney World Dining

Cashless forms of payment have been accepted in Walt Disney World for a while, but now Disney is going to be strongly recommending guests use them during their stay instead of cash.

Some of the contactless payment types include:

  • Credit Cards
  • Debit Cards
  • Disney Gift Cards
  • MagicBands
  • E-Wallets (Apple Pay, Android Pay, etc)

These will minimize contact with the cashiers and help avoid the spreading of germs. My only question is how will they avoid guests typing in a passcode while paying with a MagicBand?

Reservations

My Disney Experience dining reservation dates

Figuring out your dining reservations is always one of the biggest things to do when visiting Walt Disney World and that doesn’t change after the reopening. Here are the biggest things to know about restaurant reservations:

  • New Disney World restaurant reservations are now available to book for all guests.
  • Guests can now make new reservations starting 60 days from their hotel arrival date or desired dining date.
  • Reservations are available Online, on the My Disney Experience app or by Phone.
  • Dining reservations are necessary for anyone wanting to dine at a table service restaurant (In the parks or resorts).
  • The booking window has been changed from 180 Days to 60 Days before the dining date. 60+10 rule applies to Walt Disney World Resort guests.

When Can I Make New Dining Reservations and How?

New Disney World dining reservations are available for all guests starting 60 days from their hotel arrival date or dining date. They are no longer limited to just Walt Disney World Resort guests but available to everyone.

  • Restaurant reservations can be made Online on the Computer or using My Disney Experience (Starts at 6 am daily).
  • Phone reservations start daily at 7 am.

TIP: Remember the booking window has changed to 60 Days before your desired dining date (60+10 for WDW Resort guests). This might result in some restaurants becoming harder to book so make sure to be online at 6:00 am sharp to make reservations.

You Need Reservations for Table Service Restaurants

Ribeye Steak Disney World Dining

Whether going to a table service restaurant in a resort hotel or in the theme parks, dining reservations are highly recommended and in some locations required. Some walk-ins are accepted but it’s much safer to book a table.

Remember, a Dining Reservation in a theme park restaurant, however, doesn’t give you automatic access to the theme park. You need a separate park reservation and a dining reservation in that case.

For a better look at how dining reservations work during the reopening phase, read our Guide to Restaurant Reservations in Disney World.

Disney Dining Plan Cancellations & Refunds

With all the reservation cancellations and suspending the Disney Dining Plans you are probably wondering about refunds for previously booked experiences and packages.

  • There will be no cancellation fees or no-show fees for reservations affected by the closure or reopening.
  • Any pre-paid dining experiences and reservations will be fully and automatically refunded to the guest in the original form of payment.
  • All pre-paid Disney Dining Plan packages will be given a refund for the total amount paid.
  • Guest who have booked a package with the Free Dining offer will also get a refund for the money paid and the opportunity to re-book a package with a 35% room discount.

Canceled Dining Events

special dining events Garden Tea Room Grand Floridian

For the moment, Disney has also canceled all special dining events and experiences. Here is the current list of canceled dining events:

  • Afternoon Tea at the Garden View Tea Room
  • Cake Decorating Experience at Amorette’s Patisserie
  • Circle of Flavors: Harambe at Night
  • Dine with an Animal Specialist
  • Dining with an Imagineer – Cítricos
  • Dining with an Imagineer – The Hollywood Brown Derby
  • Disney Early Morning Magic – Fantasyland
  • Epcot Forever Dining Package
  • Fantasmic! Dessert & VIP Viewing Experience
  • Fantasmic! Dining Package
  • Ferrytale Fireworks: A Sparkling Dessert Cruise
  • Festival of the Lion King Signature Dining Package
  • Fireworks Dessert Party at Tomorrowland Terrace
  • Fireworks Dessert Party with Plaza Garden Viewing
  • Frozen Ever After Dessert Party
  • Highway in the Sky Dine Around
  • Jiko Wine Tasting
  • Pirates & Pals Fireworks Voyage
  • Rivers of Light Dessert Party
  • Rivers of Light Dining Package
  • Savor the Savanna: Evening Safari Experience
  • Sense of Africa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Signature Celebration at Cinderella’s Royal Table
  • Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • Taste of Magic Kingdom Park VIP Tour
  • Tiffins Talks
  • Victoria & Albert’s Chef’s Table Dinner
  • Wanyama Safari
  • Wonderland Tea Party at 1900 Park Fare

“We understand how much excitement, thought and time goes into planning your visits to Walt Disney World Resort and realize some of these changes may be disappointing. Please know we will be here to help you, as our Cast remains focused on delivering magical experiences and incredible storytelling for everyone who visits.”

No reopening dates have been given for these canceled events and tours. Disney will continue to monitor the situation and reopen them when possible.

How Long Will These Changes Last?

Bowl of Gelato Disney World Il Mulino

Unfortunately, at this time we don’t know how long these changes to dining in Disney World will go on for. At this point, if you want to go to Disney World, you are going to have to follow these new policies and procedures.

These changes will last through the “reopening phase” in Walt Disney World. Just how long of a period the reopening phase is, we still don’t know. It will be however long is necessary according to government and health officials to protect the guests and safely run the parks.

Though we don’t have an exact date when dining in Walt Disney World will go back to normal again, we are pretty sure it will be a while still. Our guess is at least through the rest of 2021 with restrictions continuing to loosen up over the coming months.

If that doesn’t fit with your idea of a Disney vacation, you will probably want to push your trip off until some of these guidelines are not needed anymore. Check out our post on Visiting Disney World in 2021 vs. 2022 for more information on which is the right decision for you.

Your Thoughts

I want to know what you think about the changes to dining in Disney World…

  • Which change affects you the most?
  • What has been your experience so far since restaurants reopened?

Let us know in the comments section below!

If you enjoyed this article, as always I appreciate it if you’d share it with others via social media.  I work hard at making this website into a useful resource for you and your family to plan your visit to the Disney Parks and I hope it can help you! Thanks 🙂

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