Top Dining Experiences We’re Missing the Most at Walt Disney World

Credit: Disney

The ongoing pandemic has brought some pretty radical changes to the Walt Disney World Resort including several months where the entire vacation destination was closed to the public for safety precautions. Thankfully for guests who are ready to travel, the Resort has been open for operation since the summer, however there have been many experiences that have either been modified or not reopened at all. The biggest impact of closed experiences for many guests are the dining opportunities that are still shuttered in the sake of caution. While guests understand necessary safety precautions, they are certainly missing some of their favorite dining experiences for the food, atmosphere, and even entertainment! Here are the top dining experiences that guests are currently missing in Walt Disney World that will hopefully reopen soon!


1. Fireworks from California Grill

One of the absolute best places to watch the nightly fireworks show Happily Ever After in the Magic Kingdom is from the delicious California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. The restaurant is situated on the top floor of the Disney Resort and offers a stunning view that guests can enjoy from an outdoor deck no matter where they are in their dinner meals. While California Grill is currently open for dinner each night and serving up its famous menu, Happily Ever After is not currently running in the Magic Kingdom, so guests have to settle for a delicious meal without the special show.

2. Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue

Another favorite dining experience that combines delicious food with special entertainment can normally be found at The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue typically is performed several nights each week in Pioneer Hall and features a cast of hilarious actors that combine vaudeville acts with the style of the Wild West. Guests can enjoy the show and might even be chosen to participate in it while digging into an all-you-can-eat menu of fried chicken, smoked BBQ pork ribs, and more. Unfortunately the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue is not currently running, but hopefully it will return for guests to enjoy soon.

3. ‘Ohana

One of the most sought after dining reservations in Walt Disney World can be found at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort on the upper level of the Great Ceremonial House. ‘Ohana is typically open daily for breakfast and dinner for two unique and delicious dining experiences, however it is currently not available for guests to enjoy. When open, the restaurant offers up the Best Friends Breakfast featuring Lilo & Stitch featuring character meet and greets and American breakfast favorites and dinner consists of Hawaiian specialties served family style accompanied by ukulele music and beautiful views of Happily Ever After across the water.

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4. Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show

Also found at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is a dinner show that combines delicious food with entertainment straight from the islands. Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show normally operates on select nights each week in Luau Cove and features a celebration being hosted by Auntie Wini that includes special dances and music from various Polynesian islands. While the entertainment is great, the food at Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show is also beloved by guests as it consists of an all-you-can-eat feast of pulled pork, ribs, roasted chicken, and more. Guests certainly are missing this amazing live dinner show and hope that it will return soon!

5. Meeting Disney Princesses at Cinderella’s Royal Table

One of the experiences that many guests are missing the most in Walt Disney World is character interaction which typically comes in many forms. Guests particularly love to enjoy character dining where they can sample delicious menus and cuisine while also meeting and chatting with favorite characters right at their tables. Cinderella’s Royal Table is a very popular dining experience located inside of Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom and while it is currently open for guests to dine in for lunch and dinner, it is currently missing a big part of the experience. Right now, guests are unable to enjoy the character dining aspect of this restaurant and typically would be able to meet some of the Disney Princesses while enjoying their meals. Hopefully the Disney Princesses return soon and the full experience can be enjoyed again!

6. Highway in the Sky Dine Around

Foodies visiting Walt Disney World typically have plenty of indulgent dining experiences to enjoy including a special event that brings them on a circle tour of Seven Seas Lagoon. The Highway in the Sky Dine Around is a special ticketed event that whisks guests to Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort on the monorail for a multi-course evening including small bites, a full plated dinner, drinks, and a dessert party on a private balcony overlooking Happily Ever After in the Magic Kingdom. The Highway in the Sky Dine Around is currently not being offered in Walt Disney World, but foodies will be thrilled when it does eventually return!

7. Afternoon Tea at Garden View Tea Room

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is home to many amazing dining experiences, several of which are not currently open to guests for safety reasons. One of those experiences is the Afternoon Tea at Garden View Tea Room which is located in the heart of the Disney Resort’s main building. When operating, guests of all ages can sit down each afternoon and sample different teas from around the world accompanied by traditional tea sandwiches, pastries, and other small bites. This unique experience is loved by many and a favorite for guests when open, so hopefully it will return soon.

8. Dine with an Imagineer

One of the most unique and interesting dining experiences that guests can enjoy in Walt Disney World is the chance to sit down for a delicious meal while listening to stories and more from an Imagineer. Dine with an Imagineer is a special experience that is normally offered at Citricos at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and The Hollywood Brown Derby in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and features a different Imagineer each time from all different areas of the company. Each Imagineer sits down and enjoys a special plated meal with guests while sharing stories from their career with the company and answering questions. Dine with an Imagineer is a truly unique dining experience that many guests hope returns soon to Walt Disney World.

9. Storybook Dining at Artist Point with Snow White

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge features some delicious dining options including a unique character meal that brings guests into an enchanted forest to dine with some special friends. Storybook Dining at Artist Point with Snow White is typically open each night for dinner and invites guests into a magical dining room with tree branches hanging overhead, twinkling lights, and the chance to meet Snow White, Dopey, Grumpy, and The Queen. In addition to the unique character interactions and setting, guests who enjoy dinner at Storybook Dining at Artist Point with Snow White can also order from a menu featuring uniquely themed choices such as Royal Prime Rib Roast, Brother’s Grimm Roasted Chicken, and Bashful’s Butter Poached Sustainable Fish.

10. Victoria & Albert’s

The ultimate foodie indulgence while visiting Walt Disney World is located at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa but is currently not open to guests. Victoria & Albert’s is a signature dining experience that offers up multi-course meals that vary each night in a dining room filled with Victorian opulence and splendor. Requiring a dress code and reserved for adult guests only, Victoria & Albert’s is a culinary sensation that has received the AAA Five Diamond Award every year since 2000 and guests who love fine dining and an ever changing seasonal menu inspired nightly by the chef. Foodies certainly are hoping that this indulgent dining experience returns to Walt Disney World soon!

About Caitlin Kane

Caitlin Kane has been visiting Walt Disney World since she was a child and has developed a deep love and appreciation of the Disney Parks with a particular interest in the small details and history that can be found all around. Visiting every chance she gets, Caitlin loves to enjoy the ambiance of the Disney Parks and try something new every time. She can often be found eating and drinking her way through the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, riding the Haunted Mansion, sipping on a Lapu Lapu, pretending Illuminations: Reflections of Earth was still in existence, and enjoying seeing the magic through the eyes of her children. When not in WDW, Caitlin can be found at home in New York dreaming of a ride on Living with the Land and counting down the days until her next trip.