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What To Know About Dining Now That Walt Disney World Has Reopened

Now that the Walt Disney World Resort is opened to guests, we wanted to make sure you were aware of some of the changes that have been made to the dining experience throughout the Walt Disney World Resort.  From modified character meals to limited menus, we have what you need to know about dining during your Disney vacation.

 

1. Some Restaurants Are Closed

Even though all four parks and Disney Springs are opened to guests, this doesn’t mean that all the restaurants are opened.  Guests will find some of their favorites remain closed during this transition period.  Make sure to check Disney’s Know Before You Go page to see the most up-to-date list of dining experiences opened and waiting for guests to enjoy.

Cinderella’s Royal Table

2. Limited Quick Service Options

Along with the limited sit-down restaurants comes limited quick service options.  At each of the parks and even at some of the resorts, numerous quick service locations remain closed to guests.  From Casey’s and Columbia Harbor House in Magic Kingdom to options throughout the World Showcase, Disney has not reopened all quick service options.  Once again this means that you might not be able to get your favorite item (corn dog nuggets anyone) during your next visit.

3. Mobile Ordering is a Must

To help with social distancing and crowd control, Disney is requiring all guests to use mobile ordering at quick service and even many snacks stands.  Mobile ordering is a feature guests can find within the My Disney Experience.  Through the app, guests will pre order their food, then notify Disney when they are ready, and finally be notified by Disney when food can be picked up.  Guests have not been allowed into the quick service locations without showing a mobile order confirmation.  Disney is using this to control who is in the dining area and to help keep everyone safe during this time.  Please know if you have a food allergy or need water, you can let the cast members know and they will help you out.

 

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4. Mobile Order Window

Since everyone is required to use mobile ordering, keep in mind that you might have to wait for a time.  Guests are asked to choose a window of time (11:30-12:00) to pick up food.  Because of the time system, you might not be able to get your food right away, but instead might have to wait anywhere from 15-45 minutes to even be able to place an order.  If you know your traveling party will be hungry at noon, it might be a good idea to jump on early in the day to give yourself a greater chance for that window of time.  This isn’t always an issue but during those peak dining times, your window options might be longer.

5. Character Meals are Different

Right now, guests can choose from two-character meals.  Garden Grill at Epcot and Topolino Terrace at the Riviera allow guests to enjoy a modified character experience.  Some of the fab five can be seen both of these locations and will interact with guests from a distance.  Mickey and friends will dance, wave, and blow kisses as they pass by tables.  Guests are not allowed to hug or take individual pictures at this time; however, we have heard guests have had good luck getting those selfies with the characters as they move by.

Credit: Disney (Topolino’s Terrace)

6. 60 not 180

If you have been to Disney before, you know that advanced dining reservations could typically be made at the 180 days prior to check-in.  During these changing times, Disney has pushed this to 60 days ahead of check-in.  With limited capacity at the restaurants, guests are still strongly encouraged to make reservations at this time.  Guests have been told that same day/walk-up reservations won’t be given.

7. Temperatures

Temperatures are being taken by Disney at parks, Disney Springs and we are starting to see this at dining establishments as well.  Know that guests will need a temperature below 100.4 in order to be allowed in.

Credit: Disney

8. Limited Menus as Disney Adjusts

Restaurants throughout Disney property are offering limited menus.   Even if your favorite dining location is opened, make sure you double check the menu.  Most restaurants are offering a slightly modified menu as they start to open back up meaning your favorite meal or drink might not be offered at this time.

9. Cashless Encouraged

Disney is encouraging guests to go cashless during this time.  Guests can pay through their magicband or Apple Pay as well as credit cards.  

Apple Pay

10. QR Codes

Make sure you know how to scan QR codes prior to heading down.  Most dining locations right now are using QR codes to replace paper menus.  Guests are asked to scan the QR code in order to bring up the current menu on their phone.

11. Dine Late

Finally, as the parks are closing earlier during this transition time, consider snagging the last dining reservation of the night.  This is a great way to be able to enjoy the parks with no crowds and the night time beauty.

It is great to be able to have a meal at Walt Disney World again.  From delicious Mickey Bars to an evening at California Grill, each dining experience is more magical than ever before.  In order to have the best dining experience, make sure you review these things to know prior to heading down.

About Jennifer Retzlaff

My name is Jennifer Retzlaff and I became a lifelong Disney fan during my first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of my life. I live in Iowa with my husband and two kids who are growing up too quickly for my liking. I started introducing my love for Disney early to my family with a Disney honeymoon and then trips when our youngest of 18 months. Since then, our family has been to Walt Disney World over five times and we continue to plan and dream for the next trip. I love the magic that Disney brings to people through the theme parks, cruises, adventures and movies they create. As a teacher, I try to bring that magic into my classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” I recently reached a dream of mine as I joined Magic Vacation Planner as a personal travel advisor. With this team, I can now help others plan magical vacations. As a passionate writer, I also have my own blog at magicalvacationsbyjen which is also where you can follow me on instagram for trip reviews along with tips and tricks for your next magical vacation.