Walt Disney World Announces Opening Dates for Crystal Palace, Woody’s Lunchbox & Tomorrowland Terrace

Walt Disney World has announced re-opening dates for three more restaurants following their closures as a result of the COVID-19 shutdown.

At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Woody’s Lunchbox will re-open on November 25th in Toy Story Land.

In the Magic Kingdom, the quick service Tomorrowland Terrace will be re-opening on December 17th.  When it re-opens it will feature an updated menu including lobster rolls, grilled salmon and New England Clam Chowder.

Also at the Magic Kingdom, The Crystal Palace will re-open on December 13th as a family-style meal without characters. Individually plated entrées will include crispy fried chicken with honey pot drizzle, fire-roasted prime rib of beef, and fried cauliflower. Reservations will open on My Disney Experience on December 1st.

Characters Returning to Chef Mickey’s

Walt Disney World has indicated that Mickey Mouse and friends will return to Chef Mickey’s starting on December 16th at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

Disney has also indicated that along with the return of characters,  there will be new menu items that will debut.  When the breakfast returns it will now be an all-you-care-to-eat family style breakfast instead of the previous buffet offering.

As we have seen at other Walt Disney World character meals, the characters will parade though the restaurant instead of visiting tables as they have previously done.

While Disney has not specifically mentioned it, I would expect that they will be returning the price to what it was previously when it had characters.

Reservations for Chef Mickey’s character breakfast will become available on October 17th.

It’s been years since we’ve been to Chef Mickey’s. We considered the character interaction subpar and the buffet food barely average….and it’s the noisiest meal I’ve ever experience…ever. We ate at Garden Grill and Topolino’s last month when we were visiting Walt Disney World and I actually think the way they’re doing the characters is an improvement. With this and the menu changes…if they stay….might actually get us to return.

The other thing that’s important to note….

This significantly increases the number of character breakfasts and character meals available to guests on property.  So, if you are looking for a character meal, this is really good news.

Walt Disney World Adds Three Quick Service Eating Options at Magic Kingdom, Adjusts Operating Hours of Three Eating Options at DHS

Walt Disney World has opened two more quick service options at the Magic Kingdom as the park continues it’s phased re-opening from the COVID-19 shutdown.

In Fantasyland the Friar’s Nook has re-opened along with the Advetnureland Spring Roll Cart.  Both re-opened yesterday.

In Tomorrowland, The Lunching Pad will also re-open on October 9th.

Meanwhile at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney announced new operating hours at three restaurants.  These new hours will go into effect on October 4th.

Disney will be changing the closing time for Backlot Express from 4 PM to 5 PM.

PizzeRizzo will reduce hours to 11 AM – 5 PM from the previous 11:30 AM – 6:30 PM.

Ronto Roasters will get it hours reduced to 9:30 AM – 3 PM (currently 9:30 AM – 8 PM). Ronto Wraps will still be available at Docking Bay 7 after Ronto Roasters closes each day.

Walt Disney World Expands Temperature Screenings

Walt Disney World has expanded its temperature screenings to include some of its resort hotel restaurants.

Prior to this expansion Disney was taking guest temperatures on arrival at Disney Springs and the theme parks.  Now a temperature measurement will also be taken at table service restaurants inside Walt Disney World Resort hotels.

Based on guidance from health authorities, Disney will continue its policy that anyone displaying a temperature of 100.4 F or above will be directed to an additional rescreening and assistance. Those with temperatures 100.4 F or above will not be allowed entry; those in their party will not be allowed entry either.

Walt Disney World Releases Full Listing of Theme Park Dining Locations

Walt Disney World has released the full list of dining locations that will be open when the theme parks open in a few weeks.

Magic Kingdom

When Magic Kingdom park reopens on July 11th, the following locations will be available for dining:

Aloha Isle
Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies
Be Our Guest Restaurant
Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe
Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company
Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen
Liberty Square Market
Liberty Tree Tavern
Main Street Bakery
Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe
Pinocchio Village Haus
The Plaza Restaurant
Sleepy Hollow
Storybook Treats
Sunshine Tree Terrace
Tony’s Town Square Restaurant

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

When Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park reopens on July 11th, the following locations will be available for dining:

Anandapur Ice Cream Truck
Creature Comforts
Dawa Bar
Dino-Bite Snacks
Flame Tree Barbecue
Harambe Fruit Market
Isle of Java
Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company
Mr. Kamal’s
Nomad Lounge
Pongu Pongu
Rainforest Cafe® at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Restaurantosaurus
Satu’li Canteen
Tamu Tamu Refreshments
Thirsty River Bar & Trek Snacks
Tiffins Restaurant
Trilo-Bites
Yak & Yeti™ Local Food Cafes
Yak & Yeti™ Restaurant

EPCOT

When EPCOT reopens on July 15th, the following locations will be available for dining:

Biergarten Restaurant
Choza de Margarita
Coral Reef Restaurant
Crepes des Chefs de France
Fife & Drum Tavern
Funnel Cake
Garden Grill Restaurant
Gelati
Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company
Joy of Tea
Kabuki Café
Katsura Grill
L’Artisan des Glaces
La Cantina de San Angel
La Cava de Tequila
La Hacienda de San Angel
The Land Cart
Le Cellier Steakhouse
Popcorn in Canada
Refreshment Outpost
Refreshment Port
Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue
Rose & Crown Dining Room
Rose & Crown Pub
San Angel Inn Restaurante
Spice Road Table
Sunshine Seasons
Tangierine Café
Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival kiosks
Traveler’s Café
UK Beer Cart
Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

When Disney’s Hollywood Studios reopens on July 15th, the following locations will be available for dining:

50’s Prime Time Café
Anaheim Produce
Backlot Express
BaseLine Tap House
Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo
The Hollywood Brown Derby
The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge
Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company
Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano
Milk Stand
Oga’s Cantina at the Walt Disney World Resort
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

When Walt Disney World Opens, Topolino’s Terrace Will Host the Only Character Dining

Walt Disney World has updated the information available about its plans to re-open its restaurants.

According to Disney –

  • Face coverings will be required for each Guest age 2 and up, which must be worn in all public areas—including while entering and exiting dining locations—and can be removed while eating or drinking.
  • In-park dining reservations are not available but will resume at a later date
  • When in-park dining initially becomes available, you’ll need valid park admission, a reservation for park entry and a dining reservation to dine at an in-park, table-service restaurant. Dining reservations do not guarantee admission to the park.
  • At this time, Disney dining plans cannot be added to reservations.
  • Menus will be shared in ways to minimize contact. At quick-service restaurants, menus will be displayed on signage. And at table-service restaurants, you can scan a code with your mobile device to access the digital menu.
  • Character Dining will not be offered during the initial reopening, with the exception of a modified Character Dining experience at Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera.
  • Dinner shows will not be offered during the initial reopening.
  • Dining locations will be limited in capacity. Some locations will remain temporarily closed.
  • Private dining and in-room delivery will not be offered during the initial reopening window.

Walt Disney World Updates Reservations, Suspends FastPass+ and Extra Magic Hours

Thursday evening Walt Disney World announced more details on its plans to reopen the resort beginning on July 11th.

The big take is that Disney announced that FastPass+ will be suspended, along with Extra Magic Hours.

Effective Thursday Disney will be cancelling all dining reservations, experience bookings, Disney dining plan and FastPass+ selections. Disney also stated that guests with existing Resort reservations will have priority access to the new park reservation system when it becomes available. Also, guests who had existing reservations will receive priority access to rebook reservations when reservations for dining and other experiences resume.

Guests who purchased a Disney dining plan and tickets for dates between May 28, 2020 and September 26, 2021 will receive an automatic cancellation and refund of their Disney dining plan.

Guests who booked Resort hotel reservations with a Free Dining package for dates between May 28, 2020 and September 26, 2021 will receive an automatic cancellation of their Disney dining plan and are invited to rebook their vacation for a later date with a 35% room discount.

The details of the release are below –

  • New Ticket Sales and Hotel Reservations: At this time, we are temporarily pausing new ticket sales and Disney Resort hotel reservations so we can focus on guests with existing tickets and reservations. Existing ticket holders and Annual Passholders will be able to make a theme park reservation before new tickets are sold; we will be reaching out to these guests soon to provide additional details. We will resume new sales of tickets and Disney Resort hotel reservations after that period of time. Theme park reservations will be limited due to attendance limitations and will be subject to availability.

 

  • Dining and Experiences: In order to foster physical distancing during this time, upon reopening, our offerings, restaurants and other experiences such as behind-the-scenes tours will be limited in capacity, and other experiences may remain closed. As a result of limited capacity, we have made the difficult decision to cancel all existing dining reservations and experience bookings, including Disney dining plans included in packages. We will reopen dining and experience bookings with more limited numbers closer to when the parks reopen. We will also shift from a 180-day booking window to a 60-day booking window for dining and experience bookings going forward to allow Guests to make their plans closer to their visits.

 

  • FastPass+ and Extra Magic Hours: As a result of the COVID-19 impact, the FastPass+ service will be suspended for the time being as we plan to use additional queue space to manage capacity at our attractions and maintain physical distancing. We will automatically cancel existing FastPass+ selections and share any future updates on the service at a later date. Also, please note that upon reopening, Extra Magic Hours will be temporarily suspended.

 

Walt Disney World Hints That it May be Anticipating Opening Around June 1st

Walt Disney World did a couple of things yesterday that hint that the powers that be may be seriously thinking about opening the resort at or around June 1, 2020.

Yesterday,  Walt Disney World announced a free dining plan that states –

The Free Dining Plan offer is available when you purchase a non-discounted package that includes Theme Parks tickets and accommodations at a select Disney Resort hotel. It is valid for arrivals June 1 – September 30, 2020, with booking available though May 31. The offer is valid only for guests who booked a vacation package or room reservation to stay at a Disney Resort hotel during the dates Walt Disney World is closed. Offer not valid for reservations canceled before March 1 2020.

Walt Disney World also announced that they are accepting reservations starting June 1st –

For Guests who are interested in modifying their existing travel dates or making a new reservation for a future vacation, reservations are currently available for travel dates June 1 and later. As always, Guests are able to modify these bookings if Walt Disney World Resort opens before or after that time.

This is only my opinion, so until Disney actually announces a re-opening date, this amounts to being only speculation.  I personally find it hard to believe that they would announce this and rebook vacations/reservations only to have to rebook them at a later date because they haven’t opened.  We need to remember though that things could change they may not actually open around June 1st.

It also needs to be mentioned that even if the resort open, there is no way to know or anticipate to what degree the resort will be open and functioning.

I know that I don’t like to propagate rumors or rely on too much speculation, but to me this just make too much sense.  But what do I know…I could be totally off base on this.  I could also be biased because we have a trip for mid-July, so subconsciously I probably want this to be true.

Space-Themed Restaurant to Open in Epcot Later This Year

Some people go to Walt Disney World for the attractions, others go for the food.  Some will say that food at the Disney parks is an attraction.

Well, if you’re a fan of eating at Walt Disney World, Disney has announced that Epcot’s space-themed restaurant will open later this year.

The restaurant was initially announced last summer. Disney has not announced a name for the new restaurant either.  And, so far, few details have been shared about its menu or price point.

The new Epcot establishment is going up in Epcot’s Future World, in a space between Test Track and the Mission: Space attractions.

According to Disney…

“No dining experience on Earth can match what’s in store, because this new restaurant will take you into outer space for incredible dining experiences that are out of this world.”

Patina Restaurant Group will be operating the table-service restaurant.  It has “developed a menu that features internationally inspired cuisine, more than 1,000 bottles of the world’s finest wines and a wide selection of craft beer,” according to Disney. Patina says the executive chef will be Theo Schoenegger who created the cuisine.

Patina also operates the Epcot restaurants Tutto Italia and Via Napoli in the Italy pavilion plus Disney Springs restaurants including Morimoto Asia, Edison, Maria & Enzo’s, Pizza Ponte and Enzo’s Hideaway.

I don’t know about you, but I cannot wait to eat here.  When it does open I expect it to be very popular and it will be a hard reservation to get initially.

Free Dining Plan Now Available for Booking at WDW Resort Hotels

Here Yee!  Here Yee!  Free Dining is here!!!

Walt Disney World  has announced that its Fee Dining Plan offer is available for booking for stays July 5th through September 30th of this year.

The free dining plan is available when guests purchase a non-discounted 5-night/6-day vacation package that includes a room at a select Disney Resort hotels and a ticket with a Park Hopper Option or Park Hopper Plus Option.

Starting today, if you book a non-discounted five-night/six-day Walt Disney Travel Co. package through Feb. 10, 2019, for arrivals most nights from July 5 to Sept. 30, 2019, you’ll receive a dining plan for free!

For guests that use it, the Disney Dining Plan provides flexibility and convenience, offering prepaid meals and snacks when you dine at Walt Disney World resort hotels, theme parks and select locations at Disney Springs.

Guests staying at select Value and Moderate Resorts will get the Disney Quick Service Plan, which includes two quick-service meals and two select snacks per night honored at more than 100 dining locations.

Guests staying at select Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts will get the Disney Dining Plan, which includes one quick-service meal, one table-service meal and two select snacks per night. Meals are available at over 200 select Walt Disney World dining locations.

Walt Disney World has also announce some new Spring discounts.

Guests can save up to 25% for stays most nights from April 28 through May 27, 2019. They can also save up to 30% for stays most nights from May 28 through September 30, 2019

You will need to book your trip by March 24, 2019 to take advantage of the greatest savings.

While I and my family have not used the Free Dining Plan on any of our trips to Walt Disney World, I know plenty of people who have.  Are you a fan of the this?