As of today, Walt Disney World has implemented a stricter new rule for table service restaurants. The language of the old rule on the webpage was that face masks “must be worn in all public areas of the restaurant—including while entering and exiting—and can be removed while eating or drinking.”
The new rule states:
“Face coverings for each Guest age 2 and up, which must be worn in all public areas and can only be removed while actively eating or drinking. Face coverings must be worn while standing, waiting or sitting in dining locations.”
The previous rule was enforced so that guests could remove their face masks upon being seated, and leave them off for the duration of the meal, so long as they were at their table.
Even with this rule, some guests chose to leave their masks on while waiting or when interacting with Cast Members.
In my opinion the change is pretty minor. The new rule, would appear that with this clarification Disney will now require guests to stay masked except while actively eating their food or drinking, which is consistent with the regular in-park signs and announcement. I don’t think that the change will necessarily mean putting the mask back on in between bites, but it probably does mean being masked while ordering and waiting for drinks and appetizers or entrees to be delivered, and when waiting for the bill.
Hollywood and Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be resuming its Play ‘n’ Dine Character Breakfast on March 22nd.
The breakfast will feature favorite Disney Junior characters in what is becoming the norm with the return of character dining, the characters will be available for distanced waves and photographs.
The breakfast will feature a new á la cart menu –
- All-you-care-to-enjoy pancakes made with our signature house-made batter.
- French toast stuffed with chocolate-hazelnut spread.
- Toasted open-faced salmon bagel.
- Four-egg scramble.
- Four-egg cheese omelet.
- Plant-based egg frittata.
Reservations will be available beginning on February 26th.
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.
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 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 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 has released the full list of dining locations that will be open when the theme parks open in a few weeks.
When Magic Kingdom park reopens on July 11th, the following locations will be available for dining:
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
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
Flame Tree Barbecue
Harambe Fruit Market
Isle of Java
Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company
Rainforest Cafe® at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Tamu Tamu Refreshments
Thirsty River Bar & Trek Snacks
Yak & Yeti™ Local Food Cafes
Yak & Yeti™ Restaurant
When EPCOT reopens on July 15th, the following locations will be available for dining:
Choza de Margarita
Coral Reef Restaurant
Crepes des Chefs de France
Fife & Drum Tavern
Garden Grill Restaurant
Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company
Joy of Tea
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
Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue
Rose & Crown Dining Room
Rose & Crown Pub
San Angel Inn Restaurante
Spice Road Table
Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival kiosks
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
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
Oga’s Cantina at the Walt Disney World Resort
Peevy’s Polar Pipeline
Rosie’s All-American Café
Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant
Sunshine Day Bar
The Trolley Car Café
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.
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 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.