With Disney World set to reopen its Disney Vacation Club Resorts on June 22, along with Disney’s Fort Wilderness, we’re ready to head back to some of our favorite hotels on property and catch up on EVERYTHING we’ve missed since March!
But not so fast! While we were perusing which restaurants will open on June 22, we noticed there were SEVERAL dining experiences missing from those lists that made our jaws hit the floor! Here are six restaurants that we are SHOCKED to find will not be a part of their resorts’ initial reopenings.
‘Ohana has consistently been one of our favorite character breakfasts on property, and their dinner service is equally as memorable and delicious! It broke our hearts when we heard that it won’t open right away along with the rest of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.
With the news that experiences like meet and greets and character dining will be unavailable when the parks and resorts reopen, we would have been less surprised if just the characters were temporarily removed from ‘Ohana’s breakfast service. But to hear that the restaurant will remain closed altogether for the time being was certainly shocking to us!
Chef Mickey’s is a character dining experience first and foremost. With character dining temporarily suspended, Chef Mickey’s loses its biggest draw. That said, its location within Disney’s Contemporary Resort combined with the star-studded lineup of Disney characters you get to meet, makes it one of Disney World’s most popular restaurants.
While we’re surprised Chef Mickey’s isn’t attempting to implement an alternative character dining experience like what we will see at Topolino’s Terrace, the fact that Chef Mickey’s is a buffet is probably another major reason why it won’t reopen right away.
We’ve also seen that most Signature Dining experiences will be temporarily unavailable when the resorts and theme parks reopen. That means that restaurants like California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort will remain closed.
California Grill has sweeping views of Magic Kingdom, and one of the biggest benefits to dining here is that you can come back in the evening to watch Happily Ever After from a special viewing deck. With no fireworks being offered right away when the parks reopen, California Grill loses out on one of its best assets.
Still, lots of folks love to visit California Grill for its menu and refined atmosphere, and this is sure to be a disappointment for travelers with reservations in this initial reopening period. If you find yourself staying at Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, you can still dine at The Wave, The Wave Lounge, Contempo Cafe, and Cove Bar when the resort reopens on June 22.
See what other MAJOR discoveries we’ve made so far from Disney World’s resort hotel reopening announcements.
Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue
Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue at Fort Wilderness, along with Spirit of Aloha at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, both fall in the same category of dinner shows where you have the unique combination of dinner service as well as entertainment.
With entertainment offerings being temporarily suspended to promote physical distancing, dinner shows could most likely not open under conditions conducive with distancing requirements. For those staying at Disney’s Fort Wilderness in the coming weeks, you can still dine at P & J’s Southern Takeout, Meadow Snack Bar, and Crockett’s Tavern.
1900 Park Fare
1900 Park Fare is a character buffet restaurant at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. In the morning, guests can meet characters including Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, and Winnie the Pooh. For dinner, guests can meet characters from Cinderella (including those wicked Stepsisters Drizella and Anastasia!).
Like Chef Mickey’s, the combination of being both a buffet as well as a character dining experience make 1900 Park Fare a prime candidate for NOT coming back initially when Grand Floridian reopens. But where else are we supposed to get our Strawberry Soup!?
While 1900 Park Fare could come back without its characters, it would most likely need to come back as a totally modified buffet experience, or a family-style or plated table service option in order to comply with the heath and safety guidelines Disney is following. Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa WILL be reopening Grand Floridian Cafe, Gasparilla Island Grill, Enchanted Rose, and Beaches Pool Bar & Grill.
Storybook Dining at Artist Point
The final restaurant that we are shocked isn’t opening is Storybook Dining at Artist Point! This table service restaurant at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge recently went through a massive re-imagining, and what used to be a Signature Restaurant is now a whimsical character dining experience with Snow White!
We loved Storybook Dining when we last ate there so we’re super bummed to see it not returning in this initial reopening phase. Whereas many other character dining experiences are buffets, Storybook Dining could totally come back temporarily without its characters and still give us that awesome food we’ve come to fall in love with.
While we expect all of these restaurants to eventually reopen (and some of them have already reportedly started to call back cast members!), it’ll definitely be a strange feeling to know that these popular restaurants are temporarily unavailable!
Keep in mind that “resort hopping” will be limited when the resorts reopen, and if you are not staying at a particular resort, the only way you are allowed in is if you have a confirmed dining reservation at one of its restaurants! So be sure to plan ahead if you have summer travel accommodations at Disney World!
What restaurant are you most shocked to see will NOT reopen right away? Let us know in the comments!