Many guests, including us, have been back in Disney World to dine at our favorite restaurants again (how we’ve missed Homecomin‘s Cheddar Drop Biscuits).
And dining locations around the parks and resorts have been following strict health and safety regulations with Mobile Dining Check-in, distanced seating, limited menus, and more. Still, some guests have had affected Advance Dining Reservations now that Disney World’s park hours have been shortened beginning September 8th. We’ve got the scoop on how Disney will handle this.
As the parks continue their initial re-opening, Disney has stated that they would be making changes when they were necessary. One way we’ve seen this happen is through Disney announcing they’d be further reducing park hours starting in September.
On September 8th, Magic Kingdom will have its hours reduced to 9AM to 6PM, EPCOT will be open from 11AM to 7PM, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be open from 10AM to 7PM, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be open from 9AM to 5PM.
Since the parks are operating with even more limited hours next month, certain guests’ dining reservations could be affected during this time. If guests had booked reservations during a time that the parks WERE open, but now have a reservation when the park won’t be open, they could be left with essentially a non-usable reservation. If a guest booked, for example, a 6:30PM dinner reservation in Magic Kingdom back when it was set to close at 7PM and the park NOW closes at 6PM…what will happen?
According to a Disney Cast Member we spoke with, they will be reaching out individually to guests whose dining reservations are affected by these changes. However, Disney will possibly provide an auto-cancellation date for dining reservations, if Cast Members are unable to reach guests in time. At this time, they were unsure if or when that would happen.
UPDATE 8-16-20 After hearing from several readers noting that Disney is still offering after-hours dining reservations, we reached back out to Disney World via their website chat feature. Disney is now saying that some locations will stay open past park closing time to accommodate dining reservations.
If you happen to have a dining reservation that’s affected by the new park hours, Disney recommends that guests go online to modify them. However, if guests aren’t aware of the changes, Disney should take care of any affected reservations without action from the guest. But that could mean you’re out a reservation and will need to make alternate plans.
The best thing to do right now is to contact Disney to see if your reservation will still be honored.
As Disney starts to reach out to guests, we’ll keep you updated about other changes that will be coming to the parks with the new limited hours in Disney World!
What is your favorite restaurant to visit in Disney World? Let us know in the comments below!