There are a LOT of things that are different about traveling to Walt Disney World right now. You need a Disney Park Pass reservation to even get INTO a theme park, there are very few live shows, character flotillas and cavalcades have replaced traditional meet-and-greets, and so on… .
A LOT of these changes you can plan for well in advance of your trip. You can reserve Park Passes as soon as you know you’re going to Disney World (subject to availability, of course), you can pack extra masks and hand sanitizer to prepare for enhanced health and safety measures, and you can temper expectations knowing you may not get to do EVERYTHING you were once able to enjoy at Disney World.
The Big Problem
But even if you do all that and more, once you get to Disney World, there are some things you’ll encounter that you may not have taken into account. And it’s time we talk about one of them: Eating late at night.
Park hours are shorter
There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it: Park hours are shorter at Disney World right now! So, there’s less time for dinner reservations. Not only can they be hard to come by, but if you want to dine at Tiffins, that may mean you’re eating dinner at 4:45PM at the latest!
While open later, Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT close between 7PM and 9PM most days. With less time to ride all of the rides, it can also be hard to want to take time out of your day for a long, sit-down dinner at Jungle Navigation Co., Hollywood & Vine, or Chefs de France.
And that brings us to our next point… .
There are fewer quick service options
If you want to grab a quick bite to go at the parks right before closing, you may find yourself lacking in options. Yes, lots of spots at Disney World ARE open, but there are TONS of spots that are not serving food right now.
At the Magic Kingdom alone, Casey’s Corner, Cheshire Cafe, Columbia Harbour House, Cool Ship, The Diamond Horseshoe, Golden Oak Outpost, the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor, Prince Eric’s Village Market, Tortuga Tavern are currently CLOSED.
Quick service options are lacking at resorts, too.
Previously, some spots like Everything POP at Pop Century or Capt. Cook’s at the Polynesian Village Resort would be open until midnight or have some options 24/7, but now, they close at 10, meaning super late-night options back at the hotel will be impossible to find beyond the occasional vending machine.
Disney Springs and resort restaurants close earlier, too
Planning on a resort or Disney Springs restaurant dinner after the parks close? That’s a FABULOUS option if you’re looking to eat around 8 or 9PM.
But, like everything else at Disney World right now, yep you guessed it, Disney Springs and resort restaurants close earlier. Most are closing around 10PM. And yep, those reservations can be hard to come by.
So this is really something you will want to plan ahead for. Make after-park reservations before even coming to Disney World. If you try to walk up to the Grand Floridian Cafe at 8:30 PM, you’ll be sad if tables are booked, and that the restaurant closes at 9 right now.
What to do?
Like everything at Disney World all the time, if you’re the type of person who gets hungry every night around midnight (and we don’t blame you after walking miles and miles and miles every day), you just need to plan ahead!
Keep snacks in your room
The easiest thing to do: keep snacks in your room! Pack protein bars, pretzels, soda, beer, or whatever else you may want late at night in your checked baggage. Rooms should have a mini-fridge where items that need to be chilled can be stored. If not, reach out to housekeeping and simply request one.
It’s a budget-friendly way to snack, and you’ll avoid starving on night one. You can also order something from one of your resort’s quick service spots around 9PM and keep it for later.
Consider Uber Eats or Postmates
Disney World’s restaurants may close at 10PM, but other restaurants across Orlando have longer hours. So that means, you can simply order Uber Eats, Postmates, Grubhub, or another similar service to your hotel room!
Just enter your resort’s address on the app, and it will tell you what restaurants are available for delivery! It works just the same way as ordering food to your own home! This is a great way to get hot, fresh food at Disney World hours and hours after the parks have closed.
There are a lot of things that are different about traveling to Walt Disney World right now, and dining is no exception! All you night owls may be disappointed that you can’t lounge at bars late into the night while snacking on pretzels and decompressing from a long day riding rides, but if you plan ahead, pack smart, and maybe order off property, you’ll be prepared!
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Do you miss late night dining at Disney World? Let us know in the comments!