Changes to dining and recreation abound, and Disney Dining during Covid times is no exception. But you can still enjoy your favorite dining options, just a little differently. Here’s how:
Before Covid (or as we are saying BC) Walt Disney World dining reservations were made 180 days in advance, restaurants were all open, you had plenty of Quick Service restaurants to choose from in the parks, and mobile ordering was used but not always.
I am going to go through Disney Dining items that have changed during Covid times, so you are back in the know!
Dining Reservations are being made at 60 days instead of 180 days
This to me is a Covid Silver lining! Half a year is a really long time to be making dining reservations. Now you can make your reservations 60 days in advance. If you are staying onsite on a Walt Disney World Property you can make all your dining reservations for your vacation 60 days from your arrival date. A closer window when making your reservations, will hopefully also mean, less people “over booking” due to not knowing their plans. So if you are looking for dining reservations, remember they release 6am CST 60 days prior to arrival.
Some Restaurants are closed. The fact is Walt Disney World is not operating at 100% capacity, so business wise, it makes sense that not all the restaurants and kiosks are open. Note some restaurants aren’t open yet, and some kiosks in the parks aren’t open, or open on weekends only. I was very deeply upset, after passing the egg roll cart in Adventureland in Magic Kingdom, to see that it was closed during the week. Make sure you check the My Disney Experience App that day to ensure your favorite place is open.
Mobile orders are everywhere. My Disney Experience App has been around for a while, and with that they introduced Mobile ordering. Before Covid I used it a few times before when lines were longer, now it is really the only way to order quick service food! For quick service restaurants, you place your order, hit that you are there waiting and it will let you know when your food is ready. This is how they are limiting the amount of people inside for seating and social distancing. So make sure you know how to use My Disney Experience and the mobile ordering, or ask a friendly Cast Member at any dining experience. To me this is great, less standing in line!
Character dining has changed. This one has some plus and minuses. When we were at Walt Disney World we did Topolinos Breakfast with Mickey and the gang, to experience the new character dining experience (highly recommend their food by the way). All the Characters come out and they stay 6 feet from your table, they do wave and dance around though. I have to say, I think Mickey and the gang took some dance lessons during the closure, as Donald had some great Dance moves! They also practiced their selfie poses! Plus side to this is for adults you still get cute selfie pictures, and for young children they don’t come close so they won’t scare your little one. The downside is that you can’t give Mickey a big old hug, or have them sign your autograph book. They do provide you with a cute postcard though with signatures.
Menus have changed and there are no menus at the tables. So start with the positive, no dirty menus with food spots on them, they are all loaded online. You scan the QR code and can look at the menus online, also means you can see the full menus before you arrive to plan ahead. Now we all know the restaurants have taken a hit due to Covid, which means they have had to get smarter with food ordering, so they need to limit their menu. Although some of my favorites were not always on the menu at different restaurants, I will say they did pick the ones they are known for. Again, you can look ahead and see if the restaurant has your favorite dish because all the menus are online now.
One thing I did not mention on this list is, Disney Dining Plan. Yes, currently it is not being offered. For my family, we loved the Disney Dining Plan. My husband hates seeing the bills everytime we eat. I hope more restaurants open and the Dining plans come back soon, in the meantime though there are for sure some Covid silver linings to Disney Dining.
The Magic is back at Disney, and let’s be honest I am just glad I am not the one cooking!
The MousekeMoms, Lori, Jennifer and Juliana, are experienced Disney moms who dole out valuable, honest, no holds barred information on their weekly podcast to help you plan your Disneyland, Walt Disney World or Disney Cruise Line vacation.
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