Disney Parks Reopening Restaurants

11 Ways Walt Disney World Dining Has Changed

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Last Updated on May 17, 2021 by Allyson

There are quite a few ways that Walt Disney World dining has changed since the parks and hotels initially reopened.

Just like finding the right resort and trying to squeeze in all of your must-do attractions, dining is a big part of a WDW trip.

And now that there are a lot of health and safety protocols to follow, it’s important to make sure  you know all of the ins and outs before stepping foot inside the parks.

With that, here’s how WDW dining has changed since the reopening.

1. Not Everything Is Open

There are a lot of dining options across WDW, but only select Quick Service and Table Service locations have reopened. Some carts and kiosks are also open, so keep your eyes peeled for those around the parks as well.

Here’s what is currently open at each theme park:

Magic Kingdom

Gaston's Tavern at Magic Kingdom

  • Aloha Isle
  • Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies
  • Be Our Guest Restaurant
  • Cinderella’s Royal Table (modified character dining; Cinderella makes a brief appearance)
  • Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe
  • The Crystal Palace (no characters; family-dining experience)
  • The Friar’s Nook
  • Gaston’s Tavern
  • Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company
  • Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen
  • Liberty Square Market
  • Liberty Tree Tavern
  • The Lunching Pad
  • Main Street Bakery
  • Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe
  • Pinocchio Village Haus
  • The Plaza Restaurant
  • Sleepy Hollow
  • Storybook Treats
  • Sunshine Tree Terrace
  • Tomorrowland Terrace (serving Columbia Harbour House’s menu; part of the restaurant still functions as a Relaxation Station)
  • Tony’s Town Square Restaurant
  • Westward Ho

Animal Kingdom

Pongu Pongu in Animal Kingdom's Pandora

  • Anandapur Ice Cream Truck
  • Creature Comforts
  • Dawa Bar
  • Dino-Bite Snacks
  • Drinkwallah
  • Flame Tree Barbecue
  • Harambe Fruit Market
  • Harambe Market
  • Isle of Java
  • Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company
  • Mahindi
  • Mr. Kamal’s
  • Nomad Lounge
  • Pongu Pongu
  • Rainforest Cafe® at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
  • Restaurantosaurus
  • Satu’li Canteen
  • Tamu Tamu Refreshments
  • Terra Treats
  • Thirsty River Bar & Trek Snacks
  • Tiffins Restaurant
  • Trilo-Bites
  • Yak & Yeti Local Food Cafes
  • Yak & Yeti Quality Beverages
  • Yak & Yeti Restaurant

Hollywood Studios

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater at Hollywood Studios

  • 50’s Prime Time Café
  • ABC Commissary
  • Anaheim Produce
  • Backlot Express
  • BaseLine Tap House
  • Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo
  • Epic Eats
  • Fairfax Fare
  • The Hollywood Brown Derby
  • The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge
  • Hollywood Scoops
  • Hollywood & Vine (modified character dining)
  • Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company
  • KRNR The Rock Station
  • Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano
  • Market
  • Milk Stand
  • Oga’s Cantina
  • Peevy’s Polar Pipeline
  • PizzeRizzo
  • Ronto Roasters
  • Rosie’s All-American Café
  • Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant
  • Sunshine Day Bar
  • The Trolley Car Café
  • Woody’s Lunch Box


Beer at Rose & Crown Pub in Epcot

  • Biergarten Restaurant
  • Block & Hans
  • Chefs de France
  • Choza de Margarita
  • Cool Wash
  • Coral Reef Restaurant
  • Crepes des Chefs de France
  • Fife & Drum Tavern
  • Funnel Cake
  • Garden Grill Restaurant (modified character dining)
  • Gelateria Toscana (new gelato stand in Italy pavilion)
  • Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company
  • Joy of Tea
  • Kabuki Café
  • Katsura Grill
  • Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe
  • L’Artisan des Glaces
  • La Cantina de San Angel
  • La Cava de Tequila
  • La Hacienda de San Angel
  • The Land Cart
  • Le Cellier Steakhouse
  • Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie
  • Les Vins des Chefs de France
  • Lotus Blossom Café
  • Oasis Sweets & Sips
  • Pizza al Taglio
  • Popcorn in Canada
  • Refreshment Outpost
  • Refreshment Port
  • Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue
  • Rose & Crown Dining Room
  • Rose & Crown Pub
  • San Angel Inn Restaurante
  • Sommerfest
  • Spice Road Table
  • Sunshine Seasons
  • Teppan Edo
  • Traveler’s Café
  • Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar
  • Tutto Italia Ristorante
  • UK Beer Cart
  • Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria
  • Yorkshire County Fish Shop

To see what’s open at the resorts (dining, activities, transportation, and more), check out WDW Prep School’s complete guide.

2. Health & Safety Measures Implemented 

Disney is ensuring the health and safety of guests in a multitude of ways when it comes to dining, including:

  • Dining locations have limited capacity
  • There are contactless menus (you scan a QR code with your smartphone)
  • Only select tables are available for dining and spaced apart to maintain an appropriate physical distance
  • Temperature screenings ended on May 16 for all guests.

Health and safety notice outside dining locations in Walt Disney World

  • Self-serve stations, like beverage fountains, are now run by Cast Members
  • Plexiglass at pick-up counters for protection
  • Enhanced cleaning measures (Cast Members are constantly disinfecting table areas)
  • New silverware dispensers that are much more sanitary

New silverware dispenser at Walt Disney World

3. Face Covering Policy

Now, obviously, you’re allowed to remove your mask when eating and drinking. But, there are still a few rules to keep in mind.

  1. Your face covering must stay on when entering and exiting dining locations.
  2. If you get up to grab napkins, silverware, etc., be sure to put your mask back on.
  3. You can’t walk around eating or drinking without a face covering. You must remain stationary and make sure you’re at least six feet from others.

Face mask protocol sign at Walt Disney World

4. Mobile Order Now Required

To be clear, not all Quick Service locations have Mobile Order, but there are many that do. And if Mobile Order is offered, that means you must place an order using the My Disney Experience.

The Quick Service spots that have Mobile Order will not allow you entry until your Mobile Order is ready. Mobile Order also helps with contactless ordering and payment.

Mobile Order at Walt Disney World

If you’ve never used Mobile Order, it is very easy. Here’s how it works:

  • Download My Disney Experience (make sure you have a Disney account and sign in)
  • Hit the “+” at the bottom of the screen
  • Tap “Order Food”
  • You can browse the different dining options
  • You’ll then select an “Arrival Window”
  • You’ll be able to browse the different menu categories, select what you want, and choose the quantity (tap “+ADD” when you want to add an item)
  • Once finished, hit “View My Order” at the bottom of the screen
  • You can then either “Modify Order” or “Review Order Summary”
  • After selecting “Review Order Summary,” just follow the onscreen prompts to checkout and pay (you can pay with a credit card, debit card, Disney Gift Card, Disney Rewards Redemption Card, or Apple Pay)

When you’re at your location, let them know you’re ready by clicking “I’m Here, Prepare My Order.”

Mobile Order at Walt Disney World

You’ll receive a notification alerting you when you’re food is prepared and a window number. All you have to do is show the Cast Member working that you’re order is ready and they’ll assist you.

Select Quick Service locations even have socially-distanced dots inside on the floor for guests to stand on while they wait. All you have to do is show the Cast Member your order is being prepared and you’ll be directed to stand on a dot inside. This also helps prevents guests from gathering.

NEW — You can now Mobile Order from select Table Service restaurants at Walt Disney World resorts. Available locations include:

  • Sanaa To Go at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Kona Cafe To Go at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
  • The Wave… of American Flavors To Go at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Olivia’s Cafe To Go at Disney’s Old Key West Resort
  • Ale & Compass Restaurant To Go at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
  • Geyser Point Bar & Grill To Go at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Three Bridges Bar and Grill at Villa del Lago To Go at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

The Table Service To Go feature operates exactly like Mobile Order for Quick Service, but it might take longer since meals are made to order. Disney has confirmed more hotel Table Service restaurants will implement Mobile Order in the future.

Table Service to Go at Walt Disney World

5. Advance Reservation Window Changes

Previously, you could make advanced dining reservations 180 days prior to your check-in date, but that’s changed. Now, all guests can book dining only 60 days in advance.

To be clear, Disney Resort hotel guests can make reservations up to 60 days in advance plus the length of their stay (up to 10 days).

And, reservations are highly recommended for Table Service dining at both the parks and resorts, especially since capacity is reduced.

If you didn’t know, in order to visit a hotel currently, you need either a confirmed resort reservation for overnight guests or a confirmed dining reservation for day guests.

Don’t forget that in order to enjoy in-park Table Service dining, you will need valid theme park admission and a Disney Park Pass reservation.

6. New Mobile Dine Check-In

There is a new Mobile Dine Check-In feature for anyone who has dining reservations at Table Service locations.

Rather than going to the host stand, you’ll check-in for your reservation via My Disney Experience.

Mobile Dine Check-In at Walt Disney World

Here’s how it works:

  • You will receive a push notification prompting you to check in via MDE or you can check-in by scanning a QR code located at the restaurant.
  • If there isn’t a code to scan or you don’t receive a notification, you can also open up your reservation in the app and you’ll be able to check in when it’s time.
  • You’ll follow the several on-screen prompts.
  • Once completed, you’ll wait to be notified that your table is ready.

Mobile Dine Check-In at Walt Disney World

These are the current locations offering Mobile Dine Check-In:

Magic Kingdom

  • Be Our Guest Restaurant
  • Cinderella’s Royal Table
  • Liberty Tree Tavern
  • The Plaza Restaurant
  • Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen
  • Tony’s Town Square Restaurant


  • Biergarten Restaurant
  • Coral Reef Restaurant
  • The Garden Grill
  • Le Cellier Steakhouse
  • Rose & Crown Dining Room

Hollywood Studios

  • The Hollywood Brown Derby
  • Hollywood & Vine
  • Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano
  • 50’s Prime Time Café
  • Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant
  • Oga’s Cantina

Animal Kingdom

  • Tiffins Restaurant

Disney’s BoardWalk

  • Trattoria al Forno

Disney’s Old Key West Resort

  • Olivia’s Café

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

  • Sanaa

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

  • Kona Café

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

  • California Grill
  • Chef Mickey’s
  • The Wave

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

  • Whispering Canyon Cafe

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

  • Grand Floridian Café
  • Narcoossee’s

Disney’s Yacht Club Resort & Beach Club Villas

  • Ale & Compass Restaurant
  • Beaches & Cream Soda Shop

Disney’s Riviera Resort

  • Topolino’s Terrace

7. Check Walk-Up Availability Via MDE

If you don’t have a reservation and bookings are full, you can always check to see if there’s Walk-Up Availability.

Walk-up availability at Walt Disney World

Walk-up availability at Walt Disney World

You can check right in My Disney Experience. All you have to do is pull up the dining location you’re looking for and you’ll be able to see if Walk-Ups are full or how long the wait is.

Walk-up availability at Walt Disney World

You must be in close range to book a walk-up. And, if something isn’t open right away, keep checking. You never know if a spot will become available.

8.  Outdoor Dining Is More Popular Now

It’s known that outdoor dining is safer right now compared to indoor dining.

If you want to eat outside but aren’t sure which locations offer outdoor dining, WDW Prep School has a complete guide that’s super helpful.

Outdoor dining in Storybook Circus at Magic Kingdom

9. No More Disney Dining Plans

Disney Dining Plans have been canceled and are now temporarily unavailable for purchase until further notice.

If you have an existing WDW Resort package with a dining plan, Disney will update your reservation to reflect the removal of the dining plan and the package price will be adjusted.

You will also receive a refund if you have already paid in full or a reduction in amount due if you have not yet made a final payment.

10. Character Dining Is Modified

There are only a few options for character dining — and they are modified. You can no longer get character autographs, hug them, or pose for side-by-side photos.

Rather, the characters will be at least six feet away, in which they will wave to you and you can take physically-distanced pictures.

Donald Duck at Magic Kingdom

The current character dining options are:

You should also know that dinner shows, private dining, and in-room delivery currently aren’t offered (except for in-room dining at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort).

11. Tables In Wonderland Updates

Tables in Wonderland will extend all active memberships by the number of days the parks were closed.

This means that existing memberships affected by the temporary closure will be extended for an additional 4 months beyond the printed date of expiration. The extension excludes memberships that expired February 2020 or earlier.

The Tables in Wonderland office is closed until further notice. You can call (407) 566-5858 for assistance.

Frozen martini in France pavilion at Epcot

And a few tips…

Try eating at off peak times so it’s not as busy. For example, I like to eat lunch around 11 a.m. and dinner around 4 p.m. (with many snacks before, in between, and after, of course).

Even if a Quick Service spot doesn’t have it’s own seating area, there are sometimes tables scattered around that you can use. Also, some other Quick Service spots might let you sit and eat. For example, during my August trip, a Cast Member said anyone who ordered from Pongu Pongu in Pandora could sit at Satu’li Canteen.

— Keep in mind that Magic Kingdom doesn’t have a ton of Quick Service options right now. In my opinion, they are the worst choices out of all four parks. So, you may want to book a Table Service restaurant or book dining at a nearby hotel.

Mickey Pretzel at Walt Disney World

— Remember that you can place a Mobile Order while waiting in line for an attraction or aren’t near the dining location. You don’t need to be at the restaurant to Mobile Order.

— When you’re waiting for a Mobile Order, don’t crowd at the front entrance or take up space by the Cast Members working. Try and wait a bit away in order to maintain social distancing.

All of this might seem like a hassle, but it really isn’t bad. Also, keep in mind that these updates aren’t permanent, but necessary right now due to the current environment.

I will be sure to update this post if or when other changes are announced. If you have any question, please let me know!

For more on Walt Disney World’s reopening, be sure to check out my complete guide detailing everything from dining, to hotels, to transportation, and much more.

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