Calling all foodies! Disney has announced the reopening of four dining locations!
2 quick-service restaurants and 2 table service restaurants are returning in August. Keep reading to learn everything we know about the reopening of these fan-favorites.
Beginning August 2nd, Pizzafari at Animal Kingdom will reopen. This quick-service location offers pizza (of course!) but you'll also find chicken parm sandwich, a green and grains salad, and specialty cupcakes and beverages!
Beginning August 5th, Columbia Harbour House at Magic Kingdom will reopen again! Seafood favorites are back, including the Lobster Roll and Trio Platter, as well as chicken strips, hushpuppies, the Lighthouse Sandwich (my personal favorite!!!!), and the Harbour Salad.
Looking for a sit-down dining experience? 2 popular locations are also reopening!
Yachtsman Steakhouse, at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, reopens August 5, 2021, with booking available July 29th. In addition to their signature steaks and chops, the Chilled Admiral’s Tower for Two is back as well as the creamy Lobster Bisque and the Yachtsman’s Chocolate Cake for Two.
Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood, located at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort will also reopen August 5, 2021, with booking also available July 29th. Here, you'll sample small plates and dishes inspired by the flavors of Spain. The signature Chuletón Bone-in Rib Eye is on the menu along with Char-grilled Steak, Rioja-braised Chicken, and “Café con Leche” Choux.
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There are certain Walt Disney World restaurants that get all the (totally justifiable!) hype. Cinderella's Royal Table, Be Our Guest, the list goes on and on. (In fact, I have an entire blog post dedicated to some of the best romantic restaurants!) Sometimes, those hard-to-get reservations elude us. I've found these tried-and-true hidden gem dining spots for those days where you're in a pinch and need a reservation quickly!
The Wave...of American Flavors is located at Disney's Contemporary Resort. If you're dying to check out the Contemporary, this is an exceptional hidden gem. Located just off the lobby, this spot has breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus. The food is fresh and there's something for everyone...even for the pickiest of eaters! (Pro tip: if you're there for breakfast, order the sweet potato pancakes...then be prepared to fall in love!)
Whispering Canyon Cafe is located in the lobby at Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort. Here, they're known for the phenomenal all-you-care-to-enjoy skillets for breakfast lunch, and dinner, though you can order an entree a la carte if you'd like. The name of this restaurant is definitely misleading, because this sounds about as far from "whispering" as you can get! Be prepared for some silly shenanigans from your waitstaff. (Of course, if you don't want to participate in the hijinks, just let them know! It's still a lot of fun to watch!)
Walt Disney World gets all of the (totally justified!) hype around its parks, but what do you do if you're not in the parks?
First of all, this means you likely took my advice and purposefully scheduled a non-park day! Disney is non-stop, and sometimes we all need a breather. Non-park days are also a great alternative to arrival and departure days so that you aren't burning a park ticket on a partial day.
#1 - Disney Springs
Disney Springs is the most logical non-park day locale. Disney Springs is a massive shopping, dining, and entertainment district on Walt Disney World property. (Columbus friends: it's Easton on steroids.) I could spend 5 hours going on and on about where to eat, where to drink, where to shop, and where to play. Do yourself a favor and at minimum head there for dinner one night.
*Pro tip: Disney Springs is still much more busy on weekends than weekdays. If you're hesitant about being around big crowds, save this one for a weekday.
#2 - Resort Day
One of the best parts about staying on Disney property is your fabulous hotel! Disney Resort hotels have incredible themed pools, fantastic shopping, delectable dining choices, and fun for the whole family. Rent a boat or surrey bike or check out the arcade. Many Resorts have walking/running paths, and select Resorts even have full-service spas! Your Resort pool will have daily activities (weather permitting), and your resort will have some other entertainment as well. I happen to know from experience that Wilderness Lodge has a fantastic Hidden Mickey hunt. Be on the lookout for characters, too...they've been known to swing by the hotels for a visit! (My recommended 2021 resorts can be found here!)
There is just something oh so romantic about the magic in Walt Disney World. Whether you're celebrating an anniversary, Valentine's Day, or even planning a proposal (!!!!!) in Walt Disney World, you'll want to refer to this guide. (And DEFINITELY snag those Advanced Dining Reservations!!)
Steakhouse: Le Cellier Steakhouse
Looking for a phenomenal steak to celebrate your special occasion? This intimate steakhouse, right in the heart of the Canada pavilion at EPCOT, is like stepping into a grand wine cellar and feels miles away from the EPCOT experience outside. Their incredible menu features items include the famous (and delicious) Canadian cheddar cheese soup, filet mignon, and maple creme brulee! Le Cellier also features fine Canadian wines in addition to more traditional beers or cocktails.
This waterfront restaurant at the ultra-elegant Grand Floridian Resort features romantic waterfront views and Coastal Cuisine. To splurge for a special occasion, go for the surf-and-turf! The sirloin steak and lobster tail combo can't be beat. Narcoosee's features fresh seafood from both local waters, as well as around the globe. Try the cheesecake with Lambert cherry sauce for dessert!
Prince or Princess at Heart: Cinderella's Royal Table
Dine in a storybook setting fit for royalty! Your royal meal begins with assorted charcuterie before moving on to your entrees. (Try the beef tenderloin!) For dessert, don't miss the signature The Clock Strikes Twelve, a dark chocolate mousse with a dark chocolate ganache served with a raspberry coulis. *Please note, at this time, characters are not greeting guests at their tables. However, this is the only chance to be in the castle. The magic is still there!
Classic Elegance: Topolino's Terrace - Flavors of the Riviera
This signature rooftop restaurant at the European-inspired Riviera Resort features fine French and Italian dining. You'll be able to indulge in fresh seafood, handmade pasta and decadent desserts infused with French and Italian flavors. The restaurant features an exclusive expo kitchen and wood-burning grill. Inspired by the cliffside restaurants of France and Italy, Topolino’s Terrace actually takes its name from the Italian name for Mickey Mouse!
Celebrity Chef Experience: Morimoto Asia
Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto is the mastermind behind this Disney Springs restaurant. The menu is inspired by Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Malay specialties. You can enjoy specialty wines and sakes, and even a few specialty beers! Morimoto Asia features exhibition kitchens and a 2-story interior with glittering chandeliers. Inside, you'll find lounges, private dining spaces and a second-level sushi bar and lounge with a separate entrance.
Stunning Views: California Grill
California Grill, at Disney's Contemporary Resort, is the gold standard for fine dining at Walt Disney World. This award-winning restaurant features the flavors of the Pacific Coast. Your experience starts in a private elevator, where you're whisked to the top floor of the Contemporary Resort. There, you’ll find panoramic views of the shimmering lagoon and Cinderella Castle in the floor-to-ceiling windows. You'll also find an onstage kitchen and catch a glimpse of the 300 bottles of wines available. Though the menu changes seasonally, keep an eye out for the Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli! California Grill is also known for their sushi and brick oven-fired pizza.
The above restaurants do require a dress code (think "business casual"), and Le Cellier and Cinderella's Royal Table do require a park reservation and valid admission for each person in your party. While there are a few others I'd typically include in my guide, (I'm looking at you, Jiko and Victoria & Albert's!) not every restaurant has reopened yet at Walt Disney World. Advanced Dining Reservations are strongly encouraged.
I provide complimentary support with Advanced Dining Reservations with all packages booked through me. Start planning by clicking here!
You can find my list of recommended resort hotels here.
As part of their phased reopening, additional dining and experience reservations are now available at Walt Disney World! The 60 day booking window begins today for dining and other experiences!
Here are a few items to keep in mind:
Are you excited about dining at Walt Disney World again? I know I am!