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5 Magic Kingdom Restaurants Disney Keeps Closed on Purpose

Of the four Walt Disney World parks, the Magic Kingdom has the least amount of unused space, with pretty much every building housing an attraction, restaurant or gift shop. However, even though the Magic Kingdom doesn’t have the abandoned space issues of Epcot or Disney’s Hollywood Studios have, there is one odd phenomenon that happens at this park that no one really ever seems to talk about: the collection of quick service restaurants around this park that never open.

While other parks have plenty of quick service restaurants that are open 365 days a year, the Magic Kingdom has several locations that are only open a few days of the year and are purposefully kept closed most of the time... 

1. Tortuga Tavern 

When it’s open: Select afternoons in the summer and holiday season

Though this dining location recently got a menu update, the Tortuga Tavern is only open for a few weeks a year, and only in the afternoon. Those who are able to find this place open will be able to enjoy a breezy covered seating area, rustic décor that recalls the style of the Pirates of the Caribbean (which is situated right across from this restaurant), and a BBQ-inspired menu that includes pulled pork sandwiches, beef brisket on Texas toast, and even a roasted corn and vegetable salad with barbecued beef brisket. 

Though this dining establishment is a great spot to get your barbecue fix at the Magic Kingdom, its only open on peak summer days and during the holiday season. Worse yet, if you want to grab lunch here, you’ve only got from 11AM-4PM to do so, as this location has extremely limited operating hours as well.

2. The Diamond Horseshoe 

When it’s open: During special events and peak days 

There’s an old saying among Walt Disney World veterans that if the Diamond Horseshoe is open, it means the Magic Kingdom is about to hit capacity. While that isn’t always true, it does speak volumes about how often The Diamond Horseshoe is actually available for guests. Which is a shame because this has one of the most unique dining rooms on property, which features ample seating around a central stage. Though the food here typically consists of pre-packaged items and simple entrees like turkey sandwiches , the atmosphere can’t be beat, and the fact that most guests walk on by this location means you'll probably eat your lunch in silence, which is a huge perk if you're trying to avoid the madness of popular restaurants like nearby Pecos Bill's Tall Tale Inn & Cafe. 

Though it’s tough to predict when the Diamond Horseshoe will serve guests, on days that it does open this dining location typically begins service around 11AM, but then closes again by 3PM, which means you’ll have to act really fast if you want to dine here.

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There are 33 comments.

I've been to the diamond horseshoe a couple of times. It used to have an old western style show with can can girls. I loved it and wish they would bring that back.

The Diamond Horseshoe Review. Loved that show. Wish they would bring it back. Nice place to cool off too.

I remember seeing the Can-Can girls show in 1978 when I was 8! Seated in the balcony to the left of where the picture was taken, I remember the Mistress of Ceremonies going onto the floor and talking with patrons, giving a man named Homer a big kiss right on his bald forehead, leaving a huge lipstick imprint. That moment had been relegated to the nether reaches of my brain until I saw the Diamond Horseshoe on this list. Thank you for bringing back a wonderful memory!

I also remember the shows. I also loved was always an unexpected

We always ate at the Diamond Horseshoe when I was a kid. It seemed like every time we went, my grandpa got the big kiss on the forehead during the Review.

We must have been lucky the day we stumbled upon the Diamond Horseshoe while it was open. We enjoyed a quick meal and were entertained by a live stage show in that neat dining room. The Tomorrowland Terrace used to be a favorite spot when I was growing up, especially when visiting with other groups, like school field trips, since it was easy for all the groups to meet up and grab a quick, affordable meal.

The Diamond Horseshoe use to have a wonderful show & you could get snacks, ice cream & drinks. It was a great place to cool off, sit & see a really nice show.

4/5. I had no idea that they weren't open more

I always wondered about those closed restaurants. Thanks for an entertaining article.

Don't forget that at the Diamond Horseshoe, Liberty Tree Tavern sometimes converts it into the same dinner menu (all you care to enjoy thanksgiving) during some holidays. Usually opens at 4 or 4:30 for dinner.

Always wanted to get something at Aunt Polly's. Seemed like a great spot to have a lemonade at least. Been to Horseshoe. They should open that Terrace more.

Ate at Diamond Horseshoe multiple times as a kid. Loved the show. It's a shame they don't take advantage of these older places....I'm sure they would develop quite a following if given the opportunity.

I love the tomorrow land terrace. I wish it was open more. That's defiantly my go to place when it's open.

We've hit the Diamond Horseshoe exactly once in all of our visits. It was in the afternoon during a Spring Break trip maybe two years ago. As I recall, the only options were various ice cream concoctions. There was no show, but plenty of places to sit! I would love it if Aunt Polly's was more predictable. My son loves to roam all over Tom Sawyer Island, and it would be great to sit and enjoy lunch while he's exploring.

We usually a manage to eat at Tortuga once a year, usually in May right before our seasonal passes blackout. It's always a treat!

I've been to Golden Oak out post a few times and we've tried all of the fries! The best ones are the barbecue pork fries that come with cole slaw on top and the BLT fries! They're really good but they don't usually fill you up, they're more of a snack but they do come with a pack of sliced apples or baby carrots! The BLT waffle fries are more refreshing and the BBQ pork fries hold you over better, definitely something to try! The poutine style fries were just okay but it was probably because they were cold by the time i got to the eat them (walked around the park to look for a certain treat).

Yeah, we've all gone past these restaurants when they were closed. How about telling us WHY they are closed most of the time...

Looks as if Diamond horseshoe will be open till Jan 3rd. It just popped up as open with times till then, Disney dining is listing dinner as a buffet. Bummed we won't arrive till the 5th.

We ate at Tortuga Tavern under its old name when it used to serve Mexican food so I really can't comment on its current status. We did use the seating last fall to eat some snacks we'd bought elsewhere. We ate at Aunt Polly's many years ago. Cold fried chicken and peanut butter and jelly were the mainstays then.

I've eaten at the Tomorrowland Terrace. I'm surprised people liked it, I thought the food was terrible. We were there for Thanksgiving so that would explain why it was open. I'm not missing that one! I've been in the Diamond Horshoe but only when they turned it into Club Villain 2 years ago for the Halloween Party. Now that was a TON of fun!!! I was disappointed they didn't do it again this year. We did stop into Tortuga Tavern this year in Oct and it wasn't open. This explains why!!

I'm a long standing season ticket holders and grew up in Florida as well. I have been to Disney over 300 times and I have NEVER seen tomorrow land terrace closed and it's almost ALWAYS filled to capacity. I don't know where your info about that restaurant at least, came from... but it's incorrect.

Honey, they've been called "Annual Passes" for at least 15 years now, so you obviously haven't been to WDW for quite a while. The Tomorrowland Terrace also hasn't operated during the non-peak season since about 2006 or 2007. It is indeed almost always closed. Perhaps you should refrain from posting comments about things you know absolutely nothing about.

We are going today 1/17/16. The only thing not open will be the Tomorrowland terrace and Aunt Polly's is not even listed. All the others on this list will be open.

I must have been lucky cuz everytime I've gone to magic kingdom that Tomorrowland place has always been open. Didn't think it wasn't always open lol but then again I don't go there enough to notice?

Many moons ago we caught the Review at this location - it was terrific. Bring it back please!

Love the Mexican food at the Tortuga Tavern , or El Pirata Y El Perico... and last year they really beefed up the burritos.. but took away the fixins bar :-(

Also I miss Aunt Polly's being open, it was such a great escape from the crowds to enjoy a pb&j and snack on the island

Even though Aunt Polly's is not open often, it is a nice place to take a break in its rocking chairs and take a nap

I think people are confusing tomorrowland terrace with cosmic rays. Diamond Horseshoe is now open as a family style restaurant.

I Wish these restaurants at the Magic Kingdom would open on a regular basis.

I've eaten at the Tomorrow Land location. The day my family and I ate there, the restaurant was full. It was hard to find stable to sit at. This was partly because it was a rainy day and people were looking to get out of the rain. The food was about average for any run of the mill QSR. I'd eat there again if the chance arose.


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