Though it may not initially seem like it, Walt Disney World has truly come into its own in recent years as a real food lover’s paradise. If you count yourself as one of the many who love eating their way around its parks and resorts, there are some big changes taking effect very soon that you should know about. From important dining reservation policy changes to new menu items at some of the most popular eateries, if you are planning on having a meal at Walt Disney World in the near future, here are 6 changes coming this fall and continuing early into next year that all guests need to know about!
1. Crackdown on unauthorized reservation scalping websites
Though we’ve taken a critical look in the past at the bizarre practice of dining reservation scalping at Walt Disney World, it looks like the parks have finally acknowledged the magnitude of this problem and are beginning to put together a policy that should help the resort get rid of this troublesome issue once and for all.
The first part of this plan has already gone into effect and involves cracking down on third party websites who are were previously selling dining reservations. The largest of these reservation scalping sites was shut down by Disney last week, and many other, smaller reservation scalping websites have voluntarily stopped selling reservations in the wake of this action. Though there are still a few holdouts, it looks like almost all of the most prominent reservation re-sellers are no longer in business, which is great news for Disney dining fans who haven't been able to make reservations because of this massive problem.
2. Pecos Bill's Tall Tale Inn & Cafe gets a new menu
Though the Pecos Bill's Tall Tales Inn & Café has been around for quite a long time, this quick service restaurant isn’t exactly well known for offering interesting or unique cuisine, instead offering the same ol’ burgers and fries that can be found nearby at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe in nearby Tomorrowland
However, this week Pecos Bill’s will close for a short refurbishment and will then begin offering brand new Mexican-inspired dishes including rice bowls, fajitas, burritos and more. Guests who want to check out this all-new menu won’t have to wait long, as the change is expected to take effect this Thursday, October 1st. Here's hoping they keep the topping bar!
3. The last days of the current Flying Fish Café
Though the Flying Fish Café isn’t located inside a Walt Disney World park, it is still one of the most popular restaurants at the resort, serving some of the freshest and most unique seafood dishes on property. However, this February, the Flying Fish café will be closing down for a lengthy ten month refurbishment that will bring massive updates to both the dining area as well as the kitchens at this popular table service restaurant. .
Fortunately, even though the Flying Fish Cafe will be going through some physical changes (the dining room is said to be getting a complete overhaul), the overall concept of the restaurant (as well as the menu) are not expected to change, and should be exactly as you remember them when this location reopens late next year. As with other recent restaurant refurbishments, dates are of course subject to some adjustment, but if you were hoping to visit this dining location at any point in 2016, we'd suggest you make other plans, as this restaurant will be largely unavailable until at least December of 2016.
4. Victoria & Albert's Introduces Chef’s Degustation Menu dining experience
As the only AAA Five Diamond restaurant in Central Florida (and one of only three in the state), Victoria & Albert's offers some of the most sought-after dining experiences in all of Walt Disney World. And it looks like this dining location is looking to increase its capacity by offering a brand new dining option for guests this fall.
Beginning October 1st, Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort will be expanding its dining offerings to include a new Chef’s Degustation Menu offering. Consisting of a series of 10 small courses, this all-new dining experience will allow guests to sample some of Chef Scott Hunnel’s favorite dishes, inspired by the seasons and his world travels to Asia, Spain, Italy, and France. The cost to experience this 10-course menu is $235 per guest, and reservations are required.
5. Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater begins offering breakfast
Beginning on November 1, 2015 the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will begin opening early for breakfast. Though this new dining experience is currently scheduled to last until January 23, 2016, if it proves to be popular, it could run longer into next year, unless of course the Star Wars breakfast experience returns to this dining location during the upcoming Season of the Force event (which you can learn about here)
You can check out more some of the menu items that will be offered during this brand new dining experience here. Reservations are required, but the good news is that guests who finish their meal early will be able to walk around Disney's Hollywood Studios before it opens!
6. A new meal at Narcoossee’s
Narcoossee's at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort has announced a new Waterfront Brunch dining experiece, which will be offered beginning on November 22, 2015. This new experience begins with a choice of specialty beverage (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) and will include a pastry basket for the table, choice of appetizer, and choice of entrée, for a total of three courses. The menu features plenty of hearty options (you can see more here) and is prix fixe, costing $69 for adults, and $41 for ages 3-9. Those on the Disney Dining Plan can also use two table service credits for this experience.
Are you excited for any of these new dining experiences? Do you have a "wish list" when it comes to dining at Walt Disney World?