Walt Disney World theme parks are beginning to reopen this week, and Walt Disney World has been making some changes to dining both at Disney Springs (which is now fully open) as well as their in-park dining, when it returns in just a few days. If you are planning to grab a bite at Walt Disney World in the near future, here's what you need to know.
1. Standalone Bars will not be operating
Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation has banned all on-site alcohol consumption at bars as of June 26, 2020, which has already forced several Disney Springs watering holes to close indefinitely, including Jock Lindsey's Hanger Bar and Dockside Margaritas, and will certainly affect in-park drinking locations like the Dawa Bar, and La Cava Del Tequilla. Though sit down establishments that include a restaurant, like the Rose and Crown Pub, are able to continue operating for now.
One big question we have is Oga's Cantina, which was originally not going to operate during reopening, but is now taking reservations for opening week. Though it doesn't seem like the type of establishment that would be able to operate under Florida's rules, perhaps Disney has found a way to use the restaurant loophole to keep this location running.
2. Character dining suspended indefinitely, except at two locations
Though many Disney restaurants will be reopening with the theme parks next month, Disney has been reaching out to guests who have previously booked Walt Disney World dining plans to notify them that character dining will NOT be available when Disney World reopens.
However Disney has clarified this point somewhat in recent days saying that while Character Dining will still not be offered during the initial reopening there will be a "modified Character Dining experience" available at Topolino's Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera, as well as Garden Grill Restaurant inside Epcot. We don't know exactly what constitutes a "modified" experience at these locations, but hopefully we'll learn more when the parks reopen!