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 the Walt Disney World parks and resorts, there are some big changes taking effect right now you should know about.
For February’s Walt Disney World dining update, we take a look at some character dining updates, new menu items at the Magic Kingdom, plus two restaurant openings at Disney Springs! But first, we have some sad news to report out of Disney’s Hollywood Studios…
1. Starring Rolls Cafe now closed at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Though it has been relatively easy to predict closures at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, we were surprised earlier this month when it was announced that the Starring Rolls Cafe, which sits on the corner of Sunset and Hollywood Blvd., closed forever on February 5, 2017. This quick service eatery, known for its wide array of pastries and sandwiches, is not sitting in any construction zones, enjoys a healthy amount of traffic, and is conveniently located near the front of the park, which is why we were baffled when this closure seemingly came out of nowhere.
We have no idea whether Disney is planning on refurbishing this location, tearing it down, or just leaving the building vacant, but hopefully we’ll know soon, as the Starring Rolls Cafe was certainly a fan favorite dining location, and will definitely be missed.
In the meantime, guests can find many of the sweets and goodies that were available at this shop at the nearby Trolley Car Cafe Starbucks location.
2. Two new restaurants now open at Disney Springs
Two of the most long-awaited new arrivals at Disney Springs are now open: Paddlefish and Planet Hollywood Observatory. Though technically both of these restaurants are reinventions of old concepts, both locations feature an overhauled menu and a new visutal aesthetic that is more in line with the Disney Springs look. You can make reservations at both of these restaurants now. You can read more about Paddlefish here and we have additional details about Planet Hollywood Observatory here.
3. New breakfast menu items available around Main Street USA
Now that the Magic Kingdom has a new early morning procedure that allows guests to roam around Main Street USA before the park officially opens, Disney has added a few new breakfast items to popular eateries to give guests some additional options beyond the Main Street Bakery for the most important meal of the day:
Plaza Ice Cream Parlor: In addition to breakfast stalwarts like Mickey waffles, Kellogg’s cereal and donuts, This sweet stop now serves a truly indulgent donut sundae, which as you might imagine, is a donut topped with a scoop of Edy’s ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream, apple, peanut butter and chocolate chips topped off with a cherry.
Casey’s Corner This quick service location now also offers a few breakfast standards as well as a hash brown hot dog piled high with cheese and fried shredded potatoes. This dining spot will also be offering corn dog nuggets for breakfast as well.
Sleepy Hollow: Outside Main Street USA, it has also been announced that Liberty Square’s Sleepy Hollow dining location will also be getting a new breakfast item later this month. Though the chocolate hazelnut spread and fresh fruit waffle has been an early morning favorite for years, this dining establishment has also added a egg, ham and tomato waffle sandwich to its breakfast lineup.
4. Character dining gets an overhaul
- Hollywood & Vine has confirmed that the popular Minnie’s Seasonal Dine character dining experience will be expanded to include both lunch (served from 11:20AM – 3:00PM) and dinner (3:30 PM to park close) beginning later this spring on Sunday, May 14.
- The Disney Junior Play ‘n Dine character meal experience is now only available for breakfast, which is served from 8:00 AM through 10:20 AM. Existing reservations will be honored up until May 14th.
- A new character dining experience has been announced that will take place at the BoardWalk’s Trattoria al Forno and allow guests to enjoy a character breakfast featuring both princesses and princes from Tangled, The Little Mermaid, and other Disney favorites. We have a lot more on this new development here.
5. Alcohol is sticking around at the Magic Kingdom
Late last year Disney shocked longtime fans by announcing that the Magic Kingdom, which was once the resort’s only “dry” park, would begin serving alcohol at table service restaurants. This process was rolled out gradually around the park, and while some fans were hoping that this would simply be a limited-time test, or something that might fizzle out over the course of a few months, right now it looks like this newly expanded option will be around for the foreseeable future, as Disney has installed permanent alcohol warning signs at all dining establishments that serve alcohol.
Right now, alcohol is only available at table service restaurants like the Liberty Tree Tavern and the Skipper Canteen, but now that the booze floodgates have been opened, it seems reasonable to expect that this option will probably be hitting quick service restaurants in the next few years as Disney looks to make each of its Magic Kingdom eateries as profitable as possible. However, at least for right now, it looks like this offering (and the alcohol liability warning signs that accompany it) will only be around at the half dozen Magic Kingdom table service restaurants currently serving beer, wine, and cocktails.
How do you feel about the expansion of alcohol at the Magic Kingdom? Do you think Disney is adding this option in a taasteful manner, or do you wish this park would have stayed dry?
-Originally published in Theme Park Tourist By Amanda Kondolojy, Tuesday, February 7, 2017 05:43
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