Walt Disney World is open and welcoming guests, but there are some significant changes to dining arrangements. During the reopening period, changes have been introduced to promote cleanliness and physical distancing. Also, many dining experiences may be modified or unavailable when you visit. Our 2021 Guide to Walt Disney World Dining covers all the changes you need to be aware of before you visit.
Health and Safety arrangements
Disney is taking health and safety seriously during the reopening of Walt Disney World and has made several changes to ensure guest and cast member safety. The following compulsory and recommended safety measures are in place across the resort:
- Face coverings for each Guest age two and up are now mandatory when visiting Walt Disney World. A cover is required while entering and exiting all dining locations. However, it can be removed while eating or drinking.
- Cashless or contactless transactions aren’t mandatory but are being encouraged. Guests staying at Walt Disney World Resort can have a credit account via their MagicBand.
- Advanced Dining Reservations are encouraged and necessary in some locations.
- Mobile Dine Walk-Up Availability is available via the My Disney Experience app. You no longer need to visit the restaurant podium to enquire about walk-up availability.
- Enhanced cleaning throughout all venues
- Dining locations have limited capacity
- Menu changes some menus will have reduced options
- No buffets
- Reduced-Contact Menus: Menus will be shared in ways to minimize contact. Digital displays will be available at Quick-Service Locations. You can scan a code with your mobile device to access the digital menu at table service restaurants.
- Self-Serve Stations will no longer be available. Cast members will serve you instead.
- Temperature Screenings will be in place at table-service restaurants in Disney Resort hotels. Those with temperatures 100.4 F or above will not be allowed entry.
- Mobile Ordering will be encouraged where available.
- Mobile Check-In for Reservations via My Disney Experience App. At most locations, you will no longer have to join a lengthy wait at the podium. We think this is a very positive change.
- The latest version of My Disney Experience is recommended to be installed on your mobile device. Also, Disney advises having location services enabled.
What restaurants are open at Walt Disney World?
You will not be short of dining options at Walt Disney World. However, not all locations are currently open. Click this list to see the dining options currently available at Walt Disney World.
Changes to Advance Dining Arrangements
Walt Disney World has changed the traditional Advance Dining Arrangements. The new arrangements are that guests will make dining and experience reservations up to 60 days in advance instead of the previous 180 days. Also, Disney Resort hotel Guests can make reservations up to 60 days in advance plus their stay length (up to 10 days).
What reservations will you need to dine at Walt Disney World?
For In-Park Dining, you’ll need valid park admission, a reservation for park entry, and a dining reservation to dine at an in-park, table-service restaurant. A Dining reservation does not guarantee entrance to the park, and you should be careful if using the new park-hopping option. If you have not booked a dining reservation before your visit, you can check for walk-up availability at select restaurants via My Disney Experience.
For Disney Resort Dining, a confirmed dining reservation is required for day Guests (those not staying overnight) and is highly recommended for Guests staying overnight at a Disney Resort hotel. During the reopening period, you will not be allowed admission to a resort without a reservation.
Dining at Disney Springs is currently available at several locations. Some of these locations are now accepting online bookings. If you are struggling to book through My Disney Experience, several Disney Springs locations also accept reservations via Open Table.
While you might be lucky, do not expect to find walk-in slots available at restaurants during the reopening period.
The Disney Dining Plan in 2021
The Disney Dining Plan is currently suspended. Currently, there is no information on when this service might be reintroduced. We have noticed that menus still show snack credits and suspect Disney does not intend this to be a long term suspension.
Dining options temporarily not available at Walt Disney World
The reopening plan has meant several changes to traditionally offered dining experiences. At the moment, all options are considered suspended, but there is always the possibility these changes might be permanent:
- Dinner shows will not be offered during the initial reopening.
- Dessert Parties are suspended
- Buffets are suspended open locations are now serving either a la carte or family-style.
- Special Dining Experiences e.g. Highway in the Sky Dine Around have been suspended.
- Private dining and in-room delivery will not be offered during the initial reopening window.
- Character Meals are not available apart from a modified Topolino’s Terrace at Disney’s Riviera Resort, Garden Grill Restaurant, Hollywood & Vine, and Chef Mickey’s
Visiting Walt Disney World with Food Allergies
Walt Disney World caters to all forms of food allergies and intolerances and this has not changed. Visit our guide to learn more about Food Allergies and Intolerances when visiting Walt Disney World.
Mobile Ordering at Walt Disney World
Perhaps the greatest time-saver at Walt Disney World, order your food in advance at quick-service restaurants and pay via a saved credit card. Disney is encouraging all guests to use this during the reopening period.
Visit our guide to learn more about Mobile Ordering.
Read More about Disney World Dining
The current arrangements at Walt Disney World are likely to change during 2021. Read our Guide to Walt Disney World Dining to learn more about the usual dining experience.
Visit our Beginners Guide to Walt Disney World to learn more. Our guide includes all the latest information on the reopening of Walt Disney World.
This Guide is part of our “Road to 2021 at Walt Disney World” series. Check out the rest of the guides for the latest information.