Always Sunny with Lori

Always Sunny with Lori – Disney Dining During Covid

Welcome to my series of Always Sunny with Lori! I am going to start a series in my series, I know crazy right? I am going to go through different aspects of a Walt Disney World vacation and how these COVID times have changed them.  Let’s start with my favorite, the food! I will go through all the changes for Disney Dining during Covid.

Dining all over the world has changed due to COVID, here are a few things that have changed for Disney Dining:

  • Advance Dining Reservations are now made at 60 days VS 180 days
  • Character Dining has changed or been cancelled
  • Less Availability at Restaurants
  • No more Buffets

Now as usual, here comes the sun!

Advance Dining Reservations
Disney Advance Dining

Before COVID times, you were allowed to make dining reservations at 180 days. Guests would need to decide what days they were going to be at what park. Excitement for your Disney Vacation would start 6 months prior to your trip.  Now you need to wait a bit longer to start your plan of attack, as dining is not released until 60 days prior to your trip.

 Sunny Side… This was an easy one, not many people plan their trips 180 days in advance. 60 days allows more flexibility. Lots of guests felt the need to plan their whole trip 6 months in advance.  When they wanted a more last minute trip they were not getting the dining reservations they hoped for. Also, because no one knows where they want to eat 6 months out, this resulted in a lot of reservation hoarding and multiple reservations for one family. With it being closer to your actual vacation we hoping to see less of this!

Character Dining
Disney Dining Character

Everyone loved Character Dining! Since Mickey and the gang need to stay healthy as well, giving the lovable Mouse a big old hug, is no more. Characters stopped greeting guests in the restaurants. In the past few months a few locations had characters return at a safe distance.

Sunny Side … Let’s be honest, sometimes Mickey can be scary. Little kiddos love the idea of Mickey and Friends and seeing them from the distance, but close up can really scare them. This is perfect for the kiddos who like seeing them from a distance. Another sunny spot is, I feel the Characters have stepped up their dancing games! At Topolino’s Terrace at the Rivera Resort for Breakfast, Donald broke out his dance moves while waving to guests. They also stepped up their selfie skills, creating some amazing instagram moments!

Less Restaurant Availability
Disney Advance dining

With COVID19 measures in place, the tables are safely spread out. In order for these restaurants to space put, they did need to remove some tables and seating. Of course this led to availability at these restaurants being less. 

Sunny Side.. Yes, there are less reservations, but there are less people in general! Although, this seems like a problem we are seeing the availability for restaurants to be about the same as it was before. Another sunny spot, you can hear everyone at your table. The days of super crowded, loud restaurants are gone, you now don’t need to scream to your partner across the table to pass the salt

No More Buffets
Disney Dining Buffet

Since sharing handles, and laid out food isa a big “no no” in this post COVID world, buffets are no more at Disney. Everyone loves a buffet, especially for breakfast! A huge perk was that kids under 3 ate free too! They are serving family style entrees to the tables instead.

Sunny Side… I am a huge fan of this change. Buffets are great, but give me a family style service anytime over a buffet. Traveling with kids, organizing who goes up to get what, and having the constant up and down while timing the characters that come by with when to go get your food, a mess! The big plus, kids still eat free under 3 and most now serve family style, you still get unlimited food, so get the extra helping of Mickey Waffles!

Yes, 2020 dealt a huge blow to the dining industry at Disney and the world. They have changed some of our loved items about Disney Dining during Covid, but there is a sunny side to these changes!  So plan and make your dining reservations at Disney, and enjoy! Better yet let us help you plan them!

1 thought on “Always Sunny with Lori – Disney Dining During Covid”

  1. Pingback: Always Sunny with Lori - Staying Onsite During Covid - MousekeMoms Blog

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