Walt Disney World Changes Dining Options Because of Coronavirus

in Disney, Food, Walt Disney World

chef mickey

Credit: Disney

Walt Disney World announced a change in its previous plans. Instead of leaving its resort hotels open, Disney’s Orlando-based mega-resort has elected to close all of its hotels by 5:00 p.m. EDT on March 20, 2020. But until that time, what does that mean for the hotel’s dining experiences or the Dining experiences in general?

Well, those are starting to fade out too. According to Walt Disney World’s website:

“Disney owned-and-operated hotels at Walt Disney World Resort and Disney’s Vero Beach Resort will close beginning at 5:00 PM on Friday, March 20 through the end of the month. 

Character dining and dinner shows at Disney Resort hotel locations may have modified experiences and Characters present from March 16 through the morning of March 20. 

At Disney Springs, we will be closing all Disney owned-and-operated locations beginning Tuesday, March 17 through the end of the month. Select restaurants and retail locations at Disney Springs may remain open and Guests should call the location they wish to visit for operating hours.” 

Read More: Operations Update: Disney World Hotels, Disney Springs, Downtown Disney Closing

Other experiences such as the monorail-centered “Highway in the Sky Dine Around” are also canceled.

Ohana Dining Experience
Credit: Disney

Disney Resort hotels are known to host iconic and beloved character dining experiences. Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, 1900 Park Fare at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Character breakfast at ‘Ohana’s in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

We do not know at this time how Disney plans to modify the experiences over the next four days, but it will probably include more social distancing between the characters and guests, or even possibly less characters at each meal. Hopefully, the little pirates and princesses get to experience the character breakfast they’ve been looking forward to for so long. It is also equally disappointing for parents who take the initiative to get a pre-paid Disney dining plan for their vacation.

But Walt Disney World is also changing its cancelation policy after all things considered. According to its website,

“All pre-paid dining and experience reservations impacted by the park closure will be automatically refunded if scheduled between March 16, 2020 through March 31, 2020. 

Reservations made at locations impacted by the closure will not be charged a cancellation or no-show fee. 

All active Tables in Wonderland members will be extended by the number of days the parks are closed.” 

This update comes right after the hotel announcement as well as the decision to shut down all Walt Disney World transportation services by March 18, 2020. Disney World was the last Disney park to announce the closure of its hotels and retail dining area. The Disneyland Resort in California announced closure of its hotels and Downtown Disney District and Disneyland Paris Resort also decided to close its resort hotels and Disney Village. If you have any questions regarding your options for your upcoming Walt Disney World vacation, please reach out to your travel agent or the Walt Disney Travel Company, which is also offering online cancellations for many reservations.

Related: Will Disney Theme Parks Stay Closed Longer? Health Agencies say No Gatherings Over 50

Disney Character Dining
Credit: Disney

As of today, every Disney theme park in the world is closed. It began with Disney Shanghai Resort which was followed shortly by Hong Kong Disneyland. Then, after holding out for so long, Tokyo Disney Resort — which hosts Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea — closed its doors. Two weeks later, the Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World, and Disneyland Paris announced their own closure. We wait with bated breath to see if Disneyland and Walt Disney World will really open up again after March 31.

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