Indefinitely Suspended: Disney World Restricts 96% of Guests

in Walt Disney World

A photo of Space Mountain in Magic Kingdom

Credit: Inside the Magic

Walt Disney World Resort has indefinitely suspended a beloved offering, and it doesn’t seem likely that it will return anytime soon.

Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World with crowds in front
Credit: Inside the Magic

For many visitors to Walt Disney World Resort, the experience extends far beyond the Disney World park rides and attractions. It’s about immersing oneself in a world of fantasy and indulgence, where every detail, no matter how small, contributes to the overall enchantment. One such detail that added a touch of luxury and convenience was in-room dining, affectionately known as room service. However, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, this cherished amenity has been conspicuously absent from most Disney World resorts.

Prior to the pandemic, in-room dining was a beloved perk offered at basically every single Disney World hotel. Whether it was a Mickey-shaped waffle breakfast delivered straight to your door or a late-night snack after a long day of exploring the parks, room service provided guests with a convenient and indulgent dining option. As a matter of fact, if you look at the telephone in your room at your Disney Resort, you’ll likely see a button that is dedicated to in-room dining. Many of them actually have a button that reads “pizza” on the dial. However, as the world grappled with the challenges posed by the pandemic, many aspects of the Disney experience underwent significant changes, and in-room dining was no exception.

Disney's Polynesian Village Resort at Walt Disney World
Credit: Disney

Fast-forward to the present day and the absence of in-room dining remains a notable void in the Walt Disney World experience. While Disney has taken strides to reintroduce various amenities and experiences, including the phased reopening of theme parks, restaurants, and resorts, in-room dining has been slow to return. According to Disney, it’s currently only available at one resort—Disney’s Grand Floridian.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa stands as one of Disney World’s flagship properties, known for its lavish Victorian-inspired decor, impeccable service, and stunning views of Seven Seas Lagoon. Yet, it’s important to note that the Grand Floridian is just one of 25 hotels within the Disney World resort complex. This means that more than 96% of Disney World guests staying at an onsite resort do not have access to the coveted perk of in-room dining.

Aerial view of the Grand Floridian at Disney World
Credit: Disney

For guests accustomed to the convenience and luxury of in-room dining, its absence is keenly felt. The ability to enjoy a leisurely meal in the comfort of one’s own room, surrounded by the whimsical decor and ambiance of a Disney resort, was a quintessential part of the vacation experience for many. Whether it was a romantic dinner for two or a family feast complete with character-themed delights, in-room dining added an extra layer of magic to the Disney World experience.

So why has in-room dining not made a triumphant return alongside other amenities and experiences? While Disney has not provided explicit reasons for its absence, it’s likely that logistical and operational challenges brought about continue to impact the availability of this service. Factors such as staffing shortages and budget cuts have seemingly contributed the most to the difficulty of reinstating in-room dining across all Disney World resorts.

grand floridian resort standard room
Credit: Disney

However, for loyal Disney enthusiasts eagerly awaiting the return of this cherished amenity, there may be hope on the horizon. As Walt Disney World Resort has reintroduced many beloved offerings in the last year– such as the Disney Dining plan— it’s possible that in-room dining will eventually make a comeback at Disney World. In the meantime, guests can still indulge in the plethora of dining options available throughout the resort, from quick-service eateries to signature restaurants offering gourmet cuisine.

While the absence of in-room dining may be disappointing for some, it’s important to remember that the magic of Disney extends far beyond any single amenity or theme park experience. Whether it’s the joy of meeting beloved characters, the thrill of riding iconic attractions, or simply basking in the enchanting atmosphere of the parks and resorts, there’s no shortage of enchantment to be found at Walt Disney World.

What do you think about this missing option at Disney World? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments!

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