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50 Disney experiences yet to return
Images Credit: Disney / Clipart

50 Disney World Favorites That Have Yet to Return for the 50th

Ok, Disney fans, we hear you. When Walt Disney World Resort closed in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, little did we know what was to come for Disney Parks around the globe. Now, almost two years later, in the midst of Disney World’s 50th Anniversary celebration, we’re left wondering if we’ll ever see these 50 Disney experiences make a return.

1. Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue

Hoop Dee Doo Musical Review
Credit: Disney Photo Snapper

We can’t be the only ones missing this fantastic Disney experience?! Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue provides that perfect dose of family fun with its “hilarious, high-spirited hootenanny” along with an incredible meal. Located at Disney’s Fort Wilderness, this dinner show tops our list of what we miss the most, and have high hopes it will make a return.

2. Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show

Spirit of Aloha
Credit: Disney

Yes, another Disney Dinner Show lands on the list of experiences that have yet to return. While Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is back up and running, the nighttime air is missing this enchanting luau with Polynesian dancing and the delicious feast Spirit of Aloha had to offer.

3. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique & The Pirates League

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
Credit: Disney

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique‘s two previous locations at Magic Kingdom Park and Disney Springs have remained closed, as well as Magic Kingdom’s The Pirates League. At Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, young children could dress as Disney Princesses with complete hair, makeup, and dress-up packages. At The Pirates League, children would be transformed into pirates, empresses, or mermaids. Both dress-up options have remained closed since the pandemic.

4. Senses Spa at Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

The Grand Floridian Spa
Credit: Disney

Good news here as Disney recently returned Spa Services for the first time since COVID struck! Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa welcomed “The Grand Floridian Spa“. While the name “Senses Spa” was dropped, we’re thrilled massages, nail care, hair care, and more are once again being offered at this Deluxe Resort. On the flip side, we have yet to see the “Spa” come back in Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa. Will Senses Spa return or will Saratoga get its own spa experience like the Grand Floridian Spa?

5. The VOID

The VOID
Credit: VOID

Did you ever experience the VOID at Disney Springs? The immersive virtual reality experience that took Guests through the world of Star Wars and Ralph Breaks The Internet was unlike anything we had ever done before, and dare we say was a top Disney “ride”. The VOID signage has been removed and its former location at Disney Springs remains empty. The company put out a notice about “Temporary” closure, but it’s looking like this one may be permanent.

6. ESPN Club

ESPN Club
Credit: Disney

The ESPN Club located on Disney’s BoardWalk has yet to return. Thankfully, it was just recently we saw the return of Flying Fish also located on the BoardWalk, so maybe this means ESPN Club could be next? The restaurant was a great spot to unwind after a busy Park day with a few good appetizers, a cold beer, and the game on.

7. Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular

Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular
Credit: Disney

Walt Disney World has introduced a new nighttime spectacular at Magic Kingdom (Disney Enchantment) and a new one at EPCOT (Harmonious) but we have yet to see the return of the fireworks show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. With the land, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge as popular as ever, and the incoming Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort experience, you’d think now would be the perfect time to return Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular to Disney’s Hollywood Studios to once again like up the sky!

8. 1900 Park Fare

1900 Park Fare
Credit: Disney

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is a Deluxe Resort experience all around. But, it is missing its beloved character dining experience at 1900 Park Fare. The restaurant has yet to reopen leaving the Supercalifragilistic Breakfast and Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner in the dark.

9. Cape May Cafe Character Dining

Cape May Cafe Goofy
Credit: Disney Fanatic

Cape May Cafe at Disney’s Beach Club Resort is open! Breakfast and dinner are offered as a buffet experience, serving up New England-inspired flavors… but where are the characters? Previously Cape May offered Minnie’s Beach Bash Character Breakfast with favorites like Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Daisy sporting their beach best.

10. ‘Ohana Character Dining

Stitch Ohana
Credit: Disney

Just like Cape May Cafe above, ‘Ohana is open and welcoming Guests at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. ‘Ohana is dishing out incredible food, but we have yet to see any signs pointing at the return of Best Friends Breakfast which featured Mickey, Lilo, and Stitch. With the new Moana-inspired rooms at the Polynesian, we can’t help but wonder if/when character dining reopens at ‘Ohana, could it be Moana and friends instead?

11. Disney Dining Plans

World Premiere Food Court
Credit: Disney

Remember Disney Dining Plans? One of the most popular questions we get asked is “When are the Disney Dining Plans returning?” Well, we truly don’t know. What we do know is that Disney has said that, YES, Dining Plans will return, but we’ve heard crickets since.

12. Autographs & Normal Pin Trading

Autograph
Credit: Disney

Sorry folks, characters are currently unable to sign those collectible autograph books due to COVID precautions. Along those same lines, collectors of Disney Pins are feeling a lull with contactless pin trading. Thankfully, yes, you can still trade pins, but there’s a process to follow that somewhat takes away from the spontaneity of the experience.

13. Park to Park Transportation

Disney World Park Hopping
Credit: Disney

We truly hope this one returns! Previously, Guests were able to jump from one Park to the next by taking a Disney bus with ease. Sadly, this option is currently unavailable. You can however navigate Park Hopping with a few special tricks.

14. Anytime Park Hopping

Skyliner
Credit: Disney

Along these same lines, we miss the freedom of Park Hopping whenever we choose to as Annual Passholders or with a valid Disney Park Hopper ticket. Instead, Guests are unable to Park Hop until after 2 pm. Plus, the Guest MUST first enter their Park Pass Reservation Park prior to hopping to another Park.

15. Character Meet and Greets

Family With Gaston
Credit: Disney Fanatic

Character “Sightings” have returned to the Disney Parks and Resorts with Modified Character Dining in the mix. The traditional “Meet and Greet” with the magic of hugging Mickey, high-fiving Goofy, feeling Gastons’s biceps, and being arm and arm with Minnie is sorely missed.

16. Frozen Ever After Dessert Party

Credit: Disney

Magic Kingdom has returned its Fireworks Dessert Party for its new Disney Enchantment nighttime spectacular. We have yet to see EPCOT welcome back Frozen Ever After Dessert Party for its new show, “Harmonious”. Should we just “let it go?”

17. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall

Akershus
Credit: Disney Fanatic

EPCOT is THE place to be if you’re looking for an incredible Disney meal. With plenty of dining options, it’s impossible to go away hungry. With that said, some restaurants have yet to return. Take Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in the Norway Pavilion for example. This character dining spot has yet to reopen, leaving all those special Disney Princess moments quiet for now.

18. Restaurant Marrakesh

Restaurant Marrakesh
Credit: Disney

EPCOT’s Morocco Pavilion has undergone several changes since the pandemic, but one piece of the pavilion remains dormant. Restaurant Marrakesh, the home of belly dancing and Moroccan cuisine, has yet to reopen. Will this restaurant make a comeback?

19. Takumi-Tei

Credit: Disney

Takumi-Tei opened just before the pandemic and barely had its feet on the ground before closing. Once EPCOT began its phased reopening, this signature dining restaurant in the heart of the Japan Pavilion didn’t make the list of returns. Now, almost two years later, the doors remain closed.

20. Monsieur Paul

Monsieur Paul
Credit: Disney

While EPCOT’s France Pavilion has been the Disney buzz recently with the extended pavilion and addition of Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and La Crêperie de Paris Restaurant, the classic gourmet restaurant, Monsieur Paul is still closed. The French cuisine, wine selections, and intimate atmosphere made this spot the perfect getaway from the EPCOT crowds.

21. Victoria & Albert’s

Victoria And Alberts
Credit: Disney

If you were looking for sheer dining excellence, Victoria & Albert’s at Disney Grand Floridian Resort & Spa was the top restaurant choice. Known as the place where “Classic Victorian elegance meets haute American cuisine” this restaurant was a AAA Five Diamond Award recipient since 2000. Sadly, for now, the restaurant remains closed.

22. Top of the World Lounge

Top of the World Lounge
Credit: Disney

As a Disney Vacation Club Member, this is one we’re truly missing! Located at the tip-top of Disney’s Bay Lake Tower Resort, next to Disney’s Contemporary Resort, was Top of the World Lounge. This Disney Vacation Club lounge was a fantastic spot to see fireworks and simply have a drink or two to relax after a long day.

23. Star Wars Launch Bay & Theater

Star Wars Launch Bay
Credit: World of Disney

Miss hugging Chewbacca and being terrified of Kylo Ren after meeting him face-to-face? US TOO! Star Wars Launch Bay at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, along with the Launch Bay Theater, have yet to reopen. With incredible Star Wars props, merchandise, history, character experiences, and film, it would be great to see this Star Wars fan space reopen.

24. Harmony Barber Shop

Harmony Barber Shop
Credit: Disney

It’s a unique experience to think one can get their hair cut at Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park! Well, at least, we used to be able to. Harmony Barber Shop on Main Street, U.S.A. has yet to reopen. This charmingly old-fashioned spot where Guests of all ages could get a haircut is still closed.

25. Be Our Guest Restaurant Quick Service

Be Our Guest
Credit: Matthew Cooper Photography

Be Our Guest Restaurant at Magic Kingdom is open and welcoming Guests. The experience has been changed however from pre-COVID days. Guests will no longer find the quick-service option for breakfast or lunch at this highly coveted restaurant. Instead, you’ll need to pay prix fixe pricing for both lunch and dinner, with breakfast no longer being an option.

26. Voyage of the Little Mermaid

Voyage of the Little Mermaid
Credit: Disney Fanatic

There is no going “under the sea” at the moment at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The classic stage show, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, is currently closed with no signs of reopening. Although Disney has it listed as “Temporarily Unavailable” the rumor mill believes we won’t be seeing this long-standing entertainment return.

27. Enchanted Tales with Belle

Enchanted Tales with Belle
Credit: Disney Fanatic

The chance to “relive the magic of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast by taking part in her fairytale” has been closed since COVID hit and has yet to reopen. The experience in Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland is fairly intimate with high-touch objects, close quarters, and even Belle joins in the adventure. It doesn’t surprise us that Enchanted Tales with Belle hasn’t returned, but we do hope it will one day.

28. Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple

Jedi Training
Credit: Disney

Our young Jedi are missing this pre-COVID experience known as Jedi Training! Kids between the ages of 4 and 12 would learn the Star Wars “force” and battle the dark side with lightsabers. Watching the faces of kids battle Darth Vader or Kylo Ren was a memorable Disney’s Hollywood Studios experience that should most definitely come back.

29. Festival of Lion King Tumble Monkeys & Flying Bird

Tumble Monkeys
Credit: Disney Fanatic

A Celebration of the Festival of the Lion King” has returned at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. When seeing the live entertainment after its reopening, you’ll spot the fan-favorite Tumble Monkeys are no longer present. Not only do we miss their high-action stunts, but the blue flying bird no longer takes to the air either. We have however seen recent Disney auditions may show signs of a full show return.

30. Citizens of Hollywood & Main Street, U.S.A.

Citizens of Hollywood
Credit: Disney Fanatic

If you needed a dose of humor while in the Parks, it was always fun to be on the lookout for Citizens of Hollywood at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Citizens of Main Street, U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom. These actors and actresses could improvise on the spot and stay in full character amidst the Disney Park crowds. We miss the laughs they offered!

31. 180-Day Advanced Dining Reservations

Chef Mickey and Chef Goofy
Chef Mickey’s (Credit: Disney)

Currently, Walt Disney World has 60-days advanced dining reservations (ADRs). This means all dining can be booked 60 days in advance. As big planners, we personally miss the 180-day ADR as we like to plan out our dining reservations well in advance of our trips.

32. Tables in Wonderland

Tables in Wonderland
Credit: Disney Fanatic

Remember Tables in Wonderland? This was a dining discount option that resulted in great savings (20% discount on food and beverage, including alcohol, at select restaurants). It was exclusively for Florida Residents, Passholders, and Disney Vacation Club Members. As of September 2021, all Tables in Wonderland cards are expired. Bring back the savings!

33. Minnie Van Service

Minnie Van
Credit: Disney Fanatic

Beep, beep! The adorable Minnie Vans are no longer in service, at least for now. These personal rides may have been a little pricer than the normal Uber service, but it was a fun adventure cruising around Walt Disney World Resort in a red with white polka dots vehicle.

34. NBA Experience Space

NBA Experience
Credit: Disney

The Disney Springs DisneyQuest turned NBA Experience is gone for good. While we know for certain the NBA Experience is not returning, the space at Disney Springs West Side is sitting vacant ready for the next attempt at a successful business. We’re curious about what Disney will do with the space in this post-2020 world.

35. Walt Disney World Railroad

Disney Railroad
Credit: Disney Photo Snapper

This one was technically closed prior to COVID, but we believe its extended closure is greatly impacted by the pandemic. Magic Kingdom’s Walt Disney World Railroad has been closed since December 2018 as the TRON Coaster construction began and the redirection of the railroad tracks was needed. With TRON’s delay, we’re seeing the train station remain empty for over 3 years now.

36. The Grand Floridian Society Orchestra

Grand Floridian Orchestra
Credit: Disney

The sad truth is The Grand Floridian Society Orchestra that formerly welcomed Guests at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa has been officially let go by Disney as previously shared in a statement. That doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a spot on our list as a hopeful return!

37. Green Army Men

Toy Soldiers
Credit: Disney

Remember the Green Army Men that walked through Disney’s Hollywood Studios Toy Story Land? This crew was especially entertaining as they engaged the crowd to follow along with funny drills. Toy Story Land is too quiet without them.

38. Jeweled Dragon Acrobats

Jeweled Dragon Acrobats
Credit: Disney

One of the very best performances around EPCOT’s World Showcase was in the China Pavilion. The Jeweled Dragon Acrobats knew how to draw a crowd with their wow factor acrobatics. With other EPCOT entertainment making a return, we would love to see the Jeweled Dragons return as well!

39. Dine with An Imagineer

Hollywood Brown Derby
Credit: Disney Fanatic

Can you imagine having a meal with a Disney Imagineer? Guests could pay for the option to have a meal at a select restaurant (such as Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios) with a Disney Imagineer. Disney has completely removed the page from its website, so we don’t suspect the return of this memorable dining experience any time soon.

40. UP! A Great Bird Adventure

UP a Great Bird Adventure
Credit: Disney

UP! A Great Bird Adventure is now called, “Feathered Friends in Flight!” This show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom still features several unique and beautiful birds, but Disney has dropped the previous Disney Pixar “Up” characters, including Russell and Dug. We’re ready to see these Wilderness Explorers return to the stage, although we are super pleased to see Kevin back to strutting her stuff in the Park!

42. Merchant of Venus

Merchant of Venus
Credit: Disney

The Magic Kingdom gift shop, Merchant of Venus, has closed and it seems like it is likely gone for good. This Tomorrowland shop is was located next to the former Stitches Great Escape (RIP). The rumor mill believes a Wreck-It-Ralph attraction could be making its entrance into these spaces but those are just rumors for now.

43. Disney International Programs

Cast Members
Credit: Disney

While Disney is working on hiring more Cast Members, they have yet to return the Disney International Programs. Prior to COVID, Guests could travel the EPCOT World Showcase for example, and talk with Cast Members from the Disney International Program from around the globe. We miss the International Cast Members and hope Disney kicks off the return of the program soon.

44. The Romance in Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage

Beauty and The Beast Live On Stage
Credit: Disney

Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage has returned to Disney’s Hollywood Studios! The fan-favorite show was greatly missed and we’re thrilled with its return. We will say, however, as the show takes COVID precautions, it lacks the magic of the romance between Beauty and Beast. As they perform 6-feet apart the lack of hugging, dancing together, or even a handhold is glaringly obvious.

45. Behind the Seeds Tour

Living With The Land
Credit: Disney Photo Snapper

Prior to COVID, EPCOT Park Guests has the opportunity to take an in-depth look at the classic attraction, Living with The Land in The Land Pavilion. The Behind the Seeds Tour took Guests through four greenhouses to catch a glimpse at all the plants, insects, and fish being housed at the attraction. This $30 tour was a unique Disney experience that would be nice to see returned.

46. Garden View Tea Room

Garden View Tea Room
Credit: Disney

We mentioned 1900 Park Fare at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa above, but we can’t forget about the Garden View Tea Room! Guests of all ages could delight in an elegant morning or afternoon tea overlooking the Disney Resort’s gorgeous gardens and pool. It was a sweet experience that will surely return.

47. Pirate Adventure Cruises

Pirate Adventure Cruises
Credit: Disney

Yo-Ho, Yo-Ho… where are Disney’s Pirate Adventure Cruises? This was a chance for young scallywags between the ages of 4 and 12 years to set sail on a pirate adventure for 2 hours around Walt Disney World without their parents around. Parents could go catch a bite to eat while the kiddos followed clues to hidden treasure. As a Disney Mom, dearest Disney, please return this one… and soon.

48. Briar Patch

Briar Patch
Credit: Disney

When Disney announced they were replacing the Splash Mountain theming with a Princess and the Frog theme, there was a large RUSH to the Briar Patch which was Splash Mountain’s gift shop. Disney fans (and resellers) did their best to snag Splash Mountain merchandise before it was gone. Well, within a day or so, the shop was totally cleaned out. It looks like any future Splash Mountain merchandise is out of the question as the Briar Patch is listed as “temporarily closed”.

49. Spontaneity!

MainStCharacterSpot
Credit: Disney

Hear us out with this one! While we are big planners and love putting together spreadsheets for our Disney trips, we must say, sometimes it’s nice to be spontaneous. With the Park Pass Reservation System, Disney Genie+/Lightning Lane purchases, and Mobile Ordering… it feels like the option for a little spontaneity is gone.

50. Happily Ever After

Happily Ever After
Credit: Disney Photo Snapper

We’re so sorry, Disney. We had to include it. We said goodbye to Magic Kingdom’s “Happily Ever After” nighttime spectacular in September 2021. In October, Disney introduced “Disney Enchantment“. While we truly think the added projection on Main Street, U.S.A. is impressive, the show itself is lacking in our opinion and the response from Disney fans isn’t all too great. Maybe a return of “Happily Ever After” would be an option? Or hey, while we’re asking, we’ll take “Wishes” back!

There’s our list of 50 fan-favorites that have yet to return for the 50th Anniversary celebration at Walt Disney World. We may be missing these, but we are thankful to know experiences such as the Festival of Fantasy Parade, Finding Nemo: The Musical, and Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort are coming back. We’ll keep wishing upon a star for these remaining experiences to make a return in the near future.

About Mike and Jamie Sylvester

We are Disney nerds. Two kids at heart who love the magic and the memories of Walt Disney World! We follow all things Disney and have great experiences with Disney Vacation Club and RunDisney events in particular. We enjoy the vacations, day trips, weekend getaways and geek out over the planning of such events. From lodging to dining to Fastpasses we have a spreadsheet for every occasion. Mike’s frivolous Disney goal is to acquire a magic band of every style while Jamie’s goal is to experience as many Disney desserts as possible. Usually there isn’t a day that passes without some discussion of the master plan of our next trip to the happiest place on earth. Most people think we’re normal – until they travel to Disney with us. We have been married for 16 years and are blessed with a daughter and a son who have already learned the importance of planning ahead! As a family we thoroughly enjoy the magic and the memories at Walt Disney World and are here to help others experience the magic as well.