Top Dining Experiences We’re Missing the Most at Walt Disney World

Stitch Ohana character breakfast
Credit: Disney

The dining experiences in Walt Disney World Resort are some of the very best out there. In fact, we’d even go so far as to say that the dining options you choose are some of the things that can make or break a visit to Disney World, especially if you visit often and the rides are old news. Unfortunately, since the reopening of Disney World last summer, many dining experiences have not been available. While we are seeing these being slowly phased back in, there are still a number of favorites that are missing. Wondering which dining experiences you won’t get to have during your upcoming visit to Disney World? Below are the top 11 experiences we’re missing most at the most magical place on earth.


Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom is home to some of the best dining options on property. Sadly, many of these beloved options are not available, and a couple of those that are have changed in ways we don’t appreciate.

1. Crystal Palace (with Characters)

Everyone loves Winnie the Pooh, and dining with this silly old bear and his pals at the Crystal Palace has been a favorite of families for years now. Not only are the character interactions at this meal top-notch, the food is super tasty as well. Currently, Crystal Palace is open for dining with family-style food instead of the previous buffet style. Sadly, characters are still unavailable. Hopefully we see the characters return soon!

Photo Credit: Disney

2. Quick-Service at Be Our Guest

One of our favorite restaurants on Disney property, Be Our Guest offers a totally immersive dining experience that transports you right to the Beast’s castle. The attention to detail is phenomenal, and the food is equally good. Before the parks shut down, guests could enjoy a quick-service meal at this location if they visited earlier in the day. That said, this is no longer available. All meals are table-service meals, and that means the price tag has gone up significantly, pricing many out of the experience.

3. Columbia Harbor House

Columbia Harbor House is the go-to Magic Kingdom location for extra tasty quick-service food. Unfortunately, with this eatery shut down and with the decision to shift Be Our Guest to table-service only, guests are now left with some pretty boring quick-service options.

Columbia Harbor House

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4. Plaza Ice Cream Parlor

Located on Main Street, U.S.A., the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor is an awesome stop for sweet treats, especially during a hot Florida afternoon. Currently, this ice cream shop is closed, but guests can still order the ice cream that is usually served here by dining at the Plaza Restaurant located right next door.

5. Seeing Princesses at Cinderella’s Royal Table

Dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table is a seriously magical experience. Not only do you get to eat inside of the castle dining room, you’re also treated to wonderful views of Fantasyland. Usually, guests are also treated to visits from a variety of princesses throughout their meal. However, this is not the case currently, and we sure do miss those friendly visits.

Cinderella's Royal Table
Cinderella’s Royal Table – Photo Credit Disney


If you like a variety of different kinds of foods, Epcot is the food stop for you. Luckily, the vast majority of Epcot’s delicious international dining options are still there for guests to enjoy. However, the three below are currently closed, and we certainly are missing them.

6. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall is another princess character meal option. Unfortunately, it is closed completely, meaning you can’t enjoy the food or characters that usually make this Norway restaurant such a wonderful place to visit.

7. Restaurant Marrakesh

Easily one of the most immersive dining experiences in the World Showcase, Restaurant Marrakesh is located in the Morocco Pavilion, a fan favorite that offers delicious Moroccan food and live music and dancing. Right now, this eatery is shut down, leaving many wondering where to dine instead, as this has been their go-to for years.

Restaurant Marrakesh

Hollywood Studios

In Hollywood Studios, all of our favorites are still open! Visitors can still travel back in time and enjoy home cooking at 50’s Prime Time Café, or dine at an old-school drive-in theater at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater. They can enjoy a meal in the world of Star Wars at Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo, or jump into Andy’s backyard to grab some grub from Woody’s Lunch Box. Those visiting Hollywood Studios can even enjoy character dining at Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood and Vine. This is one park where we aren’t really missing any dining experiences, and boy, are we grateful for that.

Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom is doing almost as good as Hollywood Studios. Most of our favorite dining experiences are available, meaning we’re pretty darn happy when it comes to picking out a meal at this park. There is one favorite that is still missing, but with character meals returning left and right, we’re hopeful we will see it return sooner rather than later.

8. Tusker House Restaurant

People love the variety offered by the buffet at Tusker House. Not only will you find interesting and exotic African fare, you can also grab tried-and-true favorites, meaning everyone in your party will be happy. On top of that, Tusker House offers a character dining experience for breakfast and lunch, making this an absolutely wonderful place for families to dine. While we understand that a buffet and traditional character meal isn’t possible at the moment, we do hope they make changes in order to bring this fantastic option back to Animal Kingdom. UPDATE! Disney has announced they WILL be reopening Tusker House with characters this SUMMER! We’ll be sure to share a date as soon as Disney makes the announcement.

Tusker House

Resort Dining

Finally, there are the many resort dining options. Several of these are closed or modified, and we’d love to have them all back. However, there are a handful of missing dining experiences that stand out from the rest, and we can’t wait to see them make a comeback.

9. ‘Ohana

Offering an all-you-can-eat menu of delicious Polynesian-inspired foods served family style, ‘Ohana at the Polynesian Resort has been a Disney World staple for years. The restaurant hosts a character meal at breakfast time and invites families to play silly games and listen to stories during lunch and dinner. While this option is temporarily unavailable, we have hope that it’ll return sometime in the near future.

10. Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue

An absolutely wonderful dinner show, Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue is located at Fort Wilderness Campground. This meal is tons of fun for the whole family, and offers a delicious fried chicken meal served family style. It does make sense that this meal has to be suspended at the moment, but that doesn’t stop us from missing it.

Hoop De Doo

11. Fireworks at California Grill

Currently, California Grill is open and serving up yummy meals as usual. That said, there is one thing missing from this fabulous food joint. While guests can usually book a nighttime meal at this restaurant and catch the fireworks while they dine, this is not currently possible because of the lack of fireworks shows at the parks. That said, we are seeing a few fireworks here and there at Magic Kingdom, so maybe there is change on the horizon.

About Chelsea

Chelsea is a lifelong Disney fanatic who lives and travels full time in an RV with her son and husband. Their family takes full advantage of their unique living situation by visiting Disney parks on both sides of the country as often as possible. In doing so, the Gonzales family gathers loads of great tips and info about the parks, which Chelsea is thrilled to share with readers here. Visit Chelsea's blog: Wonder Wherever We Wander! Here you’ll find a wealth of valuable information as well as a variety of reviews and resources to help you navigate the often uncharted territory of roadschooling.

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