FULL List of WDW Restaurants Open As Of September 2020

With all the news of Walt Disney World reopening in July, one of the most common questions that I’ve been asked is what restaurants will be opening inside the four parks. Reservations for table service restaurants are not yet available, but I’ll update here as soon as the information is out. Dining reservations will require valid theme park admission AND a theme park reservation. Check out the full list of restaurants opening in July down below.

wdw restaurant reopening info

Update June 29, 2020: Starting on June 30, 2020, guests who had reservations canceled by Disney from May 28 – September 2, 2020, can book new dining reservations online. Reservations can be booked up to 60 days in advance. Update July 2020: All guests can book new dining reservations online up to 60 days in advance. This post will continuously be updated as more and more restaurants reopen at WDW.

Magic Kingdom Park — Reopened July 11

  • Aloha Isle
  • Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies
  • Be Our Guest Restaurant
  • Cinderella’s Royal Table (Reopens September 24, 2020, with no princesses)
  • Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe
  • Gaston’s Tavern
  • Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company
  • Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen
  • Liberty Square Market
  • Liberty Tree Tavern
  • Main Street Bakery
  • Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe
  • Pinocchio Village Haus
  • The Plaza Restaurant
  • Sleepy Hollow
  • Storybook Treats
  • Sunshine Tree Terrace
  • Tony’s Town Square Restaurant
  • Westward Ho

Perkins Thai Noodles from Skipper CanteenPerkins Thai Noodles at Skipper Canteen

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park — Reopened July 11

  • Anandapur Ice Cream Truck
  • Creature Comforts
  • Dawa Bar
  • Dino-Bite Snacks
  • Flame Tree Barbecue
  • Harambe Fruit Market
  • Isle of Java
  • Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company
  • Mr. Kamal’s
  • Nomad Lounge
  • Pongu Pongu
  • Rainforest Cafe at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
  • Restaurantosaurus
  • Satu’li Canteen
  • Tamu Tamu Refreshments
  • Thirsty River Bar & Trek Snacks
  • Tiffins Restaurant
  • Trilo-Bites
  • Yak & Yeti Local Food Cafes
  • Yak & Yeti Restaurant

Pineapple Lumpia from Pongu PonguPongu Lumpia from Pongu Pongu

EPCOT — Reopened July 15

  • Biergarten Restaurant
  • Choza de Margarita
  • Coral Reef Restaurant
  • Crepes des Chefs de France
  • Fife & Drum Tavern
  • Funnel Cake
  • Garden Grill Restaurant (modified character dining)
  • Gelati
  • Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company
  • Joy of Tea
  • Kabuki Café
  • Katsura Grill
  • L’Artisan des Glaces
  • La Cantina de San Angel
  • La Cava de Tequila
  • La Hacienda de San Angel
  • The Land Cart
  • Le Cellier Steakhouse
  • Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie
  • Les Vins des Chefs de France
  • Popcorn in Canada
  • Refreshment Outpost
  • Refreshment Port
  • Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue
  • Rose & Crown Dining Room & Pub
  • San Angel Inn Restaurante
  • Spice Road Table
  • Sunshine Seasons
  • Tangierine Café
  • Teppan Edo
  • Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar
  • Tutto Italia Ristorante
  • Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival kiosks
  • Traveler’s Café
  • UK Beer Cart
  • Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria

San Angel Inn Waterside Dining in EPCOTSan Angel Inn

Disney’s Hollywood Studios — Reopened July 15

  • 50’s Prime Time Café
  • Anaheim Produce
  • Backlot Express
  • BaseLine Tap House
  • Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo
  • The Hollywood Brown Derby
  • The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge
  • Hollywood Scoops
  • Hollywood & Vine (reopens September 25, 2020, with modified character dining)
  • Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company
  • Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano
  • Milk Stand
  • Oga’s Cantina
  • Peevy’s Polar Pipeline
  • PizzeRizzo
  • Ronto Roasters
  • Rosie’s All-American Café
  • Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant
  • Sunshine Day Bar
  • The Trolley Car Café

Sci-Fi Dine In Restaurant at Disney's Hollywood StudiosSci-Fi Dine-In Restaurant

Walt Disney World Dining Changes

Things will look a little different at Walt Disney World restaurants when they open back up.

  • For starters, just like everywhere else on property, masks will be required for every guest ages 2 and up. While masks are required when entering/exiting and walking around restaurants, they can obviously be removed while eating and drinking.
  • Reduced-contact menus will be available, including ones where you can scan a QR code with your mobile device.
  • Beverages that were previously self-serve will now be served by Cast Members.
  • Mobile Check-In will be utilized at table service restaurants- no need to visit the host stand!
  • Cashless payments are the preferred option, and contactless payments are available as well, including charging to your room via MagicBand.
  • Reservations can be made up to 60 days in advance instead of the 180 days in advance that most people are accustomed to.

Are you planning to visit a Disney restaurant when they reopen?? Which one is first on your list??

Disney World Park Pass Reservation System

The new Disney World Park Pass Reservations System went live this morning and it was not without some serious headaches. It’s not uncommon for the WDW website to crash when new promotions are released- in fact, it’s more the norm- but I was surprised with how long it was down this morning. Luckily, around 8:30am, I was finally able to get our park reservations for our trip next month! But even now, several hours later, people are still reporting issues with getting logged in and being able to secure their Disney Park Pass.

Cinderalla Castle Park Pass

Walt Disney World is reopening in a few weeks (July 11 for Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom and July 15 for Hollywood Studios and EPCOT) and the new reservations system is now live. For right now, the easiest way to get park reservations is to open an Incognito (Chrome) or Private (Safari) window and go directly to this link:https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/park-reservations – you’ll likely either get this page:

Disney Parks Pass pink Cinderella Castle

Or this page:

Disney Park Pass Orbit Screen

But don’t despair, you will EVENTUALLY get into the system to get park reservations. Step one is selecting everyone that is going to be in your party- I had no problem combining annual passholders and regular ticket holders into one reservation.

Disney Parks Create Your Party

The next step is to select the date you’re interested in and then select a park. Currently (as of today, June 22, 2020), only resort guests can book reservations but that will open up to annual passholders on June 26, 2020, and existing ticket holders with no resort reservations on June 28, 2020. Park reservations will be available through September 26, 2021, based on your Walt Disney World resort hotel stay and ticket eligibility or ticket eligibility window.

Walt Disney World Reservation

Once you select a date and a park, the next step is to select a time. The only choices listed for each park are the posted hours so at least at this point, reservations are not timed.

WDW Park Reservation

Then you review and confirm your reservation, including agreeing to all of the T&C + COVID liability waiver.

Review and Confirm Disney

And finally, success and a confirmed Park Pass Reservation!!

Confirmed Disney Park Pass

The Disney Park Pass Availability page allows you to check park availability dependent on your ticket/resort standing so you will know if there are reservations available before you buy tickets. I know that there were a lot of concerns that people would have to buy tickets before having access to the system and would potentially purchase tickets for dates that no longer had availability so this should assuage some of those fears.

Disney Park Pass Availability Calendar

Are you planning to visit WDW in the next 15 months?? Did you try and book park reservations this morning- or will you be trying later on this week?? Let us know how it went for you in the comments!

2020 Disney Military Salute Discounts

Today is the day that so many in the military community have been waiting for– the 2020 Disney Military discounts were announced! For the past decade, Disney has offered fantastic discounts to those that serve our country, and while the prices certainly have gone up each and every year, these discounts are why our family is able to afford to go as often as we do. And NEW for this year, you can get a 6-Day ticket for Walt Disney World!! (updated on June 12, 2020)

2020 Disney Military Salute Update:

Disney has been strangely quiet as to what is happening with the 2020 Military Salute tickets. Unlike regular tickets, the days on the Military Salute tickets can be used throughout the whole year (from January 1- December 18) so there are MANY people that have purchased these tickets and used one or more days but still have availability- my family included! While some ITT’s were offering to refund tickets (and others were closed so there was no way to get a refund), the only word from Disney was that completely unused tickets could be applied towards the purchase of 2021 tickets.

However, today I noticed in My Disney Experience that the kids’ Military Salute tickets have been updated to an expiration date of 09/26/2021. It seems that Disney is rolling out the updates over the course of the day as not ALL of our tickets show the updated expiration date yet. Thank you, Disney, for doing the right thing and ensuring that our military families have a little more time to use their Disney tickets!

2020 Disney Military Salute Discounts

First things first, in order to purchase these tickets you must be an “Eligible Service Member”: active or retired US military (including active/retired National Guard, Reservists, US Coast Guard, Commissioned Corps of PHS and the Commissioned Corps of NOAA). Spouses and Unremarried Widows are able to use their spouse’s discounts. Valid ID is required to purchase and you can either get your tickets at Shades of Green (only WDW tickets but it’s tax-free!), your local ITT, or at the parks.

2020 WDW Military Salute Tickets

The Military Salute tickets are valid for admission from January 1, 2020 through December 18, 2020 with NO blockout dates. As usual, tickets are limited to 6 per Eligible Service Member/spouse. Unlike traditional Disney tickets, Military Salute tickets don’t expire until December 18, 2020, so you can use your days however you want throughout the year. Plus, Memory Maker is available for $98.

6-Day Military Salute Tickets

  • Park Hopper: $301 plus tax
  • Park Hopper Plus: $351 plus tax

5-Day Military Salute Tickets

  • Park Hopper: $283 plus tax
  • Park Hopper Plus: $333 plus tax

4-Day Military Salute Tickets

  • Park Hopper: $265 plus tax
  • Park Hopper Plus: $315 plus tax

Disneyland 4th of July fireworks

2020 Disneyland Military Salute Tickets

The Military Salute tickets are valid for admission from January 1, 2020 through December 18, 2020 and the ONLY blockout date is April 12, 2020 (Easter Sunday). Just like at WDW, tickets are limited to 6 per Eligible Service Member/spouse and Military Salute tickets don’t expire until December 18, 2020, so you can use your days however you want throughout the year. Plus, the Disney PhotoPass Collection is available for $49.

4-Day Military Salute Tickets

  • Park Hopper: $204 plus tax

3-Day Military Salute Tickets

  • Park Hopper: $184 plus tax

2020 Military Resort Discounts

The resort discounts at WDW and Disneyland are a great way to try out the deluxe resorts or even to save some money on your value stay! In years prior, resort discounts were a set percentage off of the rack rate but now they’re done on a sliding scale. Currently, those discounts are UP TO 30% off at Values, UP TO 35% off at Moderates, and UP TO 40% off at Deluxe resorts.

Walt Disney World

  • US military members can SAVE at most WDW resorts between January 1, 2020, and December 18, 2020 (blockout from April 5-18, 2020).
  • You must call 407-939-7825 to book (or to apply the discount to your current reservation)
  • This offer is limited and availability will go fast!


  • US military members can SAVE at all three Disneyland resorts between January 1, 2020, and December 17, 2020 (NO BLOCKOUTS!).
  • You must call 800-642-5392 to book (or to apply the discount to your current reservation)
  • Like at WDW, this offer is limited and availability will go fast!

So tell me, are you planning a 2020 Disney trip to take advantage of the new military deals?

Disney World Height Requirements

While most rides at Walt Disney World are available to everyone, there are a few at each park with a minimum height requirement in order to ensure the safety of all guests. These restrictions are not in place to negatively affect your trip but rather to make sure that everyone stays safe. Even if your child isn’t tall enough to ride EVERYTHING in the parks, there is still plenty to do– and it just means you’ll have to come back again! ???? Over the years, our kids have gone from “too short” to “tall enough” and each time they’re able to ride something new, it’s magical! Ellie just made it over the 40″ mark for our big trip last summer and was SO. EXCITED. to finally go on the bigger rides! Unless it’s listed below, you can safely assume that the ride has no height restrictions in place– and if you sign up for our email list, you’ll get a free printable version of the Disney World height requirements!!

WDW Height Requirements Pin

Magic Kingdom Height Requirements

Barnstormer 35″: This stunt plane (kids) roller coaster flies over Fantasyland and is the perfect first rollercoaster experience for preschoolers. NOTE: This ride has a single lap bar that will only pull down as far as the biggest person.

Magic Kingdom Height Restrictions Big Thunder Mountain

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad 40″: The Wildest Ride in the Wilderness is a runaway mine train with high speeds and narrowly escapes falling boulders and exploding dynamite. Some parts of this ride are in the dark, and it can be scary for some younger kids- ours have all LOVED it! NOTE: This ride has a single lap bar that will only pull down as far as the biggest person, and there are some instances of airtime, so hang on to your kiddo if the bar isn’t down far enough!

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train 38″: Like Big Thunder, this ride is also a mine train, but much smoother and not as intense. There’s also a great view of Fantasyland and Cinderella Castle as you’re headed down the mountain. NOTE: This ride has individual lap bars, so your kiddo will be nice and snug!

Space Mountain 44″: Take a ride through outer space on this thrilling ride in the dark. Some kids may be frightened by the dark and seemingly high-speed, but this one is actually slower than the Monorail- it just doesn’t feel like it! NOTE: This ride has individual lap bars, and riders sit by themselves.

Splash Mountain 40″: This is not your typical log ride! Join Br’er Rabbit as he looks for his “laughing place” and float past 100+ audio-animatronics before plunging nearly 50 feet into a briar patch. NOTE: You WILL get wet!! Typically, the left side of the last row stays the driest, though.

Tomorrowland Speedway Height Requirements Magic Kingdom

Tomorrowland Speedway 32″ (54″ to drive alone): At Disney World, the kids are able to get behind the wheel and drive a race car along a miniature motorway. With a working steering wheel and gas pedal, they’re in control (provided they’re 54″ and can drive alone) as they navigate the course.

TRON Lightcycle / Run 48″: With the highest height requirement in the park, TRON Lightcycle / Run takes you on a exhilarating journey across a world with no horizons.

EPCOT Height Requirements

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind 42″: The newest ride at EPCOT, Guardians of the Galaxy packs in the thrills as you take off on an intergalactic chase through space and time.

Mission Space Height Restriction EPCOT

Mission: SPACE 40″ GREEN and 44″ ORANGE: With two missions to choose from, there’s something for everyone on this space exploration simulator! The Orange Mission is a journey to Mars and uses a centrifuge to simulate the speed and G-forces of space travel. The Green Mission orbits the Earth and is family-friendly- since it does not spin, it is much less likely to cause motion sickness.

Soarin’ Around the World 40″: Here you can see the wonders of the world while flying high in this aerial adventure. Everything from the IMAX screen to the smells to the score is phenomenal on this one! NOTE: There is a second loop for the seatbelt to go through if your child’s head is not above the red arrows on the seat.

Test Track 40″: You get to design your own virtual concept car while you’re waiting to board in both the regular and Genie+ lines, and then take it for a drive on the test track. This high-speed adventure (it’s the fastest ride at WDW, after all!) is a can’t miss attraction, and our kids LOVED it as soon as they were tall enough to ride! NOTE: The ride vehicle seats six, so if your party is larger than that, you’ll get split up.

Animal Kingdom Height Requirements

Flight of Passage Height Requirement Animal Kingdom

Avatar Flight of Passage 44″: This incredibly immersive simulator allows you to board a banshee and fly over Pandora, and it’s kind of like a combination of Soarin’ and Star Tours times 1000. Flight of Passage is still one of the most popular rides at WDW and often has a standby wait time of several hours, so definitely try to get Genie+ for this one! NOTE: There’s a test seat before you enter the line, so if you’re unsure of the seat (it’s like riding a motorcycle), you can try it out ahead of time!

DINOSAUR 40″: If you’ve been to Disneyland before, this ride is like Indiana Jones with dinosaurs- in fact, it even uses the same ride vehicles! Along with 11 of your closest friends, you board a Time Rover and embark on a thrilling journey through the late Cretaceous period. There are dinosaurs, meteors, and lots of loud sounds in the dark, so it can definitely be a scary one for kids. NOTE: The Time Rovers feature individual seatbelts, so little ones are buckled in tightly.

WDW Height Requirement Expedition Everest Animal Kingdom

Expedition Everest 44″: This train goes to the top of Mount Everest before encountering a broken track and plummeting BACKWARDS into darkness. While in the dark, you encounter the Yeti several times before escaping the mountain and arriving safely back in the Tibetan village. NOTE: This high-speed coaster has fast drops, goes backward, is partially in the dark, and features the Yeti (who is known to scare small children). It does have individual lap bars, so you’re held in nice and tight.

Kali River Rapids Height Restriction Animal Kingdom

Kali River Rapids 38″: Embark on a whitewater adventure through the Asian jungle where you will almost certainly get wet– and maybe soaked- as you travel through rapids and down a waterfall! The rafts on this water ride seat 12, so if your party is smaller than that, you’ll be grouped with other families. NOTE: Kids between 38-42″ are given a wristband at the entrance to the line because they need to sit in a modified seat with a safety bar. Not every raft has the modified seats but those that do, have two seats with a safety bar so that you can ride with two kids that are between 38-42″.

Hollywood Studios Height Requirements

Alien Swirling Saucers 32″: This spinning adventure features the aliens from Toy Story along with some pretty groovy music.

Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run 38″: Guests have the opportunity to fly the Millenium Falcon on a thrilling smuggling mission.

Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Height Restriction Hollywood Studios

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith 48″: Board a limo with Aerosmith and race through the dark streets of Los Angeles on this high-speed coaster. This is the only ride at WDW with inversions (and boasts the highest height requirement in the parks) and also features state-of-the-art sound with Aerosmith songs playing loudly. NOTE: This one has shoulder restraints due to the inversions (2 loops and a corkscrew).

Slinky Dog Dash 38″: This family-friendly coaster is another great option for your kiddo’s first roller coaster experience. Hop aboard Slinky Dog and enjoy the twists and turns (as well as a few great hills!) in Andy’s backyard. NOTE: Slinky Dog Dash has individual lap bars, so kids should feel secure with how far it comes down.

Star Tours- The Adventure Continues 40″: Embark on a mission aboard a Starspeeder 1000 on this 3D simulator ride. This intergalactic adventure features your favorite Star Wars characters, as well as a unique story every time you ride (up to the 54 possible combinations)! NOTE: Like most simulators, this one has individual seatbelts. If motion sickness is an issue for your family, ask to sit in the front row.

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance 40″: Join the Resistance in an epic battle against the First Order on the newest ride at Hollywood Studios.

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 40″: Venture back in time to Halloween 1939 and take a trip up (and down!) the Hollywood Tower Hotel elevator. Unlike a typical drop zone ride, this one drops you, then sends you back up, and you continue dropping and rising before plummeting to the ground. NOTE: This ride has individual seat belts, but due to the dropping nature, you still float out of your seat a bit.

Tips for Dealing with WDW Height Requirements

  • Most rides in the parks are designed for the whole family to enjoy, but there are a select few in each park with a height requirement to ensure guest safety.
  • If your little one is close to a cut-off (35, 38, 40, 44, 48 inches), practice how to stand up straight before your trip. They have to actually bump their head on the measuring guide or obviously be taller than it, but we’ve found that some kids duck to fit under the guide and end up looking shorter than they actually are- and missing out on the ride.
  • Rider Switch is an option at every ride with a height restriction, so make sure to utilize it if you have little ones. To take advantage of Rider Switch, the whole family goes up to the Cast Member at the ride entrance and asks for a Rider Switch (or Child Swap) pass. Parent 1 and the big kids (or just Parent 1!) then proceed through the line (Genie+ line if you have a Lightning Lane) while Parent 2 waits with the little kids. After Parent 1 rides, Parent 2 can enter using the Genie+ line (or sometimes the ride exit) with up to two additional guests and ride while Parent 1 hangs out with the little ones. This allows both adults to enjoy the attraction, and the big kids may even get to ride twice!
  • If your kiddos aren’t quite tall enough to ride everything on this visit, it just means it’s time to start planning the next trip for when they’re a bit taller. Our kids love getting measured to see if they are tall enough for the next height milestone, and it gives them something to look forward to between trips. Plus, it’s a good way to convince them to eat their veggies– since we all know that’s what makes you tall enough for the rides at Disney World!!!

Have you used Rider Switch before?? Do you have any tips for dealing with the height requirements at Disney World??

More About Visiting WDW:

Storybook Dining at Artist Point | Wilderness Lodge

One of the newest additions to the WDW dining scene, Storybook Dining at Artist Point is a character dinner located at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort. Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s off to dinner we go- yep, this character meal features Snow White, Dopey, Grumpy and the Evil Queen herself!

Pin image for Storybook Dining at Artist Point

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Kids relaxing in front of the giant fireplace at Disney's Wilderness Lodge

We absolutely LOVE the Wilderness Lodge! Jake and I enjoyed relaxing in the lobby when we stayed at Copper Creek Villas a couple of years ago so we were excited to introduce the kiddos to the beauty of the resort. They were immediately drawn to the giant fireplace (even though it was nearly 100º outside) and made themselves at home in the giant rocking chairs. We didn’t stay too long since we were headed to dinner but the kids are already asking to go back to stay.

Leatherbound menu and signed apple napkin at Storybook Dining

The details at Storybook Dining are amazing! The leatherbound menus fit in perfectly with the theme of the restaurant and the signed apple on the napkin is the cutest thing.

Inside of the Storybook Dining menu

The Storybook Dining menu seems to change a bit seasonally, especially on the appetizer front, but this is the current one as of Summer 2019. Like all of the other character meals at WDW, this is a fixed price menu: adults are $60 and children (3-9) are $39 before tax and tip or it’s one table service dining credit on the Disney Dining Plan.

Table (for 8) at Storybook Dining with smiling family.

We were seated at a large round table that I’m guessing would comfortably seat about 8. One of the most interesting features here is the tree stump lazy susan in the center of the table that is used for the shared appetizers and desserts.

Appetizer selection at Storybook Dining: Hunter's terrine, Wicked Shrimp Cocktail, Mushroom Bisque

The appetizers are served family-style and there’s plenty for everyone! The Mushroom Bisque is served in the cutest little cauldron- no one in our house is a huge fan of mushrooms (and some actually despise them!) so it wasn’t anyone’s favorite. The Hunter’s Terrine (chicken sausage with pickles and stonefruit preserves) and Wicked Shrimp Cocktail (with soy, miso, avocado, Thai chili, and greens) were much more popular with our crew.

Little girl with the kids' appetizer at Storybook Dining

Ellie LOVED the kids’ appetizer! It had a cute potted bread, veggie sticks, and create-your-own honey butter.

Snow White dancing and meeting with kids at Storybook Dining

Snow White entered the room dancing and paraded around for a bit before meeting at tables. Like all character dining at Disney, the characters make their way around the restaurant individually and pose for a quick picture. I’d heard wonderful things about the character interactions here (and that’s part of why we booked this one) but I found them to be sorely lacking. The characters were all rushed and were at our table for MAYBE a minute each. As a family with five kids, and ones that are not the least bit shy and LOVE chatting with characters, I found that to be pretty sad.

Kids' prime rib at Storybook Dining Review

On to the main course! Ben and Lexie both had the Royal Prime Rib Roast and they both said that it was fine- nothing spectacular or their favorite meal ever, but they enjoyed it and ate it all.

Grumpy at Storybook Dining

Like Snow White, Grumpy and Dopey walk around the restaurant and pose for a quick picture. There’s no PhotoPass photographer with them so make sure to have your camera ready!

Kids grilled chicken at Storybook Dining

Ellie ordered the grilled chicken and said it was tasty. While she also loved the broccolini, she was not a fan of the roasted potatoes so our server brought out a side of fries for her.

Dopey with 5 smiling kids Storybook Dining Review

All the kids hanging out with Dopey!

Sorceress Spell of Land and Sea and Magic Mirror Slow-braised Pork Shank at Storybook Dining

Christopher and I both ordered the Sorceress Spell of Land and Sea (Charred Barbecue Pork, Clams, Daikon Noodles, and Spring Onion Chimichurri) and it was delicious. The presentation was great and the flavors worked well together- though I found the pork to be on the fatty side, but I’m assuming that was just my particular piece and not a representation of the dish. Jacob had the Magic Mirror Slow-braised Pork Shank (with Mashed Celery Root, Wilted Greens, and Jus) and it was the clear winner at our table. Nick ordered the Royal Prime Rib Roast (with Horseradish Mashed Potato, Carrots, Popover, and Jus) and enjoyed it as well.

Family style desserts at Storybook Dining at Artist Point

And then it was time for dessert! These were served family-style like the appetizers, and there was enough for one per person. The Fairy Tale Gooseberry Pie (Meringue, Gooseberry) was VERY tart and the ‘Poison’ Apple (Dark Chocolate-Apple Mousse, Sour Center) was definitely sour. The Miner’s Treasures (Sponge Cake, Chocolate Gems, Berry Panna Cotta) was the favorite at our table.

Smoking box of popcorn and desserts at Storybook Dining

The showstopping Hunter’s Gift to the Queen (Cracked Maple Popcorn and Ganache Heart) is brought to the table in a smoky box. We all felt that the presentation of the desserts far surpassed the actual quality of the desserts.

Sweet and sassy girl with poison apple at Storybook Dining

She loved the little poison apples- and ate most of them- but clearly had enough of taking pictures!

5 smiling kids with the Evil Queen at Storybook Dining

The Evil Queen is the only character that you go up and wait in line to see. We were told to go get in line to see her after we finished dessert though I think in the future if there’s a short line, I’d hop up and do it between courses of the meal. Like the rest of our character interactions, we felt like this one was lacking. The group in front of us had a HUGE party and they spent a good 10 minutes taking pictures in multiple configurations and chatting with the Queen. When it was our turn, the whole process was rushed and she barely talked to us- we were done in maybe 90 seconds. And again, the kids ENJOY talking to characters and make an effort to interact so the rushed nature was not something they’re used to experiencing with character dining and left all of us feeling kind of meh about the whole thing.

Overall, this one was probably a one and done for our family. We don’t get the Disney Dining Plan and I felt like it was REALLY expensive out of pocket- roughly $400 including tax/tip. Plus, our experience with the character interaction was underwhelming, though I’ve heard other people rave about how great it is. The food was good, just not quite worth the money for our family, though it’s a GREAT value on the Disney Dining Plan.

Things to Remember for Dinner at Story Book Dining at Artist Point

    • Dinner at Storybook Dining is one table service credit if you’re on the Disney Dining Plan. Otherwise, it’s currently $60 (excluding tax and tip) for adults and $39 for the 3-9 crowd. There are often slight seasonal price fluctuations so keep that in mind. I think it’s a fantastic use of one table service credit but if you’re paying out of pocket, it can get VERY expensive, VERY quickly.
    • This is the only place to meet the Evil Queen inside or outside the parks at Walt Disney World.
    • Reservations can fill up quickly so make sure to book 180 days out (or 180+10 if you’re staying on-site). If you can’t get a reservation, keep trying, because people cancel and move around their plans all the time. We snagged this one somewhat last minute.
    • This restaurant is a favorite for people on their Magic Kingdom days since it’s just a quick boat ride away. If you time it right, you can take the boat to Wilderness Lodge for dinner and be back in the park before the fireworks! We booked an early dinner and then took the boat to Magic Kingdom for Villains After Hours which worked out well and made for a fun “Villains” night.

Have you been to Storybook Dining?? What’s your favorite character meal at WDW??

Celebrate the Holidays at Animal Kingdom

Walt Disney World is the Most Magical Place on Earth and that’s especially true during the holiday season. November 8 kicked off the holiday fun at Animal Kingdom, and this year, they went ALLLL out making it a can’t miss park during the holiday season.

Animal Kingdom Holiday Pin Image

This post is sponsored by Walt Disney World, but as always, all of the magical opinions are my own. #DisneyHolidays

Animal Kingdom Holiday Entrance with garland over the sign

We always go to WDW over Veterans Day weekend to attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, and this year was no exception. The kids and I were excited to check out all of the new holiday offerings at Animal Kingdom while we were in town. Just like the other parks, the holiday decor begins before you’re even IN the park- the garlands over the sign were BEAUTIFUL.

Discovery Island

Crossing the bridge to Discovery Island, guests find themselves in the midst of a celebration of winter, hand-crafted by the eclectic community of artists who make the island their home. Life-size, artisan-sculpted animal puppets (including reindeer, foxes and polar bears) roam around by day while colorful rooftop luminaries light up the night.

Discover Island Merry Menagerie Puppets at Animal Kingdom

Once you cross over the bridge to Discovery Island and walk towards the Tree of Life, you’re greeted by the Merry Menagerie puppets. We had so much fun interacting and playing with them and the performers did a FANTASTIC giving each their own personality. We probably spent half an hour just hanging out with the puppets and their performers and could have easily stayed much longer.

Holiday mural at animal kingdom

The new mural wall at Animal Kingdom is absolutely breathtaking and I foresee it being the backdrop for a lot of Christmas card photos this year. You can find this one on the walk from Discovery Island to Pandora, right across from Tiffins.

Tree of Life Awakenings

At the center of everything, the Tree of Life awakens each evening as a series of wintry tales emerge from within, complemented by a familiar and heartwarming holiday-inspired musical score. Between awakening moments, the Tree of Life continues to shimmer and sparkle throughout the night, alive with the magic of nature and the spirit of the holidays.

New tree of life awakening disney holidays

The Tree of Life Awakening is a can’t miss when you’re at Animal Kingdom in the evening. Beginning after the sun sets and running throughout the night, this projection show features holiday stories full of wildlife- and a great soundtrack. The kids (and I!) were completely mesmerized as we watched!

DinoLand U.S.A.

Throughout DinoLand U.S.A., all of Donald Duck’s friends gather for Donald’s Dino-Bash! get into the spirit with colorful holiday decorations they have each chosen according to their own styles.

DinoLand Christmas lights at Animal Kingdom

The decorations in DinoLand are fun and colorful and fit in perfectly with the theming!

giant dinosaur covered in Christmas lights at Animal Kingdom

Even the 50-foot brachiosaur on the OldenGate Bridge is in on the holiday fun this year! Check out that Santa hat and white beard!!

Scrooge McDuck meeting with five kids at Animal Kingdom while it's all decked out for Christmas

All of the character meet and greets are extra-festive this time of year. We didn’t wait in line for too many of them, but you can’t celebrate Christmas at Animal Kingdom without taking a quick picture with Scrooge McDuck!


The residents of Anandapur have decorated the theater district in celebration of Diwali, India’s holiday festival of lights. Glowing flowers, lanterns and more illuminate the square between Anandapur Theater and the waterfront stage, home to authentic and colorful cultural performances. 

Holiday lights and lanterns in Asia at Animal Kingdom

The hanging lanterns and lights were beautiful during the day and even more spectacular all lit up at night. The décor in this part of the park is so understated that you may miss it if you’re walking quickly, but I think that just adds to the charm and it blends in perfectly.

Peppermint soft serve ice cream cone at Animal Kingdom

Walt Disney World goes all out on festive treats and our favorite at Animal Kingdom was definitely the peppermint soft-serve cone. The Anandapur Ice Cream Truck is dishing up this festive treat, along with vanilla and chocolate cones for $4.99 (or one DDP Snack Credit).

Five kids enjoying ice cream cones by Expedition Everest

We each got a cone- clearly, the boys all share my love of peppermint, while the girls opted for vanilla and chocolate (such silliness!)- to enjoy on our walk to Expedition Everest.

Pandora- The World of Avatar

The ex-pats living and working on the moon of Pandora bring a little holiday fun to their interstellar home, with a display at Pongu Pongu of holiday décor, combining vintage pieces from Earth with items handcrafted from materials indigenous to Pandora. 

Pongu Pongu decorated for the holidays

Pandora joined the holiday fun this year, though Pongu Pongu is really the only place that you’ll see anything festive. We had fun searching for the nods to both Christmas and Hanukkah!

Pongu Pongu covered in Christmas lights

And at night, it looks even more Christmas-y when the lights are turned on!

Pandora at night

Even though the holiday décor doesn’t extend throughout Pandora, if you’re there after dark make sure to check out the bioluminescent lights on the walkways.

Holiday Décor by Night

As day becomes night, the rooftop luminaries all around Discovery Island bring a warm and festive glow to the entire village.

Discovery Island garlands and animal luminaries at night at Animal Kingdom

Discovery Island looked festive during the day, especially with the puppets roaming, but at night, OH. MY. GOSH! It was BEAUTIFUL! The garlands and rooftop luminaries were the perfect touch and provided holiday beauty without being over the top.

Animal Kingdom Christmas tree

Even though it’s technically outside of the park, it’s still part of the holiday décor at Animal Kingdom. The giant Christmas tree all lit up at night is one of my favorite places to get a picture of all the kids. And on the plus side, since it’s not IN the park, you can stop by for a picture with the tree even if you don’t want to visit Animal Kingdom.

Is It Worth It?

So, the question that I get asked all the time: Is it worth it to go to Animal Kingdom just to check out the holiday stuff? Yes, a million times, yes!

Happy family in front of the Animal Kingdom Christmas tree

Not only can you get a great family photo with the beautiful Animal Kingdom Christmas tree, but you get to experience a Disney park with decorations that you won’t find anywhere else. Each part of the park has it’s own distinct decorations and they range from simple and almost hard to spot, to completely over the top. In years past, I never would have made the trek to Animal Kingdom JUST for the holiday décor, but they really upped their game this year! And make sure to get a peppermint cone while you’re there!!

Disney Bucket List


  1. Walt Disney World
  2. Disneyland
  3. Disneyland Paris
  4. Shanghai Disneyland
  5. Tokyo Disney
  6. Hong Kong Disneyland
  7. Go on a Disney Cruise


  1. Attend Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (and here are some Tips and Tricks!)
  2. Attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (and here are some Tips and Tricks!)
  3. Do the “Keys to the Kingdom” Tour
  4. Watch the Festival of Fantasy Parade from the VIP area
  5. Do a fireworks dessert party
  6. Stay for the Kiss Goodnight at the Magic Kingdom
  7. See the hidden Mickey on Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid (can only be seen at noon on 11/18, Mickey’s birthday)
  8. Be “That Guy” at the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
  9. Be the Beast in Enchanted Tales with Belle
  10. Watch sunrise in the Magic Kingdom
  11. Attend Villains After Hours
  12. Go on a ride with a character


  1. Attend the Flower and Garden Festival
  2. Attend the Food and Wine Festival
  3. Attend the Festival of the Arts
  4. Attend the Festival of the Holidays
  5. Drink around the world– all in one day!
  6. Pick a pearl in Japan
  7. Do the “Behind the Seeds Tour”
  8. See the Candlelight Processional

Candlelight Processional at EPCOT with Neil Patrick Harris NPH


  1. Find DiVine in Animal Kingdom and watch her perform
  2. Become a Wilderness Explorer
  3. Do the “Caring for Giants” Tour


  1. See Toy Story Land
  2. Get a family picture on Tower of Terror
  3. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
  4. Pilot the Millenium Falcon


  1. Take surfing lessons at Typhoon Lagoon
  2. Spend the day at Blizzard Beach


  1. Stay at Disney’s Aulani
  2. Stay at all of the WDW Deluxe Resorts
  3. Stay in the Disneyland Dream Suite or Cinderella Castle Suite
  4. Make s’mores with Chip and Dale at the Campfire Sing-A-Long at Fort Wilderness
  5. Go to the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue at Fort Wilderness
  6. See the Christmas Lights at Fort Wilderness
  7. Ride the Surrey bikes on the Boardwalk
  8. Take a boat cruise during the fireworks
  9. Watch the Electrical Water Pageant


  1. Eat at every table-service restaurant at Disney World
  2. Eat at EVERY restaurant at Disney World– the Golden Spoon!
  3. Eat in Cinderella Castle (Cinderella’s Royal Table)
  4. Do the Rio Grande Nacho Challenge at Pecos Bills (no longer offered)


  1. Become DVC Members
  2. Attend a DVC Moonlight Magic event
  3. Do a VIP Tour
  4. Do an adults-only trip
  5. Go on a trip with a friend
  6. Do Disney ALONE!
  7. Stay from rope drop to extra magic hours close
  8. 4 parks in one day
  9. Visit the Walt Disney Family Museum

What’s on your Disney Bucket List??

Can't Miss things to do at Disney Parks

Dinner at ‘Ohana | Polynesian

“What are the must-do restaurants at WDW?” is one of the most common questions that we get asked. Our response is typically the same mentioning Satu’li Canteen, Frontera Cocina, and the Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast, but dinner at ‘Ohana is ALWAYS at the top of our list. Located at the Polynesian Village Resort, ‘Ohana is one of the most popular restaurants at Walt Disney World, and for good reason! With an awesome character breakfast (featuring Stitch!) and an amazing All-You-Care-To-Enjoy dinner, it’s hard to go wrong!

'Ohana at Disney's Polynesian pin image

Like all table service restaurants at WDW, reservations open 180 days out, or 180+ 10 if you’re staying on WDW property. Since this one can be difficult to get, we recommend snagging it at the 180-day mark if possible. However, we’ve had plenty of success getting a reservation, even as a party of seven, the night before so definitely keep trying if you don’t get it the first time.

Cute kids wrapped in leis.

We’ve been eating at ‘Ohana for the past decade- look at how little Nick and Ben were on our first visit!- and it is hands down, the favorite WDW restaurant of our entire crew. Like to the point that it’s what they request for their birthday dinners EVERY year knowing full well that we aren’t driving to Florida. As our kids have gotten older (4/5 are Disney adults) and dining prices have climbed, it’s become a restaurant that we do once a year instead of once a trip, but it’s definitely a can’t-miss for our fam!

Valet at the polynesian

See, we like ‘Ohana so much that our kids dress like the valets at the Polynesian! ???? If you’re staying in one of the WDW resorts you’ll either need to drive your vehicle or take a Minnie Van (or Uber/Lyft) to get to the Polynesian since there are no busses between resorts. If you’re coming directly from one of the parks you can take the monorail, boat, or bus depending on where you’re coming from, but make sure that you have a way to get back to your car or resort when you’re done. If you’re driving, let the guard know that you have a dinner reservation which they typically verify by scanning your MagicBand, and then you’re free to park in the resort parking lot or use valet. TIP: You can valet your car for FREE at the resorts if you have a Tables in Wonderland card OR a handicapped placard.

Family in front of the tiki guy in the Polynesian lobby.

We always stop for a quick photo with the tiki guy in the lobby of the Polynesian and oftentimes there is a PhotoPass photographer that will take your picture- with their camera or yours! Since we go every year, this is a fun way to see how much the kids have grown over time. ‘Ohana is on the second floor of the main building of the Polynesian so from the tiki guy, head to the back right corner and up the stairs. At the top of the stairs, you can check-in for your reservation and usually, they will give you a pager that goes off once your table is ready.

Kids at a window table at 'Ohana

Look at those happy kids! When we check-in at the desk we always request a window table and let them know that we’re willing to wait for one if needed and our request is usually granted. TIP: If you want to watch the fireworks from your table, make your reservation for 1-1.5 hours before the show.

Pineapple coconut bread.

‘Ohana means family and that theme continues throughout your time at the restaurant. Your server is affectionately known as “cousin” and all of the food is served family-style, including the AMAZING pineapple-coconut bread that kicks off dinner.

View of Cinderella Castle from the Polynesian

Check out that view of Cinderella Castle from our table!

Mixed green salad with lilikoi dressing

The mixed green salad came out next and the kids dug in. They’re big salad eaters at home, too, so I wasn’t surprised when they all loaded their plates up with salad, but I did remind them that the best was still to come!

Skillet full of dumplings, wings, noodles, and veggies

This skillet was stuffed full of pork dumplings, honey-coriander chicken wings, teriyaki noodles, and stir-fried veggies. The kids wasted no time and filled their plates and their bellies. Like other AYCTE restaurants, a non-alcoholic drink is included in the price of the meal. We all love the POG juice (passion fruit, orange, guava) at the ‘Ohana breakfast and we always order it at dinner, too!

Little girl eating chicken wings

Ellie LOVED the wings and ate half a dozen herself. Kids can order the usual nuggets and mac and cheese if they’re picky eaters but ours have always been able to find at least a few things that they like even if it means eating their weight in chicken wings.

Cooking over an open flame at 'Ohana

All of the meats (chicken, steak, and shrimp) are prepared over an oak fire and then brought out on skewers. Your “cousin” will serve you as much or as little as you would like though we’ve found that they typically give you a bit more than you ask for.

Skewers of spicy shrimp

The spicy grilled peel-n-eat shrimp is always a hit at our table, especially with Lexie- I think she ate about 30 last time! Even though it’s called “spicy” shrimp, I’ve never really noticed much spice so definitely give it a try even if you’re spice-averse. The bigger issue is that it is peel-n-eat shrimp and does still have the legs attached so there’s an extra step in getting it ready for the kiddos, at least until they learn to peel their own shrimp!

Skewers of szechuan steak

There are also skewers of sweet-n-sour chicken and Szechuan sirloin steak that make the rounds. And since this is an All-You-Care-To-Enjoy meal, you can ask for seconds, thirds, etc of anything and they’re super good about asking several times if you’d like more of any of the meats.

She loves her shrimp!

This girl loves her shrimp, and she’s super lucky that she has a nice Dad that peels it for her since she thinks it’s gross! And in an effort to maintain transparency, he peels mine, too! ????

'Ohana is all you care to enjoy so order more potstickers!

We always end up requesting more potstickers because they’re a family favorite! After they bring your initial skillet of appetizers and accompaniments, you can get smaller plates of individual items. That way if your fam wants more potstickers and wings (our usual request) you’re not wasting the other food.

Fireworks view from 'Ohana

For our family, ‘Ohana is the epitome of Disney magic. We’ve had fantastic service for every dinner, the food has always been amazing, and we love watching the Magic Kingdom fireworks from our table. This restaurant will always be our little slice of Disney heaven. If you time your reservation for about an hour before the fireworks you may be able to watch them from your table. The window tables have the best view (and we prefer being on the left side away from the pool/pool lights) but many other tables also have a decent view as well.

'Ohana bread pudding

After the fireworks ended, our cousin brought out the famous ‘Ohana Bread Pudding à la mode for dessert. It’s Nick’s absolute FAVORITE dessert of anything that he’s ever had and he requested (and received) his own slice, but the rest of us were more than okay sharing since we’d just eaten a massive dinner. There are Rice Krispies Treats available for the kiddos if they don’t like bread pudding or they can get a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Things to Remember for an ‘Ohana Dinner

  • This one is All-You-Care-To-Enjoy so make sure to come hungry!
  • Dinner at ‘Ohana is one table service credit if you’re on the Disney Dining Plan. Otherwise, it’s about $55 (including tax/excluding tip) for adults and $31 for the 3-9 crowd. There are often slight seasonal price fluctuations so keep that in mind.
  • Dinner is NOT a character meal- if you’re looking for characters, you’ll want to check out the ‘Ohana breakfast.
  • Reservations can fill up quickly so make sure to book 180 days out (or 180+10 if you’re staying on-site). If you can’t get a reservation, keep trying, because people cancel and move around their plans all the time.
  • Many people like the earlier reservation times as a break from Magic Kingdom since it’s just a quick monorail ride away. If you time it right, you can hop over for dinner and be back in the park before the fireworks!

What’s your fave restaurant at WDW?? 

Splitsville | Disney Springs

Can you believe that with all the times that we’ve been to Walt Disney World, we’ve NEVER been to Splitsville Lanes at Disney Springs?! Well, except for the time the boys ventured in to play pool while the girls were at the Wonderland Tea Party last summer. Needless to say, we were super excited to check it out this summer!

Splitsville Bowling BallsThank you so much to Splitsville for hosting us- we received a complimentary lunch and bowling but all opinions are honest and my own.

Splitsville Lanes Sign at Disney Springs

We regularly go to Disney Springs when we’re in Orlando, but for whatever reason, we don’t typically make it over to the West Side. Splitsville is a quick walk from the Orange Parking Garage and right next to the new NBA Experience that opens in August 2019.

Entrance area at Splitsville Lanes

As soon as you walk in the front door, you’re greeted with bright colors and a seriously FUN atmosphere! We hopped in the line for bowling (it is a bowling alley, after all!) but you can also come for a meal without doing bowling/billiards– and spoiler alert, I totally would if we only had time to eat!

Mickey bowling ball at Splitsville Lanes Disney Springs

And guess who’s on the bowling balls? I mean, really, where else can you bowl with a Mickey bowling ball?! We loved the assortment of Mickey and Minnie balls, along with the Splitsville logoed ones and it made it easier to keep track of which ball everyone was using.

Bowling on an off-day from Disney Parks

Unlike our local bowling alley, at Splitsville you let them know what size shoes you need and they DELIVER them to your lane in a basket! We got our shoes on and then it was time to BOWL!

Cucumber Cooler and Piña Colada in front of the bowling lanes

After perusing the extensive drink menu for a bit, we ordered the Cucumber Cooler and a Piña Colada to enjoy while we were bowling- and a round of root beers for the kids!

Gutterball and Strike screens while bowling

We all got a kick out of the screens above the lanes that both made fun of our lack of bowling skills and praised us when we got a lucky strike!

Bowling ramp for kids make it easy for the younger set to bowl

And Ellie loved that they had ball ramps for little kids! She opted for the ramp and felt like one of the big kids since she didn’t need to use the bumpers (but they’re definitely available if any kids or adults in your group want to use them)!

Firehouse (buffalo chicken) pizza at Splitsville Disney Springs

Oh my gosh, if you would have told me that a bowling alley would have had some of the best food of our Disney vacation, I never would have believed you. But it did! The Firehouse pizza was ah-mazing- quite literally one of the best buffalo chicken pizzas I’ve ever had.

Impossible burger and bowling alley sushi

We also tried the plant-based Impossible Burger and it was wayyyy better than I expected! We’re not even remotely close to being vegetarians so we were trying it out just for fun but it was so delicious that we all said we would order it again. And bowling alley sushi should be a thing from now on! I was so excited when Ben wanted to order the Spicy Tuna Roll because I really wanted to try it– and it was SO. GOOD!

Kids' chicken tenders and Ghirardelli brownie a la mode

Splitsville has meals for the little ones, too. Ellie ordered the Chicken Tenders since they’re her go-to order everywhere. They were great and the portion was HUGE for a kid’s meal. And you can’t have lunch without dessert- or at least we can’t if we’re on vacation(!)- so we took our waitress’s advice and ordered the Ghirardelli Brownie a la Mode. Okay, technically we ordered two since we have a big crew and she was raving about the awesomeness of the brownie!

Kids watching Ellie bowl with bowling ramp

After fueling up, we were back to bowling!

Excited faces after she gets a strike

I love that the kids were so excited for each other every time that the ball rolled down the lane. And when Ellie finally got a strike, they couldn’t contain themselves!

Family fun at Splitsville Lanes Disney Springs

We had a fabulous time at Splitsville and I honestly don’t know why we didn’t visit sooner! When we plan Disney World trips we make sure to have off-days from the parks and a trip to Splitsville for bowling and delicious food would be the perfect way to spend an afternoon. It would also make a great late-night date night if you’re traveling without the kiddos!

Tips For Splitsville

  • You can book a Dining Only reservation on OpenTable
  • For Priority Bowling and Lane Reservations (with 24-hour notice), you can email kingpin@splitsvillelanes.com or call 407.938.7467
  • Splitsville offers substantial discounts if you bowl before noon which is perfect with the kiddos!

Follow Splitsville Disney Springs on social media:
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