Disney Dining

Details on Topolino’s Terrace Coming to Walt Disney World

Topolino’s Terrace coming to Disney’s Riviera Resort at Walt Disney World.

Topolino’s Terrace coming to Disney’s Riviera Resort at Walt Disney World.

Topolino’s Terrace — Flavors of the Riviera, will be a new signature rooftop restaurant at Disney’s Riviera Resort offering 2 special experiences: a character breakfast and views of evening fireworks.

Topolino’s Terrace will be a Disney signature restaurant where you can dine indoors and then step out onto the terrace for a view of the resort down below and if you can time it right, view the fireworks of the nearby nighttime spectaculars at Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Guests can start their morning off with an exclusive Disney character dining experience inspired by the Riviera.

Stay tuned for more information on this exciting opportunity!

By Darren Wittko

Disney Dining Plans Offer Value and Convenience

Is the Disney Dining Plan worth the cost? The truth is, it depends! In my article, Can You Save Money with the Disney Dining Plan? I show readers how to maximize their entitlements and recommend some of the more expensive restaurants at Walt Disney World. But aside from the actual cost, there’s also great value in the convenience it offers. One of the most attractive features is the ability to pay off all your major expenses before you even get to Walt Disney World.

Adding a dining plan to your Disney Resort Hotel package also gives you a convenient way plan out your dining experiences well in advance without stressing about costs adding up.

With three different plans to choose from, there is something for everyone. Plus, you can even use your dining plan to place an order on the go with mobile ordering – now available on the My Disney Experience app.

And today, you’ll notice that the Dining Plan Add-On page has a refreshed look, designed to highlight the benefits of each plan.

New Look for the Disney Dining Plan page | Walt Disney World

New Look for the Disney Dining Plan page | Walt Disney World

New Character Dinner Coming to Disney's Wilderness Lodge


Storybook Dining at Artist Point inside Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort will invite guests to venture into an Enchanted Forest-like setting inspired by Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” There, you’ll enjoy a delicious meal of fantastic fare with visits from Snow White, Dopey and Grumpy. Delightful music and activities will help bring the classic fairytale to life, and they’ll even have an opportunity for an encounter with The Queen.

This immersive character dinner takes place amidst the rustic elegance and exceptional dining that Artist Point is known for. You'll enjoy a uniquely themed prix fixe menu, including shared starters, a choice of individual plated entrees and ‘sweet spells’ to finish the meal.

I'll have more information to share soon, including menu offerings, an opening date and when you can book reservations as well as where Guests might be able to find select fan-favorite Artist Point menu items in the future.

Storybook Dining at Artist Point with Snow White is slated to begin this winter.

Darren W. specializes in Walt Disney World Resort travel.

New Dessert Party Coming to Walt Disney World

VIP Dessert Party at Disney's Animal Kingdom Park

VIP Dessert Party at Disney's Animal Kingdom Park

Starting August 6, 2018, you can book a new Rivers of Light Dessert Party over at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park

The party will include a buffet of Disney’s Animal Kingdom-themed desserts, snacks, and drinks followed by VIP viewing of “Rivers of Light.”

Guests start by checking in 60 minutes prior to the main show (8:15 p.m. for a 9:15 p.m. show) at the Rivers of Light Asia Viewing Area Terrace located across from Expedition Everest.

Starting today you can book your reservation by visiting Disneyworld.com, by calling 407 WDW-DINE, or your Disney Travel Agent.  

The price is $79 for adults and $47 for children (tax inclusive) and must be paid for in full at the time of booking.

Rivers of Light | Disney's Animal Kingdom Park

Rivers of Light | Disney's Animal Kingdom Park

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Exclusive Offers

Save big on these Agency-Exclusive Offers from Magical Vacations Travel.


Darren specializes in Walt Disney World Resort

Important Change to Disney Dining Reservations

Recently I discovered that the website used to make dining reservations at Walt Disney World opens at approximately 5:45 AM, not 6:00 AM as it had before. 

The Dining Reservations website now opens at approximately 5:45 AM.  

The Dining Reservations website now opens at approximately 5:45 AM.  

I first discovered this while trying to make a dining reservation for Be Our Guest Restaurant 180 days in advance. I was online, logged in, and ready to go at 6:00 AM Eastern Time. But in less than a minute, Be Our Guest was already booked to capacity. While Be Our Guest is popular, it didn't seem right to me that it could have sold out so quickly. I later called Disney to ask if there was an error on the website. The booking agent explained to me that the site had opened to guests at 5:45 AM. So, basically I was 15 minutes late to the party. 

I confirmed this on the Walt Disney World website as well. In the FAQ section, Disney explains that the website could open prior to 6 AM: 

Reservation availability for select Walt Disney World restaurants typically begins each day at approximately 5:45 AM.
— https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/faq/dining-reservations/resort-restaurants-reservations/

When making hard-to-get dining reservations, log into your My Disney Experience account a few minutes prior to 5:45 AM. I recommend testing your username and password the night before just to make sure you are able to log in. You don't want to discover that you forgot your password when it's game time. If you have trouble with your account, you can call 407-WDW-HELP and select option 3 for Disney Internet Help. 

I also recommend using the website over the mobile app, but have both ready to go just in case. The website tends to be more stable and will operate a little faster than the app.

Darren specializes in Walt Disney World Resort. 

My Disney Experience Gets 2 New Features Today

My Disney Experience Mobile App Update

Today Disney pushed out an update to the My Disney Experience mobile app

Guests with Disney dining plans can redeem meals and snacks in Mobile Order, providing them with more free time to enjoy all of the attractions and entertainment experiences throughout Walt Disney World Resort. I have personally used this service in beta testing and it's terrific. It makes things so much easier, overall a welcome addition to the app! 

To access Mobile Order, tap the “Order Food” button under “My Plans” in the app. Watch the video below to see the convenience of using Mobile Order with a Disney dining plan

Watch the video below to see how it works! 


Also, you can now get attraction wait time information in real-time. The app now shows standby wait time information exactly as they appear in the park. I still recommend the Lines App from TouringPlans.com. This service has proven to be more reliable and accurate. 

Other updates include improvements to features like room charge viewing, Online Check-In Service and wayfinding, that are helping to improve the overall vacation experience for our guests. 

New Restaurant at Disney's Yacht Club Resort

Ale and Compass Restaurant | Walt Disney World

Ale & Compass Restaurant (formerly Captain’s Grille) has been completely transformed into a New England gastropub. The on-stage “hearth” oven area, where a select few diners can grab a seat, is the focal point of this warm and inviting space that is reminiscent of an off-shore lighthouse with rich, salvaged materials that are the decorative finishes.

Check out all the menus for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and the lounge.

Space Themed Restaurant Coming to Epcot

Disney unveiled plans to create a new restaurant at Epcot that’ll offer amazing meals with spectacular views high above Earth – from space!

The restaurant, which will be located adjacent to the park’s Mission: SPACE attraction, will invite guests to travel into space for amazing dining experiences in the stars.

By Darren Wittko

Holiday Dessert Parties at Walt Disney World

Tickets are now available for holiday party nights at Walt Disney World Resort! Special add-on dessert parties are available on select nights for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party this fall and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party this winter. 

Dessert parties are now available at Magic Kingdom Park this holiday season. 

Dessert parties are now available at Magic Kingdom Park this holiday season. 


Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Dessert Party 

At Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Dessert Party, you can indulge in Halloween-themed eats, including chocolate-dipped strawberries, chocolate mousse, cupcakes, ice cream, seasonal fruits, cheeses and other ghoulish goodies created daily by Disney's master pastry chef. Specialty drinks, signature lemonades, coffee, tea and hot chocolate will also be served. 

This Magic Kingdom dessert party offers prime views of the Happy HalloWishes Fireworks Spectacular over Cinderella Castle. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Dessert Party takes place select nights Aug. 29 – Nov. 1, 2017.


Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

Before the holiday fireworks, you'll discover a host of holiday-themed cupcakes and desserts prepared by Disney's master pastry chef, along with a buffet of sweet treats – like chocolate dipped strawberries, chocolate mousse, ice cream, cheeses and fresh, seasonal fruits. And raise a cup of good cheer with sparkling cider, signature lemonades, specialty Christmas drinks, hot chocolate, coffee or tea, and then marvel as the sky above explodes with color, music and lights!

Both parties will be held at the Tomorrowland Terrace. The cost is $79 plus tax for adults; $47 plus tax for children ages 3-9. Magic Kingdom Theme Park admission is required. 


By Darren Wittko

A New Way to Order Food at Walt Disney World

 Satu’li Canteen at Walt Disney World to feature Mobile Order

 Satu’li Canteen at Walt Disney World to feature Mobile Order

Mobile Order will be available at Satu’li Canteen restaurant at Disney's Animal Kingdom Park on opening day – May 27 – and then expanding to Pizzafari, Flame Tree Barbecue and Restaurantosaurus during the summer. And better yet, more Mobile Order fast casual and quick service locations across Walt Disney World Resort are on the way.

Mobile Order, which can be found in the My Disney Experience app, offers the added convenience of being able to place orders and purchase meals on-the-go. You can select menu items, customize orders and pre-pay for meals during park visits – all within the app. 

It’s easy to do. After you place your order, pre-pay in the app and arrive at Satu’li Canteen, you'll tap the “I’m here” button. That will notify the kitchen to prepare your meal. When ready, you will be alerted through the app to pick up your meal at the designated window with the Mobile Order pick-up sign.

Please note during the initial launch period of Mobile Order, the only form of payment accepted will be by credit card. Anyone with special dietary restrictions, or those who want to use discounts or redeem dining plan entitlements must place their order with a cashier. 

By Darren Wittko, Specializing in Disney Destinations

Adult Beverage ID Requirements Enforced at Walt Disney World

Disney is reminding all guest to bring the proper identification they’ll need during their stay.  Please note the following ID requirements required to purchase alcoholic beverages at any establishment throughout the Walt Disney World Resort.

Alcohol will not be served to anyone who does not present valid identification upon request.

Visitors from outside the United States are required to present both a valid passport and another form of government-issued photo identification from their country of origin. Foreign driver’s licenses or ID cards are not acceptable by themselves.

The following forms of ID will be accepted as proof of age:

U.S. state driver’s license (includes U.S. territories – Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa)
U.S. state ID (includes U.S. territories)
U.S. military ID
Original passport
Copy of passport (either on paper or captured on a mobile device), along with a government photo ID that verifies the person and birth date show on the copy
NEXUS card issued by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (Canadian Guests only)


By Darren Wittko, Specializing in Disney Destinations

First Look: Geyser Point Bar and Grill at Disney's Wilderness Lodge

Geyser Point Bar & Grill at Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort

Geyser Point Bar and Grill is a new but unremarkable restaurant at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort situated on the shores of Bay Lake. The lounge itself is a big improvement over the existing pool bar and will likely attract an evening crowd. The open air pavilion is reminiscent of a structure you’d find at a public park or a summer camp but with more comfortable furniture and a bar! There are plenty of servers are on hand but most didn't have anything to do. Disney's Wilderness Lodge isn’t fully operational at this time due to an extensive, down-to-the-studs refurbishment so crowds should pick up once construction is complete.

The nearby quick service restaurant feels like an afterthought being tucked away in the corner. It's an attempt at rustic, Pacific-Northwest cuisine offering a bison burger and a smoked salmon BLT. Neither will impress you but overall they're acceptable. There’s absolutely nothing special about the bacon cheeseburger, it’s the same frozen beef patty you can get anywhere at Walt Disney World: overcooked beyond recognition and dry. In fact, it was so dry, it wasn't edible. If Wendy’s and McDonald's can make a decent burger, why can’t Disney? The oversized waffle-fries are fresh, crispy and will certainly be a signature item here.

Service is painfully slow at Geyser Point Bar and Grill. I was the only customer at the restaurant, shortly after 12 noon. After 15 minutes I approached the counter again to ask if they forgot about me. Nope. But a Cast Member was indeed working feverishly in the kitchen. It took 22 minutes for the order to arrive at my table but the place is still new so I can understand that some things might need to be worked out. 
The open air design is only as good as the weather outside. Visit on a breezy winter day and you’ll fight to keep your plate and cup from blowing away. You can also expect cold food. It will be interesting to see if insects become a problem here - being that the pavilion has no screens. Disney has a great pest management system in place so it shouldn't be an issue. 

Prices are reasonable, entrees range between $10 and $14. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served daily. The lounge offers typical beverages found throughout Walt Disney World and even a few regional beers from the Pacific-Northwest.

If you’re staying at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Geyser Point is a good place for breakfast or an evening beverage after the theme parks, but overall it's just average for Walt Disney World. 

By Darren Wittko

New Princess Character Meal at Disney's Boardwalk

Recently, I shared that an all-new character dining experience will be coming to Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk at Walt Disney World Resort. The Bon Voyage Breakfast at Trattoria al Forno, you'll have the opportunity to meet beloved Disney characters including Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, Ariel and Prince Eric.


Adult Offerings

Breakfast is your choice of a mixed berry parfait or fresh fruit salad and a frying pan of pastries featuring braided breakfast bread and clam shell pastries. Menu items “Shipwreck al Forno” - Calzone with scrambled Eggs, Soppressata, Bacon, Sausage, Blend of Cheeses and Sunday Gravy; “Tangled Eggs” Tomato & Basil Scrambled Eggs, Fresh Mozzarella, Sunday Gravy and Roasted Potatoes; “Tower of Pancakes” Seasonal Buttermilk Pancakes with Bacon or Sausage and more!


For the Kiddos

Choice of a Mickey Pancake, Mickey Waffle or a “Little Royal Breakfast,” which features an egg, bacon and toast.

Breakfast will also include a choice of non-alcoholic beverage such as coffee, tea juice, milk and soft drinks. Mimosas, a Peach Bellini, cappuccino, press pot coffee and more will be available as an additional charge.

This character breakfast will cost $34 for adults, $20 for children. Please note Disney Characters join Guests for breakfast only. Character appearances are subject to change.

Reservations are now open for dates beginning April 2, 2017 and can be made by visiting DisneyWorld.com/dining or by calling 407-WDW-DINE.

By Darren Wittko, Specializing in Disney Parks and Resorts


A New Way to View Magic Kingdom Fireworks

Celebration at the Top, a new dining event coming to California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World Resort, allows you enjoy the Magic Kingdom Park fireworks from an intimate and private observation deck.

Celebration at the Top Guests can check in at California Grill an hour before fireworks. After being whisked up to the California Grill, which sits on the 15th floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, you'll be taken to a banquet room to enjoy a selection of sushi rolled by the expert California Grill sushi chefs, a selection of flatbreads and other small plates. A complimentary bar offering craft beers, California wines, cordials and coffee will also be available.

Just before the fireworks begin, you will be lead to a private observation deck on the roof of the Contemporary Resort, which offers stunning views of Magic Kingdom Park and the fireworks. After you can return to the private room for dessert including decadent chocolate confections and fruit tarts.

Reservations for Celebration at the Top are now open for select Sunday evenings from Feb. 26-April 16, 2017. Cost is $99 per person, plus tax and gratuity.

By Darren Wittko

New Character Meal Coming to Walt Disney World

I am really excited to share that an all-new character dining experience will debut this spring at Disney’s BoardWalk, with appearances by royal couples from some of Disney's most popular films! This Character Breakfast will be held at Trattoria al Forno, one of my favorite Italian restaurants on Disney World property. According to Disney, some of the featured characters will be from Disney stories like “Tangled” and “The Little Mermaid.”  

This unique, new character breakfast is slated to begin in late spring. Disney has not yet released an official date but stay tuned Save At WDW  for more details, including the opening date, when you can make reservations, and menu offerings!


How to Save Money With the Disney Dining Plan


Darren Wittko - Specializes in Disney Destinations with Magical Vacations Travel. He is rated a Best of the Best Disney Travel Agent by readers of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World


New Epcot Dining Package Available

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2017: Dining Package News

You can now book dining packages for the 2017 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival that includes reserved seating for some of the concerts with reserved seating at select Epcot restaurants.

Dining Packages are available on these dates: 

  • March 3-6, 10-13, 24-27, 31
  • April 1-3, 7-10, 14-17, 21-24
  • May 5-8, 19-22

Prices for Breakfast Packages start at $39 plus tax (for adults) and $23 plus tax (for children, ages 3-9). Prices for Lunch Packages start at $39 plus tax (for adults) and $15.50 plus tax (for children, ages 3-9). Prices for Dinner Packages start at $53 plus tax (for adults) and $17.50 plus tax (for children, ages 3-9).

Garden Rocks concert performances are held each Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday of the Festival. Show times are at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. & 8 p.m. each night. Concerts are included with regular park admission to Epcot.

 Advance reservations are highly recommended, as these events fill up quickly. 

Darren Wittko - Specializes in Disney Destinations with Magical Vacations Travel. He is rated a Best of the Best Disney Travel Agent by readers of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World

Re-Imagined Planet Hollywood Observatory Opens at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort

Re-Imagined Planet Hollywood Observatory Opens at   Disney Springs   at   Walt Disney World   Resort

Planet Hollywood Observatory has opened its flagship location in the heart of Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort, transforming its iconic globe into a four-story stargazing observatory with new spaces including an outdoor terrace, a new menu and an exciting new look and feel.

Inside it’s an immersive theatrical dining experience, with each floor providing a different ambience, including the fabulous curated collection of film-making memorabilia and a 4,500-square-foot video wall the uses trompe l’oeil 3D technology – images with such realism that they appear to be in three dimensions. 

Classic Planet Hollywood dishes, including the World Famous Chicken Crunch, are on the new menu, as well as a selection of over-the-top burgers and sandwiches by celebrity Chef Guy Fieri. Desserts are a hallmark of the restaurant, like the hand-dipped milkshakes.

The restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner. The new 5,000 square-foot Stargazers Lounge that will let you relax under the stars will be opening soon.

Darren Wittko - Specializes in Disney Destinations with Magical Vacations Travel. He is rated a Best of the Best Disney Travel Agent by readers of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World

Is This New Disney Dining Plan Worth the Cost?

Today Disney announced a new 1-Day Magic Kingdom quick service Dining Plan, known officially as Dine-On-The-Go. Starting Jan. 12 through Feb. 22, 2017, guests can purchase a Disney Dine-on-the-Go one-day, quick-service offering that includes:

  • 1 lunch quick-service entrée and one non-alcoholic beverage that’s good until 4 p.m.
  • 1 dinner quick-service entrée and one non-alcoholic beverage that’s good after 4 p.m. (Dessert is not included).

Participating Restaurants

Casey’s Corner

Columbia Harbour House

Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café

Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe

Pinocchio Village Haus

The price is $29 for adults and $12 for ages 3-9Disney Dine-on-the-Go is available only at Magic Kingdom Park Vacation Planning booths

Is Dine-On-The-Go Worth the Cost?

In my article on Quick Service Dining, I share a few restaurants where you can maximize your Quick Service meal entitlements so that you either break even or come out ahead. The same logic applies to Dine-On-The-Go. Here's one way to look at this: At $29 per adult, you'd have to spend about $14.50 at lunch and another $14.50 at dinner on a Quick Service Meal to break even on the $29 cost. But are there Quick Service meals that cost $15 at Magic Kingdom? You bet! Be Our Guest Restaurant in particular but it's excluded from the Plan. Columbia Harbour House and Pecos Bill all have meals on or close to $15 on the menu. Still, at $15 you're only breaking even. Meals include an entree and a non-alcoholic beverage and Dine-On-The-Go omits dessert, as do the other dining plans. 

Bottom Line

At best you'll probably break even with Dine-On-The-Go except you'll have to wait in line to purchase it and have restricted as to when you can use it: Lunch before 4 p.m. and dinner after 4 p.m. Suppose the menu item you want is $10, now you've lost money. If Be Our Guest Restaurant breakfast and lunch were included with Dine-On-The-Go, then it would be an obvious choice. 


Is the Disney Quick Service Dining Plan Worth the Cost?

Is the Disney Dining Plan Worth the Cost

Is the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan Worth the Cost?

Darren Wittko - Specializes in Disney Destinations with Magical Vacations Travel. He is rated a "Best of the Best" Disney Travel Agent by readers of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World