Plus…. Garden Grill expands its hours, Be Our Guest Restaurant makes breakfast a permanent fixture, and more!
Let’s kickoff the August edition of the WDW Radio Newswire at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as a new Character Dining experience has been announced for the upcoming Holiday season! Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood & Vine is set to debut Saturday, November 7th. This new Character Dining experience will run through Sunday, January 3rd, and will be offering up a delicious dinner buffet with Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, and the big cheese himself, Mickey Mouse. The characters will all be decked out in their finest holiday attire, and festive music, decor, and even select food and drink items all themed for the spirit of the season will be in the mix as well. Reservations for Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood & Vine are available for booking now, with prices set at $46.99 (plus tax) for adults and $27.99 (plus tax) for kids ages 3-9. For a few dollars more, you can upgrade your meal and receive reserved seating for Fantasmic! Those prices run $52.99 (plus tax) for adults and $31.99 (plus tax) for kids ages 3-9.
Time to hop over to Magic Kingdom Park now, as there’s news to report on the breakfast trial run at Be Our Guest Restaurant. It was recently announced that the trial run was a success, and breakfast hours will now become a permanent fixture at the restaurant beginning Sunday, October 4th. This was a logical and expected move, as the additional hours will allow more families to enjoy a dining experience at Be Our Guest. Reservations for lunch and dinner book up extremely fast, so if this new breakfast is a priority, be sure to book your meal the second the 180-day window opens!
For more news on expanded dining hours, let’s park-hop over to Epcot. For this newsbit we venture into The Land pavilion, where it was recently confirmed breakfast and lunch hours will be returning to the Garden Grill! It’s been several years since breakfast or lunch hours were offered on a regular basis at the Garden Grill, but Chip n’ Dale’s Harvest Breakfast and Lunch will both officially return Sunday, November 8th! Breakfast hours will run from 8am to 10:30am, lunch will be served from 11:30am to 3pm, and dinner hours will run from 4pm to 8pm. Sticking with the current format featured at dinner, all three meals will be served in the “all you care to eat family-style,” featuring visits from best pals Mickey and Pluto, as well as those furry rascals Chip n’ Dale. As for the menus, look for lunch to be very similar to the dinner, featuring items like char-grilled sliced fillet of beef, roasted all-natural sliced turkey breast, delicious veggies, fresh Farmers Salad, and more. The breakfast menu hasn’t been fully announced yet, but confirmed items thus far include scrambled eggs, bacon, Mickey waffles, biscuits and gravy, as well as an all-new signature item: Chip’s Sticky Bun Bake! Reservations for the new breakfast and lunch hours are available for booking now, and all three meals will also be eligible to book as a part of the 2015 Candlelight Processional Dining Package.
For more news on the dining front, let’s park-hop over to Disney’s Animal Kingdom now. For this newsbit, we venture into Dinoland USA, as it was recently confirmed Pizzafari will be undergoing a near two-month refurbishment. The closure is set to begin Monday, August 24th, with a re-opening date scheduled for Tuesday, October 20th. This closure comes as no surprise, as back in November an announcement was made pertaining to a new table service area coming to the restaurant. Construction will soon be underway on the sit-down portion of the restaurant, and when completed, the quick-service Pizzafari and the new table service area are expected to operate under the same roof in a shared dining space.
For more news out of DAK, let’s continue along in Dinoland USA. It was recently confirmed that Primeval Whirl will be seeing some downtime later this month. The attraction is set to close for refurb on Monday, August 17th, with a re-opening date slated for Friday, November 13th. This will put the total downtime for the attraction at just under three months.
Time to hop out of the parks for some Resort news now. Let’s begin at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, where it was recently announced the Flying Fish Cafe will be closing up shop for a lengthy refurbishment. The restaurant will be dark beginning Monday, February 1st, 2016, with the closure set to last all the way through November 2016. During this extensive closure, the Flying Fish Cafe will undergo a major overhaul, including a complete renovation of both the kitchen and dining room. The concept and theme of the restaurant is expected to remain unchanged, so I’d expect the menu to be relatively intact when Flying Fish re-opens in November 2016. We may even find some new menu items waiting to satisfy our taste buds!
For our final bit of news today, let’s make our way over to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Gasparilla Island Grill will be closed from Sunday, August 23rd through Friday, September 4th. This will be a brief closure, as the total downtime for the quick-service spot will be just shy of two weeks. Business is set to resume at Gasparilla Island Grill on Saturday, September 5th.
(Hollywood & Vine photo from the personal collection of Kendall Foreman. Other photos ©Disney.)
Well, that’s gonna do it for the August edition of the WDW Radio Newswire, but I’ll be back again next month with lots more news, notes, and happenings from Walt’s beloved Florida Project!
Don Myers has covered news and recent events in Walt Disney World for the WDW Radio Blog since 2011. He has been enamored with the World of Disney since his first trip to WDW in 1986. As they say… the rest is history! Don was also a contributing writer for Celebrations magazine, submitting over 30 articles and 7 cover stories for the publication from 2009 to 2012.