A Few Things We All Miss at Disney
The Walt Disney Company spent the body of 2020 and 2021 reopening beloved attractions and amenities.
Most of what we adore at Walt Disney has returned, but some features aren’t back yet. In fact, we wonder whether some of them are coming back at all.
Today, I’m going to list a few things I hope Disney brings back sooner rather than later.
After I’m done, feel free to comment on your own park features you miss!
In 2021, Disney brought back most of my favorite restaurants that had been closed. I’m talking about ‘Ohana, Storybook Dining at Artist Point, and Boma, among others.
Sadly, one notable exception remains. I generally spend at least two days of every Disney trip at EPCOT, all but guaranteeing I’ll dine at Akershus.
As a park strategist, I adore the combination of a Disney Princess character meal followed by a ride on Frozen Ever After.
I used to build entire itineraries around that lunch combo. I’d schedule a FastPass either right before or immediately after Akershus.
Then, I’d go to the restaurant and fill up on Gjetost, some weird brown cheese I find oddly addictive.
I can’t even find this stuff at Whole Foods or Fresh Market, but it’s always there waiting for me at the Akershus salad bar.
The Disney Dining Plan
My one rule here is that I’m not listing anything that Disney has confirmed is returning soon. That removes Fantasmic! from consideration.
However, Disney hasn’t been as finite about the various dining plans. The company previously said that they would return. We just don’t know when.
Given all Disney’s scrambling with Park Passes, annual passes, and Magical Express, I’m braced for the worst here. I’m not expecting an announcement anytime soon.
While I recognize that the dining plan has proven divisive over the years, my family treasures it. By my recollection, we bought it for seven of the last eight trips.
Also, I should add that the one time we didn’t was primarily so that I could write some comparison articles.
Honestly, I don’t want to think about money much when I’m at Disney. It’s distracting. With the Disney Dining Plan, I pay for meals with entitlements instead.
I’ve found that I vastly prefer this method, mainly because I’ve paid for my meals before my trip even starts.
There aren’t many vacation options where you can say that.
Enchanted Tales with Belle
I’m a total hypocrite with regards to Enchanted Tales with Belle. Fans of this attraction know that park guests often become a part of the show.
Cast members assign people roles in the story of Beauty and the Beast. It’s a delightful way for parents to play-act in front of their children.
Meanwhile, the kids always overact like crazy when they get picked for parts.
In truth, some of these shows are exercises in chaos since the kids are so unpredictable. It’s hysterical.
Personally, I wave off all attempts to get invited to roleplay, though…thus, the hypocrisy.
This interactive storytime show is legitimately one of the most entertaining attractions at Magic Kingdom. Although I fully understand why it’s not running currently, it needs to come back.
Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue
Only a pandemic could slow down the sustained momentum of this long-running dinner show.
Cast members performed the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue for the first time in April of 1974. Yes, it’s nearly 48 years old. That’s older than many of the people reading this!
I’m a sucker for Disney dinner shows, which is hilarious because I hate all the non-Disney ones.
I dearly miss Spirit of Aloha at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort as well. Still, the duration of the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue makes its absence feel more impactful.
Before the pandemic, none of us could have imagined this show closing for an extended period. It’s an integral part of Disney fans’ heritage.
Best Friends Breakfast with Lilo & Stitch
Yes, ‘Ohana has reopened, but it’s missing my favorite part. My family prefers breakfast to dinner for…reasons.
My home is overflowing with Stitch merchandise, and my wife’s wardrobe consists of, oh, 18 Stitch shirts. I think I’m being hyperbolic, but I haven’t counted lately.
The point is that she loves Stitch, and that’s part of the reason why we stay at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort regularly.
She relishes the opportunity to hug Stitch first thing in the morning before beginning a busy park day.
For my part, I get a huge kick out of watching the kids walk around ‘Ohana as Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride plays.
Best Friends Breakfast is easily our number-one character meal. Right now, Polynesian visits feel a bit strange without it.
Voyage of the Little Mermaid
I’m leaving the light on for this one. But, alas, out of everything I list here, this is the one that I’m dubious will return.
Voyage of the Little Mermaid debuted in 1992, making it one of the oldest remaining attractions at Hollywood Studios. Well, that may be presumptive.
Recent rumors have suggested that this show may never return. This is because it has dwindled in popularity over the past several years.
In fact, even before the pandemic, Voyage of the Little Mermaid’s future seemed murky.
For me, this show hits all the highlights of my favorite Disney animated movie, The Little Mermaid.
Each performance is like an abridged version of the movie, complete with a performance of Part of Your World. And that’s really all I need.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom recently confirmed that a new version of the Finding Nemo show will debut this year. However, I remain hopeful that we haven’t seen the last of Voyage of the Little Mermaid, either.
Okay, that’s my list. Which Walt Disney World amenities do you miss and want to see come back soon?