What’s DIFFERENT About Disney’s Newest Restaurants

magical. transportive immersive nostalgic Disney World may be a LOT of things, but one thing it isn’t is predictable.

Crowds along Main Street, United States

Sheer originality and spectacle go into each and every Disney detailfrom the rides to the merch, and increasingly so, this sentiment also applies to new restaurants.

Even if a Disney World restaurant serves similar food to something you might find at home, it’s the environment, the atmosphere, and the overall awe-inspiring experience that really sets it apart.

Space 220

This has LONG been true of classic restaurants, like Be Our Guest and Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen, but with Disney World’s newer restaurants, it’s increasingly clear that Disney is going for GLORY with dining experiences like no other! Here are some of the things that make Disney’s newest restaurants, from Space 220 to Steakhouse 71, DIFFERENT — and game changers!

Hyper attention to detail and history

Rather than slap some signage on a building and serve up some steaks, Disney World is increasingly going above and beyond with thoughtful details that even the most ardent Disney fan might miss.

Steakhouse 71 is open!

This is particularly true of Disney World’s newest meat mecca, Steakhouse 71, whose name is a nod to the year Disney World (and Disney’s Contemporary Resort hotel in which it resides) opened: 1971. Similarly, the 15 layers in the Steakhouse 71 Chocolate Cake is a reference to the 15 floors of the Contemporary!

Lotta layers!

It’s all a part of telling a greater story, honoring Disney’s history, and welcoming diners into a world like no other — extending Disney’s world-famous storytelling beyond the parks and into its dining rooms.

Click here to check out some secret menu items at Steakhouse 71!

More casual lounges

We’ve all been there: Struggling to snag a dining reservation for a hard-to-get-into restaurant, only to come up woefully short. Especially if you’ve got your heart set on a particular meal, this can be quite the disappointment!

*palm face*

Fortunately, Disney has clearly heard our cries, as evidenced by the uptick in casual lounges adjoining main dining roomsgiving guests without a reservation a newfound opportunity to experience the environment and the food!

lounge menu

After places like Nomad Lounge — adjacent to Tiffins Restaurant — pioneered the trend, new restaurants like Steakhouse 71 and Space 220 have followed suit with lounges that serve some or all of the restaurant’s menu items. New Disney World restaurants can be impossibly difficult to get into, so these no-reservations lounges provide a plan B, with the added bonus of also offering more budget-friendly menu options!

Check our our full review of the Space 220 Lounge at Disney World!

Offering More Options for Dining Styles

In a similar vein, Disney is obviously all about OPTIONS these days, because the new restaurants are coming with different types of dining styles under one roof!

So many dining options!

Just look at La Crêperie de Paris in EPCOT for instance. The buzzy new crepe restaurant features BOTH Table Service and Quick Service options and menus, as a way to appeal to a much wider audience. Heck, even Be Our Guest was doing this pre-closure!

La Creperie de Paris

In case you can’t get a table for sit-down service, or you’re simply looking to save a few extra bucks, these added options are a way for Disney to extend the magic of these exciting new environments for as many people as possibleand we’re HERE FOR IT.

Should you go to Disney World’s La Creperie de Paris? Click here to watch our DFB video!

Immersive experiences and designs

Taking a cue from its rides, Disney restaurants have become so immersive and intricate that they’re basically full-blown attractions in their own right! Sometimes the food can almost feel like an afterthought compared to the splendor of these places.

Even the lines look like a ride queue at Space 220.

Arguably the most incredible new restaurant in Disney World right now, Space 220 is a WHOLE experience that makes guests feel like they’re rocketing 220 miles up into space! It feels more like an actual ride that happens to culminate with a meal.

Space 220

This looks like it’ll also be the case at the upcoming Roundup Rodeo BBQ at Disney’s Hollywood Studioswhich echoes Toy Story Land’s immersive attractions with adorable toy rodeo theming that’ll make guests feel like they’re in Andy’s backyard!

Click here to read about the opening timeline for Roundup Rodeo BBQ!

More Price Fixed Options

Between the lounge spaces and Quick Service options, Disney is definitely highlighting casual choices for guests, but on the other end of the spectrum, they’re also going high-end!

La Creperie de Paris Menu

We’re seeing more prix fixe tasting menu options pop up in new restaurants. Space 220, La Crêperie de Paris, and Be Our Guest are all offering prix fixe menus, and there’s also a new 50th Anniversary Celebration prix fixe at California Grill.

Braised Beef Short Rib Wontons at California Grill

Prix ​​fixe menus can help restaurants pair down the kitchen stock needed (a boon during times when there could be supply chain interruptions, like today). From a restaurant operations perspective, they also allow more focused prep for busy times (and what time isn’t busy at Disney World right now?), and help make the time of service more predictable, to assist with reservations and turning tables. All of that sounds perfect for some of the business challenges Disney World is facing.

Center-cut Filet Mignon — part of the Prix Fixe menu at Be Our Guest

But from the guest perspective, many people also enjoy prix fixed menus because they can be a good deal for a full meal, rather than ordering things a la carte. And they allow us to sample more dishes and stay longer in those amazing Disney World dining rooms to drink in all the theming!

Click here to see our review of the new brunch dishes at Be Our Guest Restaurant!

Restaurants Are Telling Their Own Stories

In the spirit of Disney’s iconic storytelling, as seen on pretty much ALL its rides with detailed characters, settings, and narratives, newer restaurants and cafes are writing their own back stories in true Disney fashion.

Dining magic extends to Disney Springs

Gideon’s Bakehouse has its own full slate of characters and myths, from the gargoyles to mysterious characters such as Valentine Carmichael, who “wasn’t all there even when he was all there”. It’s an extension of the restaurant storytelling we’ve seen at places like Skipper Canteen and The Edison, with its steampunk-inspired theatrics.

So many cute characters!

You’ll also find fun back stories to explore while you nosh on Snakebite Sliders and Chicken on the Egg at Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, or Spaghetti alla Chitarra at Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante. It’s yet another example of that Disney magic pouring over into your anything-but-average dining experience.

If You Like Gideon’s Bakehouse, You Might Also Like Everglazed Donuts — Click here to find out why!

New Restaurants Are MADE For Instagram

For some guests, when it comes to a memorable meal it’s ALL about a photo moment, and Disney knows it. From the design of new restaurant spaces to the over-the-top and colorful menu items, these Disney World places are increasingly looking primed for Instagram.

Peep that garnish!

Everything about Space 220 is MEGA photogenic, especially those wonky cocktails! Even Steakhouse 71 exceeds predictable American steakhouse expectations with an atmosphere that clearly looks focused on design and style.

Not your average steakhouse desserts!

From the singular ingredients highlighted on menus (like Space Ice Cream at Space 220 or the 15 layers of chocolate in that Steakhouse 71 cake) to the eye-catching decor that only Disney could afford, everything about Disney World’s newest restaurants is stunning — and VERY Instagrammable!

Lounge Bites—You Can See The Stargarita Near the Back Right

Now that Disney World has been around 50 years, guests’ expectations for awe and magic have only grown. Over time, Disney has learned how to evolve and how to bring the wow factor with each new attraction and each new resort. And just like with the rides and hotels, Disney knows guests don’t want anything typical for mealtime. By crafting highly immersive spaces, offering more accessible options, and incorporating storytelling, Disney World restaurants are becoming as exciting as its attractions.

Check out our full tour of EPCOT’s newest restaurant — Click here!



Don’t miss out on Any Disneyfun!

Order Your Copy of the 2022 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining Today!

With more than 750 pages, the 2022 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining is full of tips and planning tools developed by Disney World experts over 30+ years of visits. We’ve done the research for you, so you’ll know just which spots will uniquely suit your family’s needs!

With mini reviews of every single restaurant, bar, lounge, kiosk and more; an entire chapter on the best snacks at Disney World; full Disney Dining Plan analysis (and how to get FREE dining); and a full chapter on discounts and deals; you’ll have everything you need to plan your best vacation yet.

Click here to order your copy of the 2022 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining E-book with code WDW2022 to save 25% off the cover price today!

ready to shop button
Our guides are backed by a 100% money-back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose. 🙂

What’s your favorite thing about Disney’s new restaurants? Let us know in the comments!

Leave a Comment