People want the whole experience when they pay thousands of dollars to visit Disney World.
This was simply not possible during the worst of the epidemic. Disney (DIS) - Get The Walt Disney Company Report was forced to modify some operations in order to cope with the new limitations created by the epidemic.
The company's decision to allow for social isolation included some big things, such as a parks reservation system, temperature controls, and permitting only a few individuals into shops at a time. Those changes were somewhat mitigated by the smaller crowds.
Apart from the reservation system, these measures went away months ago, and Disney World has mostly resumed its operations. However, some people, given the cost of visiting the theme park with a family, don't desire things to be just as they were before the epidemic.
As a result of the reservation system and limited park hopping (based on capacities) it's unlikely that things will ever fully resurface. However, Disney has brought back one very popular dining experience.
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Disney Has a Long Food Tradition
When people go on vacation, they tend to enact diets and sometimes even common sense. Because you're on vacation, so it's important to make every effort to maximize the value, which may involve eating a bit excessively.
Disney's extensive buffet menu has generally made that possible. Before the epidemic, the Florida theme park offered a wide variety of all-you-can-eat self-serve options, from moderately affordable character breakfasts to luxurious gourmet dining experiences (often with characters).
The buffet concept was seen as one of the first to disintegrate during the worst of the covid epidemic for a period of time.
Local Chinese buffets changed to other business models or were closed. Cruise lines had to switch to a crew-member-served model rather than self-served, and that was after they were closed for more than a year. And Disney either closed its buffets or moved them to a family-style model.
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Vaccines were available earlier this year, and things slowly resumed, and some buffets have reopened. The major cruise lines slowly reintroduced self-serve options, and Disney World has slowly brought back its buffets.
Disney Reintroduces Its Buffets
Disney World has largely remained mute about its dining changes. The business has refused to pay much attention to any areas where it has dropped or relaxed covid-related guidelines.
According to Theme Park Tourist, the company has slowly begun restoring self-serve buffets.
"Walt Disney World currently offers two kinds of all-you-care-to-eat options: buffet and family style," according to the website. "At the end of August, more and more restaurants are returning to the prepandemic buffet style, including Cape May Cafe, Boma, and Crystal Palace."
Boma is a higher-end restaurant in Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, while Crystal Palace is inside Magic Kingdom, and Cape May Cafe is inside the Disney Beach Club resort.
Hollywood & Vine is located at Disney's Hollywood Studios and serves a special Disney Jr. breakfast buffet as well as other character options.
The company has also quietly brought buffet breakfasts back to a number of restaurants, but they have not all resumed.
"There are still many other Walt Disney World eateries such as Chef Mickeys, Tusker House, Ohana, and Trails End, which once offered buffets, but today they still offer their food in a traditional way."
Disney has not commented on whether some of these eateries would remain family-style.