2 BIG Reopenings and Surprising Restaurant Changes in Disney World Hit This Week

It was a BIG week of surprises in Disney World!

Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom

From huge restaurant news to early openings of a character meet-and-greet and a highly anticipated show, we weren’t sure what else to expect this week! Find out all the news right here.

Restaurant News

Olivia’s Cafe Brunch

Olivia’s Cafe at Old Key West Resort is one of our favorite places to grab brunch in Disney World, but it hasn’t been offered every day — which means it could be difficult to snag a reservation. But beginning on September 1st, brunch will be served DAILY at Olivia’s!

Olivia’s Cafe

Reservations for daily brunch are not yet open, but once they are you might want to grab your reservation! Try the Southernmost Buttermilk Fried Chicken and the Papa’s Hash, and wash it down with the Loaded Key West Bloody Mary. Also, there will be Banana Bread Pudding!

Read more about Olivia’s Cafe daily brunch here!

Mama Melrose Menu Changes

Over in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano will be getting some NEW menu items as of late June! These dishes will be inspired by classic Italian cuisine, and they include new appetizers, entrees, and desserts.

Mama Melrose

Try the Fried Fresh Mozzarella as an appetizer, and for an entree grab the Grilled Bone-in Pork Chop or the enhanced versions of Mama’s Italian Pasta or the Sustainable Fish dish. And for dessert, new options will include the Mini Cannoli Trio, Colors of Italy Cheesecake, Mama’s Cookies To Go, and Blueberry Frangipane Tart. Yum!

Read more about the menu changes coming to Mama Melrose here!

Hollywood & Vine Buffets

Also in Hollywood Studios, the character dining spot Hollywood & Vine is getting a big change. Although it was a buffet restaurant before 2020, after Disney World reopened it began serving a prix fixe menu that has repeatedly impressed us. But soon — things will be different.

Hollywood and Vine

Beginning August 28th, Hollywood & Vine is bringing back its buffet! For breakfast, try the Brioche French Toast with Banana Foster Sauce, and for dinner you can get the Slow-roasted Crispy Pork Belly with Guava glaze, or the Shrimp and Bacon Mac & Cheese. The character costumes rotate seasonally here, so check the calendar for what you could experience during your visit!

Click here to learn more about buffets returning to Hollywood & Vine!

Homecomin’ Closed Early

Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ had some issues with hours this week. This restaurant, located in Disney Springs, serves some of our favorite Southern dishes, like Art’s Famous Fried Chicken. But one day this week, diners could not sit down for a Homecomin’ dinner.

Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’

On June 14th, Homecomin’ announced that it was closing early at 2PM instead of 10PM. Normally, their hours are 11AM to 10PM. This was a one-day change so it shouldn’t affect your future visit, but keep checking back with DFB for any updates!

Click here to read more about Homecomin’ closing early.

Minnie Vans Returned Early

Minnie Vans have not been available in Disney World for a few years now, but recently Disney announced that the service would return on June 29th. Surprisingly, we noticed that this rideshare service (which is available through Lyft) was showing as available on June 15th!

Minnie Van

We were checking the Lyft app when we saw that Minnie Vans were listed as available! The estimated cost of a trip from Magic Kingdom to Animal Kingdom was $43.08 when we checked, but prices can vary so keep that in mind.

Click here to learn more about booking a Minne Van!

Adventurer’s Outpost Opened Early

There was another early opening this week! Or, reopening. In Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Adventurer’s Outpost opened to guests early, and now guests can take pics with Mickey and Minnie in their safari outfits!

Mickey and Minnie at Adventurers Outpost

Adventurer’s Outpost wasn’t scheduled to reopen until June 19th, but the standby line was open on June 14th. The Lightning Lane was not yet available, but we’ll be watching out for future changes!

Click here for more photos of Adventurer’s Outpost reopening early!

Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…and Beyond!

The biggest news of the week comes from the Animal Kingdom show, Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…and Beyond! The show, which is a reimagined version of the original Finding Nemo Musical that was once at the Theater in the Wild, soft opened early on June 11th!

Showtimes for Soft Opening

The reimagined show features new set pieces, a new script, and even an LED screen background. But a few days after the show officially opened, a few showtimes were canceled, which was surprising so soon after opening.

The Big Blue…and Beyond!

And finally, if you purchase Genie+ you can book a Lightning Lane for The Big Blue…and Beyond! If you don’t want to have to wait in the standby line for the show, you could opt to book a Lightning Lane instead.

Lightning Lane for The Big Blue…and Beyond

Keep checking back with DFB for any more updates about this reimagined show!

Come with us to see the reimagined Finding Nemo musical!

July 4th EPCOT Fireworks

And finally, EPCOT’s Fourth of July fireworks are coming BACK this year! If you’ve never been to the park on July 4th, EPCOT used to have a short event for the patriotic holiday following their main fireworks show (which is Harmonious).

Fireworks in EPCOT

Harmonious is still scheduled at 9PM on July 4th and Disney has not yet announced which nights this event could take place, so stay tuned to DFB for more updates!

July 4th fireworks are coming back to EPCOT!

And that’s all the unexpected news from Disney World this week! Keep reading DFB for more Disney news and updates!

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