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Casey’s Corner, Plaza Ice Cream & Trail’s End Restaurant Reopening

Walt Disney World has announced the reopening of fan-favorite restaurant Casey’s Corner, plus Plaza Ice Cream Parlor at Magic Kingdom, Trail’s End at Fort Wilderness, and Disney Family Night Dinner. In this post, we’ll offer opening dates, Advance Dining Reservation timeframes, plus what else we can expect from WDW dining for the next few months.

It’s good to see more dining locations returning at Walt Disney World, which has become a weekly occurrence. If you look at our recently-updated List of Open & Closed Restaurants at Walt Disney World, there really aren’t a ton of noteworthy ones still shuttered. It’s mostly a mix of less popular locations and high-profile Signature Dining at this point. To us, it “feels” like more is closed than is actually the case, in part because several spots we love have yet to reopen.

The other reason the closures feel more significant than they are is because capacity remains depressed. As coved (yet again) in What’s Returning to Walt Disney World in 2021 & 2022, it’s almost entirely a matter of staffing at this point. There’s more than enough demand to bring back every single closed restaurant–and to fill more tables at the locations that are already open. The biggest impediment is that operational locations are short-staffed and ones that have yet to reopen need to hire and train new Cast Members. We go into more detail there, but we won’t further rehash that here since we bring it up in almost every dining post. Suffice to say, fresh-faced College Program participants are now all around Walt Disney World and hiring/training continues. Things are getting better!

On with the good news in this week’s Walt Disney World restaurant reopening update: Casey’s Corner on Main Street, U.S.A., will reopen June 30, 2021 with their classic all-beef hot dogs. Just in time for the return of the Happily Ever After fireworks, you’ll be able to order a Chili-Cheese All-Beef Hot Dog or those legendary Corn Dog Nuggets with cheese sauce.

The shockingly good plant-based Loaded Slaw Dog (plant-based sausage topped with pickled slaw, barbecue vegan aïoli, and roasted corn relish) is also back at Casey’s Corner! Additionally, there will be a Frozen Mint Julep Lemonade to go along with your hot dog. Mobile Order will be available at Casey’s Corner.

It’s been an open secret that Casey’s Corner would reopen this week, so not really a huge surprise there. It’s been closed for such a long time not due to lack of demand, but because of the difficult for Cast Members to physically distance behind the counter and backstage.

With physical distancing dropped, Happily Ever After returning, and the Fourth of July right around the corner, bringing back Casey’s Corner was the distinctly patriotic thing for Walt Disney World to do. Sam Eagle Approved!

The following week, hand-scooped ice cream will soon be served again on Main Street USA, as Plaza Ice Cream Parlor hosted by Edys will open. Plaza Ice Cream Parlor will return on July 7, 2021 with all your favorite flavors on a cone or in a cup. Fat-free and no sugar added, as well as plant-based non-dairy options, will also be available.

Additionally, Barq’s Root Beer Floats and Coca-Cola Floats are back. With all this writing, I’ve worked up quite a thirst. I think I’ll take one of those new-fangled trolleys down to the Main Street soda fountain and meet the boys for a cold sarsaparilla on July 7. Sam Eagle *and* Progress Dad Approved!!!

Over at Animal Kingdom, Eight Spoon Café is now open and offers their delish Baked Macaroni & Cheese (with or without pulled pork). Apparently, the Pulled Pork Jelly Donut Sandwich is back. Never had it, but that sounds intriguing.

Also at Animal Kingdom, Dino Diner will reopen July 4, 2021. You can grab a Dino-Rama Chili-Cheese Dog or a Corn Chip Pie. You can even get your churro fix at Dino Diner. What the heck, Sam Eagle and Baby Sinclair Approved!

Before we get to our last location, Walt Disney World has announced a new summer offering for the entire family starting June 30, 2021:Disney Family Night Dinner. This family-style dining bundle includes a take-out shareable meal that serves 3-4 people, sweet treats, and an original card-type game inspired by Disney characters.

Disney Family Night Dinner is available nightly from 5 to 10 pm through Mobile Order at Caribbean Beach Resort and Grand Floridian Resort. Here are the two resort locations offering Disney Family Night Dinner:

Centertown Market at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort:

  • Roasted Jamaican-style Chicken
  • Fried Yucca
  • Cilantro Rice
  • Seasonal Vegetables
  • Caribbean Pull-apart Rolls with Onion Jam and Guava Butter
  • Decorate-your-own Mickey and Minnie Cookies

Gasparilla Island Grill at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa:

  • Garden Salad – Tomato, cucumber, carrots, and a duo of dressings
  • Savory Lasagna – Three cheese lasagna with tomato sauce
  • Two Mickey-shaped Cheese or Pepperoni Pizzas
  • Minnie Cheesecake with strawberry sauce, whipped cream, and fresh berries

This actually sounds potentially promising, with the Centertown Market option being especially intriguing–it sounds like a partial version of the new family-style meal at Sebastian’s Bistro about which we recently raved.

Finally, Trail’s End Restaurant at the Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort will reopen July 17, 2021 with family-style skillets for breakfast and dinner.

You’ll be able to start your morning with an oven-fresh pastry basket and berry granola yogurt parfait for the table, followed by a family-style skillet with Mickey waffles, smoked brisket and eggs, bacon, sausage, and cheesy potato casserole. Adults can order Moonshine Morning Cocktails, a Pioneer Mimosa with passion, orange, and guava juices and a Mountain Mary with moonshine.

Dinner at Trail’s End will start with hushpuppies and skillet cornbread with a chopped garden salad for the table. The family-style Smokehouse Skillet comes with pecan-smoked brisket, rotisserie chicken, andouille sausage, fingerlings potatoes, green beans, and buttered corn on the cob. Dessert is the Covered Wagon Sundae, with ice cream, toppings, brownies, cookies, and chocolate-covered bacon.

Pork spare ribs, peel n’ eat shrimp, and cornbread-crusted salmon are available as add-ons to your meal at Trail’s End for an additional charge.

Excuse me?

Rotisserie chicken? Fingerlings potatoes? Ribs at an additional charge?! I’m sorry, this is absurd. I feel like I’ve had a lot of patience with Walt Disney World modifying menus and serving styles given staffing shortages, supply chain woes, and other operational realities, but this is just too much.

In this case, I also know that it’s not necessary to give the new menu a pass for circumstances outside Disney’s control because the good stuff is still available at P & J’s Southern Takeout! One of the things we’ve been hyping for months is the Glorious & Great Value Feast at Walt Disney World, even recommending people taking a midday break from Magic Kingdom to head over to Fort Wilderness to order it.

This dinner menu for Trail’s End honestly feels like it was created by someone who had never been to Trail’s End and has no idea what made it popular among diehard Walt Disney World fans and Fort Fiends. We usually give things the benefit of the doubt, and try them before passing judgment. Not here. We’ll be putting our money where our mouths are, skipping the new menu at Trail’s End, and doing P & J’s Southern Takeout instead. Most definitely NOT Sam Eagle, Progress Dad, Baby Sinclair, or Big Al approved. 

Ultimately, we have several items of great news for Walt Disney World dining, and one piece that’s so perplexing, it’s honestly unbelievable. I was surprised when the new menu for ‘Ohana came out and left off the noodles, because it seemed like low hanging fruit. However, I didn’t think it was a huge deal since ‘Ohana has such name recognition, popularity, and momentum behind it that Walt Disney World fans and first-timers alike would make ADRs hard to come by regardless.

Trail’s End is a totally different story. With this, Disney has essentially gutted the iconic menu, removed what people love, and put other items behind a paywall. Not only that, but Trail’s End is not ‘Ohana. Casual guests aren’t making the trek out to Fort Wilderness–it’s just fundamentally a different audience. While Trail’s End has its own diehard fanbase, we’re the type that is more hardcore and is less likely to tolerate changes like this. What’s next, is the majestic mural that graces the gallery in Fort Wilderness being removed, too?!

Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!

YOUR THOUGHTS

What do you think of this news of restaurants reopening at Walt Disney World? Excited for the return of Casey’s Corner and Plaza Ice Cream Parlor? Thoughts on the new menu options at Trail’s End? Disappointed that they’ve totally gutted the beloved menu there, or do you not care about Trail’s End? (It’s okay, not everyone is a fan.) Hoping for more ‘restored normalcy’ announcements in the near future? Planning on going to Walt Disney World this summer, or holding off until the start of the 50th Anniversary celebration? Does this have you optimistic or pessimistic for more dining to reopen at Walt Disney World? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!

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