Could Buffet Restaurants at Disney World Be Switching to Family Style Upon Reopening?

One of the major unions representing Disney World Cast Members, Unite Here Local 737, released a list of dining locations throughout the parks and resorts that will soon start calling employees back to work.

Monorail Red in Epcot
Monorail Red

We noticed a couple of interesting discoveries, including the omission of Quick Service at Be Our Guest Restaurant. Another interesting find in the Union’s Facebook post is that buffet style restaurants may be coming back, but not as we remember them.

Chef Mickey’s and Biergarten Restaurant are two buffet restaurants, at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and EPCOT respectively. In Local 737’s announcement on their Facebook page, they were both noted as “Family Style.”

Chef Mickey’s

Family Style dining is different than buffets in that the food is brought out to your table in larger, “family size” portions, eliminating the need to approach a buffet table to get the food yourself. Restaurants that currently offer Family Style dining in Disney World are Garden Grill, Liberty Tree Tavern, and ‘Ohana. With the concern of the virus spreading through high touch points, many were concerned about the risk associated with buffet style dining.

Biergarten Buffet

What we do not know at this time is if the menu offerings will be the same or if items will be different due to the switch from buffet to family style. We already know that character dining is currently suspended, which is another major component to dining at Chef Mickey’s.

Chef Mickey’s Buffet

This information is subject to change and we have yet to hear an official announcement from Disney regarding this shift in operations for these two dining locations. We will continue to provide more updates as we hear them!

Are you planning on dining at Chef Mickey’s or Biergarten when you return to Disney World? Will your dining plans change if these are indeed switched to Family Style? Let us know in the comments!

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7 Replies to “Could Buffet Restaurants at Disney World Be Switching to Family Style Upon Reopening?”

  1. I do not eat at family style restaurants at Disney because the forced selections inevitably contain food that I cannot eat or do not want to eat. I’m allergic to turkey, have digestive issues with some raw vegetables, etc., and would be paying premium prices for food I cannot eat. Despite protestations to the contrary, Disney restaurants are not particularly sympathetic to dietary issues, unless there is a life-threatening situation. Apparently getting sick every time I eat turkey does not count.

  2. We are traveling to WDW next June and the Biergarten is the #1 choice for dinner. However, we would not be comfortable dining family style if there were people seated with us that we did not know. In addition, part of the experience is choosing foods that someone may have never had before. Chances are that if it goes family-style, there will be less choices.

  3. I understand the difficult times we all live in today but doing a family Style meal just limits the selections of food that a buffet offers and the experience a buffet and a show offers in the Biergarten. I seriously doubt that Disney will lower the price of the meal. In fact, raising the price, again, would not surprise me. So what’s the real difference between the way the buffet used to be and serving family style where everyone at the table is using the same spoons to dish up their meal? All I am looking for is value in my vacation. I’m willing to pay a (slightly) higher price for a better experience but I wont pay a high price for a marginal experience. You can have all the magic without gutting the experience.

  4. We always eat at Biergarten and have no intention of going “Family Style” if we’re seated with another family like we usually are. Normally we enjoy dining with others, but not this time. Hope they have Game Plan B.

  5. Why can’t the buffets come back like a Morrison’s, a popular cafeteria type of restaurant in the South? You walk along the offerings and servers give you whatever you want. Sort of like they did before with a carving or omelet station. That way, only a gloved server would touch the serving utensil and people would get what they wanted, instead of taking a chance on whatever might come on a family style platter.

  6. I dine at Biergarten every December with my Candlelight Processional package. Since I travel solo, I am always seated with an interesting group of Disney guests and we have a pleasant conversation. That said, I will not attend Biergarten to participate in a family style meal. The buffet is great and the selections are numerous. I doubt the offerings will be as numerous served “family style.” Secondly, the family style meals at other restaurants are served to defined parties at a given table, not guests randomly seated together who are not traveling together. I would only accept a table of one family style at the Biegarten and be seated by myself. If the buffet returns, then I look would gladly forward to the group seating.