If You Remember These Disney World Restaurants, It’s Probably Time To Join AARP

If there’s one thing we love about Disney (not that we’d ever force ourselves to choose just one), the food is definitely up there.

Cinderella Castle

But, as most Disney World fans know, the only constant is change, and we’ve had to say goodbye to some of our favorite places to eat over the years. Some were grieved tremendously, while we didn’t shed too many tears for others. One thing is for sure, if you remember these Disney World restaurants, it’s probably time to apply for AARP.

Before anyone comes for us in the comments, just know that anyone 18 and older can sign up for an AARP Card — and you can even score Disney ticket discounts by being an AARP Member! But, this is not an article about the joys of AARP membership and is instead a walk down memory lane through Disney World restaurants of yesteryear.

Top of the World Restaurant

Back before the fifteenth floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort was home to California Grill, it was home to Top of the World. It first opened in 1971 with the rest of the Contemporary and was the hotel’s main restaurant and lounge until its closure in 1993.

California Grill

The new Top of the World Lounge is exclusive to Disney Vacation Club Members, and you’ll find It at the top of the Contemporary’s Bay Lake Tower.

Electric Umbrella

Electric Umbrella is the latest casualty on the list. It was located in EPCOT’s Future World and was a Quick Service spot that served your basic theme park fare — chicken nuggets and hamburgers. There was plenty of seating and colorful theming.

Electric Umbrella ©Disney

Electric Umbrella was closed in February of 2020 as part of the big EPCOT transformation that is still in the process of being completed. Now, it’s the home of Connections Cafe & Eatery.

Writer’s Stop

If there was ever a place for introverts in Disney World, Writer’s Stop was it. It was a bookstore and cafe combo and was a major hit with fans.

Writer’s Stop

Unfortunately, it closed in 2016 to make way for the Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s Edge expansions in Hollywood Studios.

Pizza Planet

Before PizzeRizzo cursed (or blessed, if you’re into puffy pizza) our mouths for the very first time, Pizza Planet had been doing it for years. Located in what is now PizzeRizzo in Hollywood Studios, this spot served pretty much the same pizza.


Not only was Pizza Planet a pizza shop, it was also an arcade!

Studio Catering Co.

Another casualty of the Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s Edge updates, Studio Catering Co. gave diners the opportunity to eat right next to the (also no longer open) Honey, I Shrunk the Kids playground.

via Disney Food Blog

This quick service spot dished up sandwiches, salads, chicken tenders — your basic theme park fare.

McDonald’s French Fries

And last, but certainly not least. Back in the day, you could actually find McDonald’s french fries in multiple different locations around Disney World!  You could find McDonald’s fries in Magic Kingdom, McDonald’s items at Restaurantosaurus in Animal Kingdom, and the DINOSAUR ride was even sponsored by McDonald’s.

McDonald’s Double Big Mac Meal

This hasn’t been the case since 2006 though, after Disney chose not to renew the original contract. Luckily, there are still plenty of great places to grab a bite to eat in Disney World!

Stay tuned to AllEars as we bring you the latest news and more from Disney World!

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10 Replies to “If You Remember These Disney World Restaurants, It’s Probably Time To Join AARP”

  1. The one I miss the most at the Contemporary Resort was the Concourse Steakhouse. I so wish they would bring that back!

  2. Also missing is Mickey’s Backyard BBQ at Fort Wilderness. And, more recently, the Polynesian Resort at Luau Cove (sadly), plus the (hopefully returning) Afternoon Tea at the Grand Floridian’s Garden View.

    1. According to a cast member at Victoria & Albert’s, Afternoon Tea WILL be coming back. He knows the man in charge of the redesign. But it will be a long time. They want to redo the Grand Floridian lobby first, before redoing the Garden View.

    1. Oh, yes…..I remember the Papeete Bay Verandah restaurant. So elegant! And delicious food with gracious service.

  3. A member of AARP I am…..remember going to Top of th World nightclub back in early 80’s to see mtY favorite Motown group, the 4TOPS. What a great venue to see top talent. Had a great prime rib dinner too!!!! Miss the TOTW