Dining at Disney With Lifted Restrictions

Better late than never, right? That’s what I’ve been saying ever since Disney announced that they were lifting the restrictions on dining at their parks. Now that they’ve changed this silly policy, can you imagine all the awesome meals and snacks we can eat there?

Since Disney has started enforcing the ban on large bags and backpacks at their Disney Parks, you have to bring either a bag or backpack that is no larger than 16”x16”x5”. This is a bummer, because you can’t bring a large purse with you when you visit these magical places.

Disney World is one of the most magical places in the world. You can enjoy all the rides you want, eat all the food you can, and see all the sights you want, but you can’t drink alcohol in the parks. That’s right, no Disney-approved Mickey’s, no alcohol-based drinks, and not even the old standby of bringing a flask into Disney World.

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It’s been almost six months since I last ate at Shula’s Steak House at Walt Disney World’s Swan and Dolphin Resort. The first time was in December 2020, when the COVID restrictions were in full effect.  The waiters wore masks all the time. Visitors also had to wear masks when not at the table. Nevertheless, I was impressed with the quality of service and looked forward to returning.  Shula’s Steak House belongs to the Disney Signature Catering category and has a price range of about $35 to $60 per person. The menu includes a good selection of appetizers, soups, salads and side dishes a la carte, and of course a variety of dishes specializing in grilled steaks, from filet mignon to cowboy prime rib, both priced around $56. You won’t be disappointed. If you don’t like red meat, there are also chicken and fish dishes, and the evening ends with some very tasty desserts. Are you thirsty? How about an adult beverage? They make great cocktails here.  I recommend the smoked cherry Manhattan… The presentation is exquisite. word-image-4597 Now that some of the COVID restrictions have been lifted, I wanted to go back and look at all the changes. You can park for free when you dine at Shula’s. When I got to the entrance of the station, all the employees were still wearing masks, but the customers didn’t have to. But if you went in, you had to wear a mask. So I was unmasked from the car to the front door, but as soon as I entered, I masked myself and followed policy. I noticed that no social distance was maintained in the room. There was a bar in the lobby with open seating, and I noticed it was pretty full, and none of the eating or drinking people were wearing masks, as one would expect. However, the tables, chairs and other things were not in place. word-image-4598 Checking in at Shula’s was easy and all the hosts and waitresses were still wearing masks. I preferred to wait at the bar for my table and enjoy my drink. As before, masks are not necessary to sit and eat. There was sufficient space between the two sides to meet the distance requirements. Things got interesting when the gentleman decided to sit between me and the person next to me. The friendly bartender pointed out to him that he had to provide a certain interval. The gentleman excused himself, and I decided to slide my chair back a bit and greet the people to my right. A man at the party looked at me and said: It’s okay. I’m fully immunized. It was very interesting to hear someone talk so freely about their vaccination status. I don’t talk about myself openly because it’s nobody’s business, but I still try to follow and respect Disney’s rules. What if I told you I wasn’t vaccinated, huh? Oh, yeah?  Me too!!! and then ask the gentleman who was just sitting next to me what the status of his vaccine is? Depending on one’s feelings, it may not be well received. Our society has become very open about this particular vaccine, and many people are asking direct questions and even making judgments about whether or not you are vaccinated. Do we need to start comparing vaccines now? Hey, do you have J&J or Pfizer? I don’t remember anyone asking me directly if I had gotten the hepatitis B or measles vaccination. My point is that if we follow the rules, why would anyone claim vaccination status, or worse, violate someone’s privacy to ask about it? Other viruses that can be much more serious, even deadly, and no one asks such direct questions. Sometimes the media can be too influential and everyone needs to stop and think. Wherever you stand on this issue, do your homework!  Okay, uh… The rant is over… word-image-4599 I never felt safe with Shula. This establishment is very clean and the waiters were great. They made me feel like a special guest and it was another great experience. So far, only some of the restrictions have been lifted; no one knows when the rest will be. But I see normalcy on the horizon and we all need to be patient. Masks are always needed, but only sometimes and in certain situations. As for me, I always plan to go out, try new things, visit different places and make park videos for my YouTube channel, whether masks are needed or not. Hang in there, dear readers, and thanks for reading! word-image-4600Disney’s culinary footprint is so large that it could arguably be a country all to itself. The company is so big that anything one might do at a Disney meal is subject to the whims of the company’s rules and regulations—they do this because they know they’ve got a captive audience, and they don’t want you to get sick.. Read more about shula’s steakhouse menu and let us know what you think.

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