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DVC Restaurants and Refurb Updates

August 30, 2021

A buffet is back, a steakhouse is coming, and California Grill gets fancy – well, fancier – for Walt Disney World’s birthday.

Also, we know more about refurbs coming soon at Disney Vacation Club resorts. Let’s talk about what’s happening!

Jambo House Favorites Return

animal kingdom
Photo Courtesy: Disney Tourist Blog

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas has missed two of its best amenities during the pandemic. 

At Jambo House, guests couldn’t access the Kilimanjaro Club Level Lounge until this week. Finally, the concierge club is back, though!

Alas, the news isn’t 100 percent positive. POG Juice, that marvelous concoction, isn’t available at Walt Disney World anymore.

You may recall that it has been available during the pandemic. Apparently, a supply shortage has prevented its sale, which affects the club lounge.

Another place also feels the impact. Boma – Flavors of Africa just reopened after an agonizing year away. 

I know I speak for all of us when I say how much I missed this place. Well, POG Juice was part of the reason why. 

So, this turn of events is hopefully temporary rather than a permanent decision by Disney. Thankfully, the Parks Blog did post a recipe last year. Make your own until it’s back!

Speaking of Boma, the surprise here isn’t the restaurant’s long-awaited return. I’m shocked to report that Disney is operating this place as a buffet. 

You don’t even ask a cast member for the food you want as is the case with many currently operational buffets in North America.

Instead, Boma works like you remember. You grab a plate (or five) and fill it up with all the delicious entrees that you can…and Zebra Domes. 

Disney has positioned hand sanitizer stations near the service tables. Cast members encourage guests to use them, but it’s not a requirement.

Other DVC Restaurant News

Photo Courtesy: Disney Tourist Blog

Disney’s Contemporary Resort just confirmed something I’d mentioned as a possibility last month.

The Wave…of American Flavors has received its new theme. As discussed, management decided against The Incredibles theme, at least in the name.

Instead, the former location of The Wave will transition into Steakhouse 71, with the name reflecting Walt Disney World’s founding year, 1971.

Yes, this name mirrors the one for Steakhouse 55, the recently closed eatery at Disneyland Resort. I guess the company didn’t want dueling, similarly named restaurants on each coast?

Anyway, Steakhouse 71 posted images of some of its upcoming menu options, including an eight-layer cake with eight layers of icing. So, I’ll eat there as much as humanly possible. 

Meanwhile, on the roof of the Contemporary, California Grill has confirmed a limited-time menu that celebrates the restaurant’s storied history.

I wonder if we’ll get any callbacks to Broadway at the Top from the early 1980s? I have more questions than answer today, sorry.

Oh, while we’re talking about DVC eateries, I have some good news! ‘Ohana has brought back components from its original menu. 

So, that should shut down some of the complaints about the reopening menu’s courses, especially that shrimp casserole monstrosity.

DVC Refurb News

Photo Courtesy: Disney Tourist Blog

I don’t want to call this change a policy shift. It’s more of an awareness of a good idea. 

DVC has indicated that members should expect more fold-down sofa beds when resorts undergo refurbishment. 

This trend started with Disney’s Riviera Resort and has continued with Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa. 

Now, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa will add this piece of furniture as well. 

So, the sofas you know are on the way out, replaced by wall pull-downs. Disney has indicated that all studios and villas will receive the change. 

Speaking of refurbs, Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa is undergoing a soft goods swap as well. 

However, Disney’s philosophy here appears to be, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The style of the room, including color palettes and patterns, will remain.

I actually like these refurbs where DVC leaves the room the way that you like it but swaps out old carpet and drapes for cleaner ones.

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