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The Great Ceremonial House Is Back in Business

September 17, 2021
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Steakhouse 71 just revealed its menu. Harmonious dining packages are here, and you can finally enter a DVC resort through the front door again. Here’s what you need to know.


The Polynesian Update

I recently mentioned that the new monorail station has opened at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

Now that everything is operational in the main building, Disney is allowing guests to walk into the Great Ceremonial House through the main entrance again!

This change isn’t a massive deal, but it will matter more to longtime Disney fans and DVC members. Entering the resort from other places never felt right.

When the Polynesian added a DVC component a few years ago, it overhauled much of the hotel grounds.

Now that Imagineers have modernized the Polynesian’s Great Ceremonial House, this place should look and feel the same for at least another decade.

By the way, I previously discussed the time crunch that hotel management faced. All the hotel rooms at the Polynesian must be ready in time for Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary.

I’m happy to report that Disney appears likely to make that deadline with time to spare.

Moorea has already reopened, and workers have made excellent progress on Tokelau as well. In fact, rooms could be ready as soon as this weekend!


New Disney Dining Options

Photo Courtesy: Disney Tourist Blog

Speaking of October 1st, the other original Walt Disney World resort WILL have a new restaurant opening on that date!

The Parks Blog just posted the menu for Steakhouse 71, and I can tell you right now that I’m gonna eat there a lot.

Steakhouse 71 will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Of course, eating breakfast at a steakhouse is like owning a pool but not filling it with water.

Still, the place will serve Tequila Sunrises in the morning if you want to start your vacation mode early.

Steaks are all over the menu at lunch and dinner, but the pricing is lower than I’d expected.

You can get 8-ounce tenderloin medallions for $38 or a 10-ounce New York strip for $34.

The social media sensation that is the Steakhouse 71 Chocolate Cake will cost $11. That’s about 73 cents per layer on a 15-layer cake!

At EPCOT, I’ve got information on a couple of high-end dining options.

Harmonious will include fireworks dining packages. Those start on October 1st, the same date as the show.

Yes, this means that Rose & Crown’s fireworks view remains an upcharge event. Sorry, old-school EPCOT fans!

Anyway, starting on September 23rd, you can book Advanced Dining Reservations for Rose and Crown and Spice Road Table.

The packages will guarantee you a unique view of Harmonious on World Showcase Lagoon. So, it’s money well spent!

Speaking of reservations, the first week at Space 220 will be potluck. EPCOT won’t accept reservations on those dates, making it first come, first served.

However, starting on September 20th, you CAN book reservations for September 27th and all dates beyond then.


DVC Updates

Here are a few quick DVC updates for you. At Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, the Tenaya Stone Spa is now open to the public. Take a look!

At Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, the hotel has altered its dining policy. Just to be safe, you should pay attention here.

You MUST have either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within the past two days before you can eat at any of the resort’s restaurants!

If you’re not vaccinated, this change could affect your vacation.

You’ll feasibly need to take multiple COVID-19 tests during your hotel stay, possibly even several. So please be aware of this information before traveling!

Also, while this choice won’t impact you much, Aulani made the interesting decision to turn its restaurants private.

The only people who can dine at Aulani right now are official hotel guests.

As a DVC member, that means you’re much more likely to get a table whenever you want!


If you want to travel to Walt Disney World during its 50th Anniversary Celebration, DVC Rental Store can save you up to 65% off regular Disney room rates

Be sure to also check out our confirmed reservation specials throughout the entire 18-month long celebration!

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