Park of the Week: Islands of Adventure

Walt Disney World's Space 220 Opens September 20

September 2, 2021, 10:40 AM · Epcot's new Space 220 restaurant will begin serving diners on September 20, Disney announced today. Last month the Walt Disney World Resort said that the long-awaited restaurant near the Mission: Space pavilion would open in mid-September, but the resort did not provide a specific date. Today, it did.

Space 220 will be operated by Patina Group, the Los Angeles-based restaurant group that also operates Via Napoli and Tutto Italia restaurants in World Showcase's Italy pavilion, as well as Morimoto Asia, Maria & Enzo's, Enzo's Hideaway, Pizza Ponte, and The Edison in Disney Springs. The theme here is "out of this world dining"... and we mean that. Diners will board a space elevator for a trip 220 miles above the Earth's surface, from which they will be able to see the planet below while they eat.

Sure, it's as real as Pirates of the Caribbean. But Space 220 promises to live up to the potential for dining as an attraction with one of Disney's most ambitious attempts at that yet. And it will give the public its a chance to see some of the "space window" technology that the Disney will deploy throughout its upcoming Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser resort experience that opens at Walt Disney World next year.

And Space 220 will introduce a bunch of Disney World guests to the concept of a space elevator, which I've long thought was one of the more fascinating concepts in tech. Here is an introduction, if you're in the mood to geek out a bit today.

Still no date yet for reservations to Space 220, however, nor do we yet have a menu for the restaurant. Disney has announced that Space 220 will feature "modern American cuisine" with a two-course prix fixe menu for lunch and a three-course prix fixe menu for dinner.

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Replies (13)

September 2, 2021 at 10:47 AM

What good is it to announce an opening date if they're not going to let guests know when they can make reservations or what the menu is? This place is opening in less than 3 weeks, and these critical details are still unknown. This is a debacle just waiting to happen.

September 2, 2021 at 10:52 AM

Given the space elevator theme, you might say that Disney is just (puts on sunglasses)... stringing us along.

September 2, 2021 at 12:44 PM

At least the elevator will lift you up out of Florida's insane COVID transmission rate . . .

Oh wait, it doesn't? It takes you in a room with no windows? And no proof of vaccine is required to enter, meaning the guy at the table next to you could be shedding Delta and infecting everyone in the room?

Space, the final place you'll ever eat.

September 2, 2021 at 12:36 PM

Disney made the space and animated experience available, the restaurant dining is run directly by Patina group who do a great job with The Edison and Maria & Enzo’s and Via Napoli. I’m sure the menu and info on reservations will come soon with enough time to review the menu (10 minutes is enough for me). I’m excited, not worried, and the world will not end if the menu comes out the day before opening. :@)

September 2, 2021 at 1:15 PM

@TC_Green - I have little doubt that the interest is there and recognize that Patina has successful restaurants across WDW. However, when will Patina finally learn how to properly launch a new concept? Every one of their restaurants at WDW has had major issues at launch, and Space 220 is having many of the same issues - missed deadlines, delays, changes in leadership, and menu problems. Patina has managed to weather the storms on previous projects, but this story is getting old. If a restaurant was 3 weeks away from launch anywhere else in the world, the missing menu (not even a sample menu) and inability to make reservations would be MASSIVE red flags.

September 2, 2021 at 1:36 PM

@Russell_Meyer You have very valid points - would it have been ideal to synchronize comms between Disney and Patina? Yes. Could that have identified how Day 1 reservations will commence? Yes, part of that involves integration with Disney’s reservation process. I am certain there are a lot of things happening behind the scenes still in flux that we don’t know about. Even if the whole menu or cocktail list is not yet finalized, it would have been ideal to come out with a few items every week to keep people engaged and excited but pre-launch PR is not Patina’s strength (post-launch execution is). It’s equally tough because there are high expectations and it’s coming just in time for 50th anniversary - I prefer they can do the Day 1 execution, and I’ll forgive them for any pre-launch gaffes. Or as long as they are ready by Oct 1 when I intend to visit.

September 2, 2021 at 1:52 PM

Again, seems an unused concept from the '90s but still some intriguing promise to it.

September 2, 2021 at 2:36 PM

"seems an unused concept from the '90s"

@MikeW - That's because it is...

Mars 2112

September 2, 2021 at 5:55 PM

Regardless of any concerns once this restaurant INEVITABLY finds its stride, it will be a successful business model.

September 3, 2021 at 8:12 AM

i must have dozed off as i thought this was still in concept mode and a long way from opening day. i have been intrigued by this concept but am still at best 80% excited about it and will continue to hold off on indoor dining until covid rates drop way down. so hopefully when that day comes (if it ever does) all opening snafus should be in the rearview mirror.

September 3, 2021 at 1:08 PM

Is the re-skin hydrolator concept getting old too? #NOTEXCITED

September 4, 2021 at 2:28 PM

what's the rush to get this open? are they short on tables at epcot right now? or is this not so much "rushed," as it is ... poorly rolled out? weird deal.

September 7, 2021 at 6:45 PM

Robert - Thanks for the link to the Space Cable. That's a concept I hadn't encountered yet, but it has some merit. Pair it with a massive railgun located beneath the surface of the earth like a chord on a circle and space development might become feasible one day.

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