The Yakitori House quick service dining location at Epcot’s Japan pavilion closed today to begin a 3-month refurbishment project. The abrupt closing was apparently planned to occur once the new Kabuki Cafe location that replaced the old Kaki Gori kiosk was finished. The plan is to serve the quick-service dining needs of the pavilion through the Kabuki Cafe in tandem with the forthcoming Food and Wine festival kiosk until the renovation is completed.
Exact details of the renovation are unknown aside from the rough timeline, but the pavilion’s sponsor, Mitsukoshi, did recently sign on as the provider of sushi products for the entire Walt Disney World resort. Their offerings can now be found in various grab-and-go locations around the resort. Additionally, the Mitsukoshi dining complex (Teppan Edo and Tokyo Dining) located on the second floor of the Mitsukoshi department store will relocate a check-in podium to the lower level of the pavilion’s courtyard. New merchandise kiosks will also be added to the courtyard.
This whole project to revitalize the Japan pavilion seems to stem from recent contract negotiations Disney had with third parties representing World Showcase dining. These negotiations, which the San Angel company (sponsor of Mexico’s dining options) candidly cited to the press as being very competitive, have been the catalyst for many recent World Showcase improvements. Disney requested substantial investment from sponsors in order to continue contracts their contracts. This has led to the creation of the Hacienda De San Angel in the Mexico pavilion and the removal of L’Original Alfredo de Roma from the Italy pavilion (which allowed the Patina Group to come in and build the Via Napoli restaurant.)