Disney Cruise food is nothing like the food found at the Disney parks! While there have been notable improvements in Disney World and Disneyland’s dining menus, the Disney Cruise restaurants rarely fall short. The abundance of food, the quality, attention to detail, theming, and the variety found in the Disney Cruise restaurants are unparalleled! If you are looking for a Disney Cruise food dining guide that lists all the dining areas in the ships, menus, reviews, plus some frequently asked questions – you have come to the right spot.
Frequently Asked Questions About Disney Cruise Food
Is the Food Free?
Yes, the majority of the food on a Disney Cruise is free as it is included in the overall price of your cruise. This is one of the reasons I feel Disney Cruise is worth the cost – the quality of the free food provided is much better than you would find compared to the free options in Carnival, Norwegian, or Royal Caribbean.
Now, there are some dining experiences that are not included, such as the specialty dining at Palo or Remy. Some of the specialty coffees or certain treats found in the upper decks are an added cost; however, the vast majority of food items are included in your cruise.
What Type of Food is Offered?
There is such a variety of food options on Disney Cruise restaurants. The main buffet restaurant, Cabanas, offers traditional breakfast and lunch options, the main dining rooms all have a certain type of cuisine from Pacific Northwest to French to Caribbean. You can find fresh seafood, Italian food, Asian cuisine, and even simple grilled options.
For those that are looking for a specific dish, you can always ask your server to see if they can accommodate you. That also goes for those people that have any food allergies or dietary preferences. Disney is wonderful with dietary needs and allergies and will take it very seriously. There is a separate kitchen for food allergies to ensure that guests can safely enjoy their food without worry.
Are There Set Disney Cruise Dining Times?
When you or your travel agent book a cruise, there is an option for Main Seating, which is between 5:45 PM and 6:15 PM and Second Seating, which is between 8:00 PM and 8:30 PM. You do not have to eat dinner at the main dining rooms though, you have the option of eating dinner at Cabanas, the buffet restaurant, or any of the other quick-service type locations on the upper decks by the pool.
What is Rotational Dining?
Disney Cruise Line has a system known as rotational dining. On each ship, there are three main dining rooms. You will rotate between each dining room nightly and your same wait staff will rotate with you.
When you check-in for your cruise on embarkation day, you are given your Key to the World Card. The card will have your name on it, your stateroom number, your table number, and your MDR (main dining room) Disney cruise dining rotation schedule written as an acronym.
For example, if you are sailing on the Disney Fantasy on a 4-night sailing, you may see something like AREA. This means the first night you go to Animator’s Palate, then Royal Table, then Enchanted Garden, and then back to Animator’s.
How Does Seating Work?
At each restaurant, you have an assigned table number. Someone at the front of the restaurant will help you find your seat. If you are a small party, you can opt to sit alone and not be clumped in with strangers (unless you prefer to socialize). You may be able to check during online check-in, or you can call DCL and request that you are placed at a table with your family only and not with strangers. You can also do this on embarkation day if you forget to do it beforehand.
Disney Cruise Food: Rotational Dining Restaurants
The main dining rooms on the Disney Cruise restaurants have a system known as rotational dining, where guests change restaurants nightly and the wait staff travels with you. Below you will find the main dining room restaurants on all 4 of the DCL ships, a sample menu, and a review.
Disney Wonder Restaurants
A guest favorite, Animator’s Palate is literally a blank palate, so to speak, with sketches of Disney characters on the walls and a black/white motif. The decor screams classic Disney animation. The wall screens are picture frames that play food-themed clips from Disney films and shorts throughout the years. There are also giant paintbrushes that “paint the ceiling” and the chair backs resemble the buttons on Mickey’s pants. On each table, you will find butter knives that look like palate brushes, plates, and cups lined with film strips.
As the dinner service progresses, you will notice the black/white change to color! Depending on the length of your cruise, you will receive a paper where you can draw a person and by the end of the dinner service, you will see your character come to life on the movie wall screens.
In terms of menu items, Animator’s Palate serves up American cuisine with a Pacific Northwest flair. I always look forward to dinner here and love the decor and whimsical nature of the restaurant.
This 20s-styled concept of a New Orleans jazz lounge takes its inspiration from the Princess and the Frog. Tiana acts as hostess for the evening and even joins in with the three-piece band. While the volume can be a bit loud at times, it adds to the overall lively atmosphere.
Our family recently visited New Orleans and really enjoyed the cuisine. Tiana’s Place does a fabulous job of re-creating the cuisine and making you feel transported into the Disney movie. As expected, the dining menu here features an array of Cajun flavors and New Orleans themed beverages.
Named after King Triton in “The Little Mermaid,” this underwater-themed main dining room does triple duty as the place to enjoy a sit-down breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The large mural of Triton and Ariel along the back wall of the restaurant is a gorgeous centerpiece that consists of hundreds of thousands of mosaic tiles.
During the breakfast service, you can find usual offerings like plenty of coffee, tea and juice, pastries, egg dishes, waffle and pancake specialties, cereals, fruit, and even yogurt parfaits. During the lunch service, items vary from sandwiches, burgers, and wraps to kebabs, salads, or other specialty items.
The menus in Triton’s rotate daily and also feature nightly themes like island fusion, French, and Pirate Night. Along with the bread service, there’s always a choice of about four appetizers, soups and salads, and five main courses, with vegetarian options.
Disney Magic Restaurants
My family’s favorite restaurant is the Animator’s Palate on the Disney Magic. It’s a very unique restaurant, especially with regard to the decor. For example, butter knives are in the shape of paintbrushes. Paper and pens are left on the table so that guests can draw their own character. At the end of the meal, guests are able to watch their characters come to life on a television screen near their dining table, thanks to animation! Not only is it a fun experience, but the drawings are a great souvenir to bring back home.
Contributed by: Kristi from The Cactus Chronicles
This restaurant is named after the candlestick from “Beauty and the Beast”. Of the three restaurants on the Magic, Lumiere’s is the fanciest dining room. The dining room has a ballroom feel with Art Deco decor and tributes to the film, such as “enchanted roses” hanging from the chandeliers. The menu is French-inspired and includes starters such as escargot and main courses like chateaubriand-roasted filet steak and wild mushroom pasta.
Rapunzel’s Royal Table
If you have never sailed on the Magic before, you are in for a real treat. The Disney Magic offers two Tangled themed experiences. You can catch Tangled: The Musical in theatre during one day of your sailing, and dine at Rapunzel’s Royal Table for one of your 3 main dining rotations. We absolutely LOVED our meal at Rapunzel’s Royal Table.
You are greeted at the entrance of the restaurant by some rogue ruffians, who add some fun humor to the start of the meal. During part of this dinner, guests are entertained by song and dance performed by Rapunzel herself, along with Flynn Rider and other actors. We really enjoyed the theme-ing of this meal and restaurant, complete with lanterns that were floated overhead at the end.
Contributed by Devon from Mama Cheaps
Disney Dream Restaurants
A fan favorite, Animator’s Palate, transforms your dining experience into an underwater world. The screens on the wall begin with an ocean scene and Nemo and Friends often “swim” by, so be on the lookout. A huge highlight of the dining experience, in addition to the food, is a conversation with Crush the Turtle on the animation screens.
This Disney Cruise restaurant serves contemporary American and Pacific Rim cuisine. Honestly, this is usually my favorite meal of the cruise because I love the simplicity and the flavors. Some favorites include butternut squash soup and black truffle pasta.
Enchanted Garden, which is part of the regular dining rotation onboard Disney’s Dream ship, offers ambiance and delicious eats. Guests feel like their dining in a secluded garden and the entire restaurant is centered around a Mickey fountain. We loved the family-friending dining options that included plant-based options as well as allergy-friendly too.
A personal favorite that every waiter recommends when we’re cruising is the Ahi Tuna and Avocado Tower appetizer. It’s like a deconstructed sushi option – very fresh and light. Don’t miss the fresh scallops as an entree and the orange yogurt cake as a dessert option. From beginning to end, Enchanted Garden is always our family’s favorite of all the rotation dinners.
Contributed by: Kimberly from Savvy Mama Lifestyle
The Royal Palace will likely be a favorite for princess lovers, as guests will see hand-painted portraits of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. The staff is also decked out in fancy royal outfits, which make you feel as if you’re in a fairytale. I love the small touches, like bread baskets in the shape of Cinderella’s coach, window treatments topped with crowns, and even the main chandelier adorned with glass slippers.
The dining menu was very good here as well. I loved the deep-fried brie appetizer and oven-baked salmon royale, as well as the Sweet Temptations dessert sampler. Royal Palace also offers an early sit-down breakfast from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Disney Fantasy Restaurants
Animator’s Palate on both the Disney Dream and Fantasy are almost identical. Guests will be able to interact with Crush from the Finding Nemo movie throughout dinner. While I found the interaction very entertaining because Crush spoke with my son, the table next to us complained because Crush didn’t pick their kids. If you do happen to dine here twice on your cruise, don’t worry, the show changes and you will be given a paper to animate at the start of dinner, and by the end, your animation will appear on the wall screens.
The menu is very similar to the other Animator’s Palate dining rooms on other ships – American Pacific cuisine (my favorite Disney Cruise food items). Some delicious options offered are the beef tenderloin and lemon-thyme chicken breast. Vegetarian options might include black bean chipotle cakes and for dessert, expect options like creme brûlée and cheesecake.
Just like the Disney Dream, the Enchanted Garden in the Disney Fantasy is a French countryside-inspired theme. You feel as if you have stepped into a fairy tale garden in France; it is truly stunning.
In addition to dinner, this restaurant is sometimes open for lunch and when that happens, it transforms into a bright garden atmosphere. At dinner time, the ceiling changes into a nighttime starry sky. Some of my favorites on the French-inspired menu were ahi tuna and avocado tower and the sea scallops with sun-dried tomatoes, caramelized leeks, and an au jus reduction.
Similar to the Royal Palace, the Royal Court offers an elegant dining scene. The gold-colored wood columns look like glass plants and flowers. There are even small, round lamps designed to look like Cinderella’s pumpkin coach, and tile murals on the walls which depict scenes from Cinderella and other Disney princess films.
The Royal Court also has a French menu, so you can expect items like French onion soup, duck confit, escargot, and Grand Marnier souffle.
Disney Cruise Restaurants: Specialty Dining
Tucked away at the very highest and furthest aft part of the Disney Cruise Line ships, is Palo. This adult-exclusive restaurant is a premium dining option on all of Disney Cruise Line’s ships. Reservations are required and can be made online in advance, or on the ship. (Subject to availability!) The current cost is $40 per person.
Palo is a stand out for service and food. Serving dinner nightly, and brunch on days at sea, the menu features Italian cuisine. If you enjoy wine, the is a sommelier who can help suggest the perfect pairing for your meal! If you order nothing else, order at least one of the chocolate souffle options. The souffle is accompanied by chocolate and vanilla bean sauces. The souffle paired with a cappuccino or espresso is the perfect way to end your night!
Contributed by: Sara from Disney Park Princess
Palo is one of Disney Cruise Line’s adults-only restaurants. It is not included in the price of your cruise. At $40 per person, it’s a splurge that’s absolutely worth the spend.
Palo Brunch is a combination of buffet and menu and includes a welcome drink. Your server gives you a personal tour of the buffet offerings. The buffet has an array of cheeses, bread, antipasto, salads, and more. There’s also a separate table for desserts.
You can’t go wrong on the buffet. My faves were the Bloody Mary Shrimp Cocktail (no alcohol) and mini cannoli. My menu picks are heirloom tomato and basil soup, Margherita flatbread, three-cheese omelet, and the strawberry waffle. The waffles are full-plate size Mickey waffles, so you pretty much HAVE to get one, right?
Come hungry. If you can’t skip dinner the night before, eat very lightly and don’t eat breakfast. Advance reservations required and dress code applies.
Contributed by: Jill from Ripped Jeans and Bifocals
One of the best places to eat on the Disney Fantasy is Remy. This fine-dining restaurant is an extra charge, but it’s the ultimate date night spot. Inspired by Pixar’s Ratatouille, Remy offers clever nods to the movie throughout the restaurant (including their upholstery!) But the real gem is the food itself. The French cuisine is spot on and is better than some restaurants we’ve experienced in Paris! During our 5-course meal, my favorite dish was Wagyu Beef. I’ve had it before at a steakhouse, but this was head and shoulders above any beef I’ve ever tasted. And the extensive cheese course was outstanding!
Prices start at $50 per person, but can go all the way to $230pp if you have a full dinner with wine parings.
Contributed by: Marcie Cheung from Marcie and the Mouse
Disney Cruise Dining Times
As previously mentioned there are two seating times in the main dining rooms:
- Main Seating: between 5:45 PM and 6:15 PM
- Second Seating: between 8:00 PM and 8:30 PM
Disney Cruise Food: Cabanas Buffet
Cabanas is the buffet on board the back of all four Disney Cruise ships. It has a Finding Nemo theme and is conveniently located on the same deck as the pools and kid’s splash areas. My kids’ favorite Disney Cruise food items can be found here because they have so many options that please everyone!
When you board the ship, this is the place that is open for lunch. It is usually the “go-to” breakfast and lunch spot daily, as the long buffet tables offer an abundance of food and a variety of options. Breakfast staples usually include egg stations, fruit, cereal, bacon, and Mickey-shaped waffles, pastries, yogurt, and so much more. The lunch menu changes frequently but will include soups, salads, sandwiches, burgers, as well as mac-n-cheese and chicken fingers. They usually have surprise stations like crepes or even an ice cream sundae bar. For dinner, Cabanas is a little more inventive with rotisserie options, fish with Caribbean salsa, a macaroni and salad bar, and even Indian dishes.
Cabanas has plenty of seating indoors and many outdoor options too for those who would like to enjoy the ocean breeze. There are a variety of seating options too (booths and high top tables), but the space can feel tight with the number of people walking in/out to get their buffet items.
Disney Cruise Restaurants: On Deck Dining
The Cove Cafe can be found on all of the Disney ships in the adults-only area. The menu ranges from croissants and chocolate puffs to apple tarts and glazed doughnuts and includes many specialty coffees, teas, and drinks. It is one of my favorite places to relax on the ship while the kids are in the clubs.
On the Magic and Wonder, you will find Daisy’s De-lites. It is located just outside of Cabanas, and offers light grab-and-go snacks throughout the day, including pastries, granola bars, salads, wraps, and gyros. They also serve fresh fruit and cookies.
Sometimes our family gets snacks from here, while other times, this is my lunch alternative from Cabanas. The location is perfect and the retro look is adorable.
This is a new dining option on the Disney Magic which replaced Pete’s Broiler Bites. They offer standard fare and can be a good option if you don’t hit Cabanas for lunch.
- Veggie Burgers
- Hot Dogs
- Chicken Tenders
- Gyros / Shwarma
Eye Scream Treats
One of my favorite Disney Cruise food items is this free ice cream spot! On the Disney Dream and Fantasy, you will find this complimentary self-serve, soft-serve ice cream. It is available throughout most of the day with chocolate and vanilla flavors; however, sometimes they offer special flavors like strawberry or banana.
We stopped here multiple times on the cruise. Oh, and the name is the best!
On the Disney Dream and Fantasy, you can find Flo’s Cafe, which is three “Cars”-themed dining venues in one. If you are enjoying your time on the outdoor decks and do not want to wait in the Cabanas buffet lines, then these are a quick and easy option.
Tow Mater’s Grill serves up burgers, hot dogs, sausage,s grilled chicken, and chicken fingers; Luigi’s Pizza serves a variety of pizza slices, and Fillmore’s Favorites has a salad bar and a sandwich station with paninis and wraps.
Found on the Disney Dream and Fantasy, Frozone Treats sells delicious smoothies and even some beer. My son is a huge smoothie fan and loved the smoothie we allowed him to buy once.
Located on the Disney Wonder and Magic, at Pinnochio’s Pizzeria you can grab a slice of pizza just behind Goofy’s Family Pool. They have plenty of options from plain to pepperoni, Hawaiian, BBQ, veggie, and many others. They even have gluten-free! Pinocchio’s is open most of the day, except dinner hours, and then again late at night for any pizza cravings you may have.
Sweet on You
The Disney Fantasy got rid of the arcade and added this ice cream and sweets shop on Deck 11. Here you can buy prepackaged sweets, candy by the pound, macarons, chocolate-covered Oreos, cupcakes, and other treats. You can also choose from over 10 ice cream and gelato flavors as well as use the candy as toppings. You can order milkshakes, sundaes, waffle cones, and much of what can be found at a typical ice cream shop.
Vanellope’s Sweets & Treats
Vanellope’s Sweets and Treats is a fun dessert option on the Disney Cruise Line. Located on the Disney Dream, this sweets shop is themed to Wreck-It-Ralph and all the sugary goodness from the movie. You will find a photo-op with King Candy and Vanellope’s Sugar Rush car, and if you hang out long enough you will find a surprise visit from Sour Bill. He hangs out in the gumball machine and pops his head out every few minutes.
Vanellope’s has baked good items like cookies and macaroons, as well as ice cream and gelato. Although the items are not included in your cruise costs, the price of the treats is reasonable and the ambiance makes it a fun stop for families during their Disney cruise. You can also purchase bulk candy, chocolate-covered strawberries, and Disney themed cookies and cupcakes. With so many choices you really can’t go wrong with a visit to Vanellope’s.
Contributed by: Leah from Five for the Road
Disney Cruise Food: Room Service
One of the other great things about Disney Cruise food is the fact that you can get complimentary room service 24 hours a day. There is a menu found inside your stateroom and, while the options are basic, it is perfect for anyone who wants to stay in their stateroom and get a quick bite or a late-night snack in their pajamas.
Disney Cruise Food: Castaway Cay
If you are traveling on a Bahamian or Caribbean cruise, chances are that the ship stops at Disney’s private island – Castaway Cay. In addition to the many things to do on Castaway Cay, Disney also provides free lunch while you are on the island, so you don’t go back to the ship.
There are three BBQ locations on the island that serve delicious food and they are included in the cost of the cruise. Cookie’s BBQ and Cookie’s Too BBQ are located on the family beach, and Serenity Bay BBQ is the adult beach option.
Each of these locations serves almost exactly the same items, which are BBQ type fare, including ribs, chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs, fish, salads, corn on the cob, fresh fruit, and self-serve soft serve.
The bottom line is that it really is hard to go wrong with Disney Cruise restaurants. One of the main reasons why a Disney Cruise costs so much is that their standard of food, cleanliness, and service is at a higher standard than others. The Disney Cruise food options are sure to surpass your “cruise food expectations”. Of all the things I love about a Disney Cruise vacation, the food services are definitely one of them.
I hope that this Disney Cruise food guide has helped answer some of your questions about the restaurants offered on a Disney cruise or even given you a preview of what to expect if you choose to sail with DCL.
If you are interested in checking out prices for an upcoming Disney cruise or have any questions about traveling to Disney World, I am a travel agent who could help you book a vacation. There is no extra charge to you, and I would help you as much or as little as you like in planning your vacation.
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