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Disney Cruise Restaurants — What Is Rotational Dining?

by Mommy Frog on February 13, 2024   Video

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We're digging into two of our absolute favorite topics: Disney Cruise Line and FOOD! We've already covered everything from character dining to must-try snacks at Walt Disney World, and we've delved into the nitty-gritty of dining reservations at Disneyland. But in this post, we're serving up all the juicy details about Disney Cruise restaurants, including the unique rotational dining system. If you're curious about questions like, "What is Rotational Dining exactly?" "Which restaurants can you find on a Disney Cruise?" or "How do I snag reservations for Disney Cruise restaurants?" — then this post is for you!

Disney Cruise Restaurants - Worlds of Marvel Cheesecake

Overview of Disney Cruise Restaurants

Your Disney cruise culinary experience will be filled with a sea of endless possibilities. While the specific dining options may vary, each vessel is home to three main dining rooms that form Disney Cruise Line's unique rotational dining system. Additionally, there's a main buffet and numerous quick-service counters conveniently located on the main decks.

If you've got a sweet tooth, the soft-serve stations and specialty sweet shops will hit the spot. And for those seeking a more elevated dining experience, each ship features one or more adult-exclusive restaurants, where fine dining awaits with brunch, dinner or special dessert experiences.

But there's more! You can treat yo' self to round-the-clock indulgence with complimentary 24-hour room service. The menu offers everything from breakfast to dinner and even iconic Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bars. Oh boy!

Almost all of the dining options are complimentary and included in your cruise package. That means you won't pay anything extra for the rotational dining, quick-service and buffets, soft drinks, unlimited soft-serve ice cream or room service. The things that come with an additional fee include adult-exclusive dining, alcoholic beverages, specialty treats from the sweet shops, specialty coffees and snacks from Preludes — the movie theater snack bar.

Disney Cruise Restaurants — Olaf foam latte

If you're ready to set sail, then be sure to book your next cruise adventure with your frog friends here at Undercover Tourist. We offer exclusive Disney Cruise Line savings! Are you hungry for more? Now, let's explore the delicious specifics!

What Is Rotational Dining?

Rotational Dining is exclusive to the Disney Cruise Line fleet. Other cruise lines typically have one large main dining room — however, all of the Disney ships have three. For dinner each night, you will "rotate" to one of the dining rooms. For 3-night sailings, you will dine at a different restaurant each night.

For longer sailings, you will rotate back and revisit one or more of the restaurants, but the menu and entertainment will switch up a bit. Each dining room has its own unique theming. Out of the three dining rooms, one is typically an upscale eatery that's located right off of the ship's atrium or Grand Hall. The other two venues are heavily themed and offer entertainment or character experiences.

Disney Cruise Restaurants — Arendelle dining room

Once you're onboard the ship and connected to the ship's Wi-Fi, you will find your rotational dining schedule and table number listed in the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app. This is where you'll view where you're scheduled to eat dinner each night. Your table number will be the same at each restaurant throughout your entire cruise. The restaurant hosts will ask for your table number when you arrive at each restaurant and then escort you to your table. We recommend memorizing it early or at least knowing where to pull it up quickly in the Disney Cruise app. This way you're not fumbling when it's time to be seated with a line of hungry passengers stacking up behind you.

You'll notice that there are two different seating times for the rotational dining. You will either be assigned the 5:45 p.m. or 8:15 p.m. and just like your schedule and table number, this will remain the same throughout your trip. You can select your dining time preference on the Disney Cruise planning website at disneycruise.disney.go.com or in the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app before you go (once you've linked your reservation). Families with young children typically request the early dining time, while families who have more flexibility tend to choose the latter. The onboard theatre stage shows also have two different times that coincide with the rotational dining. If you have the early dining seating at 5:45 p.m., you'll eat dinner before attending the show. And if you have the 8:15 p.m. seating, you'll watch the show before coming to dinner.

Disney Cruise Restaurants — scallops and pasta

One of the most frogtastic elements of the rotational dining system will be your serving team. Your servers will be made up of a dynamic team which includes a head server, a main server and an assistant server. The team will rotate along with you to each restaurant and they will greet you as soon as you arrive at your table.

Typically, you will interact with your main and assistant servers the most. The main server handles your food order while the assistance server is in charge of your drinks. Because they rotate along with you, they quickly learn your dining needs and preferences. By the second night, our team already knew our favorite drinks, how we like our steaks cooked and that Lily only wanted the cheese pizza from the kids' menu! Beyond being amazing servers, they are wonderful at offering food recommendations and interacting with your family, especially the tadpoles.

Disney Cruise Ship Rotational Dining Restaurants:

  • Disney Magic - Animator's Palate, Rapunzel's Royal Table, Lumiere's
  • Disney Wonder - Animator's Palate, Tiana's Place, Triton's
  • Disney Dream - Animator's Palate, Enchanted Garden, Royal Palace
  • Disney Fantasy - Animator's Palate, Enchanted Garden, Royal Court
  • Disney Wish - Worlds of Marvel, Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure, 1923
  • Disney Treasure (sailing December 2024) - Worlds of Marvel, Plaza de Coco, 1923

Be sure to hop over to our in-depth guide to all the Disney cruise food for even more scrumptious deets!

Quick-Service Disney Cruise Restaurants

Disney Cruise Buffet Restaurants

Now that we've covered all the rotational dining bases, let's talk about the buffet service onboard. Did I hear someone say, "Unlimited Mickey waffles?" YES, please! The beach-themed Cabanas is located on the Disney Magic, Wonder, Dream and Fantasy. Named after Walt Disney's hometown, Marceline Market is the buffet on the Disney Wish. All of the buffets are open for breakfast and lunch. You'll find a wide variety of dishes here that cater to even the pickiest eaters such as international cuisine, burgers and sandwiches, salad fixings, carving stations, soups and stews, assorted breads, rolls and desserts. The tadpole-friendly options include chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, pizza and more.

Disney Cruise Restaurants — plate of breakfast with Mickey waffles

Quick-Service Restaurants

In addition to the buffets, there are poolside quick-service options on the upper decks. We know all that fun in the sun can surely work up an appetite! These are great options for a quick meal or grab-and-go snack.

Duck-In Diner on the Disney Magic and Pete's Boiler Bites on the Disney Wonder serve up tasty chicken tenders, hot dogs and hamburgers. There's also shawarma on the Duck-In Diner menu and tacos at Pete's Boiler Bites. Pinocchio's Pizzeria (Disney Magic and Wonder) is your go-to for a warm slice of pizza while Daisy's de-Lites (Disney Wonder) offers salads, wraps, sandwiches and fruit.

On the Dream and Fantasy, the pool deck options include Flo's Cafe where'll find Luigi's Pizza, Tow Mater's Grill and Fillmore's Favorites. Mickey & Friends Festival of Foods is on the Disney Wish and includes five counters: Mickey's Smokestack Barbecue, Daisy's Pizza Pies, Goofy's Grill, Sweet Minnie's Ice Cream and Donald's Cantina. The tacos and salsa bar at Donald's Cantina is one of our frog favorites!

24-Hour Room Service

Disney Cruise Restaurants — Room service coffeeRoom service on Disney cruise ships offers the convenience of enjoying a variety of food and beverages delivered directly to your stateroom at any time of the day or night. Room service is complimentary, so you can order as much or as little as you like. The room service menu includes options for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Breakfast offerings include items such as pastries, cereals, fruit and yogurt. Lunch and dinner feature sandwiches, salads, soups, burgers, grilled salmon and desserts.

To order breakfast, you can either fill out a paper order form provided in your stateroom and hang it on your door before 3 a.m. Or you can use the in-room phone to place your order directly with room service for either breakfast, lunch or dinner. I love ordering my coffee the night before and having it delivered to my stateroom. Sipping my morning coffee out on my private verandah while watching the sunrise is top-tier!

Complimentary Soft Drinks and Soft-Serve Ice Cream

Another amazing perk that sets Disney cruise food apart is the complimentary soft drinks, juice, coffee and tea. Many other cruise lines charge additional for their soft drink packages. In addition to beverages, unlimited soft-serve ice cream is also included. The soft-serve ice cream stations are self-serve and located on the pool decks. Eye Scream Treats is located on the Disney Magic, Wonder, Dream and Fantasy. Sweet Minnie's Ice Cream is the soft-serve station on the Disney Wish. These stations are often open throughout most of the day, so you can indulge in soft-serve whenever you desire. Of course, both Tad and Lily live for this on our Disney Cruise vacations. And because it's vacay, second helpings are always allowed! :)

Disney Cruise Restaurants — Joyful Sweets ice cream sundae

For an extra fee, you can splurge at Sully's Sips on the Disney Wonder and Frozone Treats on the Disney Magic, Dream and Fantasy for delicious frozen-fruit smoothies. Or be sure to stop by the sweet shops for even more specialty desserts! Vanellope's Sweets & Treats is on the Disney Dream, Sweet on You can be found on the Disney Fantasy and Inside Out: Joyful Sweets is on the Disney Wish. Coming soon on the Disney Treasure, Jumbeax's Sweets will be the newest sweet shop!

Disney Cruise Restaurants at Disney Castaway Cay 

If your itinerary includes a stop at Disney Castaway Cay, you'll be pleased to know that a complimentary lunch, soft drinks and dessert are included with your visit. Cookie's BBQ and Cookie's Too BBQ (guests can choose between the two locations) are buffet-style barbecue venues that serve up a variety of grilled favorites such as burgers, hot dogs, BBQ ribs, grilled chicken, salads, fruit and dessert. (We still dream about the strawberry and banana swirl soft-serve! So yummy!) Serenity Bay, the adults-only beach also has a selection of grilled goodies similar to Cookie's BBQ but in a more serene and relaxed setting for adults. Additionally, there are several outdoor bars scattered around the island where you can sip on refreshing cocktails.

Disney Cruise Restaurants — soft-serve cone

Disney Cruise Restaurants — Adults-Only Dining

Disney Cruise Line offers several adult-exclusive dining options, as well as other adult-exclusive experiences such as beverage tastings and mixology classes.

Palo is an upscale Italian restaurant available on all Disney Cruise Line ships. Palo Steakhouse is specific to the Disney Wish. It offers panoramic ocean views and a sophisticated atmosphere that serves up brunch and dinner. There is both a pre-fixe or à la carte menu featuring delish steaks, pasta and seafood. The chocolate soufflé is served with vanilla bean ice cream and chocolate sauce. YUMMO! It is a fan-favorite and a must-get for Leap and me!

Remy is an elegant French restaurant available on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. It offers a gourmet dining experience inspired by the film "Ratatouille." Remy serves both a champagne brunch and dinner. The menu is crafted by Chef Scott Hunnel from Victoria & Albert’s at Walt Disney World and 3-Michelin-starred Chef Arnaud Lallement featuring haute cuisine dishes and can be paired with a selection of over 900 different fine wines.

The Disney Wish is also home to Enchanté by Chef Arnaud Lallement and The Rose, a "Beauty and the Beast" cocktail lounge. Enchanté's decor is both elegant and romantic and is available for a champagne brunch, dinner or the Just Desserts Experience. The menu offers international dishes that are made with globally sourced in-season produce and ingredients.

Reservations for Palo, Remy and Enchanté can be made online through the Disney Cruise Line website or in the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app when your booking window opens (based on your Castaway Club membership level). We recommended making reservations as early as possible, as these adult-exclusive dining venues tend to fill up quickly. You can also ask for availability once onboard at Guest Services. The earlier you ask, the better your chances.

Disney Cruise Restaurants — Palo Steakhouse Osso Buco

Tips for Dining at Disney Cruise Restaurants

Disney Cruise Restaurants — children's menu

Here are our top tips for dining while on a Disney cruise:

  • Allergy-friendly and plant-based options are available at each Disney Cruise restaurant. Special dietary requests can be made in advance by filling out the Special Services Form or the Special Requests application in your cruise account under Reservations. There is an Onboard Dining Session offered on embarkation day that provides additional information. Also, be sure to speak with your serving team about your dietary needs or preferences.
  • Hip, hop, hooray! Kids menus are available at each rotational dining restaurant.
  •  Semi-formal and formal attire is recommended for the adult-exclusive restaurants. Casual but polished is the way to go! Men, keep in mind that shorts and open-toed shoes are not permitted. (Leap found that out the hard way!) If you froget to pack dress clothes, you can rent them from the Maitre d'.
  • If you need to change your dinner seating time, changes can be made in the Disney Cruise app or on the Disney Cruise website before sailing. You can also make requests by calling 800-951-3532 or by speaking with a crew member at Guest Services once aboard the ship.
  • On most days, the rotational dining restaurants also serve breakfast and lunch. Be sure to check the dining schedule in the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app to view which restaurants are serving breakfast or lunch on a particular day.
  • On debarkation day, your assigned restaurant for breakfast will be the rotational dining restaurant you were assigned to the night before. For example, if you were assigned to 1923 the night before, that would be the same assigned restaurant for breakfast before you leave the ship on the last morning.

Disney Cruise restaurants are always an exciting topic! We love trying out all the restaurants and snack options aboard the ships. When will you be setting sail on a Disney Cruise? Which Disney cruise restaurants are you the most excited about? Let us know in the comments!

Related: Exploring the Difference — What Sets Disney Cruises Apart

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
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