Rotational Dining on Disney Cruise Line

Rotational Dining on Disney Cruise Line

If you’re taking a Disney Cruise you’re in for a treat! Because a Disney Cruise Line vacation is one you won’t soon forget. With an almost entirely all-inclusive Disney Cruise you get not only a wide array of entertainment, and shows, but also Disney Cruise Meals to keep you coming back for more. While it all can be a little overwhelming, we think a Disney Cruise is worth the hype! And part of that is because of their phenomenal Disney Cruise Customer Service onboard. A service that extends to the Disney Cruise restaurants. So much so that your designated waitstaff is at your service at every dinner during your cruise, even in different restaurants.

This is where Rotational dining comes in. Included in your cruise fare, The Disney Rotational Dining Schedule makes Disney Cruise Line unique and adds an aspect of service that your cruise that you won’t find anywhere else! Let’s dive in to everything  you need to know about Disney Cruise Meals onboard, Disney Cruise Line Dining, and how the dining rotation on Disney Cruise works.

Disney Cruise New York City

Disney Cruise Dinner Options

One of the best parts of a Disney Cruise vacation is the Disney Cruise Food. Is it included in your Cruise package cost? Yes, Food on a Disney Cruise is included with your cruise cost, making it all the more amazing every time you sit down to eat.  Not only is most of the food included, but most of it is also all you care to enjoy.  This means you can try as many desserts, appetizers, main courses, and snacks as you like! There are some exclusions of course. Alcohol is not included in the cost of your cruise and neither are special dining experiences like Remy or Palo

Disney Cruise Line ships have a variety of dining options onboard. Each ship includes three main restaurants for table service. These Disney Cruise Restaurants are included in the Rotational Dining Schedule each evening, and each room is assigned waitstaff that will serve you each night of your cruise. These 3 main restaurants, which are unique to each ship, are all available at dinnertime. In addition to that, there are usually two on each ship that offers breakfast and lunch. 

Other Disney Cruise Dining options include a buffest restaurant, a signature restaurant  slated for adults only, coffee cafes, quick service dining at a variety of food counters on the pool deck, and a slew of Disney Cruise Bars, and Lounges. 

Alternatives to the three main restaurants for include the buffet restaurants onboard. Cabanas or Marceline Market offer a buffet for breakfast and lunch and offers a table service meal at dinnertime as well. 

DCL Disney Magic

What is Rotational Dining on Disney Cruise Line?

If you plan to dine at the table service restaurants onboard a Disney Cruise, you’ll be participating in rotational dining.  Each night, you will be assigned to dine at one of the three main restaurants. 

Themed Dining Experiences

Disney Rotational Dining is an innovative and immersive dining concept that adds a bit of fun to each dinner onboard. Giving each guest the chance to experience the main restaurants means you’ll get a variety of menus themed to each restaurant, see the different decor and even experience a special dinner show or two onboard ship. From a Mardi Gras style party and parade at Tiana’s Place onboard the Disney Wonder, to the History of Disney Animation at 1923 onboard the Disney Wish, and Interactive Artwork at Animator’s Palate, there is a variety of culinary cuisines, traditions and decor to explore.

Each ship has different restaurants which we’ll share below so you can pick the Disney Cruise Ship that seems most fun to you! 

You Get an Assigned Waitstaff and Serving Team

The restaurant changes every night, but your waitstaff doesn’t. Your serving team consists of a dedicated server, assistant server and manager. This team “rotates” with you! As such, throughout your cruise, this is such a great service because they get to know you and what you like and in turn, you get to know them.  After just a couple of nights, they know how you like your steak, what extras you like to request, and what desserts you favor, and that helps them make better recommendations for you. 

Your Dinner Rotation is Automatically Assigned

Dinner on a Disney Cruise is automatically assigned so you don’t have to worry about reserving tables for these restaurants. However, Since seats and tables are assigned, with your Disney Cruise Dinner Seating Arrangements there is always a possibility of being assigned to dine with another party or even several other parties.  If this is an issue for you, can simply request to be seated separately. 

How do I know what restaurant to eat at each night on a Disney Cruise?

Your restaurant rotation used to be noted on your room key. Now the information can be found on your Disney Cruise Line app. You’ll want to make sure you have this app downloaded on your phone before your cruise anyway since it will be your guide to everything happening on the ship. 

DCL Disney Magic restaurant

What are the Disney Cruise Rotational Dining Dinner Times?

Disney Cruise Line Rotational Dining Times are split into two seating times. Early Seating is for arrivals between 5:45 om and 6:15 pm. Late Seating is between 8:00 pm and 8:30 pm. Rotational Dining is only held for the dinner meal period. These times can change a bit as it depends on the itinerary, but those are usually the start times. Note that your Dinner Seating Time on Disney Cruise Line is opposite your Disney Showtime for the evening. So, if you have the early seating for dinner, you’ll be “scheduled” for the evening show. And if you have the late seating for dinner, you’ll be scheduled for the early show. 

Early Seating | 5:45 pm- 6:15 pm

The first seating generally begins between 5:45 pm EST and 6:15 pm EST. This seating is best for families with small children, and for those who want to take advantage of later evening plans. 

Late Seating | 8:00 pm- 8:30 pm

The Second Seating on a Disney Cruise usually starts between 8:00 pm EST and 8:30 pm EST. This is the perfect option for those families wanting to really maximize their day onboard, by pushing dinner until later. With this seating time, you’re typically at dinner till about 9:30 or 10pm. And events like Pirate Night or the fireworks, typically take place right after. 

How Long Does Dinner Take on a Disney Cruise?

When dining at the main restaurants on your rotational dining schedule, you’ll usually want to allow between 1.5- 2 hours for dinner if you plan to get all courses. Each dinner includes an appetizer, soup, soup, salad, main course, and dessert.  And you can get as many or as little as you like. 

Can you Change Your Rotational Dining Seating Time on a Disney Cruise?

Initially, you will be assigned a seating time, but you can try to change your seating to a different time if you’re not happy with what you’ve been assigned.  You may be able to do this under your Disney Cruise Line account, or by calling, but sometimes you have to change the seating time once you get onboard. This can be done at the guest services desk, which is usually located in the main atrium. And unfortunately, sometimes you can’t change your seating time at all. 

 

DCL Disney Magic restaurant

Do I have to Participate in Rotational Dining on Disney Cruise?

Nope! You can choose to opt out of rotational dining by simply not going. None of the dining assignments are mandatory.  But if you choose not to dine during your rotation, then you will miss out on the restaurants included in your rotation as they are only available at dinnertime for those who are assigned to eat there that night.  You can skip one night, a couple of nights, or all of them. We recommend at least going to the first night of dining to see if it’s something you like!

If you choose not to dine during your rotation, you can find other dining options that are more flexible. Cabanas offers table service at dinner with most of the same menu items as the other restaurants and does not require a reservation. You can also choose to dine at one of the adult-only restaurants, Palo or Remy, which both require a reservation and cost extra; or you can grab something quick from one of the snack stands. Most of the quick-serve counters offer chicken tenders, pizza, sandwiches, and other quick and easy meals.  Room service is also available 24 hours a day, so if you’d prefer to just dine in your room, that’s always an option! 

DCL Disney Magic restaurant

Is it cheaper not to do rotational dining?

Not really. The cost doesn’t come off of your cruise fare. But if you skip rotational dining altogether, then you won’t owe any gratuities to your waitstaff. You’ll have to adjust it with guest services, but it does make it slightly cheaper. We don’t personally think cost should be considered with this aspect of a Disney Cruise because we love getting to know the staff and always just include the cost of gratuities in our budget. But we wanted to note it since technically it does decrease the cost by a little bit. 

DCL Disney Magic

Disney Cruise Restaurants with Rotational Dining on Each Ship

One of the best parts of choosing to take a Disney Cruise is that each boat not only goes to a different location but also has different experiences onboard, including restaurants. Each with its own lineup of restaurants, here’s what to know if you’re wondering Which restaurants are part of rotational dining? And since each Disney Cruise ship has its own set of restaurants, it depends on what ship you are sailing on!

DCL Disney Magic dining

Disney Dream Rotational Dining Restaurants

If you’re sailing on the Disney Dream Cruise Ship you have loads of dining options, but our favorites include themes of Disney Princesses, and enchanted gardens. The Disney Dream Restaurants included in rotational dining are Animator’s Palate, Enchanted Garden, and Royal Palace. 

  • Royal Palace: Featuring spaces a Disney Princess enjoys, this restaurant is dressed up like a castle, complete with tapestries. 
  • Enchanted Garden: Inspired by the gardens of Versailles, you can see Disney elements here including Mickey Mouse himself. 
  • Animator’s Palate: Animators Palate In an homage to animation this restaurant features animated interactive experiences along with dinner. 

Rapunzel's Royal Table Disney Magic

Disney Magic Rotational Dining Restaurants

Onboard, the Disney Magic Cruise Ship, you’ll find one of the best dinner shows on the high seas with Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, and it’s only available on the Magic. Disney Magic Restaurants include Rapunzel’s Royal Table, Animator’s Palate, and Lumiere’s. 

  • Rapunzel’s Royal Table: Rapunzel’s Royal Table Inspired by Tangled, this restaurant includes dinner and a show featuring Rapunzel and Flynn Rider. 
  • Lumiere’s: Be our Guest at this Beauty and the Beast designs restaurant, eating French cuisine in a palace-like setting. 
  • Animator’s Palate: Animators Palate: In an homage to animation this restaurant features animated interactive experiences along with dinner. 

Disney Wonder Tritons Restaurant

Disney Wonder Rotational Dining Restaurants

One of our favorite ships the Disney Wonder Cruise Ship boasts Little Mermaid theming and the only place to find Tiana outside of New Orleans. The Disney Wonder Restaurants included in rotational dining are Tiana’s Place, Animator’s Palate, and Triton’s. 

  • Tiana’s Place: Tiana’s Place Honoring Tiana’s New Orleans style, this restaurant comes complete with a jazz band and Mardi Gras parade. 
  • Triton’s: Tritons  is Decorated with a large mural of Triton, Ariel, and all things under the sea, this restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 
  • Animator’s Palate: Animators Palate: In an homage to animation this restaurant features animated interactive experiences along with dinner. 

Royal Court Disney Fantasy Restaurant

Disney Fantasy Rotational Dining Restaurants

The Best Disney Cruise Ship, according to us, is the Disney Fantasy. Featuring coffee shops, some of the best food and the most beautiful Disney Princess restaurant, the Disney Fantasy Cruise Ship has it all. The Disney Fantasy Restaurants included in rotational dining are Animator’s Palate, Enchanted Garden, and Royal Court. 

  • Royal Court: A Disney Princess-focused restaurant, Royal Court Restaurant features murals of each Disney Princess across the restaurant. 
  • Enchanted Garden: Inspired by the gardens of Versailles, the Disney elements here include touches of Alice in Wonderland. 
  • Animator’s Palate: Animators Palate In an homage to animation this restaurant features animated interactive experiences along with dinner. 

1923 Restaurant on Disney Wish

Disney Wish Rotational Dining Restaurants

One of Disney’s largest ships, the Disney Wish Cruise Ship, spreads out with elaborate restaurants, impeccably themed. And Disney Wish Restaurants included in rotational dining are 1923, Arendelle, and Worlds of Marvel. 

  • 1923: This space is separated into the Roy Disney and the Walt Disney sides. And features replicas, figurines, posters, animations, and more from Disney’s film history. Read our Disney Wish 1923 Review.
  • Arendelle: A Frozen-themed restaurant, Arendelle comes with dinner and a show. Featuring Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and friends for a musical evening. 
  • Worlds of Marvel: This Marvel restaurant on the Disney Wish features screens showing different Marvel characters’ comic and film journeys, as part of a larger show featuring Ant-Man as he attempts to save the ship! 

Marvel Restaurant on Disney Wish Cruise

Disney Treasure Rotational Dining Restaurants

Disney’s newest Cruise ship, the Disney Treasure, may set sail late 2024, but all the details have been shared for what we’ll see onboard! As such we just had to share the Disney Treasure Restaurants that are included onboard. Read our Disney Treasure Cruise Ship Guide for all the details. 

  • Plaza de Coco Restaurant: *NEW* Only on the Disney Treasure. Get ready for a fiesta on the High Seas. This Coco Restaurant offers a dinner and a show experience, complete with a variety of Mexican cuisine options. Offering a 2-night experience on 7-day sailings, Plaza de Coco is all about family.
  • 1923: This space is separated into the Roy Disney and the Walt Disney sides. And features replicas, figurines, posters, animations, and more from Disney’s film history. Read our Disney Wish 1923 Review.
  • Worlds of Marvel: This Marvel restaurant on the Disney Wish features screens showing different Marvel characters’ comic and film journeys. And are part of a larger show featuring Ant-Man as he attempts to save the ship! 

Disney Cruise Line Dining

Hopefully this post has given you an idea of everything you need to know. And where you can find some wiggle room at dinner on your next Disney Cruise. Have you ever cruised with Disney? Do you love the rotational dining system that they use or are you not a fan?

Disney Cruise Rotational Dining and How ti Works

Co-Founder and Director at Polka Dot Pixie Co LLC | Website | + posts

Melanie Renee is a photographer, writer, designer and mom. Visiting Disney destinations since 2010, she is also an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. When she's not creating her next coffee recipe, or designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's seeking beautiful sunsets and planning her next trip .


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