Disney Cruise Line is known for its excellent food, excellent service and Broadway Calibur shows. But they’re also known for their characters! The Royal Gathering, previously known as the Princess Gathering, is one of the most coveted characters meet and greets on a Disney Cruise! Read on to find out all about the Royal Gathering and how you can attend this fun onboard event.
The Royal Gathering on Disney Cruise Line
The Royal Gathering on a Disney Cruise is basically just like it sounds. It’s a gathering of Princesses! It used to be called the Princess Gathering. So if you’re wondering about the Princess Gathering, just know it’s the same thing! Though you’ll have plenty of opportunities to meet Disney Princesses during your cruise, this is the only chance you’ll have to meet them all at once. We love it because that means less waiting in line! The Royal Gathering takes place inside the main atrium on Deck 3 on all of the ships. This event is free, however, you must have a reservation in order to attend.
The Princesses that can be met sometimes change with each itinerary. But you’re likely to see 4 or 5 princesses, and Cinderella, Belle, and Tiana are almost always included. We also met Ariel, Rapunzel, Moana, Jasmine, and Aurora during the Princess Gathering. If you’re planning to do the Princess Gathering, just be aware that the Princesses available may change at any time.
The event begins with the Princesses all being announced. And then led to their respective meeting spots. If you happen to be around for this, it’s a fun little show that is best seen from deck 4 overlooking the atrium.
When can you book the Royal Gathering?
Currently, all guests regardless of Castaway Club status can book the Royal Gathering at midnight EST 30 days before their cruise. These tickets go fast. So you’ll want to plan to be on the website right at midnight. And if you’ve booked your Disney Cruise through a travel agent, they can likely do this for you! To reserve it yourself, it’s similar to booking port excursions. Choose the day and select “onboard fun”. The Royal Gathering will pop up for that day. And times will populate when it’s time to book.
When is the Royal Disney Princess Gathering held?
The day and time of the Princess Gathering will vary from itinerary to itinerary. On 4-night cruises, it’s usually on your day at sea. On shorter cruises where there is no day at sea, it’ll be scheduled on one or both of your port days. And you’ll have to schedule it around your excursions. And on longer cruises, there are sometimes even more than just one.
But this can change for each itinerary. So your best bet is to check on your Disney Cruise account and see which day, or days, it’s been scheduled for. Generally, the Princess Gathering is held in the morning and can start as early as 7:30. Though 8 am is a little more common, you’ll see the times pop up when you go to book your Gathering ticket.
How long should I plan for the Royal Gathering?
It really depends on how crowded your ship is. But with cruise ships hitting capacity at almost every sailing this year, you’ll want to allow between 35-50 minutes to get through the entire line. This is important because depending on what time your reservation is, it could conflict with breakfast. Be sure to plan ahead. An early breakfast, order room service the night before, or plan an earlier Princess Gathering time so that the breakfast restaurants don’t close before you’re done.
You can find out who is serving breakfast each day, along with what times, in the Disney Cruise Line Navigator onboard.
Do I have to pay extra for the Princess Gathering?
Nope! The event is free. A reservation is needed because they limit the number of guests since it’s such a popular experience, so a “ticket” is required. They don’t actually hand out real tickets like they used to. But you’ll show the Cast Member tending to the line your QR code on the app, and that will secure your spot.
Disney Cruise Royal Gathering Review
Overall, the Royal Gathering is a super fun event if you love meeting characters. If you plan to purchase photos onboard or have booked the photo package, you’ll get high-quality, professional photos of you, your family, or whoever is traveling with you. Cast Members are also willing to take photos on their phone, so you are welcome to do that as well if you want to save a little money on your Disney Cruise.
And you’ll also get some quality time chatting with the Princesses as well. You won’t have to worry about finding them each individually later. And if for some reason you realize a picture didn’t turn out, or you want more face time with them, you’ll generally have more opportunities for individual meet and greets later on. It’s definitely worth the time so you can do other fun things later! And since it’s free, you kind of can’t go wrong! It is important to note that this can get a little crowded. But not so much that it’s ever interfered with us enjoying it.
The Royal Gathering is a great way to meet all of your favorite princesses onboard a Disney Cruise in a short amount of time.
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 .