Everything You Need to Know About Rotational Dining On Your Disney Cruise
One of the highlights of sailing the seas with Disney Cruise Line are all of the incredible all-inclusive elements including in the cost of your magical voyage at sea! Chief among them are the fantastic meals you’ll get to enjoy each night as part of Disney’s rotational dining system. However, rotational dining (for those who might be new to cruising) can be a bit confusing. So here’s a quick look at how Rotational Dining works on Disney Cruise Line.
What Does Rotational Dining Mean?
During your sailing, each of the cruise ships in Disney’s fleet has three primary table service options. Under the system, guests eat at a different restaurant every night featuring new decor, menu or celebration. However, one of the cool perks and a favorite personal touch that regular cruisers love is that the staff move with you each night during your cruise. This means that you’ll have the same cast members serving you each night. They’ll get to know your favorites, remain up to speed on allergies and trust me when I say you’ll form an awesome bond with them that you’ll remember long after you’ve disembarked!
What Restaurants are Included in Rotational Dining?
The restaurants included in rotational dining are different from ship to ship. These are as follows:
Disney Dream: Animator’s Palate, Enchanted Garden, and Royal Palace
Disney Fantasy: Animator’s Palate, Enchanted Garden, and Royal Court
Disney Magic: Animator’s Palate, Lumiere’s, and Rapunzel’s Royal Table
Disney Wonder: Animator’s Palate, Triton’s, and Tiana’s Place
What Dining Times Are Available Under Rotational Dining?
There are two main dining times available when you cruise with Disney. Main Seating and Second Seating. Main Seating takes place at 5:45 and second seating at 8:30 pm. This also has a direct impact on when your family can enjoy the evening entertainment. For instance, If you are dining at Main Seating you will see the Broadway-style entertainment available that night AFTER you’ve dined! If you are scheduled to have dinner at the second seating then you’ll enjoy the entertainment first.
Main Seating is the more popular option for families with small children. For this reason, it tends to book up quickly and depending on when you’ve booked your cruise you may have to be waitlisted to dine at this time. Second Seating tends to be the more popular option for adults cruising without children or families with older children so is a bit quieter.
How Do I Know What Restaurant I Eat at On the First Night of My Sailing?
When you officially check-in in person for your Disney Cruise you will be given your Key to the World Card. This is your room key, activates the lights in your stateroom, is used as identification, holds charging privileges and so much more. It has the same functionality as a MagicBand at Walt Disney World! The cards will show your dining time and will also indicate via first initial the order that you’ll be dining! If you have questions you can ask any Cast Member on the ship who will walk you through the abbreviations!
What’s the System for Long Cruises (7-nights or more)?
Since there are only three restaurants in the rotational dining line-up you will repeat the same restaurants. However, the menus will be different each night you dine and Disney Cruise Line has been known to throw in a bit of fun theming to keep things fresh!
Are Palo or Remy Included in Rotational Dining?
No. Both of these fine dining restaurants are considered Adults Only and require a reservation. These eateries provide fine dining at its absolute best and for this reason, are an optional cost. If you choose to dine here one evening during your cruise you must pay out of pocket and go in lieu of your rotational dining option that night!
What’s the Dress Code For Rotational Dining Meals?
There aren’t too many dress code restrictions for Rotational Dining restaurants. Disney suggests “Cruise Casual” attire. What this essentially means is not tank tops, swimwear or clothes that are inappropriate or may cause offence. Depending on the length of your sailing there may also be “dress-up” dinners where guests are encouraged to don their best clothes but it isn’t essential. You’ll also find themed nights (like Pirate Night) where you can also wear costumes to your meal!
How Do Gratuities Work With Rotational Dining?
When cruising with Disney, you have a couple of options when tipping. Your wait staff, as well as the Dining Captain, are automatically included in the list of Cast Members you’ll tip if you decide to pre-pay your gratuities before your stay. Otherwise, on the final night of your visit, you’ll receive tipping envelopes which you can fill out and they’ll be distributed to the cast members that served you during your sailing! Disney Cruise Line suggests an amount that you are expected to pay. However, should your opinions differ on this you can always pay a visit to guest services!
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