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DCL - Rotational Dining Basics on the Disney Magic

One of the things that sets Disney Cruise Line apart from the competition is their unique "rotational dining" set up.  Your party, table mates, AND service team will actually rotate through three Main Dining Rooms (MDRs) throughout your cruise.  This way you get a change of scenery and a chance to experience multiple restaurants while on board!  This differs from traditional cruising where a ship would have one Main Dining Room for you to enjoy each night unless you booked specialty dining or headed to a buffet or quick service spot for the evening.  Those are both still options on a Disney Cruise, but it's exciting to see the new restaurant each night and then see how they pull together different themes later in the cruise.
The five Disney ships in the fleet have slight variations on their Main Dining Rooms.  This post will cover the specifics for the Disney Magic.  You can expect one more casual, one more formal and one more "magical" dining experience on each ship.  When you get to the Cruise Terminal and check in, you will receive your Key to the World Card - this card will actually have your dining rotation assignment on it!  If deciphering a little line of letters isn't your style, you should receive a note with your dining rotation, table number, and time in your stateroom the first day.  Your table number and dining time will remain constant throughout your cruise, no matter which restaurant you are enjoying that night!

If all this sounds complicated, I can assure you, it's really quite simple!  You just show up at your dining time to your first restaurant and show them your Key to the World.  They will lead you to your assigned table and you will meet your table mates (if you have them) and your service team.  Each night you can do the same, although most people know their table number or see their server after the second or third night and it's just that much easier.

Rapunzel's Royal Table (Themed Character Dining)

This casual restaurant has that extra Disney pizazz you may be looking for.  Previously Carioca's which was a more generic, tropical vibe - Rapunzel and friends have taken over this dining location.  I personally love the sun tiles on the ceiling! 
Lumiere's (Upscale Atmosphere)

As you might have guessed, Lumiere's is inspired by Disney's Beauty and the Beast and features French cuisine in an upscale atmosphere.  This is a great spot to feel a bit fancy without going too far out of your comfort zone. If you're a steak person, this is usually a great place to indulge!

Animator's Palate (Magical Atmosphere)

Something magical is in the air when you dine at Animators Palate.  If you are on a longer cruise that will repeat this MDR, the magic will be different each night, so I recommend keeping this one in your plans!  This restaurant is the only one that's essentially the same on all ships (but is not on the Disney Wish) so no one misses out on this unique dining experience.  It also has one of my favorite dishes, the truffle pursettes!
You will get a change of pace and a variety of delicious food to choose from each night you choose to dine in the MDR on your Disney cruise! However, these aren't your only options for dinner.  You can head to the adults-only Palo fine dining experience for an additional charge, head over to the buffet at Cabanas for an easy dinner or if you are having fun by the pool, grab a quick bite from the Duck-In Diner.

Do you have a favorite?  Let us know in the comments below!

Contact Kingdom Konsultant Travel Agent today for your free quote to start booking your dream Disney Cruise so you can try all these restaurants for yourself!

Maci Schau
Maci is an avid foodie and loves trying out new restaurants and seasonal food offerings in the parks.  You can email Maci at


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