Are you booking a Disney Cruise soon? You’ve come to the right place!
Depending on where you are in the cruise planning process, you might already know that most of the food on the ship is included in the price of your stay, which means you get to eat a LOT. There are three different restaurants that rotate during your stay, and there are also specialty restaurants you can book at an extra cost. We were recently invited to cruise onboard the Disney Dream, and we’ve got a restaurant review just for you!
There are three rotational restaurants that are included in the cost of your cruise on the Disney Dream, and Animator’s Palate features a fusion of Pacific Island foods, Asian cooking, and fresh California fare. Best of all, you get a show while you dine! You can also find this restaurant on the Disney Magic, Wonder, and Fantasy.
All throughout the restaurant are nods to Disney animation, with sketched figures lining the walls.
The restaurant itself a variety of tables, with a lit ceiling design of an artist’s palette (get the name of the restaurant now?). There’s even a pillar that looks like a paintbrush!
Entertainment during your meal includes the show Undersea Magic, which may remind you of Turtle Talk With Crush in EPCOT. Crush takes turns visiting tables (screens are located near the ends of the tables) and talking to diners. When Crush isn’t on screen, the school of fish plays guessing games!
Note that during our cruise, Crush did not visit every table, and when he was at a nearby table it was kind of hard to hear him. We had a better experience with this show on the Disney Wonder.
Overall, make sure you look around the restaurant. There are lots of references to animation, like this floor design including pencils and paintbrushes!
Shall we move on to the menu?
Animator’s Palate’s menu includes multiple courses, including appetizers, soups, salads, entrees, and desserts. There are also specialty drinks available, including the Blurberrillicious, the Great Reef, and the Bora Shake (non-alcoholic).
For appetizers, choose from Smoke Salmon Tartar, Slice Serrano Ham, Black Truffle Pasta Purseittes, and Tomato Tarte, or you could go for Creamy Butternut Squash Soup, Baked Potato and Cheddar Cheese Soup, Arugula Leaves, or Chicken and Walnut Salad
Entrees include Pennette Bolognese, Grilled Tuna Steak, Lemon-Thyme Marinated All-Natural Chicken Breast, Herb-Crusted Pork Chop, and Ginger-Teriyaki dusted Angus Beef Tenderloin. If none of that sounds good to you, there are also lighter note offerings and vegetarian dishes available.
The signature dessert is the Lemon Icebox Pie, with other dessert options being Crunchy Walnut Cake, Chocolate Fudge Cheesecake, Cookies ‘n Cream Sundae, and Warm Sticky Date Pudding. One no sugar added dessert was the Deconstructed Carrot Cake.
Let’s check out the food!
First, we started with the Blueberrillicious cocktail, made with tequila, fresh blueberries, passion fruit juice, orange flavor liquor, and fresh squeezed lime juice. It was really good and better than we were expecting! It had a lot of blueberry flavor and it wasn’t overly sweet, which we appreciated. It also had a slushy texture to it, so we really enjoyed it.
The bread service consisted of Garlic and Herb Focccacia Bread, served with butter and roasted garlic dip. This was our FAVORITE bread of the three rotating restaurants! The rolls were fine but the roasted garlic dip was INCREDIBLE. It was creamy and garlicky and kind of reminded us of a fancier version of Papa John’s garlic sauce. We were literally scraping the bottom of the bowl to eat every single drop.
For our appetizers, we tried the Black Truffle Pasta Purseittes, which were pasta purses filled with truffle-scented cheese and coated with a delicate champagne sauce. This is a somewhat well-known Disney Cruise Line dish, and it was delicious as per usual. These perfectly cooked tiny pasta pockets are filled with an explosion of truffle flavor and cheese! We honestly could have eaten another two plates of this but it was a good serving size.
We also ordered the Bacon Potato and Cheddar Cheese Soup, served with bacon bits and chives. It was creamy and cheesy with lots of flavor from the bacon, but we wouldn’t say it was super comparable to Le Cellier’s Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup.
For our main course, we tried the Ginger-Teriyaki, dusted with Angus Beef Tenderloin, served on wasabi mashed potatoes with bok choy and a tamarind barbecue reduction. It was a solid steak, cooked well and tasty, but not anything overwhelmingly special. But since we loved the experience overall of Animator’s Palate it was our favorite steak of the three rotational restaurants.
And the Grilled Tuna Steak came with fingerling confit, caponata, sun-dried tomato pesto, and aioli. This was another favorite entree out of all three rotating restaurants! It was cooked to a perfect temperature and cut apart really easily. The flavors were awesome and more unexpected than some of the cruise dishes we tried. The caponata was a bit underwhelming but the tuna was so amazing we didn’t mind!
So…should you go for Animator’s Palate or should you reserve one of the specialty restaurants?
Nosh or Not
You might like Animator’s Palate if:
- You’re a big fan of Disney animation
- You love dinner AND a show
- You’re looking for tasty, dependable food with something for everyone
You might not enjoy Animator’s Palate if:
- You want that one-on-one time with Crush
- You don’t really like screens mixed with a meal
- You’re interested in a more sophisticated dining experience
Animator’s Palate was our favorite restaurant of the three rotational meals. We LOVED the Black Truffle Pasta Purseittes, and we’ll be dreaming about that butter and roasted garlic dip that came with the bread. Even the entrees delivered in quality and taste!
If you’re considering skipping one of your rotational meals in favor of dining at one of the extra-cost restaurants, we don’t recommend skipping Animator’s Palate. It was overall a fun experience and the food was excellent, so it’s most likely worth a visit from you.
If you’re considering a Disney Cruise, we recommend checking out the following links:
- Full review of Palo Steakhouse brunch on the Disney Dream
- What to expect on a Halloween-themed Disney Cruise
- Full review of the Arendelle restaurant on the Disney Wish
- Full review of Worlds of Marvel on the Disney Wish
- Full review of 1923 on the Disney Wish
Keep reading DFB for more Disney Cruise Line news and updates!
Have you ever been on a Disney Cruise? Tell us in the comments!
Disclosure: In nearly all circumstances, Disney Food Blog writers and photographers pay full price for their own travel, hotel, food, beverage, and event tickets. We do this because it’s important to us as journalists to ensure not only that we give you unbiased opinions, but also that you can trust us to do so since we’re paying our own way. On rare occasions, when we are invited by a company to attend a preview as media, and when we choose to accept that invitation, we will always make you, our readers, aware of that situation. Today, we were invited by Disney World to attend their media event on the Disney Dream. Note that when we attend events as media we are 1) Not required to review that event/food on any of our channels, and 2) Not required to review that event/food favorably. You can always count on DFB to give you a 100% unbiased and honest review of any event that we attend, food that we eat, or beverage that we drink. You can see more in our Disclosure Policy. Thank you for reading. — AJ