Planning a cruise on the Disney Magic? Here’s everything you need to know about Disney Magic restaurants and dining!

We truly loved our dining experiences on the Disney Magic. In fact, aside from Castaway Cay, dining on the Disney Magic was maybe one of our favorite things about our recent Disney Cruise! Cast members really go above and beyond to make sure you are taken care of, and while we did have a few dishes that fell short of our expectations, almost everything we ate was truly phenomenal.

How Does Dining Work on a Disney Cruise?

First, let’s start with how dining works on a Disney Cruise. While there are buffet and snack options available for breakfast and lunch, for dinner, you will be assigned a restaurant and a time.

Disney Cruise Line Rotational Dining

Disney Cruise Line uses a rotational dining system. This means that when you board the ship, you will be assigned a specific restaurant each night.

There are three main dinner restaurants on each Disney Cruise ship, so you will have a chance to experience all three. Disney Magic restaurants include Lumiere’s, Animator’s Palate, and Rapunzel’s Royal Table. On our Disney Cruise, we ate at Lumiere’s the first two nights, Animator’s Palate the third and fourth nights, and Rapunzel’s Royal Table on our last night.

One of the cool things about rotational dining is that your servers also rotate with you. This means you will have the same servers each night and they will go out of their way to make sure you have everything you could want or need! They really get to know you, and you have a chance to get to know them. And if you have any specific dietary requests or preferences, they will be ready each night.

We LOVED our servers on the Disney Magic, and they made dinner such a special experience. I was so impressed when, after the first night, we came to dinner each night with the children’s preferred drinks already out. We were also traveling with someone who is gluten-free, and they had her special rolls ready for each meal. I mean, honestly they will even cut up your child’s food. The level of service is RIDICULOUSLY high.

Assigned Seating Time

You will also be assigned a seating time for dinner of either 5:45 p.m. or 8:00 p.m.

Most families with kids choose the 5:45 time. And it is all worked out so that you have entertainment options opposite your dinner time. (So if you had a 5:45 dining time, you would go to a show after dinner, while the late seating would go to a show before dinner.)

What Dining is Included in the Price of Your Cruise?

Almost all of your dining is included in the price of your cruise. This includes your dinners each night, your breakfast and lunches, snacks on the pool deck, and even room service (although you will want to have a bit of cash for room service tips).

What’s NOT included in your cruise price? Any dining experience at Palo, alcoholic beverages, special coffee beverages, and some specialty snacks you might find at places like Frozone Treats.

So how do you pay for food that is an additional cost on your Disney Cruise? Just tell the cast member your room number! They will charge everything to your room, so there is no need to carry a credit card or cash around.

Disney Magic Restaurants: Rotational Dining

There are three Disney Magic restaurants that are included in your rotational dining: Lumiere’s, Animator’s Palate, and Rapunzel’s Royal Table. Each has a unique menu and theming and include some kind of entertainment offering.

Lumiere’s

Location: Deck 3
Included in Cruise Price: Yes

Lumiere’s is themed after Beauty and the Beast, and features a large dining room with draperied accents, French inspired décor, a large Beauty and the Beast mural, and even roses in the chandeliers.

The menu is, as expected, French themed. I had the deep fried brie for an appetizer (so richly delicious!), leek and potato soup (it was ok), and the rack of lamb for my main course (it was fantastic!). For dessert I had crème brûlée. It was good? But I’m also not the biggest crème brûlée fan.

While I’m not sure entertainment is offered every night, when we had our traditional Lumiere’s dinner, Mickey and Friends came to walk through the restaurant and did a little dance number for us.

And I will say this: Lumiere’s was not at all our favorite meal experience on board. But it was still fantastic!

Lumiere’s is also open for sit down breakfast and lunch during your cruise. We had breakfast here one day, and I had the BEST French toast!

Animator’s Palate

Location: Deck 4
Included in Cruise Price: Yes

Animator’s Palate is a classic Disney Cruise favorite restaurant, and can be found on all four of the original Disney Cruise Line ships (Magic, Wonder, Dream, and Fantasy). While each version of Animator’s Palate is a little different, they all highlight the magic of Disney Animation.

On the Disney Magic, when you enter the restaurant, everything will be in black and white, from the walls to the vests the servers are wearing. Throughout your meal though, color will slowly be added to everything. Ultimately, you’ll get a fun show on the screens throughout the restaurant. On our cruise, we all drew pictures at the beginning of the meal that were animated on the screen later!

As far as food goes, I can’t actually personally speak to much. On our night at Animator’s Palate, Gerrit and I had a dinner reservations at Palo. We went for part of the meal with the rest of our party though and had the Black Truffle Pasta Purseittes as an appetizer, and they were fantastic. Other than that, dishes include offerings like tuna steak, herb-crusted pork chop, and ginger-teriyaki angus beef tenderloin. Dessert offerings include walnut cake, sticky pudding, and an ice cream sundae.

Pro tip: Always listen to what your waiter recommends! They really know the best dishes that each restaurant has to offer.

Rapunzel’s Royal Table

Location: Deck 3
Included in Cruise Price: Yes

Rapunzel’s Royal Table is going to be perfect for the princess loving members of your family! And even if you aren’t, you’ll still find it so fun.

The idea behind Rapunzel’s Royal Table is that Rapunzel’s friends are throwing her a birthday party, and the dinner includes a staggered show (characters come out to the stage at various times in the meal to sing some songs and prepare for the birthday party). At the end, you get to be included in the lantern festival, as lanterns light up all around the restaurant.

We had really great food here. I had beef ravioli for an appetizer which was very good. For dessert I had the fry pan sweet bread and the black forest tower cake, and both were okay. (Admittedly, the apple strudel is what was recommended as the best dessert, but I’m not an apple dessert person.) But the real highlight of my meal was the Tangled Pasta, which was a pesto pasta with scallops. It was one of my favorite dishes I had on the whole cruise! Other entrees include pork loin, chicken, and prime rib.

One note about Rapunzel’s Royal Table: it can get shaky! This restaurant is located on Deck 3 just above the engines I believe, so if your ship is really going, you may feel a lot of vibration.

Special Menu Nights

If you are on a longer cruise, you may have special menus for some nights. On our cruise, we had the “Let the Magic Begin” menu on the first night and the “Pirate Night” menu on Pirate Night. If you are sailing near a holiday or for a special cruise (like Pixar Day at Sea), there might be other menus.

Here is what we experienced on our cruise.

Let the Magic Begin (First Night) Dinner

For the first night of our cruise we dined at Lumiere’s but did not have the traditional Lumiere’s menu. In fact, I believe that every restaurant served the same menu that night. And really it was one of my favorites!

I had fried calamari for an appetizer, and delicious pork tenderloin wellington for my main course (another one of my favorite dishes of the cruise!), and a decadent dark chocolate bombe for dessert.

There was no particularly special entertainment for us on this night.

Pirate Night

Pirate Night is a beloved tradition on Disney Cruises, and the restaurants get into it to. We dined at Animator’s Palate on this night, and the walls and music were all pirate themed. Pirates also visited us for a brief performance during the meal.

Inspired by Pirates of the Caribbean, the restaurants serve dishes inspired by Caribbean flavors. I had a great osso bucco for my main course, and the rum-soaked chocolate cake for dessert was amazing.

Also, don’t be afraid to dress up for Pirate Night! So many people go all out (there was seriously someone on our cruise who dressed in a full body parrot suit). But if you don’t have the attire, don’t worry: they had bandanas at everyone’s place that you can wear!

Disney Magic Restaurants: Buffets and Snacks

Throughout the ship you’ll find lots of options for buffet meals or snacks. Really, there always seems to be food available. (It’s seriously impossible to go hungry.)

Cabana’s

Location: Deck 9
Included in Cruise Price: Yes

Cabana’s is the go-to buffet open for breakfast and lunch every day, along with some nights as a table-service offering. (This won’t be on your dining rotation, it’s just an option that is there if you want it. And it’s not always open. In fact, I don’t think it was open for dinner at all on our cruise.)

For breakfast you’ll find a pretty standard breakfast buffet, and offerings will vary by day. You’ll find items like oatmeal, eggs, bacon, an omelet station, pancakes, Mickey waffles, bagels, muffins, etc.

There were a few particular highlights for me that made me excited for Cabana’s breakfast. First of all, most days thay had ham and cheese croissants that I adored. They also had chocolate covered donuts that almost had a hard chocolate shell, which I probably shouldn’t have loved as much as I did.

But the real highlight of Cabana’s was the Mickey Churro Waffles. These were INCREDIBLE. And I feel so lucky that we had them almost every morning of our cruise, because I don’t think they are offered on all mornings or even on all cruises.

The lunch menu will depend on your location. Generally it is a pretty standard buffet with soups, salads, meats, pasta, and pizza. But if you are at port, you may find the offerings more themed. (When we were in Nassau, the dishes offered had more of a Caribbean flair.)

Duck-in Diner

Location: Deck 9 (pool deck)
Included in Cruise Price: Yes

Duck-in-Diner is a favorite place to get lunch on the pool deck. They serve standard burgers and fries, but they also serve schwarma, giving a little bit of variety to otherwise not quite as exciting food options. My favorite? A plate of schwarma AND fries.

Pinocchio’s Pizzeria

Location: Deck 9 (pool deck)
Included in Cruise Price: Yes

Pinocchio’s Pizzeria is where you can get pizza by the slice on the pool deck. There’s not really much else to say about this; it’s pretty standard pizza. But it makes for an easy lunch if you are out by the pool and is an obvious kid’s favorite.

Daisy’s De-Lites

Location: Deck 9 (pool deck)
Included in Cruise Price: Yes

This is a great place for snacks on the Disney Magic pool deck. They offer some sandwiches and wraps, fresh fruit, and cookies.

Pro Tip: Looking for drinks on the pool deck? While Daisy’s De-Lites is on the starboard side outside of Cabana’s, there is a free beverage station in the same location on the port side.

Eye-Scream Treats

Location: Deck 9 (pool deck)
Included in Cruise Price: Yes

Free soft-serve! Free soft-serve! Seriously I love so much that you can be hanging out at the pool and just walk over and get a cone of ice cream. (Also, in case you are wondering, the “eye” in “eye-scream” is because the spot is named for Mike Wazowski from Monsters Inc.)

Frozone Treats

Location: Deck 9 (pool deck)
Included in Cruise Price: No

Next to Eye-Scream Treats, you’ll find Frozone Treats. Here you can get specialty smoothies and beer. (Note, these are an additional charge.)

Preludes

Location: Deck 4
Included in Cruise Price: No

Located just outside the Walt Disney Theater, Preludes offers theater snacks and drinks you can enjoy during the show. (Note: these are an additional charge.)

Disney Magic Restaurants: Bars and Lounges

Not traveling with children? Don’t worry, there are lots of adult only areas or areas that offer you a chance to sit down with a drink. Note that everything here is not included in the price of your cruise and will be an additional charge.

Cove Café

Location: Deck 9
Included in Cruise Price: No

Cove Café is located in the adults-only section of the Disney Magic. In the morning, you’ll find specialty coffee beverages (my husband was here EVERY morning). In the evenings, you’ll find a lounge where you can enjoy cocktails. This is also where many of beverage tastings (that you can purchase at an additional charge) take place.

Signals

Location: Deck 9
Included in Cruise Price: No

Signals is an outdoor bar in the adults-only pool area. Technically this is the Quiet Cove Pool. But at some hours of the day, you’ll find live music here too.

Keys

Location: Deck 3
Included in Cruise Price: No

This adults-only bar is a piano bar and offers live music at night.

O’Gills Pub

Location: Deck 3
Included in Cruise Price: No

Themed after an Irish pub, this adults-only bar is where you can grab and drink and watch sports. This is really the only place on the ship (aside from your own stateroom) that has TVs.

Promenade Lounge

Location: Deck 3
Included in Cruise Price: No

Promenade Lounge offers entertainment at almost all hours of the day, and you can grab drinks and snacks. During the day they offer things like animation classes or trivia for all ages. At night it turns into an adults-only lounge area with live music.

Fathoms

Location: Deck 3
Included in Cruise Price: No

Like Promenade Lounge, Fathoms offers entertainment for families throughout the day but turns into an adults-only club in the evening. You can get specialty cocktails here.

Special Dining Options on the Disney Magic

Adult’s Only Dining at Palo

Location: Deck 10
Included in Cruise Price: No

Palo is the adults-only restaurant on the Disney Magic. It is themed after Venice, Italy and offers a luxurious dining experience.

Gerrit and I ate here and had a truly fantastic time. The service was, of course, outstanding, and so was the food. Honestly, the only negative is that I did not think my steak was that great. But Gerrit got the Dover Sole and it was the best fish we have ever tasted and we also loved the pesto gnocchi and the mac and cheese. (I know, it sounds counterintuitive to have mac and cheese at a fancy restaurant, but this cheesy goodness was the best mac and cheese I have ever tasted.)

Bruch at Palo is even more popular than dinner, where they offer special egg dishes and gourmet waffles alongside pasta and pizza and dessert.

Palo Brunch is generally a fixed price. For dinner, you can choose from either a fixed price or an a la carte menu.

Royal Court Royal Tea

Location: Deck 3 (Lumiere’s)
Included in Cruise Price: No

Royal Court Royal Tea is a special experience aimed at children (seriously, at the time of this post, children cost $220 while adults cost $69, and adults must be accompanied by a child.)

You’ll get to have tea with princesses, enjoy tea, have some tea snacks, and take home some special souvenirs (like a princess doll and an autograph book).

On the Disney Magic, this event takes place in Lumiere’s. Really, Royal Court Royal Tea is more about the experience with the princesses that the food, so know that going in.

Room Service

Location: Your Room!
Included in Cruise Price: Yes

One amazing thing about Disney Cruises: room service is available 24 hours a day and is included in the price of your cruise. Options include burgers, sandwiches, salads, desserts, breakfast items, and more.

And the BEST thing about room service? You can call and get Mickey Premium Bars delivered right to your room! I mean, seriously. There is nothing like sitting down on your stateroom verandah with a freshly delivered Mickey Premium Bar!

Pro Tip: Always have a few dollars with you to tip for room service!

Embarkation Day Dining Options

If you board the ship around lunch time on embarkation day (which I highly recommend, by the way, to maximize your time on the ship), you will have a few options for lunch.

First of all, you will be able to eat the lunch buffet at Cabana’s.

The second option is to eat at one of the sit down restaurants. This is Lumiere’s, but when we went they were also seating people at Rapunzel’s Royal Table. You’ll find pretty standard lunch fare here, like burgers, sandwiches, and some main dishes (like chicken and beef.) On our embarkation day, we ate at Rapunzel’s Royal Table. I had the prime rib (it was fine) and Gerrit had a muffuletta sandwich that he said was great.

Debarkation Day Dining Options

You will be debarking the cruise ship early in the morning on your debarkation day. And you’ll have two options for breakfast before you leave.

Everyone will be assigned a breakfast rotation for the last morning. This meal will take place in the same restaurant you had dinner at the night before. Your dinner servers will serve you breakfast, and while the food isn’t the most amazing (I could definitely tell my French toast wasn’t as good as it was earlier in the week), it’s a good option.

Admittedly though, this sit-down breakfast can take place extremely early and can feel a little rushed. So some people choose to go to Cabana’s for breakfast on the last morning. There you’ll find a breakfast buffet, although the options are usually more limited than they are the rest of the cruise.


There is one thing that should go without saying about dining on a Disney Cruise: you cannot go hungry. Disney Magic restaurants really do cater to all tastes, whether you burgers and fries or a fine dining experience. And we loved every single meal on our cruise!

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