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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Friday, March 12, 2010

Dining With Characters on Disney Cruise Line (It's not what you think!)

Here we are at table 78.

Disney Cruise line is famous for its entertainment, children's programming, and service. What you might not know is that Disney Cruise Line also offers rotational dining to its cruise line guests. On board, each family is scheduled into the 3 main restaurants on various nights of the cruise AND your serving staff goes with you! Once your head server and assistant server learn your preferences, you can count on them to provide you with what you like without even asking. As in the photo above, our serving staff knew the boy wanted chocolate milk and it was waiting for him when we sat at our table.

Upon embarkation, dining tickets can be found in each stateroom. The ticket states the dining rotation--which restaurant on which night, dining time, and table number. It is important to bring this dining ticket with you on the first night, as the wait staff uses the information on the ticket to seat you appropriately, etc.

We prefer the early seating or main seating for the dinner meal. The time is typically 5:45 or 6:00 pm. We then are available to see the 8:00 show.

Another trick we have discovered is to order and ask for both the appetizer and main entry of the boy's dinner to come at the same time. Usually, the server brings the boy's entire meal (minus dessert) while serving our appetizers. When the boy is finished, we order his desert and when that is done. . . he heads to the club. The husband and I then finish our meal in unhurried luxury and pick the boy up at the club in time to go to the 8:00 show.

Disney Cruise Line must have picked up on our above mentioned plan, as they now offer the service to families during the second dinner seating or 8:00 pm. Kids' club staff are located at the entrance of the 3 main restaurants at 9:00 pm to pick up children heading to the clubs.

On our first cruise, we were seated with a family of 5 from Miami. It was their first cruise, too. On our second cruise, we had a table to ourselves. On our third cruise, we were seated with another family of 3 from New Jersey. (See photo below.) Since our children were of similar age and, as we later found out, our professions were similar, we enjoyed each other's company at dinner very much. Both our families were on our third Disney Cruise. Coincidentally, we had booked the same excursion during our day in Grand Cayman and spent time together ashore. Disney did a great job pairing our families for dinner. I can't say this would happen every time, but we look forward to the adventure on our next Disney Cruise.

Our table mates--Jane, Becky, and Rob.
Since the title of this post may have been a bit misleading, more info about dining with real Disney Characters both on land and sea will be coming soon.

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