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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Monday, August 15, 2011

Dining in Animator's Palate on the Disney Dream

 Animator’s Palate on the Disney Dream is located Deck 3 aft.  And, in comparison to the Animator’s Palate on the Disney Wonder and Disney Magic which include a dinner show of sorts where the walls transform from black and white to full color—animation—get it—and feature clips of  Disney favorites, the Animator’s Palate on the Dream is much different.  The warm wood elements and Disney/Pixar elements on the shelves and tables greet guests.  There’s still a dinner show of sorts,, but for guests on the Dream, the lights dim, the room turns shades of blue and green, and you are transported under the sea to meet characters from “Finding Nemo.”  The star of the show is Crush.

 Throughout the meal, characters interact around the restaurant at various screens, host trivia contests, and swim from screen to screen.  No matter where you look, you will find some of Nemo’s friends.

We dined at Animator’s Palate three times during our 5 night cruise on the Disney Dream;  our first night on board, our last night on board for the “Sea Ya Real Soon” meal, and breakfast our last morning.  Of course, each time at the same table and with the same guests.

 Due to our table location, we entered through the “back door” of Animator’s Palate during all of our meals.  I didn't even realize until the last night of the cruise, that there was an entrance area with art work, hand sanitizer stations, seating podium, etc.  There was such pandemonium in the hallway before dinner with lots of guests, guests being directed by the head servers to enter through various doors depending on table number, and then guests trying to find their tables while winding through the mass of large dining tables.

We met our servers—Nathapong and Petar, who graciously tried to hear us place our orders through the din of the restaurant.  Since this was our first night, there was much to talk about—names, where are you from, your drink/dining preferences—and that was just with our servers.  We wanted to visit with our table mates from New York, but we could barely hear each other.

 The food?  Frankly, I don’t recall.  Maybe it was due to it being our first night, but mostly it was the atmosphere of the restaurant.  I enjoyed Animator’s Palate a bit more on our last night—without the animated guests.

Overall, I wasn’t impressed with Animator’s Palate on the Disney Dream.  The noise level made it difficult to visit or hear anything really.  And, the noise issue was prevalent in all the dining rooms due to their increased size.  (Cabanas on Deck 11 was always quiet”er”.)  The larger size of the dining room makes lots of extra steps for the serving staff.  Coming into the restaurant via the “back door” made me feel like a second cousin or something—not worthy of entering through the main door.  And, aghast, we were never given or used the prerequisite hand wipes before entering Animator’s Palate—all 3 times—due to entering through the back door.  The wipes are located at the other entrance.

Nice try, Disney Dream, but this restaurant didn't score with us.  I get it.  You wanted to deliver a new idea using an old favorite.  Let’s “sea” how Animator’s Palate turns out on the Disney Fantasy.

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