One of the things I like best about going on a cruise is all the delicious food. If you’re going hungry on a Disney Cruise, you’re doing something wrong because there’s always something mouthwatering to sample.
The Disney Magic is Disney Cruise Line’s original cruise ship. It hit the waters in 1998 and is still going strong. Here’s what you can expect for dining options, from an elegant and romantic adults-only dining experience to ice cream on the pool deck.
I’ve sailed on four of the five Disney Cruise Line ships: Disney Wonder, Disney Magic, Disney Dream, and Disney Wish. I’m booked on the Disney Fantasy for next spring. One thing I can say about Disney Cruise Line is that they consistently have great food.
Disney Cruise Line’s Rotational Dining
Rotational dining is unique to Disney Cruise Line. You’ll be assigned a different dining room each night of your cruise, which is included in the price of your cruise. The Disney Cruise Line Navigator App will tell you where you eat each night.
The cool thing about rotational dining is that the wait staff goes with you. That’s right; you won’t have different servers in each dining room. Your servers will follow you from location to location and make every effort to get to know you and your family throughout the cruise. The Disney Magic has three main dining rooms: Lumiere’s (Deck 3 midship), Rapunzel’s Royal Table (Deck 3 aft), and Animator’s Palate (Deck 4 aft.)
Each menu includes bread service. The bread comes with butter and some type of dip or sauce. You’ll also find at least one plant-based option and a “lighter notes” menu, including a salad, a plain steak, plain salmon, and a plain chicken breast. Each venue has unique desserts, a signature dessert, and a sugar-free dessert option.
Early or late dining
Guests will choose between early or late dining when booking their Disney Magic cruise. Early seating is at 5:45 p.m., and second seating is at 8:00 p.m. Times may vary slightly by cruise. Once you choose, you’re locked in, and there is no flipping back and forth between early or late seatings. Dinner times in the three main dining rooms are firm; if those times don’t work for you, there are other, more flexible food options on this ship. See the section on quick-service dining below.
Beauty and the Beast inspires Lumiere’s decor, which is named after everyone’s favorite candlestick. The appetizer menu choices included a duck confit, deep-fried brie, and escargot.
The soup and salad menu included French onion soup, leek and potato soup, and a Bosc pear salad. Entrees included pasta with lobster and tomato, oven-baked salmon, roasted duck, rack of lamb, and chateaubriand.
The dessert list included:
- A Grand Marnier souffle.
- Apple tartine.
- Strawberry shortcake sundae.
- Creme brulee.
- A chocolate sponge cake soaked in coffee syrup with chocolate ganache.
The menu is rich, luxurious, and perfect entry-level French cuisine that will make both more sophisticated palates and picky eaters happy. And, if you’ve been on the Dream and think this menu sounds similar to Royal Palace, you’re spot on. The menu is the same, as is the layout of the restaurant.
Rapunzel’s Royal Table
Rapunzel’s Royal Table is straight out of Tangled down to the lanterns hanging from the ceiling. Rapunzel, Flynn Ryder, and two Snuggly Duckling Ruffians entertain guests with a dinner show during the meal. For me, it ties Animator’s Palate for the best dinner entertainment. Appetizers include a charcuterie board, crispy shrimp, and a tuna tartar. Soup and salad offerings include a creamy potato soup, broccoli and asparagus soup, and a wedge salad.
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The main dishes include pan-seared bass, roast chicken, and prime rib of beef.
The featured desserts are:
- Sweet fry bread with powdered sugar and hazelnut spread.
- Cupcake sundae.
- Apple strudel.
- Creme brulee cheesecake.
- Black Forest Tower.
Although I enjoyed the entertainment, this is my least favorite food, not just on the Magic but the entire fleet. The food is heavy, and there’s not a lot of green.
I’ll preface this by saying I adore Animator’s Palate, my favorite restaurant across the fleet. I’m bummed that the Disney Wish doesn’t have it. Animator’s Palate is your favorite Disney animation coming to life before your eyes. The entertainment is truly spectacular. The Magic has everyone’s favorite Animation Magic, which is truly one of my favorite parts of Animator’s Palate and Disney Cruising in general. Guests are given a placemat to draw on when they first sit down to your meal. The servers will collect your placemats, and your drawings will become a special, magical part of the entertainment.
The food at Animator’s Palate is also my favorite of the three main dining rooms. Appetizers include smoked salmon tartare, sliced serrano ham, black truffle pasta, and tomato tart. The choices for soups and salads are butternut squash soup, baked potato cheddar soup, an arugula salad, and a chicken salad.
Mains are pasta bolognese, tuna steak, thyme-seasoned chicken breast, herb-crusted pork, and ginger-dusted beef tenderloin with wasabi mashed potatoes that are a fantastic explosion of flavors – and I’m not a huge red meat eater.
Desserts at the Animator’s Palate include
- A lemon icebox pie.
- Cookies and cream sundae.
- Crunchy walnut cake.
- Cheesecake with a layer of chocolate fudge.
Fun fact: You can order a Mickey ice cream bar in any of the main dining rooms and also from room service. It’s not included on the menu, but they are available.
If a cruise isn’t a cruise without an endless buffet, make sure to check out Cabanas (Deck 10, Aft) when you’re on board the Disney Magic.
Cabanas serves breakfast and lunch with both inside and outside seating. The lunch offerings vary but breakfast is pretty standard, with “everything breakfast” being on the menu.
Cabanas is a popular spot for breakfast since it’s easy to grab something quickly before you’re off on your way to an adventure in port.
Just For the Grownups – Palo
Palo serves dinner and brunch on sea days. The cost is $45 per person, subject to change. I’m a big fan of Palo Brunch. Although the buffet portion of Palo Brunch is no more, the current menu is more than ample, and you’re brought an antipasto tray early on in the meal with most of the things the old buffet used to have.
The brunch menu includes tasty delights such as soups, waffles and pancakes, benedicts and omelets, and Italian-inspired dishes such as calzones, pizza, pasta, and chicken parmesan. The current dessert menu includes a light vanilla berry panna cotta, a limoncello torte, and traditional tiramisu.
While I can’t find fault with the desserts, the brunch menu is so excellent and robust that I didn’t have much room. I didn’t think any of the desserts were worth saving room for, and I recommend you go for it and sample as much of the brunch menu as you can hold. They’ll keep bringing you food as long as you can handle it.
The “all you can eat” aspect is missing from Palo dinner, but you won’t come away hungry. Palo has an extensive selection of steaks and seafood that are a little more thoughtfully prepared than what you’ll find on the main dining room menus. If you’re a foodie or really crave a good steak or premium seafood, book your dinner at Palo. If it comes down to the choice between Palo dinner and Palo brunch, the brunch is an easy winner.
Palo Dress Code
Formal or semi-formal attire is recommended. Dress casual attire with a polished look is permitted (such as dress pants, jeans in good condition, collared shirts and blouses, and lifestyle shoes). Clothing such as T-shirts, swimwear, and sports attire is not permitted.
Quick Service Dining
There are different quick service options on Deck 9. These walk-up ordering stations are similar to what you’d find at
- Pinocchio’s Pizzeria
- Eye Scream Treats – This is where to go if you want that famous soft-serve ice cream.
- Duck-In Diner – Middle East-inspired shawarma, hamburgers, and hot dogs.
- Daisy’s De-Lites – Fresh fruit, salads, sandwiches, and desserts.
- Frozone Treats – Pixar-inspired venue serving fresh fruit smoothies.
Room service to your stateroom is included in the price of your cruise, but check carefully when ordering. There are some items that aren’t included and will show up on your bill, like canned soft drinks and some pre-packaged snacks. Room service is available 24 hours a day.
Lounges and Bars on the Disney Magic
Whether it’s a pre-dinner glass of wine or morning coffee, there are lots of places to get a drink on board.
- Preludes – The concession stand outside the theater serves popcorn, snacks, and beverages. Guests can also get service directly to their seats inside the Walt Disney Theater.
- O’Gills Pub – Adult-exclusive Irish pub with TV screens for watching sports.
- Cove Cafe – Specialty coffee and tea, light bites, and cocktails
- Keys – Classic piano bar, great for after-dinner drinks.
- Fathoms – Nightclub on Deck 3 and the hot spot for adult-only games and entertainment.
- Signals – Bar on Deck 9, adjacent to the Quiet Cove pool.
- Promenade Lounge – Welcoming bar on Deck 3.
Castaway Cay Dining
If you’re on a Disney cruise ship sailing through the Caribbean or the Bahamas, your cruise likely includes a stop at Castaway Cay. Lunch at Castaway Cay is included in the cost of your cruise. You’ll find a barbecue spread at Cookies or Cookies Too near the family beaches and at Serenity Bay BBQ near the adult beach.