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Six Tips for Dining With Kids on a Disney Cruise

Jonathan Frontado

by , Public Relations Director, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney and Disney Vacation Club

Since dining is one of my favorite parts of a Disney cruise, I have a quite a few tips I like to share with family and friends to make their experience the best it can be. Over the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing those dining tips with you, starting today with suggestions specifically for those of you traveling with children.

Mealtime on a Disney cruise vacation is a great opportunity for families to connect, and there are things you can do onboard to enhance that quality time together. Here are my top six tips for dining with kids on a Disney cruise …

Royal Court

1. Let your servers serve you. All you need to do is sit back and relax. Do the kids need their food cut up? Your servers are happy to do that! Do you need a wine-pairing recommendation? Your dining team is at your service! The beauty of having them stay with you as you visit different restaurants and enjoy new menus each night is that they can provide personalized service and hospitality tailored to your every desire and need.


2. Say “yes” to your kids playing at dinnertime. Mealtimes are meant to be memorable entertainment experiences on a Disney cruise, which is why we include a full course of fun with dinner shows at Animator’s Palate. When else can you talk to a sea turtle with your mouth full or draw your imaginary friend to dance on screen beside Disney characters? Even your servers get in on the fun with magic tricks that are sure to stump the whole family.

Animator’s Palate – Drawn to Magic

3. Use your electronics at the dinner table. Gadgets and gizmos might typically be a “no-no” during family dinner, but some rules should be broken on vacation. Dinner is an opportune time, while you have your family’s attention, to plan out your schedule for the next day using the mobile Navigator app. Plus, with surprise appearances from Disney pals like Mickey and Crush at Animator’s Palate, bringing your camera to dinner is a must.

Champagne Brunch at Remy

4. Reserve an adult-only brunch or dinner at Palo. Our signature restaurant at sea is known for its exquisite modern Italian specialties during brunch and dinner. Set aside time to experience one (or both!) while the kids eat in the youth club. Chances are you’ll have more energy for your family after you’ve been able to recharge with your significant other over outstanding cuisine, first-class wine and sweeping ocean views.


5. Dress for the occasion. Themed dining provides a one-of-a-kind experience every night. The Pirates IN the Caribbean menu celebrates “a pirate’s life for me” with Caribbean cuisine, and wearing a bandana and eye patch during your meal is highly encouraged! On 7-night or longer cruises, the Captain’s Gala menu gives you a great excuse to dress to the nines for a family photo opp before savoring world-class cuisine such as baked lobster tail and oysters Rockefeller.


6. Take lessons from your kids. Dinner is often an opportunity for parents to teach children manners at the table. But on a Disney cruise, it’s your chance to learn from the kids. Notice how they’re carefree and energetic and can’t stop smiling? See how they never say no to dessert? That right there is the “proper way” to behave when you vacation with us!

Next week, I’ll share with you a day-by-day dining guide for four nights on the Disney Dream. Until then, let me know if you have tips to add for dining with kids on a Disney cruise.


  • Thank you Sharon and Jaime. I feel better about it now. I think I will try to book a dinner when my window opens up on 9/30. I’m sure my daughter would enjoy an evening in the Oceaneer Club.

  • @Tammi- I dont think it would be weird to dine at palo alone. However there a lots of groups on message boards you can join for a particular cruise (FB, Disboards, etc.) and sometimes they arrange a group dining at Palo (or beverage tastings!) so that might be fun to participate in as well. And not everyone there is coupled up too so you can enjoy the experience making new friends. Happy sailing!

  • I have gone to Palo alone. I enjoyed it. While I didn’t have someone to talk to during dinner, it was nice just to relax and have some quiet time while enjoying a wonderful meal.

  • My kids never want to go to dine at the restaurants with us. They just love the Oceaneer club and would rather be there than at dinner. But this year, my 9 year old said he wanted to dress “fancy” and do dinner for one night. We picked Animator’s Palate as the one night for my sons and their cousins to dine out with the adults. The five kids (ages from 5 to 10) enjoyed seeing Crush.

  • Everybody says to enjoy Palo with your significant other. What if you are travelling as a single parent? My daughter and I will be taking our 1st cruise in December and I’ve been wondering if it would be weird to go to Palo alone.

  • A couple more tips – if your kids have special dietary requirements (or food preferences), don’t be shy about asking your server to get special requests to accommodate them. You can also look at the next night’s menu and request a replacement meal if needed (it’s helpful if you do this in advance). Also, even though they are not listed on the menu, most cruises have Mickey ice cream bars which can be ordered for dessert at the restaurants (or from room service).

  • I love these suggestions, and am excited to try them all out in a couple of months! Another idea is to be willing to let your kids head to the clubs when they’re done eating so you can have some quiet time, and ask your server if you can get your dessert “to go.”

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