Rotational Dining 101: Clean Cup, Move Down!

The first time we took the plunge (so to speak) the ship looked beautiful, the staterooms comfortable but would "rotational dining," prominently featured in the Disney Cruise Line planning DVD live up to the Disney magic?
Besides, what is rotational dining?
Do I need to make ADRs?
What about snacks, room service, and coffee?

Rotational Dining  n. an innovative and unique dining plan where a family and serving team rotate to each of the three main dining rooms together and in turn so that you can experience each of the different restaurants.

Main Dining or Late Dining?
During booking, the option to select either the main or late seating for dinner pops up after you enter your cruiser information. During each dinner seating the Walt Disney Theatre hosts the evenings show so while main dining enjoys dinner then a show, late dining enjoys the early show followed by late dinner. This is really a matter of personal preference. Late diners enjoy the perk of Dine and Play. The children at the late dinner enjoy expedited meals and then leave halfway through dinner. The counselors from the Oceaneers Club and Lab whisk them away for fun while mom and dad enjoy the rest of their meal. Early dining works well when your young ones fall asleep before the evening show (which is shown on the television if you choose to tuck them into their berths). If both options sound equally good, book main dining. If you want to change before boarding, main dining tends to fill up first, so swapping to late dining is far easier.

So does that mean I need to make ADRs or not?
Make sure to secure reservations or advance dining reservations (or ADRs in Disney-speak) if you wish to experience Palo or Remy (the adult only dining experiences on board.) Your dining rotation appears both on your Key to the World card and on dining tickets left in your stateroom on the afternoon you board the ship.

Last minute change of heart?
You can try to change your dining assignment or your adult only reservations on boarding afternoon, see your Personal Navigator for details!

The Royal TreatmentWhat about lunch?
If you want a super casual lunch of pizzas, wraps, burgers, fries, and ice cream head up to the pool deck for all you can eat. Feel like hanging out on your verandah for some quiet time? Room service is included in your cruise fare (we bring cash to tip) so order up some Mickey Bars and take in the ocean breeze. Want a little more variety? Almost every day features both a sit down and a buffet lunch option.

But what about snacks?
Disney has you covered. From Mickey Bars to baked goods and popcorn, snacks are around every corner.

Mickey Rice Krispies
All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth! And a Mickey Rice Krispie Treat! And a Disney Cruise
I just need caffeine!
Coffee is available 24 hours a day at the drink station on the pool deck or from room service. If you like fancy coffee shop drinks or just the vibe, their are a few cafés to cover your need for java. Getting up from the lounger too much work? Often the cast members selling drinks of the day will happily sell you a soda right at poolside.

I hope that clears up the magic of rotational dining. If you don't mind, I think I'm going to curl up and grab a hot cocoa.

Good night!


  1. Do they have a way to see the buffet? That would be a cool phone app - see the buffet, live, to decide which you would rather do. And I totally approve of cash to tip!


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