Disney Fantasy Dining

Editor Rating
Ashley Kosciolek

Like all other Disney ships, Fantasy uses a rotational dining system, with cruisers moving from one eatery to the next each night, their regular servers in tow. One thing: While you move from one restaurant to another each night, there are still prescribed times to dine, a bother if you'd prefer to chow down on your own terms.

There are three (free) main themed-dining restaurants -- Animator's Palate, Enchanted Garden and the Royal Court -- as well as a variety of complimentary grab-and-go options and two for-fee specialty dining eateries.

Overall, the quality of the food is good, as is the service, but options can be limiting if you're scheduled to dine in a restaurant such as the Royal Court and you're not a huge fan of, say, French cuisine. Servers are diligent in asking if there are any allergies. Each menu features vegetarian and always-available "lighter fare" sections, and special dietary needs can be accommodated, though it's best to give the line advance notice.

The children's menus throughout the ship are predictable, featuring items like burgers, pizza and chicken fingers, but they work and feature special flourishes -- like ketchup doled out in the shape of Mickey's head.

Soda and juice are included free of charge at meals and on the pool deck. (Beverages from any onboard bar will incur a fee.)

Note: On the morning of disembarkation, breakfast is served in all three main dining restaurants. Passengers are assigned to whichever restaurant hosted their dinner the night before.

Free Dining

Animator's Palate (Deck 3 aft): Animator's Palate on Disney cruises is a dinner-only venue that is a colorful pastiche of giant paintbrushes, cartoon art and big-screen TVs that feature "Undersea Magic," which stars an animated Crush the Turtle from "Finding Nemo." He interacts in real time with diners, which can be both thrilling and a little off-putting if he starts chatting you up when you have food in your mouth.

The surf-and-turf at Animator's Palate is a standout. Other entrees include beef tenderloin and lemon-thyme chicken breast, with appetizers of salmon tartare and black truffle ravioli and soups like butternut squash and baked potato and cheddar. Vegetarian options might include black bean chipotle cakes and sesame halloumi. For dessert, expect creme brulee, cheesecake and ice cream, among other options.

Enchanted Garden (Deck 2 mid): The French countryside-inspired Enchanted Garden, open for dinner and sometimes lunch, transforms from day into night at dinnertime, complete with starry sky.

For lunch, the restaurant serves beef empanada appetizers; pastas, sandwiches and salads as mains; and cheesecake and ice cream for dessert.

Enchanted Garden features a seasonal menu in the evening. Think prime rib, sea bass and wild boar, with desserts like creme brulee.

Royal Court (Deck 3 mid): Disney's Royal Court dining experience -- a richly appointed palatial affair with a huge chandelier, plush furniture and myriad princess references, including waiters dressed as princes -- is open daily for breakfast and dinner.

At breakfast, cruisers can expect fruit, yogurt, cereal, pancakes, waffles, grilled veggies, bagels with lox, a selection of pastries and a variety of egg dishes -- omelets, fried eggs and not-as-appetizing premade scrambled eggs, all with the option of hash browns, bacon and sausage.

At dinner, the Royal Court menu has a French accent, so plan on such offerings as duck confit, escargot, French onion soup, roasted rack of lamb, crispy duck breast, Grand Marnier souffle and a wine list that harks back to the Continent.

Cabanas (Deck 11 aft): Other dining spots include Cabanas, also on Deck 11, a mammoth buffet with a beach theme. Seating is indoors or out, and there's ample space to tuck into the decent variety of chow, including fresh-carved meat, pasta, a salad bar and the like. Passengers can go there for breakfast (pastries, eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, waffles and pancakes, fruit, cereal, yogurt), lunch (soup, salads, sandwiches, carving station, hot entrees) or dinner (a sit-down affair with four appetizers, six entrees and two desserts that mimic what's offered in the dining rooms). Note: Dinner is not served at Cabanas on the first and last nights of a cruise, which we found exceptionally annoying, given the rigid structure of dining in the main restaurants.

Flo's Cafe (Deck 11 mid): Flo's Cafe is an amalgamation of three different walk-up food service windows, located on Deck 11 in the pool area. Luigi's Pizza offers plain, pepperoni and barbecue chicken pies, as well as a vegetarian option and a rotating daily special. (Gluten-free pizza is available, but it's best to give advance notice.) The Tow Mater Grill specializes in burgers, grilled chicken, hot dogs, sausages and chicken fingers. French fries and a condiments bar round out the meals. Fillmore's Favorites features made-to-order sandwiches, paninis, wraps and salads.

Cove Cafe (Deck 11 forward): This tiny bar and cafe in The Cove adults-only area serves free light bites and for-fee coffee beverages.

Vista Cafe (Deck 4 mid): The Vista Cafe shares space with Shutters Photo Gallery and serves up complimentary snacks like pastries and cookies, as well as coffee beverages for a fee.

Eye Scream (Deck 11 mid): Eye Scream is where passengers will find free self-serve soft ice cream in chocolate, vanilla and twist. Cups and cones are available. Sadly, the machines aren't open 24 hours, but you can enjoy it from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Room Service: Room service is free and includes a reasonably sized menu of soup, sandwiches, pizza, salads, fruit, cake, pie, cookies and "American Fare" like hamburgers, mac 'n' cheese, hot dogs and chicken fingers. For-fee snack and beverage options are also available. A tip of a dollar or two is customary to whoever delivers your order.

Fee Dining

Remy (Deck 12 aft; $95 per person, $200 with wine pairing; $60 per person for brunch, $90 for Champagne brunch): Remy on Disney, the French blockbuster introduced on Disney Dream, is named for the main rodent character in Disney's "Ratatouille." At $95 a pop, Remy remains the most expensive restaurant at sea, and if you add in the $105-a-head fee for the wine-pairing option, you could be talking about one of the most expensive meals you've had on land as well. Is it worth it? We were wowed by the exquisite service, languorous pace of the meal (more than three hours) and, of course, the food -- seven courses of ultra-rich Gallic grub that we're still dreaming about.

For dinner, menu items might include salmon, gnocchi, wagyu beef, king crab and lamb with a selection of chocolates for dessert. For brunch, expect to find ham, cucumber and dill salmon, and tortellini among the options.

Passengers are invited to meet with the sommelier before dinner to plan the wines for the evening (nice touch), and we were surprised to find a box of Remy chocolates on our bed when we returned from our gastronomical expedition.

Palo (Deck 12 aft; $30 per person for dinner, $59 with wine pairing; $30 per person for sea day Champagne brunch): Disney stalwart Palo, an Italian holdover from the line's other ships, offers alfresco dining, as well as seating in a warm Italianate space showcasing floor-to-ceiling windows with amazing views. This Northern Italian eatery serves dinner nightly, as well as a Champagne brunch on sea days. Carb-cravers may refuse to share the awesome breadbasket, but don't fill up on those empty calories: Our lobster ravioli rocked, though we also coveted our tablemate's osso bucco. Other menu items include a charcuterie plate, mozzarella caprese salad, potato gnocchi, deep-fried shrimp and calamari, a selection of pastas like mushroom risotto, sea scallops, tuna steak, beef tenderloin and roasted lemon-rosemary chicken, among others. Brunch includes a cold buffet (meats and cheese, shrimp, salads, desserts) and a selection of hot made-to-order items (omelets, fish).

Sweet on You (Deck 11 aft; a la carte): Added to the ship during a 2017 dry dock in place of the ship's former arcade, Sweet on You is a vintage cartoon-themed sweets shop that sells extra-fee prepackaged sweets, loose candy by the pound, macarons, chocolate-covered Oreos, cupcakes, bonbons and other treats. Or choose from 16 ice cream flavors and 20 varieties of egg-free gelato ranging from standards like vanilla and chocolate to more creative ones including Cap'n Crunch, caramel popcorn and candy explosion (with Nerds). They can be combined into a number of sundaes, as well as a "milkshake of the day." Prices are reasonable; we scored a chocolate-dipped rice cereal treat, a chocolate-covered Oreo cookie and two scoops of gelato in a waffle cone for about $12.

Frozone Treats (Deck 11 mid; $3.95 for a small, $5.25 for a large): Just next to Eye Scream's free soft-serve, you'll find Frozone, which doles out smoothies for a fee. Available combinations blend yogurt with ingredients like blueberries, raspberries and blackberries; peaches and blueberries; and pineapple, mango, lychee, ginger and lemongrass. Bottled beer is also available there.

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