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In late 2018, we embarked on our first ever land and sea Disney adventure. We traveled on a three night Bahamian cruise that was a Very Merrytime Christmas Cruise on the Disney Dream.
One of the things Disney is known for in terms of Disney Cruise Line is the rotational dining. Disney is, at the time of the article being published, the only cruise line doing rotational dining. This means that when you check-in for your cruise and get your key to the world card, you will notice letters at the bottom of your card, these letters represent which restaurants you will be dining at for dinner on which night while on board. If you are dining at an adults only extra location such as Palo or Remy, that will not be indicated on your key to the world card.
For example, on our key to the world cards, the letters were AER, this meant that on the first night, we dined at Animator’s Palate (A), the second night, we were at Enchanted Garden (E) and then the final night we dined at Royal Palace (R). On a cruise longer than three nights, you will repeat a dining location or two.
So our first night of our first ever cruise, we dined at Animator’s Palate. We weren’t sure what to expect but were really excited and were sure to head into the restaurant with hungry bellies.
When we first walked in, the greeter’s asked what our table number was. This is also located on your key to the world card. Our table number was 68 and that was our table number throughout our cruise. We were escorted to our table and the theming around Animator’s Palate was amazing. I have to say, my favorite thing about this restaurant were the Mickey shorts chairs. The chairs had leather backs that were the black and red of Mickey Shorts and even had his cute little yellow buttons.
Side note, the Animator’s Palate on the Wonder has the same chairs but in black and white like Steamboat Willie which I cannot wait to see in person sometime. The pillars of the restaurant were giant pencils and paint brushes and the ceiling were giant palate’s that changed colors. There were giant screens all around with Finding Nemo characters wandering through.
The menus had illustrations of Sorcerer Mickey that moved when you moved the menu; an amazing and cute detail. The table numbers were paint cans with various paint colors spilling out of the top. Also, located around the nooks and crannies of the restaurant were different pieces from various Disney and Pixar films, the lamp from Toy Story, drawings from films like Finding Nemo, Toy Story, The Incredibles and more.
The bread service this evening was a garlic and herb foccacia served with a roasted garlic olive oil dipping sauce. The bread was really good and Bryson really enjoyed the oil; I was indifferent to it but that very well could have been because I was so excited to be in this restaurant. One thing we both really loved were the bread knives, they were paint brushes and were adorable. But, because there was no butter, only oil, they didn’t really have a purpose.
For appetizers, Bryson ordered the salmon tartare and the tomato tarte and I ordered the black truffle pasta purseittes. I loved mine, I would order it again and again, it was delicious. Delicate, what seemed to be homemade pasta pockets stuffed with black truffles and a creamy milk cheese and served in a light champagne cream sauce.
Bryson enjoyed his salmon tartare. It was simple prepared on a bed of cucumber. The salmon was mixed with capers, onions and a horseradish cream. Bryson loves salmon and probably would have preferred it without the horseradish but he did enjoy it.
The tomato tarte was bland. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t anything to write home about. Tomatoes served in a phyllo tarte with a little bit of goat cheese.
I also ordered the arugula leaves. This was a basic salad but there was no dressing. I’m not a dressing person but I do like a little lemon and olive oil on my basic salads and this was nothing. There was nothing on it; it was arugula, beets, orange slices and white beans. In the description it said a mustard dressing so I think maybe mine just got missed but I had no mustard and I had no dressing so this was not my favorite.
I also very easily could have sent it back and gotten something else, so I’m not complaining in the fact that it was my fault I ate it sans dressing, I’m just stating facts. I didn’t send it back because i knew I was getting more food and wouldn’t need anything else.
For dinner, I ordered the grilled tuna steak. It was big, a lot of the entree portions weren’t huge, because obviously you could order as much as you wanted, but this was a large portion. I ordered it medium rare so it did come according to your preferred temperature. The tuna was served on a bed of fingerling potatoes and a sun dried tomato pesto and an aioli sauce on the side. It was delicious.
Bryson ordered the ginger teriyaki dusted angus beef tenderloin. It was served on wasabi mashed potatoes with bok choy. He really enjoyed it. Bryson is a steak purist and was nervous about the wasabi mashed potatoes clashing with his steak but the wasabi wasn’t overwhelming and the dish didn’t have a strong asian flavor. He said it was good but nothing to write home about. He wouldn’t not get it again but he wouldn’t think directly of that dish when he came back to Animator’s Palate.
For dessert, we went a little crazy. I ordered the lemon ice box cake which was the one I was most excited about. Bryson ordered a white chocolate fudge cheesecake.
I also ordered the chocolate walnut crunch cake and Bryson got the cookies and cream sundae. In addition, because it was my birthday, I got the birthday dessert as well. Like I said, we went a little crazy.
The chocolate walnut cake was not good. It was a lot of chocolate but a weird chocolate flavor; it was a hard pass for me. The white chocolate fudge cheesecake was good; good texture, good flavor, Bryson enjoyed it but he enjoyed the cookies and cream sundae even more.
That dish is right up his alley, he is a sucker for sundaes and I knew he would enjoy this one. The birthday dessert had literally zero flavor, it tasted like nothing. The best thing I had was the lemon ice box cake. It tasted exactly like key lime pie. I loved it; absolutely loved it. I would recommend it to anyone.
All throughout the meal there was interaction with Crush from Finding Nemo. He would go from screen to screen and talk with guests. It was really cool; he would single out a guest a table and have an interactive conversation with them. Definitely one of the highlights of the meal.
Animator’s Palate was one of our favorite dining experiences on the ship. We loved the decor and the interaction and the menu was overall good. It was a great experience and we can’t wait to enjoy it again on another Disney cruise.
Have you dined at Animator’s Palate on the Disney Dream? What did you think?
Thank you for stopping by and for the love of the mouse, never forget, that it all started with a mouse.