Animator’s Palate: Dining with Character on Disney Cruise Line

in Disney Cruise Line

Animator's Palate Disney Cruise

Animator's Palate comes to life with fresh flavors and character magic. Rain Blanken for Inside the Magic

Ever wonder what it’s like to be inside the mind of a Disney animator?

Walking through the narrow hallway to Animator’s Palate, framed sketches of your favorite characters help set the scene as you enter a subdued studio brimming with potential. It’s like you’ve stepped into a Disney classic as it’s formed… and you’re going to watch it come to life!

Animator's Palate Disney Dream
The interior of Animator’s Palate preps guests for sketching out a magical dinner on the Disney Dream. Rain Blanken for Inside the Magic

Drawn to Magic on the Disney Magic, Fantasy and Wonder

Upon entering, you’ll notice that the decor in Animator’s Palate is lacking something: It’s like you’re dining in a sketch that hasn’t been quite finished. Even your service staff will be dressed in all black and white. But as colorful food makes its way to your table, various areas of the restaurant will begin to come to life and burst with color.

After dessert, your surroundings will erupt in a celebration of Disney music and animation called Drawn to Magic, with your favorite characters making appearances on screens all around the dining room. Your wait staff emerges in brightly colored attire and who’s conducting it all? It’s Sorcerer Mickey himself!

Crush Crashes the Pixar Studios on the Disney Dream

Animator’s Palate follows a slightly different storyline on the Disney Dream. Here you’re entering a Pixar studio, with details like Toy Story concept art, sketches and sculptures lining the shelves on the way to your table. Instead of the Drawn to Magic show, the Dream hosts a familiar underwater friend from Finding Nemo for some interactive table talk.

Animator's Palate Disney Dream
Crush greets guests and keeps the conversation lively at Animator’s Palate on the Disney Dream. Photo: Rain Blanken for Inside the Magic

Crush the turtle will come by your table periodically during the evening to chat and even lead the whole dining room in a “righteous” ocean cheer. Much like the Turtle Talk with Crush interactive show at Epcot, he can really hear you and he’s ready to talk back! Like the other versions of Animator’s Palate, the dining room subtly changes from monotone grays to vibrant lights and colored sketches.

A Splash of Color on the Menu

Animator's Palate Menu Disney Dram
Animator’s Palate menu as seen on the Disney Dream in February 2019. Rain Blanken for Inside the Magic

Your dinner selections at Animator’s Palate will vary depending on which ship you’re on and what voyage you’re embarking on but are all based in Pacific Island, Asian and Californian cuisine. Here’s a sample of what you can expect:

Appetizers

  • Smoked Salmon Tartar
  • Sliced Serrano Ham
  • Black Truffle Pasta Purseittes
  • Tomato Tarte
Animator's Palate Menu appetizers
A beautifully presented salmon tartare starts off dinner at Animator’s Palate. Rain Blanken for Inside the Magic

Our pick: The salmon tartar had plenty of meat but still light enough to save room for dinner. It was served with horseradish cream and seasoned with dill, capers, onions and pickles that packed some strong flavors without outshining the freshness of the fish.

Soups and Salads

  • Creamy Butternut Squash Soup
  • Baked Potato and Cheddar Cheese Soup
  • Arugula Leaves
  • Chicken and Walnut Salad
Animator's Palate menu soup
This creamy butternut squash soup is smooth and delightful. Rain Blanken for Inside the Magic

Our pick: The creamy butternut squash soup was beautifully presented with a swirl of sour cream on top and sprinkled with chives. It was great for sipping during dinner conversation and set us up for the larger flavors in the entree.

Entree

  • Pennete Bolognese
  • Grilled Tuna Steak
  • Lemon-Thyme Marinated All Natural Chicken Breast
  • Herb Crusted Pork Chop
  • Ginger-Teriyaki dusted Angus Beef Tenderloin
  • Black Bean Chipotle Cakes (vegetarian)
  • Sesame Halloumi Parcels (vegetarian)
Animator's Palate dinner menu
Tuna steaks are hearty crowd-pleasers at Animator’s Palate. Rain Blanken for Inside the Magic

Our pick: This restaurant is known for its seafood, so we went for the tuna steak and weren’t disappointed. Even if you’re not a fish lover, this is a good bet, as it’s a hearty piece of meat that will satisfy your appetite.

Dessert

  • Crunchy Walnut Cake
  • Chocolate Fudge Cheesecake
  • Cookies n’ Cream Sundae
  • Apple Crumble Rice Pudding

Our pick: While all of these sweets were delightful, the crunchy walnut cake had the best flavor without being too rich and sugary. This one was perfect to pair with an after dinner coffee. We asked for seconds!

Rotational Dining Service

Dinner at Animator’s Palate is part of Disney Cruise Line’s innovative “rotational dining” system, which means that you’ll be scheduled for a new restaurant each night and your wait staff will join you! By sticking together, you and your staff can get to know each other… and they’ll get to know your tastes, allergies and dietary needs.

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