Welcome back to my Disney Wish blog series! My apologies for the delay in these posts – there has been a lot going on behind the scenes from travel to buying a home, etc. But for today, let’s talk about FOOD – I mean, it is a cruise after all.
Let’s get into it!
Depending on the Disney Cruise ship you find yourself on, you’ll find different dining options. But all include 3 sit down dining options, a buffet option, some quick service options, 1-2 adult dining options, and bars that welcome both families and adults, depending on the time of day. Oh, and of course room service – which is available 24/7 and is included in your cruise!
Disney Cruise Line offers rotational dinner dining. Each night you’ll have a different restaurant you’re assigned to, which means a unique menu. However, your wait staff follow you each night, meaning you’ll develop a relationship with your team! Additionally, if you have more than a 3 night sailing, you’ll repeat restaurants – on our sailing we repeated Arendelle but had the pirate menu the second night since it was “Pirate Night.” On this ship specifically we didn’t get to experience all of the dining options. It was only a 4-night sailing – it’s basically impossible to experience it all! That being said, I only want to speak on what we specifically experienced on our sailing. So let’s break it down.
Marceline Market is a casual buffet option somewhat themed to Disney as a whole. Think of what would it look like if Disney Animation had a farmer’s market. You’ll see decor and signs based off of Disney characters and what goods they would sell – Maurice’s Mechanical Marvels, Wicked Witch Orchards, Flower’s, etc. It’s so fun to look for the “Easter eggs” throughout the space – and the rest of the ship. This is going to be your typical cruise buffet – the food isn’t bad but definitely not the best on the ship. However, it’s going to be better than your local Golden Corral. There is truly something for everyone so it’s a great option for families with kids or people traveling with a large party. For the Disney Wish, Marceline Market is currently open for breakfast and lunch. Also, it should be mentioned this isn’t “self-serve” – there is glass in front of the food and a Cast Member will add items to your plate as desired. That way, you can say it is somewhat cleaner than a traditional buffet. They also have a row of sinks when walking in and Cast Members direct everyone to wash their hands when entering. There are indoor and outdoor seating options, we never had an issue finding seating, and it never got super crowded when we were on board. They also have a coffee bar (that also offers alcohol) in Marceline Market – however it is an additional charge for any beverage from the bar. Near the coffee bar there is more lounge-like seating, so if you’re working while on board this may be a good option to get some stuff done!
Festival of Foods
Festival of Foods is the pool deck dining option and honestly it was my favorite food on the ship – and the best quick service option across all of Disney’s ships. All of the options at these stands are included with the price of your cruise. You can choose from a variety of “stall” style walk-ups to dine from: Donald’s Cantina, Daisy’s Pizza Pies, Mickey’s Smokestack Barbecue, Goofy’s Grill, and Sweet Minnie’s. As the name suggests, at Donald’s Cantina you can find burritos, tacos, and bowls. They have tons of toppings to choose from – plus a hot sauce/salsa bar! The tacos were one of my favorite foods on the ship and it was nice to have this as a more balanced option. Daisy’s Pizza Pies serves pizza of course – and this location is open the latest each night (I believe until 11pm or midnight). Mickey’s Smokestack Barbecue was also delicious – we personally loved the ribs, pulled pork, and cornbread. And you can’t skip the barbecue sauce bar! Goofy’s Grill serves your traditional hotdogs, burgers, chicken strips, etc. But they have some creative options – like Beyond “meat” options and pretzel buns for the hot dogs. No cruise would be complete without soft serve from Sweet Minnie’s! We definitely preferred this over the buffet and I love that you can easily just get one taco or a side of fries if you need something small before dinner. One thing I wish they *did* offer on the pool deck that they offer on the other ships is fresh fruit – however, the buffet does offer that.
Worlds of Marvel
Our first night aboard we were directed to Worlds of Marvel. To be completely transparent, we are not Marvel people. My husband knows a little bit about it, but he hasn’t seen a Marvel movie since the original Avengers. So basically, we know nothing and aren’t necessarily interested in it. That being said, we still wanted to go and give it a try – good food is good food regardless of the theme. This night the seas were ROUGH. I’ve been on a dozen cruises and never have I felt the ship rocking that much – even the Cast Members were saying it was bad. That being said, we weren’t feeling so hot. So we headed to dinner mildly optimistic, but after the first two courses, just decided to head out. The bread service included tie dye bread – which was just normal bread with dye – served with a red bell pepper dip. I enjoyed the dip but the bread I could take or leave. For our first course, we both got the steamed bao bun. This wasn’t a typical bao bun (shaped like a dumpling – think the cheeseburger pods from Pandora), but it was more of a taco shaped bao bun. It honestly wasn’t very good – the pork belly was good but there wasn’t enough sauce and the bun was dry. I also got the cheddar broccolini soup – which was just okay but I probably wouldn’t get it again. Grant got the iceberg wedge, which he said was also just okay. Since we didn’t see anything we NEEDED to try from the entrees, the other items weren’t great, and we weren’t feeling so hot – we decided to head out.
Aside from the food, I felt like it was an overstimulating experience. The tables were more crowded compared to the other Disney Ships, plus the ceilings were low, there were no windows, the dining room felt HOT, and you have all of these flashing lights and screens going constantly. All of that combined with seasickness that is inevitable for some – it was just a recipe for disaster. I also feel like the experience as a whole is too niche and just too much. Not everyone knows Marvel inside and out, and if you don’t know anything about it you’ll be lost. I also think the experience would be too overstimulating for many children. Kids are on screens enough – we don’t need massive screens and flashing lights during a family dinner on a family vacation. It’s just unnecessary – especially when most of Marvel is rated PG-13. I talked to a few “strangers” on the ship who had kids and felt the same way… If you love Marvel, you’d probably enjoy this. But if you know nothing about Marvel – consider using this night to explore other dining options on the ship!
We dined in Arendelle during our second night on board the Disney Wish. As the name suggests, this is a Frozen themed restaurant. We were extremely skeptical, because while I adored Frozen when it came out, I think many of us can agree that it is a bit overdone at this point. However, we were pleasantly surprised! This dining experience is unique because it is essentially dinner theater. I think this is a fabulous way to introduce young kids to live theater and it isn’t completely the “Anna & Elsa Show” as I had expected. The show is hosted by Oaken – the shop owner from the Frozen franchise – and the main performers in the show are a trio: a singer, a guitarist, and a violinist. This gives a great acoustic vibe to the Frozen songs everyone knows and loves – the musicians are extremely talented, and in my opinion the female singer during the show was one of the best singers on the ship. Don’t worry, Frozen fans will get their moments with Anna, Kristoff, Elsa, and even Olaf – both on and off stage. They come up for a few songs from both films and then they do eventually come around to all of the tables so you can have your private photo op. And there are of course some other magical surprises, but I don’t want to give too much away. Overall we really enjoyed it and it ended up being our favorite dinner experience.
Let’s talk about the food! The food was really good and all had a Nordic flare. The bread service included a garlic spread which was great and definitely my favorite bread accompaniment on the ship! For the first course we both got the ham and cheese tart – it was good and tasted like a quiche. We also got the koldtboard – basically a charcuterie board. It was just okay – feel free to order it but don’t count on it as your only appetizer. On Disney Cruise Line you can order as much as you want – all food is included and you can get multiple things if you so desire! So it’s a great opportunity to try something you’re unsure about. Grant also got the pea soup, which he enjoyed but I didn’t prefer – but I also don’t like peas. I got the chicken breast and Grant ordered the rib-eye – both were very good and “safe” for picky eaters like myself! I appreciated that they added a Nordic flare to things without it being too out of the typical American comfort zone. Overall, with this meal nothing was bad! For dessert I got the chocolate bar and I wouldn’t get it again – in its defense I am really not a fan of Disney desserts, and it was your typical Disney mousse dessert. Grant got the apple cake and it was really good – so I’d suggest that. They also offer ice cream sundaes at each restaurant – and you can never go wrong with ice cream!
This was the most anticipated restaurant for us on the Disney Wish. 1923 is themed to the start of the Walt Disney Company and its early animation. The restaurant has two dining rooms – which are only connected via the Grand Hall. I was really looking forward to looking into all of the glass cases and items throughout the restaurant, but honestly it was a bit disappointing in that regard. There are really only a few tables where you’d truly be seated next to the displays. And the dining room as a whole felt somewhat claustrophobic. However, there are windows in this restaurant so that is a plus (we went to breakfast here our last day and saw dolphins out the window while in port).
But what the dining room lacked, the food made up for. The bread service was good but pretty standard bread and butter – but no complaints here! For our appetizers we got the four-cheese tortelloni which was delicious (would definitely recommend). I also got the corn chowder – which had too much corn skin for my liking. Grant also got the duck confit – this is one of those items to order just to try if you haven’t had duck before. I’ve had duck and actually like it, and Grant surprisingly enjoyed it as well. For entrees, Grant got the filet which he enjoyed (but he thinks he liked the rib-eye from Arendelle more) and I got the vegetarian tacos – which I loved. The tacos were definitely my favorite sit down entree I got on the ship. For dessert I got the blueberry-lemon bavarian cream, which again I wasn’t a fan of – but it was the typical Disney mousse dessert once again. Grant got the apple cheesecake which he really loved and is great if you enjoy apple pie! Overall, this was our favorite meal start to finish food-wise. But dining experience-wise we enjoyed Arendelle more.
Keg & Compass
On Pirate Night we had the option to dine at Arendelle again, but this time with a pirate-themed menu. But honestly, we skip pirate night because the menu just isn’t for us, and many other frequent Disney Cruisers think similarly. So we decided to head to one of the bars, Keg & Compass – which is arguably pirate-y. The entire family is welcome in Keg & Compass except for designated times when adults-only events are happening (at least that is how it appeared to us). This is going to have the most food options you’ll find at a bar on the Wish – and this is not included with your cruise (they’ll charge it to your room). But they have a pretty decent menu – we got the wings and the GIANT pretzel. The wings were great (they also offer buffalo wings on room service, just an FYI) and the pretzel was larger and tasted way better than the ones at Epcot’s Germany pavilion.
Hyperspace Lounge is the Star Wars themed bar aboard the Disney Wish – and the one that famously sells a $5,000 cocktail. My husband is a huge Star Wars fan so this was a must-do for us. We went in the late afternoon/early evening and it was the perfect time to go because it wasn’t too busy and we easily found seating. We tried the two “zero proof” options, with one being sweeter as it contained ice cream – and the other being more refreshing. I’m not sure if I’d get either again but they weren’t bad! It was decent ambience on the inside – I’m not that into Star Wars so this really wasn’t built for me. But I will say if you’re looking for an interactive and more immersive Star Wars bar experience, Oga’s Cantina is your better bet. This bar is more Star Wars themed, rather than taking place in the Star Wars universe – at least in our experience. We’re still glad we went though and Grant really enjoyed it!
Nightingale’s was the bar location I was looking forward to the most – it is a piano bar themed to Cinderella. We got drinks here one night during an adults-only piano performance. The drinks were just okay – but all very pretty and fun (I’m also not a big drinker so it’s not completely fair for me to review that). The location is quite small, which is fine, but there were logistical things that were very disappointing. Firstly, it is right off of the lobby/Grand Hall, so when a door is propped open it is very loud and distracting. Plus all of the doors and part of the walls are windows so you can see all of the chaos of the Grand Hall as well. Secondly, the door to the kitchen is right next to the main seating area and not really tucked away so any time a Cast Member would enter/exit there would be kitchen noises, BRIGHT lights, etc – just very distracting when you’re trying to be immersed in the ambience. Finally, as I had mentioned we were there for an adults-only event and there were multiple children present running around, making loud noises, etc – and Cast Members did nothing about it. It was so bad that we ended up leaving. We are not at all “child haters” and don’t expect to avoid children anywhere – especially on a Disney Cruise. But when there is an event in a BAR that is marked as ADULTS ONLY, we expect it to be adults only!
Honestly, my husband (who is the nicest person in the world) complained about it and the CM at the desk was so apologetic and actually informed us that Nightingale’s is supposed to always be adults only (I’m not sure if that’s completely true or not) – and she said she’d have management contact us to file a report. When management finally contacted us via our room phone, she basically gaslit us and said we were wrong despite us explaining to her that the schedule said it was adults only… It was just very disappointing because we witnessed similar scenarios multiple times on this ship (kids being in adults only areas/events). And on other Disney ships I’ve seen families/kids escorted out for not following those rules and I just wish they would’ve enforced the rules better. I mean, it is a Disney ship so 95% of areas are family friendly, there is no need for kids to be at the 5% of areas or events not designed for them.
I hope you all enjoyed this lengthy post – and I look forward to sharing another with you soon! Be sure to sign up for my email list down below to be notified the next time I post.