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Disney Cruise Line in a Jiffy: What is Rotational Dining?

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Each Disney Cruise Line ship has three main dining rooms (MDRs) that are included in the price of your sailing. On DCL, you cycle through, or “rotate” between these three dining rooms – thus “rotational dining”. On a three-night sailing, you’ll eat at each rotational restaurant once. On longer sailings you’ll repeat restaurants, but don’t worry, the menus are different every night. You’ll be in the same room multiple times, but your food options will vary. If there is entertainment in your dining room, it will not repeat on subsequent nights.

During rotational dining, your serving team will travel with you; you’ll have the same waiters at each venue. They’ll get to know your beverages preferences, allergy needs, etc., so you won’t need to explain your needs over and over again. You will also dine at the same time each night during your rotational dinners, typically at about 5:45 and 8:15 p.m., but there is some variation by itinerary.


Animator’s Palate, a rotational dining room on four of the Disney Cruise Line ships.

On Disney Cruise Line, there is no need to make reservations for your rotational dining meals, you will be automatically be assigned to a venue during each evening of your sailing; just check your Navigator app while on board to view your This is not the case on some other cruise lines, where you have to make reservations for each night of your sailing.

Disney Cruise Line in a Jiffy is an offshoot of our “Disney in a Minute” posts, “In a Jiffy” posts are bite-sized nuggets of information that can better help you understand a Disney term or planning topic, but here we focus on all thing Disney Cruise Line (DCL). Have a question about a DCL term that is unfamiliar to you? Suggest it here for an upcoming segment.

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Erin Foster

Erin Foster is an original member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel (now PlanDisney), a regular contributor to TouringPlans.com, and co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line. She's been to WDW, DL, DL Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Aulani, DVC Vero Beach, and DVC Hilton Head. She's a Platinum DCL cruiser and veteran of 10 Adventures by Disney trips. Erin lives near New York City, where she can often be found indulging in her other obsession - Broadway theater.

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