Enchanted Dining on the Disney Dream

Story by staff writer Ann McElfresh. Photos Copyright © Ann McElfresh.

In August our resident foodie, Ann McElfresh, and her friend and fellow Milliver’s Travels staff member, Betsy Villanella, were the lucky ducks who got to cruise on board the Disney Dream. We’ve got several stories for you from their cruise, starting with Annie covering the amazing food.

ONE THING AVAILABLE in abundance on a cruise ship is food. Disney has always had a policy of “exceeding expectations” and they certainly deliver with their dining choices.

They have innovated the cruise line dining experience with “rotation dining.” Each night, guest enjoy a different dining room, but your wait staff travels with you. They know what you like, can make recommendations and you’ll have a delightful vacation relationship with them. On the Disney Dream I happily experienced ALL their dining options!


Breakfast Selections at Palo

Each restaurant has a different theme, different menu. Your wait staff wears a uniform to match the décor and you can hardly wait for the next day to see what’s coming!

Aside from their “standard” restaurants—Royal Palace, Animators Palate, and Enchanted Garden—they also have Cabanas, a buffet with tasty selections including a seafood bar and several poolside take-and-go offerings (hotdogs, hamburgers, pizza and ice-cream) as well as a few grown-up selections like paninis and salads.


From the Buffet at Palo

Let’s take a look at the three restaurants.

Royal Palace is a prince and princess restaurant. The serving staff wears a princely military-style uniform in royal blue with gold piping. The bread is served in a wire “Pumpkin Carriage” and they are heavy with beef and lobster. I had a delightful cold duck appetizer that was my favorite dish that evening.


Duck Appetizer at Royal Table

Animators Palate is made up like a drafting/drawing room and the pictures on the wall come to life. The room is filtered with an ocean-blue light and Crush from Finding Nemo swims around in the pictures, chatting with the guests. It’s incredible!

I had a tasty vegetarian dish of black bean patties on rice with pico de gallo—one of the best dishes in all the standard restaurants.


Black Bean Cakes at Animators Palate

The Enchanted Garden is like eating outside at sunset. It’s on the second floor and it’s a floral delight! The food is light and gives you the feeling of a formal picnic. I had pork that was perfectly prepared, tender and tasty served on beautiful root vegetables and polenta cakes.


Pork at Enchanted Garden

Disney Cruise Line also boasts two outstanding premium restaurants that you can enjoy for a surcharge. Palo, which serves brunch and dinner, and Remy, their flagship restaurant.



Palo is an upscale Italian restaurant and they have a terrific brunch that is both buffet and menu-ordered. You simply enjoy their buffet offerings and order any dish you want. They have a beautiful seafood selection, stunning antipasto with meats, cheeses and beautifully-prepared vegetables. Breads of every kind, breakfast fruits and pastries— and a dessert tray that will make you weep!


Dessert Selections at Palo

During your Palo brunch you can order egg dishes like Eggs Benedict, Eggs Florentine and Roasted Vegetable Stratas. Their cold Strawberry-Mint Soup is one of my favorites and they also make Chicken Picatta, Chicken Parmesan and beautiful seafood. It’s absolutely worth the small fee of $20 per passenger to enjoy this one!


Strawberry Soup from Palo

Remy’s was so amazing it will have its own article. Be on the look out for that one! It was, without qualification, the finest meal I have ever had.


…and next – REMY!

I hate to leave you hanging with that, but consider how delightful an appetizer is. It wakes up your taste buds and leaves you ready for the next course. . . .


Ann McElfresh

Ann McElfresh has had the opportunity to travel and live overseas during the course of her husband’s career in the military and they didn’t stop after he retired! An enthusiastic home cook, she has an extensive “bucket list” of places to see, foods to eat and dishes to cook. A recent physical required that she focus her attention on cooking healthy foods and living a healthier lifestyle. At this time, she has lost 20 pounds and when asked how she lost the weight, she tells people, “By cooking like mad! Who knew losing weight could be so much fun?” A former popular food blogger at Cooking Healthy for Me, Ann is now enjoying retirement with her Honey Bunny.



  1. I’m glad you had a good time, Ann, but I am SO jealous. Looks absolutely delicious and now I’m starving — with no cruise ship restaurant to serve me 🙁 Your photos are absolutely gorgeous, as always. So many choices, but I’m going to have to go with the “Eggs Julia” in the first photo 🙂

    • Hi Julia! I would have gone for the Eggs Julia, too….except I’m allergic to Salmon. Didn’t it look divine? I can tell you the other offerings were amazing!

  2. Ann you are one seriously lucky duck. All that food looks so amazing. I would quite likely be found 24 hours a day at the Palo dessert table. I am in awe of Disney and their ability to take food to the next level. Everything they do, they do well. Just like you my friend. Loved the article.

    • Hi Kimmy! I have been very lucky to sample a lot of outstanding cuisine! The Palo dessert was certainly worth 24 hours of enjoyment….incredible! Thanks for your comment!

  3. Wonderful article Ann!
    It makes me want to go on another…NOW. It was such a fun cruise. The food was great, but not as great as the company!
    Love your pictures.

    • Oh, man, didn’t we have an AMAZING time?! I just loved every minute of it and dining wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun without your company, girlfriend!

  4. That food looks incredible. It is so fun to live vicariously through your reviews. Those pictures are fabulous. Love that pork with the root vegetables.

    • Hi Kristen! Thanks for your comment! While the pork didn’t photograph as nice as some of the other dishes….it was INCREDIBLE! So perfectly prepared! ….and I love polenta! I’m glad you liked the pics….I had a blast taking them!

  5. What a great article, Ann! So glad you’re enjoying retirement, and how could you not enjoy it when you’re doing a Disney cruise, lucky duck! Hope you are well and that you’re still succeeding cooking healthy!

    • Hi Eva! What a nice note….thank you! It’s very difficult to cook healthy when I want to make and try everything! I’m finding balance is key…and I’ve gotta get off my duff and exercise more!

      The cruise was a blast and retirement has been a delight with Honey Bunny!

  6. Oh my gosh, Ann, you made me very very hungry and I just had breakfast 20 minutes ago!
    This was the perfect appetizer, and knowing you, I can so picture you happily experiencing ALL their dining options! This would be a trip to heaven for my taste buds as well, that’s for sure 🙂

  7. Thank goodness my dinner is almost ready, should not have read all your Disney food posts in one go!

    Really does sound like you had an amazing time. Disney clearly know how to serve!

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