*This gluten free dining experience took place in October 2018. It includes notes about dairy free options too.
Dinner at Animator’s Palate
Animator’s Palate is one of the three main rotational dining restaurants on the Disney Dream. On our October 2018 3-day cruise, we had dinner at Animator’s Palate on the second day of our cruise. It was both pirate night and Halloween costume night, as well, since we sailed on a Halloween on the High Seas themed cruise. During the shorter cruises, the pirate night menu is the same as the regular rotational night, so you won’t get any special menus when you go. Both Brandon and I were looking forward to this restaurant the least on our cruise, because neither one of us liked the menu here all that much.
Both Brandon and I love the theme of Animator’s Palate, which is inspired by Disney animation. Our biggest complaints about the restaurant are that it’s very noisy and that the seats are pretty close together.
We do love all of the decor and theming. But, as you can see, it’s a pretty packed restaurant in terms of space.
I have to admit that I was absolutely loving all of the Halloween costumes on our cruise. Shout-out to the table next to us that dressed up as life-size Beanie Babies!
One of my favorite little touches in Animator’s Palate is the table marker you get on your table. I love that it looks like an paint bucket with brushes in it.
Since it was both pirate night and Halloween night, we decided to go with the pirate theme. We each wore the pirate bandanas given to us in our stateroom. As you can see, I decided to wear mine in a subtle way. The great thing is you can dress up or not in whatever way you feel most comfortable, which is great.
Although not a theme of the restaurant, I do love that your servers will share table games with you. On this trip, our assistant server shared several with us. A few we recognized, but some of them really tricked us. I won’t share any secrets or surprises, but it’s a nice touch when you dine during dinner.
Animator’s Palate, like all of the main rotational dining restaurants, have menus that note which items are gluten free and dairy free on their menu. Having dined at Animator’s Palate for dinner back in May 2018, I knew that I wasn’t all that excited about the menu options. In fact, I actually used a few pro-tips to help make a fantastic meal this trip. Keep reading for those!
Up first, our server Jude brought me some Ener-G rolls with extra virgin olive oil and herbs. While I still don’t love the Ener-G rolls, I will give our service team props for making sure they were well-heated on the trip. Both Brandon and I really liked the extra virgin olive oil with herbs too.
The one thing I had to order at Animator’s Palate was the Smoked Salmon Tartar with Dill, Capers, Onions, Pickles, and a Horseradish Cream. It is marked gluten free on the menu but does contain dairy. Oh goodness is this appetizer good. I loved the smoky salmon and the combination of salty flavors with the rich salmon. It is a must-order anytime I’m Animator’s Palate. And, I highly recommend it for anyone who likes seafood and can have dairy.
Here’s where my pro-tips started to come in. On our last dinner at Animator’s Palate, I ordered Lemon-Thyme Marinated Chicken and just found it to be very boring and bland. I had learned prior to this cruise that you can actually order any dishes from the other main dining rotational restaurants when you have dinner. So, I asked if I could get the Marjoram Scented Roast Chicken with Crushed Sweet Potatoes, Buttered Baby Spinach, and a Thyme Red Wine Chicken Jus from Enchanted Garden. I was so happy to hear that this was an easy request.
This is such a delicious entree, and I love all the accompaniments with it. It didn’t disappoint again this time either. Everything was very flavorful and the chicken was super moist. I have to admit that if we have dinner at Animator’s Palate again, I’ll probably request this dish if we aren’t dining at Enchanted Garden due to adult dining reservations. It’s so good.
My other pro-tip is that the Disney Dream actually prepares Indian food just about every night of your cruise. It’s not listed anyway, and you kind of have to know it exists. On our last cruise, I got some bonus Indian food when the table next to us got it one night. This time, I actually spoke to John, our head server, about it and pre-ordered a gluten free plate of Indian food the night before our dinner. I was also told that the Indian food menu changes every night too.
Omigosh was this amazing. I got what I had on our previous cruise, and it was the hands down best thing I ate on the cruise. Of course, I love Indian food, so I am easily pleased by any plate of curry. I was served Curry Chicken, Spiced Potatoes, and Basmati Rice. Everything was expertly cooked, and I seriously could have eaten platefuls of this. I may have to order Indian food every night on my cruise from now on!
For dessert, I ordered the Crunch Walnut Cake with Dark Chocolate Mousse and Raspberry Coulis. This is marked gluten free on the menu and does contain dairy. I really enjoyed it last cruise. So, I knew I had to get it this time too. Next time, I may skip dessert because I was SO full from everything I ordered during dinner. But, it was so worth it for the Indian food.
While both Brandon and I love the theme, we both agreed that Animator’s Palate just isn’t our favorite restaurant. We find it way too noisy and crowded when we dine there. We both would skip this in favor of dinner at Palo or Remy on our next cruise. That being said, I loved the smoked salmon and being able to get an entree from Enchanted Garden and my bonus plate of Indian food.
Have you been to Animator’s Palate? What did you think of your experience there?