What are the Disney Cruise Dining Times? Disney Cruise Line has two dining times for dinner.
One is very much more popular than the other.
Find out more about Disney Cruise dining times and the advantages and disadvantages of each sitting.
Disney Cruise Dining Times
Each day on your Disney cruise you will dine in one of the rotational dining restaurants.
Each of the Disney ships has three main dining restaurants. Guests “rotate” around each restaurant so that they dine in each one at least once.
Disney cruise lines are unique as your dining team rotates with you, so you always keep the same wait staff throughout your cruise.
Early Disney Cruise Dining
Disney cruise early dining is at 5.45 pm every day. This is by far the most popular dining time choice on all of the Disney ships.
There are many families with young children who particularly want early dining time.
If you have early dining you will see the show at 8.30.
Disney Cruise Second Seating
Disney cruise late dining is at 8.15 pm. I have older children so actually prefer this dining time on a Disney cruise.
The service tends to be quicker than for the first seating. We like this as the wait staff usually have more time to talk at the end of the meal.
If you have young children in your group you can take advantage of the service that the kids club provides.
At around 9.00 pm each evening the Kids Counselors will stand at the back of each restaurant and you can check your kids into the Oceaneer’s Lab or Club.
This means that you can enjoy your desserts in peace and the adults can spend some time together at dinner without the children.
If you have late dining you can see the first show in the Walt Disney Theatre which will be at 6.15.
How To Request Early or Late Dining on a Disney Cruise
When you or your travel agent first book your cruise you will be given a choice of first or second seating for dinner. Although, if you book later you may notice that the early dining time is not an option online anymore.
What if you really want early dining but only second seating is left online? You need to call Disney cruise lines directly or have your travel agent do that if you are using one.
Then you can have it noted on your booking that you want to change dining times. It is not guaranteed, but Disney always does their best.
If you get on board and find out that your dining time has not been changed then you can always try to get it moved.
There will be a designated place on the ship, which will be posted in Navigator’s, where you can ask the Head Servers to try to move your dining time.
Again, it doesn’t always work, but they will try to help.
Requests You Can Make Online for Disney Cruise Line
Firstly log in to your reservation.
On your Cruise Details page, you will find various options.
Scroll down to find this section:
When you click on the Make Special Requests Button you will be taken to this screen:
Then, click on Table Requests:
The first screen gives you the option to request a High Chair or Booster Seat.
Then if you click on the drop-down menu you get this screen:
As you see you will have the following options:
- Near a window
- In a quieter location
- Near a screen for entertainment
- At a private table
- Neat the center of the dining room
You do not seem to be able to make more than one request. So you can’t for example choose a private table, near the center of the dining room.
You have to see which request you want to prioritize and pick that one.
There are other options available as well for Dietary Preferences which takes you to this screen:
You can also add whichever celebrations you may have during your Disney Cruise:
There is also an option to request Child Amenities where you will be taken to this screen:
Disney Cruise Dining Table Size
Some people like to dine alone. Others like to be seated with strangers so they can get to know people.
Most people who do share a table say that Disney does a great job of allocating them to a group table with people with similar interests.
For instance, couples of a similar age would be seated together, and families with children of similar age also might share a table.
The Disney cruise dining table size is generally two, four, six, or eight. That is the basic table size.
So if you have a party of three you will most likely be seated on a four-top if you request that you would rather not be seated with strangers. If you have a party which is larger than eight they will put tables together up to a certain limit.
If you have a request for a particular Disney cruise dining table size you should do exactly what you do to change your seating. Request it before you sail and if that doesn’t work request it on the ship.
In the unlikely event that you are seated with people who you really don’t get on with you can ask to be moved after the first night.
It is rare, but it does happen. If you aren’t happy, Disney wants to put things right for you.
Disney Cruise Breakfast Times
Breakfast is served in one of the dining rooms and at Cabanas Buffet on all of the Disney ships, except Disney Wish where the buffet is called Marceline Market.
Disney cruise breakfast times do vary so the only reliable way to know is to look at the Cruise Navigator which you get every day – or the Disney Cruise App.
Usually, the buffet hours at Cabanas and Marceline Market for breakfast will be from around 7.30 am until 11.30 am on Days at Sea.
On port days the breakfast hours will vary depending upon what time the ship is due to arrive in port. Hours will generally be shorter on port days but may start early.
There is always one dining room on each ship which is open for an a la carte breakfast. Dining times are shorter than in Cabanas.
Disney Cruise Lunch Times
Just like breakfast, lunch will be served in Cabanas and one of the Disney cruise restaurants.
On days at sea, the buffet usually doesn’t close for that long between breakfast and dinner. The lunchtimes in Cabanas are usually 11.45 until 2 pm.
This can actually be a little annoying that the buffet closes early if you are on a port day and get back to the ship just after 2 pm. You will probably want something to eat but your choices are limited to the food options on the pool deck.
This is where we wish that Disney cruise dining times could be extended a little.
One of the restaurants will have an a la carte lunch. This is usually served from 12 pm until 1.30 pm.
Although the buffet is easy and has lots of choices, it is nice to go for a sit-down meal for lunch at least once on your cruise.
Whatever your Disney Cruise dining time you can be sure that you will never go hungry.
Even if all the restaurants are closed and you want something to eat there is always Disney Cruise Room Service!
Alison Meacham is the founder of EverythingMouse Disney Blog. For over 15 years she has shared her love of Disney Parks, Disney Cruises and Universal Orlando. In over 30 years of Disney Travel she has spent countless months in Disney Parks and has sailed on over 45 cruises. A British native and now a United States resident she splits her time between California, Florida and the UK. And spends a serious amount of time sailing the seven seas. She helps over 200,000 people per month follow their Disney travel dreams.