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Disney Cruise Main Dining Time

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There are two dining times on a Disney cruise for the restaurants. When you book your Disney Cruise you will be asked if you want main dining or late dining.


This dining time relates to the time that you dine in one of the rotational dining restaurants. On each Disney ship there are 3 rotational dining restaurants.

You will dine in each restaurant at least once. Your Servers will come with you to each restaurant – so you get to experience all the different restaurants, but you will have your familiar serving team with you.

What Time is Disney Cruise Main Dining?

On most of the Disney ships and sailings the main dining time is 5.45 pm each day. Late dining will be at 8.15 pm.

However, on select sailings the main dining time will be 6.00 pm every day. Cruises from Europe tend to have this later main dining time. This includes the British Isles sailings from Dover, Mediterranean cruises and the Northern European cruises.

Which Dining Time Should I Choose?

Main dining is the most popular seating time on a Disney Cruise. The reason for this is that Disney Cruises has a lot of guests who are sailing with young children.

Most children do best if they eat earlier in the evening rather than later. This is a huge reason as to why main dining is more sought after than late dining.

Therefore, if you have young children you probably do not want to be waiting until after 8 pm to eat your dinner. It may work if you have a child who goes to bed late or you are suffering the effects of jet lag.

What If Main Dining is Not Available?

It may be that when you book your cruise it is saying that you can’t book main dining as all the slots are filled. This is another reason to book as soon as you know you want to sail.

What if you really want early dining but only second seating is left online? Don’t give up! There may still be a way that you can be moved to the main dining seating. Call Disney cruise lines directly or have your travel agent do that if you are using one.

Then it will be marked on your booking that you want to chance dining times. It is not guaranteed, but Disney always does their best.

When you check in at the port you will see your dining time and dining rotation noted on your Key to the World.

You can see from the picture below that the time is written on there and there are also letters which represent which order you will go to the rotational dining restaurants.

If you still haven’t been allocated the main dining time look at your Navigator’s or ask a Cast Member where you need to go to see the dining team to request a change.

You are not guaranteed to be able to change your dining time to main dining. The last time we were on the Wonder there were almost 200 groups on the list wanting to change, but they will definitely do their best.

Usually there won’t be a problem if you want to change to late dining though.

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What If I am Stuck with Late Seating on My Disney Cruise?

I actually highly recommend and prefer late seating. I don’t have young children any more as my youngest is a teenager, so the eating time doesn’t matter any more for me.

However, I prefer it because I like to see the early show, or enjoy the pool or the Rainforest Room for longer. If you have early dining you have to start getting prepared for dinner by 5.20 pm (and we are really quick to get ready). This is too early for me to think about leaving the pool – and generally you can have the adult pool pretty much to yourself around 5.30.

If you have late dining you finish around 9.15 at the earliest, usually around 9.30. Sometimes on main dining, you can feel a little rushed. Your dining team does have to get ready for the next seating so you don’t necessarily feel as though you can linger too long after the dessert has been served.

What if you have young children and you have no alternative but late seating? Fortunately, Disney thinks of everything to make your life easier!

At around 9.15 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. Ask your servers to bring the food out for the kids first so they will finish before you do.

This means that you can enjoy your desserts in peace and the adults can spend some time together at dinner without the children.

Main Dining Breakfast on Disembarkation Day


No one wants to think about disembarkation day, but that day always comes. On your final day you can go to a rotational dining restaurant for your breakfast.

The rotational dining room you will go to for breakfast will be the one that you went to the evening before. So if you were at Animator’s Palate on your final night, that is where your final breakfast will be.

The disembarkation breakfast has two dining times just like dinner. Usually Animator’s Palate, which is on all the ships, will be the earliest at 7.00 am. The other 2 restaurants will be at 7.15 am.

If you were on Late Dining your Animator’s Palate breakfast will be at 8.15 am. The other restaurants will have breakfast starting at 8.30 am.

Therefore if you are not an early riser, that is a good reason to ask for late dining. Cove Cafe is open from 6.30 am to 9.00 am on debarkation morning. Cabanas is also open.

Do you prefer main dining time on a Disney Cruise?

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