I was recently part of a small, invited media group that had a chance to learn more about Rotational Dining on the Disney Wish. Everything that I learn about this new ship makes me excited to see it for myself! We were given samples of a few of the dishes, and Disney shared some brand new information. Here are some of the highlights.
I’ll start with a recap of what Rotational Dining is. On each of the Disney Cruise Line vessels there are three main nightly restaurants. Each one is themed, and you’ll be assigned where you will dine each evening. You will have the same table number in each restaurant. What is unique is that you will have the same serving staff each night. They get to know your likes and your dislikes, and they quickly become part of your extended family. Rotational Dining is one of my favorite parts of a Disney Cruise.
Like all Disney Cruise Lines’ ships, there will be three Rotational Dining restaurants on the Disney Wish. Unlike the other ships, Animator’s Palate will not be one of them. Instead, there are three brand new themed experiences, all of which are unique.
1923 is the year that the Walt Disney Company was founded, and it is also the name of one of the three Rotational Dining restaurants. The space will be divided into two dining rooms, one named Walt and the other named Roy. Breaking up the space is to give diners a more intimate setting. You are to feel as if you’ve stepped back into the Golden Age of Hollywood. There will be close to 800 pieces of artwork in the space, 50 character maquettes, 24 multiplane cel set-ups, and plenty of custom props that are based on the original models. There will be 16 films celebrated in the space, going all the way back to the first full length animated feature, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. The complete list of films represented is “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, “Bambi”, “Cinderella”, “Pinocchio”, “The Sword in the Stone”, “Fantasia”, “Frozen”, “Frozen 2”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Tangled”, “Peter Pan”, “Alice in Wonderland”, “The Princess and the Frog”, “Moana”, “Sleeping Beauty”, and “The Little Mermaid”. The ambiance will be classical elegance, while casual at the same time.
The menu will feature California’s heritage. We sampled two of the appetizers, Porcini Spiced Ahi Tuna and Fennel, and Bartlett Pear and Tatsoi Salad. The tuna is described as containing “Pickled Lotus Root, Oyster Mushroom, Black Sesame Brittle, Wasabi and Yuzu Mayonnaise”. The salad also had “Manchego Cheese, Walnuts, Sherry Dressing”. This, of course, is just the beginning of the menu. Disney Cruise Line is great at making sure that guests have meals that they love. They also take allergies and special diets seriously.
Sachi Handke, show coordinator, Walt Disney Imagineering, had this to say about 1923. “We want you to feel how classy this space is, and we want you to feel classy dining there, like you might turn your head and there is Walt Disney sitting right next to you,”
Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure
Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure will take place right after “Frozen 2”. Anna and Kristoff are celebrating their engagement, and you are invited to the party! The fun will start as you enter the ballroom of Arendelle Castle. You’ll see the grandfather clock from “Frozen”, busts of Anna and Elsa, paintings, a suit of armor, and other nods to the full length films as well as “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure”. These are just a few of the Easter Eggs on the way to the main dining area.
Once inside, the theater will be in the center of the room. Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf will sing the songs that we all know by now. There will be a group of Nordic musicians, and the diners will be encouraged to sing along. The party is catered by Oaken and his Hearty Party Planning Service. He’ll wander through the dining room, greeting guests and making sure that everyone is having a royal good time. Olaf will make the rounds as well, in a cart that has been specially designed to make it easy for him to travel.
Nordic cuisine will be featured at Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure. There will be seafood, game dishes, and other tastes that you might expect to find in Arendelle. We sampled two entrees. The first was Seared Chilean Seabass, which was made with “White Asparagus, Petite Leeks, Savoy Spinach, Romanesco, Peas, Kohlrabi, Rainbow Carrots, Seared Scallop, Pea Tendrils, Mjod Vinaigrette”. The second was Juniper Spiced Roasted Free Range Chicken, with “Scallion, Duck Fat Fried Potato, Estragon Wild Mushrooms”. If you’re worried that someone in your party might not be adventurous enough to try Nordic inspired dishes, we were promised that there will be plenty of more familiar options.
James Willoughby, director, hotel operations special projects, Disney Cruise Line, had this to say about Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure. “It will transport you to Scandinavia and will make you feel as if the ship has found itself in the fjords of Norway”.
Worlds of Marvel
Possibly the most ambitious restaurant on any cruise ship anywhere will be Worlds of Marvel on the Disney Wish. It will feature a new cinematic experience known as “Avengers: Quantum Encounter” and the diners will be part of the story! Each table will have a piece of technology on it known as the Quantum Core. It causes objects to shrink or grow at the push of a button, but the technology is unstable. If all of the Quantum Cores are activated at the same time there will be pulses of energy throughout the walls and ceiling. Ant-Man and the Wasp are hosting the presentation on the Quantum Core. Of course Ultron sees the benefit of the technology, and that’s just the beginning of the story. It is going to be epic.
What is a Marvel story without a few superheroes? We learned that there will be four, all played by the original actors. Paul Rudd will be Ant-Man and Evangeline Lilly The Wasp, but that isn’t all. Anthony Mackie will be part of the action as Captain America, and Brie Larson will once again play Captain Marvel. Their scenes have been filmed and are in post-production. Their adventures will take place on the upper decks of the Disney Wish, but diners will see the action from the restaurant. Since the ship is still under construction, CGI was used for filming, but you will not be able to tell.
The culinary team is still putting the final touches on the menu for Worlds of Marvel. It will feature the tastes of various Marvel locations across the planet, including African Wakanda, Eastern European Sokovia, and New York City, which is where the home base of the Avengers is located. We sampled two desserts. Sticky Fig Pudding is made with “Salted Caramel Coconut, Balsamic Glaze, Vanilla Ice Cream”. Flourless Chocolate Beetroot Cake features “Chocolate Cake, Pepper Beetroot, Milk Chocolate Soil”. If you can’t decide which dessert you want, ask for more than one. Your servers are very accommodating.
Danny Handke, senior creative director, Walt Disney Imagineering, had this to say about Worlds of Marvel. “‘Avengers: Quantum Encounter’ is Disney Cruise Line’s most ambitious dining experience ever. We’re doing something that’s never been done before in a restaurant, developing an exclusive Avengers adventure that will immerse our guests in the action through sophisticated technology and innovative storytelling. It’s the perfect complement to the incredible menu of story-driven dining aboard the Disney Wish.”
This is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak, when it comes to dining options on the Disney Wish. There will be quick service locations, unique lounges, adult dining, and 24 hour room service. The Maiden Voyage of the Disney Wish will set sail on June 9, 2022. That cruise is sold out, but there are plenty of other dates available. After the Maiden Voyage, the Disney Wish will start with three or four night trips to the Bahamas, with a stop at Disney Castaway Cay. It sounds like the latest Disney Cruise Line vessel is going to take cruising to a whole new level.