REVIEW: A Magical Meal at Animator’s Palate on Disney Wonder Cruise Ship

Shannen Ace

REVIEW: A Magical Meal at Animator’s Palate on Disney Wonder Cruise Ship

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The Animator’s Palate restaurant exists in slightly different forms on the four original Disney Cruise Line ships. During our Alaska sailing on the Disney Wonder, we enjoyed a Nordic-inspired menu at Animator’s Palate for “Frozen” night, but this isn’t the restaurant’s usual menu. During the rotational Disney Cruise Line dining schedule, we did return to Animator’s Palate for a standard meal at the ink and paint-inspired restaurant.

Animator’s Palate

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When guests first arrive at Animator’s Palate on the Disney Wonder, the restaurant is mostly black and white, with sketches of Disney characters appearing on screens.

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The black and white colors extend to the tables and chairs.

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The tables have paint palette-shaped placards.

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The butter knives are famously shaped like paintbrushes.

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Columns throughout the restaurant are giant paintbrushes, touching equally giant paint palettes on the ceiling.

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During the meal, the sketches on the screens are filled in with color.

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The meal culminates in a celebration of animation called “Drawn to Magic.”

Behold the evolution of animation—from pencil test to ink-and-paint. Follow a hero’s storytelling journey through Disney and Pixar animation, where wishing upon a star paves the way for happily-ever-after. In an emotional finale, the black-and-white interior of the restaurant is transformed with splashes of vibrant color. Join Sorcerer Mickey as he leads the fun!

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The space lights up with color, and Sorcerer Mickey arrives to dance through the restaurant.

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Animator’s Palate Menu

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Sorcerer Mickey is also featured as a holographic sketch on the front of the menu.

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And sketches of Mickey, some with color, fill the menu.

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The dessert menu guests receive later looks like a notebook.

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Most food and beverages are included in the price of your Disney Cruise Line sailing. Some specialty beverages, including alcoholic drinks, cost extra.

Bread Service

Garlic and Herb Focaccia

with a Roasted Garlic Dip

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The bread isn’t warm, but it’s good. The special focaccia is soft and fresh.

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Bread service also includes multigrain dinner rolls and soda bread.

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The special roasted garlic dip has a strong garlic taste, but it’s good if you like that.

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Specialty Cocktails

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Blueberrilicious

Tequila, fresh Blueberries, Passion Fruit Juice, Orange Flavor Liquor, and Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice

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This drink isn’t bad, but there’s not a lot going on with it. Blueberry and lime is a weird flavor combination.

Great Reef

Rum, Elderflower St. Germain, Watermelon Purée and fresh Lime Juice

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This cocktail is visually stunning and tastes spectacular. The watermelon purée at the bottom is almost like a jelly. We highly recommend this drink.

Bora Shake (non-alcoholic)

Piña Colada, fresh Bananas and Blue Ocean

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This is creamy and really tastes just like a piña colada but without any alcohol, so it’s a win for us.

Appetizers

Tomato Tarte

with Glazed Goat Cheese and shaved Radish

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This looks like a pizza so we sliced it and ate it like one. But don’t be deceived — it’s a flaky pastry, not a pizza dough. That said, it’s a nice buttery pastry. The goat cheese is good but we wish there was more of it. It just hits on the backend. The tomato is present and this is an overall fine appetizer.

Black Truffle Pasta Purseittes

Pasta Purses filled with Truffle-scented Cheese and coated with a delicate Champagne Sauce

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These are great. The cheese inside is rich and thick. The champagne sauce over the dish gives it a buttery sweetness.

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The pasta purses are cooked perfectly al dente. They’re topped with carrots, celery, and mushrooms. We would have this again.

Smoked Salmon Tartar

with Dill, Capers, Onions, Pickles, and a Horseradish Cream

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This is a little fishy but not bad. The horseradish isn’t too intense, it just gives the dish a creamy flavor. This is the best version of this appetizer we had on the sailing.

Soups & Salads

Chicken and Walnut Salad

Dried Cranberries, Red Onions and a Cranberry Dressing

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This is a refreshing, small solid perfect for before a big meal. The dressing is mild (in a good way) and the greens are crisp.

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

Garnished with Chives and drizzled with Sour Cream

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This is rich and creamy with a profound butternut squash flavor — just what it says in the name.

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Baked Potato and Cheddar Cheese Soup

with Bacon Bits and Chives

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This is a little different from your standard baked potato soup. The first note you get is a spice, not the taste of potato. We get a strong chive taste, too. It’s super salty and the bacon is soaked in, hitting on the backend. It’s not bad, just surprising.

We prefer the butternut squash soup.

Main Course

Pennete Bolognese

Pennete Pasta mixed with a rich Bolognese Sauce Garnished with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano and Toasted Garlic Ciabatta

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This is just fine. There’s nothing wrong with it and it’s serviceable, so it’s good for picky eaters. The garlic bread was a little soggy from the sauce, which isn’t surprising, but it tasted old.

Ginger-Teriyaki dusted Angus Beef Tenderloin

served on Wasabi Mashed Potatoes with Bok Choy and a Tamarind Barbecue Reduction

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This is a surprisingly edible steak. In fact, it was good. The meat was soft and tender (we literally cut it with a butter knife). It’s a nice portion size. This was the best steak we had during rotational dining on the Disney Wonder.

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The potatoes have the wasabi flavor up front, but they aren’t spicy or intense. We recommend this dish.

Grilled Tuna Steak

with Fingerling Confit, Caponata, Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto, and Aioli

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The “fingerling confit” is mashed fingerling potatoes. They’re delicious and steal the show.

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The tuna steak is gray on the outside and pink on the inside, which is normal. It’s a nice big piece and cooked well. It’s dry on its own but with the aioli (served on the side), it’s better.

Black Bean Chipotle Cakes (Vegetarian)

over Corn Kernels and Brown Rice topped with Tomato-Cilantro Salsa

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This needs more sauce to give it more flavor and juice, but the base is good. It tastes just like a black bean burger and it’s soft. There are bits of onion in the rice and corn. We maybe would have preferred a non-grain side since the black bean itself is grainy. But it’s constructed well and not a bad meal.

Sesame Halloumi Parcels (Vegetarian)

with Sweet Potato Tahini Mash and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

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This is a very interesting dish, both visually and taste-wise. It won’t be for everyone but it’s good. The soft mash is inside a crispy pastry. The red sauce is surprising but welcome.

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This is one of the Disney Wonder’s most interesting and creative dishes. We would recommend it alongside the black bean chipotle cakes, as it feels like a more appropriate side.

Desserts

Cookies ‘n Cream Sundae

Cookies & Cream Ice Cream with Chocolate Sauce and Chocolate Chip Cookies

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This is a good sundae. We appreciate the real whipped cream and chocolate syrup.

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Lemon Icebox Pie

served with Lemon Curd and Berry Crème

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This is perfect for key lime pie lovers as it’s essentially that but with a lemon taste.

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It’s a solid option.

Warm Sticky Date Pudding

served with Butterscotch Sauce, Vanilla Ice Cream, and Phyllo Crunch

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We recommend this dessert. It’s soft, warm, gooey, and sweet. The phyllo and ice cream counter the date pudding well.

Chocolate Fudge Cheesecake

creamy Vanilla Cheesecake with a Chocolate Fudge base

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This is a simple but good dessert. It has the right ratio of cheesecake to fudge. The cheesecake is standard and the fudge is a soft cake-like brownie bar.

Overall

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Though Tiana’s Place offers the best overall dining experience on the Disney Wonder, Animator’s Palate has the best food. It’s also a great environment with a cute show and an iconic part of Disney Cruise Line. Don’t skip this meal.

Watch our review video below.

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