San Diego

Food and Beverage: Disney: A Wish You Can Dream On

The new Disney Wish features three themed family restaurants for dinner in addition to the adults-only top of the line Palo steakhouse and the French-cuisine Enchanté by three-Michelin starred Chef Arnaud Lallement. There is also the assisted self-service Marceline Market food court for breakfast and lunch, offering table service for dinner.

Other options include Mickey & Friends Festival of Food with walk-up stalls offering such casual fare as barbecue beef, hot dogs, bratwursts, hamburgers, tacos and self-service soft ice cream and soda.

Managing it all is Executive Chef Steven Walker who hails from Scotland and has been with Disney Cruise Line for a total of some 15 years. He credited the dining experience aboard to his team, including 165 cooks, noting that Disney enjoys a very high retention rate among its crew.

“We have great kitchens and a great environment. It is hard work, every day, but our people gain invaluable experience and can have a career path.

“Coming here, our cooks should have three to four years of experience at a quality place before joining us and then we take it from there and train them further in all aspect of galley operations – from burgers at the pool to our dining rooms, serving up to 4,000 guests every day.

“These are all different forms of catering. I think it is a fantastic experience. It sets people up for success going forward.”

The unique-to-Disney rotating dining concept was introduced with its first ship, the Magic, in 1998. It means that guests rotate to three differently themed and designed dining rooms with their wait staff.

On the Wish, these include Worlds of Marvel, featuring a background of Marvel characters; Arendelle guests are treated to a Frozen theme with live entertainment and Norwegian inspired dishes; and 1923, named for the year the Walt Disney Studios was founded and features a California-style menu. Decorations include story boards, sketches and props illustrating how the artists bring their ideas to the screen.

For adults only, the 115-seat Palo Steakhouse offers steaks and Italian dishes, overseen by Chef Salvatore Messina from Sicily. In the 45-seat Enchanté, guests can order à la carte or have a six-course meal or a nine-course experience.

Explained Salah Chetbi, beverage director: “Guests can enjoy a full menu selection, order à la carte or just come and have a main course. They can spend two hours or 15 minutes if they like.”

Messina noted that “everything is made onboard.” And for Enchanté, Maitre d’ Benoit Roustaing added that all the ingredients used are of the highest quality and fresh, “with cold water lobsters flown on the day the ship sails.”

In between both venues is The Rose Lounge for cocktails before or after dinner.

Speaking in The Rose Lounge, Chetbi noted that not only is the lounge inspired by Disney’s storytelling, but so are also the beverage creations, the cocktails.

Appropriately, the entrance to Enchante features a light structure resembling champagne bubbles. A different bubble motif, inspired by the Cinderella story, is used in the main light fixture in the Nightingale piano bar.

Perhaps the most striking bar venue is the adults-only Hyperspace Lounge with a Star Wars theme, featuring a large monitor that looks like a window through which guests can observe a seemingly live scene of spaceships flying to distant galaxies.

Excerpt from Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine: Fall 2022 

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