Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Dining aboard the Disney Dream: Animator's Palate

I've been looking through photos from our cruise on the Disney Dream, and I realized that while we've explored two of the ship's three dinner rotation restaurants - the Enchanted Garden and the Royal Palace - we haven't talked about Animator's Palate yet...


...that obviously needs to change!  Animator's Palate was slotted to be our dining location for the last night of the cruise, and I was so excited to experience the bright colors and interactive theming...


The walls come to life during your meal!  I guess you could say fish are both friends and food at Animator's Palate. ;)

 

Even before you've stepped foot in the restaurant, the hallway leading up to it is lined with concept art (Disney Princesses FTW) to get you in an animated mood!


Soon the art takes over the walls.  I love Cinderella in the above mural.  She's just like, "Aladdin, what are you doing??  And all these dalmations!"

 

So many classic characters in the lobby!  But let's enter the main space...


If you've been on another Disney cruise ship, you may be surprised by Animator's Palate on the Disney Dream - the design and decor are quite different from the restaurant with the same name on the Magic or the Wonder.


I have to say, I like the black and white design on the other ships much better, although I did enjoy this one too.  It was a lot prettier once the lights came on and the transformation took place!


At least there was still classic black and white in the tableware.

 

Taking a look at the menu.  It's so fun on a Disney cruise that everything at the meal is included - if you want to try more than one appetizer or entree or dessert, you can do that!

 

Colorful pens and paintbrushes in the middle of every table!  I kinda wish these were real and we could've doodled on the tablecloths. ;) Or imagine if they had tablet screens you could do a sketch on that would later appear on the screens...as if you had a real animator's palate at each table!  That needs to happen...


When you first enter the restaurant, the walls are filled with concept art of various characters.


The shelves are packed with Disney animation paraphernalia as well...


One thing I didn't like about the decor was that the characters and scenes represented were exclusively from Pixar movies.


Here's some Ratatouille concept art.  I do love the Pixar stories, but what about all the other Disney classics we love?

 

At least you get some hidden Mickey magic - in the chairs and on the floor!


The only non-Pixar nods we could find were these cars...Mr. Toad's Wild Ride I'm thinking?


Sorry guys...I tend to get distracted by the details and almost forget about the food.  Well, almost...but not quite!  Let's start with the appetizers...I tried the tomato soup, which was creamy and tasty.

 

On the left is an antipasto platter and on the right is a tomato tart with goat cheese - very yummy.


Athos got the black truffle pasta purseittes.  He let me try one, and then I wanted to steal the rest - delicious!  Also note the cup of, I think, hot chocolate.  We usually just order tap water at restaurants, so another fun thing about cruise dinners was ordering any and as many drinks as we liked!


Time for the main course: here's Dart's kid's pasta...with hidden Mickey ketchup!


I tried the Seared Red Snapper with a little scallop stuck there on top.  It was fun to branch out and sample the fish on the cruise - it was all really delicious!


The beef sadly was not as much of a success.  Mama Snob tried the Marinated Beef Tenderloin and was not a big fan - it was chewy and tough.


Dad sampled the pasta.  The pesto bread that came with it looked really good.


We rounded off the meal with the desserts!  This was a chocolate cake from the no-sugar added side of the menu, but my brother wanted something just chocolate, so he gave it a try.  It was good but not great.


I didn't see anything that really stood out to me, so I settled for the sampler - a lemon tart, a cheesecake brownie, and some sort of wobbly mousse-thing with a raspberry squished into the top.  I was sadly not impressed.

Athos and I both wanted to test our rather overly-fussy, fulsome waiters, who were constantly assuring us they could get anything we wanted and that their service was aimed at perfection - and ask if they could get us a Tahitian Vanilla Creme Brulee from the Royal Palace kitchen, but we lacked the nerve.  On another cruise, we intend to eat nothing but the Tahitian Vanilla.  It was that good!


The best part of an Animator's Palate meal is the surroundings.  Crush and friends appear on the screen - if you're sitting next to one of the screens, you man even get to talk to them, a la Turtle Talk just like at Epcot!


It wasn't our favorite dinner from the cruise, but it was still a magical one with the pixie-dusted paintbrushes glowing overhead!

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