Just two months ago, we headed out on what would be the Disney Wonder’s second voyage since returning from Cadiz, Spain for it’s newly re-imagined makeover. It was an 8-day, 7-night adventure, our first Disney Cruise and I have so much to share in the coming weeks. First up on the agenda, our visit and review of the much anticipated Tiana’s restaurant on the Disney Wonder – and ONLY on the Disney Wonder…Tiana’s Place.
This will be your one stop guide with everything you need to know, including MENUS!
On the Disney Wonder, there are 3 main dining rooms for dinner, all of which are included in the cost of your cruise (except alcohol and premium drinks like espresso/cappuccino).
- Animator’s Palate
- *NEW* Tiana’s Place – replacing what was called Parrot Cay
On the Wonder you don’t necessarily have to eat in one of the main dining rooms for dinner though, as there is Cabanas (where you can take advantage of buffets for breakfast/lunch too) and quick service stations near the pools on the upper deck like Pinocchio’s Pizza, Daisy’s de-Lites, and Pete’s Boiler Bites. Palo, an upscale adults-only restaurant, is an option with an additional fee for brunch and/or dinner. Yes, it’s worth it – I’ll be posting about that very soon! Of course there’s also Cabin Service (aka room service).
Guests rotate where they eat each night, easily finding their new table with the help of staff and table numbers which are easily spotted.
I love the rotational dining because it allows guests to experience each and every main dining room at least once (and if you happen to be on a 7-night cruise, at least twice). If you are on a 7-night cruise, that 7th night will be a repeat of your first night – so that makes 3 nights in one restaurant. On arrival day, you will be told which dining room you are assigned to for that evening. You are under no obligation to show up – no worries.
You quickly figure out the rotational schedule and the best part, the cast members will follow you night after night. Yes, the same cast members. They’ll learn your favorite drinks. We were surprised to find our favorites waiting for us that second night, then the third, and so on.
NOTE: We are a family of 3. Surprisingly we discovered at dinner on that very first night that we were going to be sharing a table with a family of 5 each and every night. It’s a good thing we all hit it off. Not only did we share much in common (including girls the same age), but they lived relatively close to us. Our best Disney Cruise souvenir – new friends who we see often! All this to say, that while I saw many families enjoying their own table, some odd numbered families might end up sharing a table. Just be forewarned – it could be the best thing ever!
PERK: One of my favorite cast members was Igor. He took it upon himself to cut the meat for all the kiddos he served! Oh, if only he could have followed us home. We were spoiled! If you happen to see Igor on the Disney Wonder, tell him I said hello!
Tiana’s Restaurant Decor
As you can imagine it was inspired by Disney’s Princess and the Frog.
Only open for dinner, this is one restaurant experience you won’t want to skip out on. The tables and curtains are draped in green with chairs reminiscent of a steamboat, setting the perfect ambience, sometimes feeling like you are in the middle of the bayou, other times like you are in the middle of a Mardi Gras parade.
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Ornate chandeliers hang from the ceiling.
Cast members are dressed in yellow clothing, reminding you of an era gone by.
SEASICKNESS TIP: Tiana’s Place is located on Deck 3 in the back of the ship (AFT). Because of this, both my daughter and husband became extra sensitive to the rocking of the ship while dining. It was in Tiana’s Place (and Animator’s Plate one floor above), that my husband needed the Sea-Bands in addition to the medicine he was already taking daily. My daughter, who didn’t need medication on the cruise, needed the Sea-Bands in both restaurants. NOTE: My husband and I both used Bonine chewable tablets as I’ve tried to go without before and by dinnertime the first night, I’m always miserable.
We all know the story of Tiana. Her dream was to open a restaurant of her own. It’s here on the Disney Wonder, not on any other ship, nor in any Disney Park, where we get to see that come to life. Disney Imagineering on the sea!
You’ll find yourself immersed in Louisiana with a live band playing Dixieland songs and Disney favorites too. They were incredible. Tiana and a certain favorite alligator of hers sometimes joined the band for extra fun. Kids were at times invited to the dance floor. Beads were handed out to the kids. Your cast members take a break from serving your dinner to parade through the restaurant like you were at Mardi Gras.
The entertainment is so incredible that I’m so glad we were on a 7-night cruise. We experienced it twice.
TIP: But here’s the thing, each night was different. Different experiences. Different shows. Different Menus. So I’m going to share what our experience was like for each night. For those of you who are on a 3 or 4 night Disney cruise, I don’t know which night they’ll follow. My guess is the 2nd night and 2nd menu for many reasons. The 2nd night was a much longer “concert” with the beads, beignets and all. You’ll have to let me know in the comments if you’ve experienced a shorter cruise.
Character Meet n Greets During Dinner?
Yes, you will have the opportunity to meet Tiana herself during your meal, but there are some things to remember…
- During the dinner, characters will come to YOUR table for autographs, photos and interaction. Do not let the kiddos get up and chase the characters for photos. Trust me, they’ll come to you.
- During the dinner, you will have the opportunity to meet Tiana, in her New Orleans jazz outfit only (see below photo). If you want to meet Tiana in her ballgown, that DOES NOT occur at Tiana’s Place. For that, you’ll need to reserve tickets for the Princess Gathering. This is a ticketed event and you’ll want to reserve them online before your cruise. It is free but you will not be able to join the line without a ticket. These gatherings occur several times throughout your cruise.
- You will also be able to meet Louis the Alligator during the dinner.
- Do not worry if Louis the Alligator doesn’t get to you the first night. Based on where you are seated, he met half the restaurant the first night and half the second night, simply because his tail limits where he can go.
Here you see Tiana chatting with my little girl. What I loved is that while the ship is large, it’s small enough that you bump into people all the time and cast members remember you. Tiana remembered my daughter from the Princess Gathering ticketed event earlier in the cruise. She remembered how my daughter thought about opening up her own restaurant one day.
They talked. And talked.
Tiana was amazing!
Tiana’s Place – The Food
Let’s talk food.
Southern cooking with hints of Creole and cajun spices is what you’ll find here. But don’t worry, the kids have plenty of kid-friendly options.
You can tell that Disney works hard on the menus they create and you’ll find:
- Vegetarian options
- Kids menus
- Items easily identified as Gluten-Free or Dairy-Free
- Lighter offerings
- No Sugar Added dessert option every evening
Might I add that the stemware and china are stunning in Tiana’s Place.
One thing I quickly learned from those who had been on a Disney Cruise before, you can order more than one of everything. SWEET! So if you were having a hard time deciding between 2 appetizers…ORDER BOTH. I dare say this became the norm on most nights! 🙂 Don’t judge!
I have photos for all the menus during the week. This is the first half of the menu on that first evening.
Each menu had appetizers and vegetarian entrees listed on the left hand side while having entrees, bread service and lighter offerings on the right hand side.
We began with appetizers. This was the Louisiana Hot Crab Dip with Toasted Croutons!
Buttered Green and White Asparagus Spears with Tomato Bearnaise!
Those who know me know that one of my favorite sauces in the world is a bearnaise. This did not disappoint.
It’s here where you can spy the different plates. Do you see the frogs on the china?
Sliced Gravlox with Marinated Slices of Salmon with Honey-Mustard Dressing.
Then it was on to entrees.
Oven-Roasted Tom Turkey Breast with Green Beans, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Rosemary Stuffing, Giblet Gravy and Cranberry Relish.
This was the dessert menu for the first night.
On the left you’ll note drinks (for an extra charge). On the left you’ll find several desserts, one signature dessert and one no-sugar added dessert.
Though there were 3 of us, we all chose the exact same dessert that first night.
Introducing Tiana’s Place Sundae!
I just had to order it when I spotted others with the White Chocolate Tiana’s Place on top! Plus, I do love a good Rocky Road ice cream.
It was the second night that had a much bigger show. From the entertainment to the food, there were showstoppers!
First thing that had us gushing over it…the kid’s menus!
The kids menus were shaped just like Louis’ trumpet, ideal for a great photo-opp with him.
Crayons were provided and it was the perfect take-home souvenir too.
From kid favorites like Mac ‘n Cheese to Mickey Check Meals like Big Daddy’s Baked Salmon (themed Princess and the Frog of course) , kids were enjoying this menu! I’ll admit that my daughter usually ordered from both the kids menu and adults menu. Plenty of options – she liked that.
Menu for the second night.
Boudin Sausage Fritters. I’ll tell you that the Aioli sauce was amazing!
Mama Odie’s Creamy Tomato Soup, named after the Princess and the Frog character of course.
Sauteed Gulf Shrimp and Grits.
Roasted Creole Half Chicken.
Cajun Spiced Sea Bass.
Now here was some extra fun.
The dessert menu on the second night actually lights up. Yes, similar to the Disneyland Hotel headboards, when pressed, the menu would come to life with fireflies lighting up!
I’ll be honest, though I would have loved to try every single dessert on this menu (I mean, come on, Southern Style Pecan Nut Tart and New Orleans Bananas Foster Sundae), I only had room for one more thing…
Let me introduce you to Tiana’s Buttermilk Beignets with a Chocolate Espresso Dipping Sauce. I couldn’t think of a better way to enjoy our last night at Tiana’s Place!
Have you ever been on a Disney Cruise? Tell me your questions and I’ll try to fit them into my upcoming posts!
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