Disney Parks Moms Panel
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Answered Question - Disney Parks Moms Panel

  • Our kids will be 5 and 8 when we go on DCL. What is your opinion on the first and second seating dining options for the DCL? Which time would be better for our family?
  • - Asked by Jamie from Michigan on 12/28/2013
  • Welcome aboard, Jamie! Your children are the same ages as my children, so I can definitely fill you in on the benefits to dining at both of the dinner seatings.

    The first seating is at 5:45 p.m. and the second seating is at 8:15 p.m. I like the first seating in that we know our kids won't be too hungry before dinner and won't be too worn out to sit politely and actually enjoy our dining experience. Then, we're off to the second show in the Walt Disney Theatre after dinner.

    That being said, we've decided that for our family, the second seating is better for a few reasons. After long exciting days of fun activities onboard and adventures in port, my kids (and my husband and I) are worn out! It's nice to have a bit of time to relax or take a quick late afternoon nap without rushing to be dressed and ready for dinner. We can take our time enjoying some downtime and then head to the first show in the Walt Disney Theatre. After that, we still have time to head back to the stateroom to get completely ready for dinner if we weren't totally ready before the show. Plus, if your kids get hungry before that late dinner, you're always welcome to swing by one of the food spots near the pool for a quick snack or order from the complimentary room service menu.

    I also enjoy that Disney Cruise Line offers a Dine n' Play option, which is only available during the second seating. Children's meals are served first and then about 45 minutes to an hour into the seating, Cast Members from the Youth Clubs arrive at the doors to each main dining restaurant to pick up any children that would like to head into the clubs for activities. This allows us to enjoy the first part of the meal as a family, but then allows the grownups to have some alone time to enjoy the rest of our meal while the kids head off to play.

    I hope that helps as you decide on your dining time, Jamie. Please stop back again and let me know how else I can help before you set sail!

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Panelists have received/will receive a Walt Disney World® Resort or Disneyland® Resort vacation for panelist and up to three family members and/or park tickets for their participation on the Disney Parks Moms Panel. The views expressed in the Panel are those of the panelists, who are independent contractors. These views are not intended to reflect the opinions of Disney Destinations, its affiliates, its management, its agents or its employees and have not been reviewed or approved by Disney Destinations prior to posting.