You finally did it… You took the plunge (or are thinking about) and booked your very first Disney Cruise. You WILL NOT be disappointed! Disney Cruise Line is amazing.

First before we jump into how to maneuver your 2nd seating Disney Cruise dining arrangement with kids, let’s FIRST go over a little be about seating assignments and how they work.

There are TWO dining seating assignments on Disney Cruise Line; Main and Second Seating. Main Seating is between 5:45pm and 6:15pm. Second Seating is between 8:00pm and 8:30pm. Now, you CAN request a particular seating assignment when you book (or I) your cruise. If Main Seating is FULL and you don’t think Second Seating is going to work for your family, you can request to be placed on waiting list for Main Seating, OR you can give Second Seating a try by using the tips I share below. Before we go into my tips, let us review some potential benefits of having Second Seating arrangements.


  1. You probably already guessed, BUT the atmosphere during Second Seating is quieter and more laid back.
  2. Second Seating diners see the nightly shows while main seating is at dinner. I don’t know about your kids, BUT mine do better at movies/shows when they are alert and not as tired! AND let’s be honest, I do too.
  3. Going to the show first will give you conversation material to use while at dinner with your cruise tablemates!
  4. You won’t have to rush back to the ship when at port to get ready for dinner. Take your time, enjoy paradise for a tad bit longer!
  5. Second Seating allows kids to take a later afternoon nap!
  6. Dine & Play is only offered during Second Seating. My kids like to eat and run. With Dine & Play, Youth Counselors will come to your table and escort your children to the Youth Activities area. Your family does NOT HAVE to participate, but it is a great opportunity to have a little adult time if your kids dig the kids clubs! (and most do!)

Now that we know the possible benefits of second seating could have for your family, let’s talk about some Tips for 2nd Seating with kids.

  1. Don’t be afraid to take your kids to the lido deck for food before the show. This will curb their appetites until your later dining time. Plus, it is included in your cruise fare! You could even order room service before the show. The cheese plate is delicious!
  2. If you are worried about your kids “lasting” until your Second Seating dining arrangement, try a nap or even some quiet time in your stateroom watching TV before the show. I know I wouldn’t mind some room service on a verandah with a good book while my kids nap!
  3. Don’t feel obligated to even show up every evening for Second seating! There are plenty of food options available if you don’t. It is your vacation, be a rebel, DO what YOU want.

Don’t be scared of OR fret about your Second Seating Disney Cruise dining arrangement. There CAN be benefits as I mentioned above. Do what is best for your family and remember to just have fun. That is after all the whole point!

Are you thinking about experiencing a Disney Cruise soon and need a little guidance? I’m your girl! My name is Lizeth and I am an Orlando destination specialist. Contact me at, or by phone at 1-800-670-4312, ext. 143.