Disney Makes Important Change to Specialty Dining Experience

Disney Cruise Line is relaxing its strict dress code for brunch at Palo and Palo Steakhouse, for all five ships in Disney's fleet.

One of Disney Cruise Line’s most popular specialty dining options, Palo and Palo Steakhouse, is known for its strict dress code that requires guests to look their best.

But now, cruisers have one more wardrobe choice if they’re planning to have brunch at the Italian venue on their next cruise, which should make sticking to the dress code a little easier.

Disney Cruise Line Changes Dress Code For Brunch At Palo

Palo and Palo Steakhouse, is available on all five ships in Disney’s fleet. Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, the first ships operated by DCL, both feature the original Palo, as do Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.

The newest ships, Disney Wish, which set sail in 2022, and Disney Treasure, which will debut in December of 2024, offer Palo Steakhouse, which is modeled after Palo and combines Italian fare with steakhouse cuisine. 

As part of preserving the fine dining atmosphere at the venue, only adults can dine in the restaurant and are required to dress up. Disney Cruise Line recommends formal or semi-formal attire consisting of items like dress pants, nice blouses, collared shirts, jeans in good condition with no rips or holes, and lifestyle shoes. 

But as of February 22, 2024, the cruise line has expanded the Palo dress code to include dress shorts for brunch reservations, which will add flexibility and certainly be nice for warmer sailings.

“Adult-exclusive restaurants aboard Disney Cruise Line ships are elegant dining experiences. Guests are requested to dress in a manner consistent with the restaurant’s sophistication,” Disney Cruise Line states.

“Formal or semi-formal attire is recommended. Also permitted is dress-casual attire with a polished look, such as dress pants, jeans in good condition, collared shirts, dressy tops and lifestyle shoes. For brunch at Palo and Palo Steakhouse, dress shorts are acceptable.”

Disney Cruise Line Palo
Disney Cruise Line Palo

The change only applies to brunch at the Palo, not dinner, and does not impact the other specialty restaurants found on the ships: Remy and Enchanté. Clothing such as casual T-shirts, swimwear, and sports or gym attire are still not allowed.

When I was a kid accompanying my parents on Disney cruises, I was always so jealous of the fancy adults who got to dine at Palo. When I finally got my turn to try the specialty dining experience with my fiancé while onboard Disney Dream, it was every bit as luxurious and delicious as I imagined – but it wasn’t smooth sailing for everyone. 

While waiting to be seated, we watched as another couple was asked to change before they could enter the dining room – as the casual T-shirts and sandals this couple was wearing weren’t up to snuff.

This couple had to make the walk of shame back to their stateroom to change into something nicer – and we saw a host guide them to their table in fresh outfits about 15 minutes later.

Disney Cruise Line Palo
Disney Cruise Line Palo

Every Disney Cruise includes dinner across three main dining rooms as part of a rotational dining system, where servers follow their guests to their assigned dining room each night to cultivate a personal and customized experience for passengers. 

But for guests looking for something extra special or who simply want more variety, they can make a reservation at one of the specialty dining restaurants onboard for an additional fee. Palo, which costs $45 for brunch and $50 for dinner at the time of this writing, is one of the most popular specialty options available. 

Dress Codes On Disney Cruise Line

Disney Cruise Line gives many opportunities to dress up, both formally and for fun, or to dress as casually as guests would like. Aside from the specialty dining restaurants, the dining venues onboard are “cruise casual.” This means that relaxed attire like shorts and T-shirts are permitted, with the exception of swimwear and tank tops.

Disney Cruise Ship Funnel
Disney Cruise Ship Funnel (Photo Credit: Theodore P. Webb)

That said, almost every Disney cruise features a themed night, where costumes are encouraged, and a formal night. For example, 3-night sailings have a “cruise casual” dress code for the first night, a pirate-themed dinner and deck party on the second night, and an optional “dress-up night” on the third.

On 4-night sailings, Disney Cruise Line includes two “cruise casual” nights, one pirate night, and one formal night. 

Read Also: Disney Cruise Ships: Newest to Oldest

For longer sailings, such as a week or longer, DCL mixes up the dress code a bit more. The first night is casual, with the second night designated as pirate night or given another fun theme, complete with a deck party.

There is also at least one formal night and one semi-formal night on longer sailings, which are always optional. If guests do not want to dress up, there are always other dining options available onboard, including room service, the buffet, snack and juice bars, and grab-and-go meals. 

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