Disney Wonder Day 3: Our Slacker Character Breakfast, Oceaneer Lab’s Red Hen and the Magic of Animator’s Palate

A Disney Cruise would not be complete without some one-on-one time with the Disney characters. The Personal Navigator (the daily newsletter detailing all there is to see and do on the ship) provides the when, where and with whom of the daily visits with fan-favorites such as Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Captain Hook, oodles of princesses and Captain Jack Sparrow.

Another popular option is the Character Breakfast. Each stateroom is assigned a morning to dine, pose for pictures and get autographs from their favorite characters. Day 3 was our special day.

But we stayed out at the Golden Mickey’s until almost 10 p.m. the night prior. And then there was a one-hour time change so we lost an hour of sleep.

Translation: we never made it to our character breakfast. (Oh, the shame).

Fortunately, the staff was gracious and let us meet the characters just as they were heading out. Here’s a little tip: Don’t try to get Goofy to stand next to Chip because he refused to do it.

I don’t want to stir up any controversy but I suspect there’s bad blood between them.

The weather took a turn for the warmer so I resolved after breakfast at Beach Blanket buffet, we would go swimming.

Hadley’s Favorite Restaurant

Because we had missed the Character Breakfast, I had suggested we try one of the sit-down restaurant for breakfast like Triton’s but was swiftly rebuked by Hadley who proclaimed, “Why would we go anywhere else if we have all the buffet’s wonderful choices?”

The girl doesn’t understand the concept of quality over quantity.

That said, there is a surprisingly great spread of food at the buffet—cheeses, a generous supply of fruits, yogurts, made-to-order omelets, Mickey-shaped waffles, along with fresh doughnuts and all the fixins (i.e. bacon, eggs and sausage) you’d expect.

Our decision to hit the pool early was a wise one. Though the temperatures were still chilly, the pool’s temperature was warm. Without the chaos of the afternoon crowd, my kids were able to play and swim for the first time.

Oceaneer Lab

That afternoon, the kids set sail at Oceaneer Lab while my mother-in-law and I took on the dubious task of relaxing reading and napping in our stateroom (someone’s gotta do it).

When we retrieved the kids three hours later, we had to practically drag them away. The Lab is is a futuristic and fun setting starring a larger-than-life Buzz Lightyear with planetary orbs, sparkling fiber-optic stars and interactive science lab stations, computers, reading area and games.

The age range for the Lab is 3-12 but it is geared to an older set. Six-year-old Hadley was in her element. Four-year-old Bode was among the youngest but he didn’t care. I found him with his Mario Cart posse, bossing the older boys around at every turn.

Hadley’s favorite part of the Oceaneer Lab was participating in Ratatouille Cooking School with an over-the-top, hilarious cookie chef. She paired up with Bode to make chocolate chip cookies that were delivered straight to her mouth from the Ratatouille restaurant magic oven.

Hadley: “But Bode didn’t get any cookies.”

Me: “Why not?”

Hadley: “You know the story of the Little Red Hen? My counselor said if someone doesn’t help make it, they won’t be able to eat it.”

Turns out Bode, in his quest for Mario Cart greatness, abandoned ship partway through and was not allowed to enjoy her spoils. Tough crowd hen house.

Animator’s Palate

Dinner at Animator’s Palate was like being trapped inside a kaleidoscope. Character sketches, maquettes, light boxes, paint brushes, colored pencils and scenes from popular Disney films adorn the black-and-white walls. But at the flash of light, they were transformed into an ever-evolving rainbow light show. As we dined on beef fillet and white chocolate cheesecake, Mickey made a surprise appearance.The children were entranced. I was stuffed.

We all walked away happy.

Buena Vista Theatre

For that evening’s entertainment, we opted to check out the 268-seat Buena Vista Theatre that featured first-run movies like Mars Needs Moms and Tangled. Gnomeo and Juliet was on-tap for the evening and we all loved this movie based loosely on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Only this one had a happy ending.

You couldn’t expect otherwise on the Disney Wonder.


If you missed it:
*It’s a Wonder Cruising with Disney: A Day-by-day Guide
*Day 0.5: If Getting There is Half the Fun Then I’m in Trouble
*Day 1: Kids Club, Sail Away Party and Fat Kitty Stowaway
*Day 2: Stateroom, Oceaneer Club, Pools, Entertainment & Pyrotechnics, Oh My!
*Day 3: Our Slacker Character Breakfast, Oceaneer Lab’s Little Red Hen and the Magic of Animator’s Palate
*Day 4: Puerto Vallarta, Boogie Boarding and Not-nude Beaches
*Days 5 & 6: Cabo, Lands End, A Brush with Death and a Newfound Love
*Day 7: Farewells & Our Favorite Moment of the Trip

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