Disney Wish Delights With Restaurant '1923'

July 3, 2022, 7:10 PM · Disney has created three new dining experiences for its dinner rotation on the Disney Wish. We in the Niles family experienced all three on the media preview Christening Cruise and will share our thoughts in three posts here on Theme Park Insider, starting today with the restaurant "1923."

If you have not sailed with the Disney Cruise Line before, Disney employs a rotational dining system rather than sending everyone to a Main Dining Room each night for dinner. Your party will be assigned a time and a table at one of the three restaurants each evening. Your wait staff also will rotate with you each night, as will the parties seated at adjacent tables. The rotational dinners are included with your cruise fare, so you can order as much or as little as you would like, but alcoholic beverages are not included, so you will be paying for those by the glass.

Named for the year that Walt and Roy Disney founded their company, 1923 is the "upscale, quiet night" dining experience of the Disney Wish's three rotational restaurants. There's no show here, as there are at the Arendelle and Worlds of Marvel dinners. The focus instead remains on the food, as well as the time you get to spend with your dining companions.

As for that food, the theme in 1923 is California cuisine, though a basic structure persists across all three rotational dining menus. The meal starts with a bread service, followed by your choice from from among four appetizers, two salads, two soups, five entrees, two vegetarian selections, and four "Lighter Note" options, including a salmon filet, roasted chicken breast, grilled sirloin steak, and a fourth selection that varies by restaurant.

At 1923, that selection is a Los Feliz Lobster Salad, with Baby Bibb lettuce, Endive, Avocado, Jicama, Purple Potato, Tostones, Black Beans, Grape Tomatoes, Cilantro, and Lime.

A few thoughts - first, none of us ordered this. Second, the 1923 menu includes several references to California cities and communities that reminded me of location names in the original California Adventure theme park. Few made will make sense to anyone familiar with the Golden State. My son lives in Los Feliz, an inland Los Angeles neighborhood, near Griffith Park, which has zilch to do with lobsters or growing vegetables. It just starts with an 'L,' like Lobster.

The third thought is that Disney Wish's menus list tend to list everything in a dish without communicating their proportions, especially with entrees, where many listed vegetables turned out to be little more than garnishes, rather than the side dishes we initially assumed them to be.

We ate at 1923 on our second night, and after our experience at Arendelle on the first night, we chose to order one of each appetizer for the table.

Alameda Porcini Spiced Ahi Tuna, with Pickled Lotus Root, Oyster Mushroom, Black Sesame Brittle, and Wasabi & Yuzu Mayonnaise

Alameda Porcini Spiced Ahi Tuna

Hyperion Four-Cheese Tri-Color Tortelloni, with Meyer Lemon, Artichoke, Sun-dried Tomato, and Baby Spinach

Hyperion Four-Cheese Tri-Color Tortelloni

Burrata Mozzarella Cheese & Prosciutto di Parma, with Crisp Cranberry and Sunflower Seed Phyllo, and Charred Blood Orange

Burrata Mozzarella Cheese & Prosciutto di Parma

Kingswell Duck Confit Pastilla, with Dates, Apricot, Ginger, Red Pepper, Saffron, and Black Raspberry Jam

Kingswell Duck Confit Pastilla

The accompaniments brought some brightness to the tortelloni, but its flavor could not hold up against the competition from the other appetizers. The shredded duck confit in the pastilla (named for the street where Walt and Roy had their first business office), felt more like an entree than an appetizer - nice but a bit too heavy for the light, appetite-stimulating bite we were looking for in this course.

Our winners were the perfect Burrata, well accompanied by the Prosciutto, and the Ahi dish. The tuna, especially, provided lively flavors to wake up your tongue, making it my favorite appetizer of the entire cruise. This is the dish I will be dreaming about for days to come.

We also selected the Roasted Roma Tomato Soup with Sourdough Purple Basil Crostini

Roasted Roma Tomato Soup

and the Fennel, Bartlett Pear and Tatsoi Salad with Manchego Cheese, Walnuts, and Sherry Dressing

Fennel, Bartlett Pear and Tatsoi Salad

The tomato soup tasted more like a hearty roasted tomato puree than a thinner soup. Nice flavor, but a bit heavy for a second course. Cruise eating is a marathon, not a sprint. Ya gotta pace yourself to make it to the finish each night.

The salad brought back the menu's proportion problem, which I described above. This was basically a bowl of shaved fennel. Perhaps that's a dream for black licorice fans, but after I ate the few balanced bites I could put together with the limited amount of other ingredients in the salad, I was done here and ready to move on.

So let's get to the entrees:

Tortiglioni Pasta with Prosecco Cream, Pancetta, Shallots, Cremini Mushrooms, and Lemon Thyme

Tortiglioni Pasta

Seared Verlasso Salmon Filet with Californian Wild Honey Parsnip Purée, Orange Fennel Essence, and Sautéed Black Garlic Rapini

Seared Verlasso Salmon Filet

Italian Flat Parsley and Rosemary-crusted Rack of Lamb with Dauphinoise Potato, Roasted Petite Turnip, Carrot and Zucchini, and Zinfandel Rosemary Sauce

Rack of Lamb

1923 Peppered Filet Mignon with Buttered Long Green Beans, Smoked Bacon, Crushed Fingerling Potato Hash, and Pink Pepper Café Au Lait

Filet Mignon

The menu also included a Riverside Roasted Green Circle Chicken with Leek Rondels, Brussels Sprouts, Yukon Potato Fondant, Honeycrisp Apple Chutney, and Cabernet Sauvignon Reduction, which none of us ordered.

The mushrooms dominated the pancetta in the tortiglioni, though the Prosecco cream offered a nice flavor to the pasta. But that dish soon was forgotten as we turned quickly to the perfectly cooked salmon, which tasted wonderful on its own but even better when dragged through the parsnip purée.

The filet delighted, cooked precisely to order, but after a hot day on Castaway Cay, the serving proved too much to finish - a rare occurrence on the Wish, which typically served reasonably modest portions for its entrees. The pepper sauce (not pictured, as it was served on the side and I just forgot to get it in the photo) tasted a tad too sweet to all of us, which became a common criticism of sauces aboard the Wish.

The lamb was my favorite entree of the cruise, however. Again, the chefs here nailed the preparation, delivering perfectly cooked lamb under a flavorful crust, accompanied by a robust sauce that had just the right level of sweetness for the meat, rather than going too far in that direction, as the filet's did. The veggies here were just the right size for a side, too, with the Dauphinoise Potato adding a welcomed indulgent touch to the plate, with that Gruyère and cream adding some life to the thinly sliced and stacked potato.

At 1923, passengers dine in one of two long dining areas, each named for one of the Disney brothers, either Walt or Roy. Each area is divided into multiple rooms, decorated with concept art, sketches, and other memorabilia from various Disney films and projects. With the name "1923," I expected the focus to fall upon projects from the early days of the Disney brothers' studio, but our room was all "Frozen," which we thought a bit much since we had the Arendelle dining experience the night before.

Inside 1923

The servers throughout our three-night stay provided attentive care and thoughtful recommendations. They knew us by name immediately and seemed well experienced in knowing when to engage and when to let guests have their space when dining. Disney Cruise Line staff excel at making guests feel like welcomed regulars wherever they are on the ship, most especially in the dining rooms.

In addition to the food, we ordered Buena Vista Old Fashioned, which - like all alcohol - was an upcharge. (And whose exact amount no one seems to remember. Whoops.)

Old Fashioned

Pretty standard for an Old Fashioned ("why do we order these?" someone said), but the big milk chocolate coaster atop it was pretty cool.

On that sweet note, dessert. We ordered:

Churros Calientes: Sugar Spice Churros, Dulce de Leche


Atwater Fuji Apple Cheesecake: Sweet Dough Shell, Caramelized Apples, Cinnamon Cheesecake, and Rolled Oat Crumble

Apple Cheesecake

The Signature Dessert was Burbank Blueberry-Lemon Bavarian Cream, with Ecuador Vanilla Bean, Lemon Rocks, and Dried Raspberry Meringue

Bavarian Cream

And the Ice Cream Sundae selection was the Hollywood Hills Hot Chocolate Fudge Sundae, with Vanilla Ice Cream, Fudge Brownie Bites, fresh Whipped Cream, and Glazed Cherry

Hot Chocolate Fudge Sundae

The names, again. Slow your roll, Disney. We did not order the gluten-free Orange Almond Cake or the no-sugar-added Coconut Tapioca Pudding.

We tasted nothing "caliente" about the churros, which tasted of pure Disneyland bliss, served with a delightful (and thick) dulce de leche sauce. The other desserts were pretty much as advertised: a nice apple-cinnamon cheesecake patisserie, a dab of blueberry inside the Bavarian cream, and a refreshing hot fudge sundae, though I gotta throw in that brownie bites just become teeth-shattering obstacles when buried inside an ice cream anything for more than a moment. Gimme a scoop of cold ice cream atop a big, warm brownie if we are to combine these favorites, instead.

The Disney Wish's 1923 might not have brought us back to 1923 and didn't seem any more authentically Californian than a California Pizza Kitchen. But it delivered what really matters - a delicious meal in a charming environment with comfortable service that kept our entire family chatting happily throughout our time there.

And if I could get that Ahi appetizer delivered to my home, please sign me up for two.

Read and watch more from the ship: All Aboard the Disney Cruise Line's New Disney Wish

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