Disney Cruise Line has set the standard in family cruising since the Disney Magic’s debut in 1998, with its ships winning numerous awards for best family cruising. Disney just christened its fifth ship in the fleet, the Disney Wish, and we were aboard for this special preview sailing.
The Disney Wish is filled with technological innovations and firsts while keeping the incredible service, family-friendly accommodations, and Disney-quality entertainment families have come to expect. Here are the Top 10 reasons we’ve come up with to book the Disney Wish over other Disney Cruise Line ships. Let’s count them down to the number one reason.
10. Cinderella’s Castle at Sea
Disney Imagineers have created an homage to Walt Disney World’s iconic Cinderella Castle with the Disney Wish’s Grand Hall atrium. Guests will feel like they’ve entered Cinderella’s Castle at the Magic Kingdom and will even find Cinderella herself represented as the atrium statue icon. Look closely for other hints to Cinderella’s story, such as her Glass Slipper displayed on the Grand Staircase and Lucifer the cat lurking in the background.
Disney Cruise Line recognized that more and more entertainment, shows, and character meet & greets take place in the central atrium. The Disney Wish is the first ship to have an atrium stage and environmental theater with special effects to host dedicated shows and interactive entertainment. The atrium was designed from the beginning to host live entertainment and become a central hub for your family adventure.
9. Decadent Two Story Suites
This would be ranked higher, but, due to their opulence, these suites will not be financially viable for many families. However, for those with the means to splurge and indulge, there are multiple incredible two-story suites on board the Disney Wish. There are two royal suites on the concierge level Deck 13 – Princess Aurora and Briar Rose. These Royal Suites offer two bedrooms and two full baths, dining room, pantry with wine bar, and a private deck with outdoor furniture and your own hot tub. The views from these suites are simply incredible.
The Wish Tower Suite is huge, and contains nearly 2,000 square feet of living space that sleeps up to eight guests in two main bedrooms, a children’s room with bunk beds, a private library that converts to a bedroom, and four and a half bathrooms. The Wish Tower Suite is inspired by “Moana,” and features many nods and touches to the animated film, including a dramatic porcelain sculpture that reveals itself to be the “Heart of Te Fiti.”
8. New Places to Play Together as a Family
Of course, Disney is all about family entertainment, and the Disney Wish has multiple ways for families to join in and have fun together. Disney Cruise Line debuted the AquaDuck water coaster on the Disney Dream and Fantasy ships, but Imagineers take it to the next level on the Disney Wish with AquaMouse – the first-ever Disney attraction at sea. AquaMouse is a 760-foot water coaster that wraps around the top deck. Raft riders experience show scenes from “The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse” animated shorts, along with lighting and water effects that submerse riders in the story. You definitely will get wet on this AquaMouse attraction.
Next is the Hero Zone fully enclosed sport court that offers an elaborate Incredibles-themed inflatable obstacle course where families can challenge each other for victory. Families can play together in action-packed physical challenges during game show-style competitions. A balcony wraps around the arena for guests to take in and cheer on the competitors.
Disney Uncharted Adventure is a first-of-its-kind mobile app game that transforms your mobile device into a magical spyglass using the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app. Families can work together to unlock puzzles, adventures, and quests throughout the ship, themed to the worlds of Moana, Tiana, Peter Pan, Nemo, and more.
7. Two-New Theatrical Shows
Gather the family every night for an evening of live theater in the elegant three-story Walt Disney Theatre. In addition to fan-favorite “Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular,” two brand-new shows premiered on the Disney Wish. The first night has an embarkation show called “Disney Seas the Adventure” where Captain Minnie hands over the helm of the ship to Goofy in a character-filled show featuring music from “Finding Nemo,” “Princess and the Frog,” “Frozen,” and a rousing rendition of “Go the Distance” from “Hercules.” The second new show is “Disney The Little Mermaid,” a theatrical reimagining of the classic 1989 film that kick-started the Disney Animation renaissance.
Storytellers crack open a treasure chest to unearth the classic tale of “Disney The Little Mermaid.” The show features new orchestrations of favorite songs like “Part of Your World,” “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” and “Under the Sea,” with innovative puppetry that brings beloved characters such as Sebastian, Flounder, and Scuttle, as well as Ursula’s henchmen, Flotsam and Jetsam, to life. State-of-the-art video projection mapping and special effects transform the entire Walt Disney Theatre into an undersea world.
6. Disney’s Oceaneer Club
Disney Cruise Line has made it even easier to get to the kids’ club, with an entrance directly below the atrium. Families can easily walk across the Grand Hall and take the staircase one floor down to find Disney’s Oceaneer Club entrance. Even better, kids can enjoy the first-ever slide to whisk themselves even faster into Disney’s Oceaneer Club. For adults still embracing their inner child, you can slide during open house periods of Disney’s Oceaneer Club.
Like every Disney ship, there are dedicated spaces within the Oceaneer Club for every age group, including a princess-filled Fairytale Hall with Rapunzel, Belle, Anna, and Elsa, and Marvel Super Hero Academy with Spider-Man, Black Panther, Ant-Man, and the Wasp. There are also spaces you won’t find on any other Disney ship, such as the Walt Disney Imagineering Lab.
Only on the Disney Wish can you find the Walt Disney Imagineering Lab. This space inside Disney’s Oceaneer Club pulls back the curtain on Imagineering secrets and allows kids to engage in hands-on activities and inventive experiments. The space is filled with props, artwork, and models of signature Disney attractions, including an intricate reproduction of the Disney Wish itself.
Children can design their own roller coasters, such as Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Space Mountain, or the Matterhorn Bobsleds – and then climb into a capsule to ride their creation. Disney Parks fans will definitely want to check out the Walt Disney Imagineering Lab during Open House to see all the models and concept sketches of park attractions.
5. Inside Out Joyful Sweets
Simply put, the Inside Out Joyful Sweets dessert shop, inspired by the Pixar film “Inside Out,” made me happy. Joy welcomes you with open arms into this vibrant purple space filled with cases of ice cream, gelato, cupcakes, and novelty confections. Pick your flavor and grab a seat at the control center, then gaze out the eyes (i.e., windows) to the outside world. The wall with glowing Memory Orb lights is sure to be a favorite for Instagram selfies as teens recreate the emotions of the “Inside Out” character sculptures.
4. The Rose and Enchanté by Chef Arnaud Lallement
All of the premiere adult-only dining venues are inspired by Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Beauty and the Beast.” Adults (18 and over) enter this exclusive area via The Rose, a chic, upscale lounge where guests can enjoy a before- or after-dinner cocktail.
Enchanté offers the most luxurious dining experience on the Disney Wish, featuring a gourmet menu crafted by three-Michelin-starred Chef Arnaud Lallement. This intimate, romantic venue is inspired by the lavish hospitality of “Beauty and the Beast’s” maitre d’ Lumiere. Enchanté has brunch, dinner, and dessert offerings. In addition to The Rose and Enchanté, Palo Steakhouse completes the suite. Palo Steakhouse is a reimagining of the adult-dining venue onboard all other Disney ships.
3. Worlds of Marvel
Ant-Man and the Wasp host families in the first-ever Marvel cinematic dining experience. This high-tech meal features a state-of-the-art Pym Tech Quantum Core at every table, and a place setting filled with sleek Stark-itecture style. During dinner, “Avengers: Quantum Encounter” unfolds across table-side screens, and guests utilize the Quantum Core on their table to help save the Disney Wish from Ultron’s army of robots.
The Worlds of Marvel menu features flavors inspired by the settings from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including spices from Africa’s Wakanda, hearty soups from Eastern European Sokovia, and, yes, even shawarma from the Avengers’ home base of New York City. At the end of the meal there are special appearances from Ant-Man and the Wasp, to thank everyone for their help with the mission.
2. Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure
With Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure, Disney created a restaurant specifically with entertainment in mind, including theatrical lighting, sound, and a central stage for a true theater-in-the-round type experience. The restaurant picks up where “Frozen 2” left off, inviting guests to a royal engagement party for Queen Anna and Kristoff. The show is built around your dinner, and gives Oaken a starring role with his “Hearty Party Planning Service.”
In addition to the show, Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Oaken, and a real-sized Olaf (on his own little float) make their way to each table to greet their guests. Disney Cruise Line learned from previous Norwegian Fjord itineraries which cuisine their guests prefer from the area and created a meal infused with Nordic influences. This meal in Arendelle was our favorite of the cruise, and you don’t have to be a huge “Frozen” fan to appreciate it.
1. Dedicated Star Wars Venues
There are two Star Wars venues on board the Disney Wish that will have fans yelling “utinni” at the top of their lungs. First, the creatures of “Star Wars” are front and center in the Star Wars: Cargo Bay portion of the Oceaneer Club. Children can totally immerse themselves in this interactive play space and learn how to care for the variety of creatures from across the galaxy, including a porg, Loth-cat, worrt, and more.
In addition to imaginative free-play, there is an interactive show with two stowaways from the Resistance: Rey and Chewbacca. During “Star Wars: Creature Challenge,” kids can assist Chewie and Rey in channeling the Force, to prevent the ship’s destruction. Even if they don’t have children, adults can check out Star Wars: Cargo Bay during any of the Open House sessions of the Oceaneer Club.
For the first time, Disney Cruise Line created a Star Wars area for all the adults who don’t want to miss out on the Star Wars fun. Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge is a high tech, immersive bar that whisks passengers through Hyperspace every 7-10 minutes via incredible visuals (created by Lucasfilm wizards) on a room-sized viewscreen behind the bar.
The lounge itself is a small but sleek space, stylized as a luxurious yacht-class spaceship reminiscent of Dryden Vos’ ship in “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” Visitors can enjoy a variety of non- to highly-alcoholic drinks, and souvenir glasses are available too (e.g. Porg mugs). Star Wars fans will revel in this celebration of the franchise, and enjoy looking for familiar planets and ships while John Williams iconic score from every “Star Wars” film (Episodes I-IX) wafts in the background.
Honorable Mention: Support Make-A-Wish
The Disney Wish is the only ship where all Make-A-Wish children (past, present, and future) are recognized as “Godmother” of the vessel. For the inaugural season of the Disney Wish, Disney Cruise Line has created an exclusive line of merchandise that includes Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse plushes, ear headband, trading pin, spirit jersey, and Tervis tumbler. Disney will donate 10% of the purchase price from the sale of every item in the Disney Wish Limited Edition Collection from now through July 18, 2023 to Make-A-Wish, to grant even more life-changing wishes.
So, what do you think? What is your top reason to book a cruise on the Disney Wish? Let us know in the comments below. The maiden voyage of the Disney Wish sets sail on July 14. Click here for more information about the ship. Be sure to visit our YouTube Disney Cruise Line Playlist for all our videos from the trip.