Everything You Need to Know About Disney Cruise Ships

Here's what you need to know about the five Disney cruise ships.

Disney Cruise
Photo: Courtesy of Disney

There's plenty that sets Disney Cruise Line apart from its competitors — and not just the endless soft-serve ice cream, family-friendly staterooms, or being able to hug Mickey Mouse on your way to a Disney princess-themed restaurant. All five Disney cruise ships are elegantly designed and provide high-end services. With the best activities to keep kids entertained throughout the day, along with relaxing escapes for adults, Disney cruises offer plenty for the entire family. From immersive dining adventures to Disney's first-ever attraction at sea, these ships present truly magical vacations that visit a number of exciting destinations. Disney Cruise Line's ports of call include places in Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, Alaska, and, of course, Disney's private Bahamian island, Castaway Cay. And depending on when you cruise, you may be able to pick from themed itineraries for Halloween and Christmas. Here's what you need to know about Disney cruise ships, including the newest vessel, the Disney Wish.

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Disney Magic

Disney Cruise Lines
Courtesy of Disney

As the original Disney Cruise Line vessel, the Disney Magic retains its charm while embracing a collection of modernizations and upgrades to feel good as new.

Onboard Entertainment

Three Broadway-style shows are performed on the Disney Magic: "Twice Charmed," a twist on the Cinderella story; "Disney Dreams — An Enchanted Classic," an original show with cameos by characters like Peter Pan and Aladdin; and "Tangled: The Musical," Disney Magic’s signature show featuring stunning sets and beloved songs from the film.

In addition to nightly live entertainment throughout the ship, families can take in Marvel, Pixar, Disney, and Star Wars films currently in movie theaters at the full-size Buena Vista Theatre. On the outdoor upper decks, the Wide World of Sports offers basketball and ping pong, a selection of pools and hot tubs, and the famed AquaDunk water slide.

Exclusively For Kids

Whisk down a Slinky Dog slide in the "Toy Story"-themed Andy’s Room area, join the Lion Guard, or learn hero-worthy lessons from Thor within a Marvel Super Hero Academy — it’s all part of Disney’s Oceaneer Club, open to children ages 3 through 12. There are even more exciting Disney experiences throughout Disney’s Oceaneer Lab, Vibe teen club, and Edge tween club, all included with Disney Cruise ship sailings. (“It’s a Small World” nursery, which charges a nominal hourly rate, is also available for younger children.)

Experiences For Adults

Disney cruise ships are covered in high-end decor and thoughtful design that feel more classy and less kid-focused, but select adults-only experiences, including exclusive lounges and pools, still thrive. A collection of bars called After Hours has live music nightly at Keys, a ‘50s piano bar, and an opportunity to catch up on sports at O’Gills Pub, while Palo, a higher-end restaurant that requires a surcharge and reservation, is the ultimate date night. Don’t miss the “rainforest room” in the Disney Magic’s Senses Spa, as well as adult beverage tasting seminars.

Disney Magic Dining

Guests on the Disney Magic cruise ship will rotate between three restaurants nightly. Rapunzel’s Royal Table provides a themed night of lively music, revelry from some Snuggly Duckling denizens, and an appearance by Rapunzel and Flynn Rider within a lantern-lined ballroom. Animator’s Palate is surrounded by mementos from Disney and Pixar animated films that “come to life” throughout dinner, and Lumiere’s channels the elegance of "Beauty and the Beast."

Casual meals can be had at Cabanas or ordered via 24-hour room service on board the Disney Magic. Otherwise, stop by Duck-In Diner for hot dogs, chicken fingers, or a shawarma sandwich or enjoy a quick lunch at Pinocchio’s Pizzeria.

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Disney Wonder

Disney Cruise Lines
Courtesy of Disney

A trip aboard the Disney Wonder can lead to familiar tropical escapes as well as a memory-making Alaskan vacation, with all the Disney cruise goodies included on board. Repeat cruisers love this vessel for its smaller size, which makes for a more intimate trip.

Onboard Entertainment

Disney cruise ships are famous for their nightly shows. "Disney Dreams — an Enchanted Classic" and "The Golden Mickeys" feature best-of-the-best Disney characters and music, but "Frozen, A Musical Spectacular," which brings Anna and Elsa's story to life with Broadway-style costuming and design, is a Disney Cruise Line favorite.

When you’re not enjoying Disney cruise activities like viewing Star Wars and Marvel films currently in theatres or playing ping pong and basketball at Wide World of Sports, there are plenty of pools, hot tubs, and AquaLab water play areas to enjoy on the outer decks. There’s even Disney Wonder’s Pixar Pals Party, a fun-filled celebration with characters from "Toy Story," "Up," and more, exclusively offered on Alaskan sailings with Disney Cruise Line.

Exclusively For Kids

Kids ages 3 to 12 can get up close to characters they love, dancing with Woody in a "Toy Story"-themed area, taking hero training with Captain America within Marvel Super Hero Academy, or build their own Mickey Roadster Racers in a Disney Junior games area on board the Disney cruise ship, as older kids enjoy their own slate of activities in Vibe teen club and tween hang The Edge. (There is also babysitting available for small children within the “It’s a Small World” nursery at a small fee.)

Experiences For Adults

Make a reservation for Palo, an adults-only restaurant serving dinner each night and brunch on most sea days, or break for a pint at Crown & Fin Pub or a cocktail at Cadillac Lounge, housed within the Disney cruise ship’s After Hours section. There are also adults-only pool and outdoor areas on the Disney Wonder cruise ship, beverage seminars, and the Senses Spa’s “rainforest room”.

Disney Wonder Dining

Grab a slice at Pinocchio’s Pizzeria by Goofy’s Pool, a snack at Pete’s Boiler Bites, or some healthy fare at Daisy’s De-Lites — or hit the buffet at Cabanas, located on four Disney cruise ships. Dinner rotations bring diners to a new restaurant each night: Enjoy the flavor and fun of New Orleans at "The Princess & The Frog"-themed Tiana’s Place; the elegant "The Little Mermaid"-inspired Triton’s; or Animator’s Palate, which begins black-and-white and grows to be surrounded by color with a surprise at the meal’s end.

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Disney Dream

Disney Cruise Lines
Courtesy of Disney

Onboard Entertainment

This Disney cruise ship boasts variety shows like "The Golden Mickeys," an onboard spectacle celebrating Disney’s famed films and songs with plenty of character appearances, but its live rendition of "Beauty and the Beast" remains a signature show of Disney Cruise Line with its unfathomable sets, costumes, and performances.

Families can take in a round of outdoor mini golf on Goofy’s Sports Deck or stay inside to play Midship Detective Agency, a trio of interactive games featuring Muppets, Mickey Mouse, or Cruella de Vil. There’s plenty of aquatic fun to be had on this Disney cruise liner as well, with Nemo’s Reef for littles, an array of pools, and the AquaDuck, an onboard “water coaster” with views of the surrounding ocean, which is a Disney Cruise family favorite.

Exclusively For Kids

Packed with interactive features and themed spaces, Disney’s Oceaneer Club allows kids ages 3-12 to play in a "Toy Story"-themed room, explore Pixie Hollow with Tinker Bell, and take a simulated flight on the Millennium Falcon. There are also activities with characters, like Puzzle Playtime with Mickey and Friends, which lets young children play games alongside their favorite Disney characters, and more experiences within Disney’s Oceaneer Lab, tween hangs in Edge, and Vibe, a teen club with its own private pool.

Experiences For Adults

Unwind at Senses Spa or indulge in upscale dining at Palo and Remy, both of which are exclusive to adults on board. (Be sure to make a reservation in advance.) Grab an after-dinner drink at Meridian, or head to The District for a bottle at Pink: Wine and Champagne Bar or drinks at Skyline, Pub 687, District Lounge, or Evolution.

Disney Dream Dining

Passengers on the Disney Dream will rotate between three different dinner eateries: elegant French fare at Enchanted Garden; storybook fine dining at Royal Palace; and a fully-immersive Animator’s Palate, bringing together the animated film libraries of Disney and Pixar for a meal filled with intrigue and surprise.

Order room service, hit Cabanas or Flo’s Cafe, a trio of Cars-themed eateries with chicken fingers and cheeseburgers, or grab a healthy smoothie at Senses Juice Bar or a special dessert at Vanellope’s Sweets & Treats for an additional fee.

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Disney Fantasy

Disney Cruise Lines
Courtesy of Disney

Onboard Entertainment

Flex that vacation muscle at Disney Fantasy’s pools, including Nemo’s Reef for children and rides on the AquaDuck, a hybrid water slide and roller coaster with 765 feet of tubes above the top deck.

Uncover a hidden world of fun with Midship Detective Agency, an all-ages interactive game utilizing screens and props hidden throughout the ship. Watch current releases in the on-board Buena Vista Theatre or play basketball or experience VR sports simulators at sea on Goofy’s Sports Deck. At night, Disney Fantasy offers live shows including "Disney’s Believe," a narrative with visits from "Cinderella," "Mary Poppins" and "Peter Pan;" "Frozen, A Musical Spectacular;" and "Disney’s Aladdin - A Musical Spectacular," the Disney ship’s headlining show.

Exclusively For Kids

Kids ages 3-12 can learn mystic arts from Marvel’s "Doctor Strange" in the Marvel Super Hero Academy, sing and dance with "Toy Story’s" Woody in Andy’s Room, encounter real Stormtroopers at the Star Wars: Command Post, or enjoy kid-friendly activities with Mickey Mouse and friends. There’s endless inventive fun across Disney’s Oceaneer Lab and Club, and for older kids, at Edge and Vibe clubs.

Experiences For Adults

Whether you’re shopping around the ship, grabbing a gin and tonic at Meridian — or taking a beverage tasting seminar to learn more about them — there’s loads for adults to do. The Disney cruise ship offers two adults-only restaurants: Palo, which serves elegant Italian dishes, and Remy, a French coursed menu experience. Plus enjoy Europa, a collection of stylized bars including Ooh La La champagne bar and La Piazza, an Italian bar reminiscent of a carousel.

Disney Fantasy Dining

Three restaurants aboard this Disney cruise ship means something different every night, whether it’s the fairytale-inspired Royal Court, beautiful Enchanted Garden, or Animator’s Palate, which utilizes real-time interaction with a popular "Finding Nemo" character. Quick eats can be found at Cabanas restaurant and Flo’s Cafe, while fanciful sundaes at Sweet on You and shakes at Senses Juice Bar are worthwhile upgrades. (Cove Cafe, with its Mickey cappuccinos, is also a must.)

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Disney Wish

The Grand Hall on board the Disney Wish
Courtesy of Disney

Onboard Entertainment

Disney Cruise Line's newest ship, the Disney Wish, is packed with brand-new entertainment for all ages. The AquaMouse — Disney's first-ever attraction at sea — and Toy Story Splash Zone provide aquatic fun; two cozy theaters show new and favorite Disney, Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars films; and the Walt Disney Theater features Broadway-style shows, including a retelling of "The Little Mermaid," "Disney Seas the Adventure," and "Disney's Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular."

Exclusively for Kids

At Disney's Oceaneer Club on the Wish, kids ages three to 12 can live out their Marvel and Star Wars adventures in the Marvel Super Hero Academy and Star Wars: Cargo Bay, and join their favorite princesses in Fairytale Hall. In the new Walt Disney Imagineering Lab, they can discover Imagineer secrets and design their own coaster. Edge and Vibe offer organized fun for older kids.

Experiences for Adults

The Disney Wish pulls out all the stops for adults, with lots of magical experiences just for them. Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge offers intergalactic sips inspired by galaxies far, far away, The Bayou has a "Princess and the Frog"-themed menu in a beautiful setting, and The Cove includes an adults-only pool and bar. The ship also has a Palo Steakhouse and Enchanté by chef Arnaud Lallement, a stunning restaurant offering a multicourse dinner. The Disney Cruise Line favorite Senses Spa is also on this ship.

Disney Wish Dining

In addition to the truly exceptional adults-only restaurants, the Disney Wish offers some delightful onboard dining for the whole family. 1923 serves California flavors in a space inspired by Old Hollywood; Worlds of Marvel features the escapades of Ant-Man and the Wasp; and Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure is an immersive experience with singing, dancing, and visits from everyone's favorite Frozen characters. Casual dining is available at several venues throughout the ship, including Marceline Market and Mickey and Friends Festival of Food.

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