What It’s Like to Sail on the Disney Cruise Line’s Newest Ship, Disney Wish

For families, Disney's newest cruise ship is a Wish come true.
Disney Wish (Photo: Disney Cruise Line)
Disney Wish (Photo: Disney Cruise Line)

Today marks the start of the inaugural season for Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship, the Disney Wish, the fifth ship in Disney’s fleet (after the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream, and Disney Fantasy).

The Wish is the first in a new class of ships for Disney, and its passenger capacity of 5,555 is roughly twice the size of the line’s two earliest ships, the Magic and Wonder. I had the opportunity to check out the Disney Wish on a preview sailing earlier this month, and I came away with the impression that while this ship is significantly larger than its predecessors, it’s every bit as intimate and, dare I say, magical as everything that’s come before.

FIRST LOOK: Inside the Disney Wish’s Exclusive New Star Wars Areas for Kids and Adults

Like Disney Cruise Line’s four other ships, the Wish features immersive storytelling experiences, signature Broadway-style live shows, a top-notch kids’ club, multiple pools, and memorable themed dining experiences. But Disney’s newest cruise ship raises the game with a number of first-of-its-kind features and experiences not found on any of the line’s other ships.

Here’s a look at what you can expect on the Disney Wish, which will sail from Port Canaveral, Florida, on three- and four-night cruises during its inaugural season.

The Disney Wish Was Designed to Be a Castle on the Seas

The three-story Grand Hall atrium and Cinderella statue on Disney Wish (Photo: Disney Cruise Line)
The three-story Grand Hall atrium and Cinderella statue on Disney Wish (Photo: Disney Cruise Line)

Guests enter the Disney Wish from Disney’s cruise terminal and arrive at the ship’s three-story Grand Hall, a fairytale-inspired atrium dubbed a “castle on the seas” by Disney’s Imagineers. The atrium features a stage for live entertainment, a statue of Cinderella that greets guests as they arrive, a giant wishing star that adorns the hall’s chandelier, and a “secret entrance” to the completely reimagined Oceaneer Kids’ Club, where kids can slide in directly from the Grand Hall. (A more traditional doorway to Disney’s Oceaneer Club is also available onboard.)

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The Mickey Mouse-themed AquaMouse is Disney's first attraction at sea (Photo: Amy Smith)
The Mickey Mouse-themed AquaMouse is Disney’s first attraction at sea (Photo: Amy Smith)

The upper deck of the Wish features the first-ever Disney attraction at sea: AquaMouse, a 760-foot wraparound water ride that incorporates lighting, special effects, and storytelling for an immersive experience themed around classic animated Mickey Mouse shorts.

The ship’s upper deck also features six pools, a Toy Story splash zone for little kids, casual dining areas, a dedicated area just for adults called Quiet Cove, and space for everyone in the family to relax and hang out together. 

Disney Has Completely Reimagined the Idea of a Cruise Ship Kids Cub

In the Disney Wish’s reimagined Oceaneer club, children ages three to 12 can see what it’s like to be a Disney Imagineer in an interactive lab where they can design their own roller coaster and virtually ride it. They can also channel their inner artists with Rapunzel, explore Belle’s library from Beauty and the Beast, explore Anna’s house from Frozen, and journey to a galaxy far, far away in the interactive Star Wars: Cargo Bay play space.

Inside Star Wars Cargo Bay on the Disney Wish (Photo: Josh Roberts)
Inside Star Wars Cargo Bay on the Disney Wish (Photo: Josh Roberts)

READY TO WOW: Dazzling Kids Spaces on the Disney Wish

The Disney Cruise Line favorite Marvel Super Hero academy has a home on the Wish, too. Kids can choose their own superhero suits in the high-tech Avengers tower-themed area and visit with Marvel heroes such as Spider-Man, Black Panther, Ant-Man, and the Wasp. 

Family Entertainment on the Disney Wish

Live performances like the reimagined Little Mermaid are one of the best parts of any Disney cruise (Photo: Disney Cruise Line)
Live performances like the reimagined Little Mermaid are one of the best parts of any Disney cruise (Photo: Disney Cruise Line)

Disney Wish’s Broadway-style entertainment takes center stage at the ship’s Walt Disney Theater, which—in a design unique to the ship—is inspired by a magical forest. The inaugural 2022 season will include a reimagined Little Mermaid musical spectacular alongside other original shows, including Disney’s Seas the Adventure, which puts Goofy on an adventure alongside favorite characters from Pixar and Disney animated films.

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Also onboard, the ship’s Wonderland and Never Land cinemas are smaller screening rooms that will show classic and first-run films from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm.

Hero Zone is a futuristic, free-play sports arena onboard the Disney Wish (Photo: Amy Smith)
Hero Zone is a futuristic, free-play sports arena onboard the Disney Wish (Photo: Amy Smith)

Other new Disney Cruise Line entertainment concepts include the stage inside the three-story Grand Hall atrium, where shows and programming surprises happen throughout the day; HeroZone, a first-of-its-kind super hero-themed sports arena; and Luna, a family-friendly daytime space that transforms into an adults-only lounge in the evenings. 

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Adult-Exclusive Areas and Story Spaces

Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge on the Disney Wish (Photo: Disney Cruise Line)
Photo: Disney Cruise Line

“Our guests are often surprised by just how much fun and relaxation there is for adults on a Disney cruise, says Laura Cabo, Portfolio Creative Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering. “With the Disney Wish, we wanted to give our adult guests even more variety and options to customize their experience, whether they’re looking for elegant sophistication with just a touch of pixie dust, or full-scale immersion into some of their favorite Disney stories.”

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For adult Star Wars fans, the highlight of the new Disney Wish is definitely going to be the new Hyperspace Lounge, a high-end luxurious yacht-class spaceship-style bar that features galaxy-wide panoramic views of planets like Tatooine and Mustafar in a fully immersive Star Wars setting, similar to Disney’s new Star Wars hotel. Drinks and props inspired by the Star Wars universe complete the storytelling illusion.

Disney's Imagineers worked directly with Lucasfilm to bring the Hyperspace Lounge to life (Photo: Josh Roberts)
Disney’s Imagineers worked directly with Lucasfilm to bring the Hyperspace Lounge to life (Photo: Josh Roberts)

The Disney Wish‘s suite of adult-exclusive dining spaces includes a Beauty and the Beast-inspired cocktail lounge called The Rose; Enchante, an elegant dining experience inspired by the Beast’s kind-but-rebellious candlestick Lumiere; a reimagined Palo steakhouse for fine dining; and Quiet Cove, a top-deck adults-only retreat featuring a whirlpool, infinity pool, and adult beverages such as beer, wine, and cocktails.

DINING DELIGHTS: These Are the Can’t-Miss Restaurants and Lounges on the Disney Wish

Staterooms on Disney Wish

The accessible staterooms on the Disney Wish are among the most expansive we’ve ever seen on a Disney ship (Photo: Dave Parfitt)
Almost all of the Disney Wish’s staterooms have ocean views (Photo: Dave Parfitt)

With their signature attention to detail, Disney Cruise Line staterooms have always set the standard for family cruises. On the Disney Wish, though, the rooms are elevated to a new level of design. Ninety percent of the Wish’s 1,254 storybook-inspired staterooms have ocean views, including 877 staterooms with verandahs.

To accommodate larger families, the Disney Wish also has 451 connecting doors for adjoining staterooms. The line’s rooms have been redesigned with an enchanted new look that incorporates elegant details inspired by Cinderella, as well as luxe features such as expanded storage space.

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The ship’s deluxe concierge staterooms and suites display the rich color palette favored by Rapunzel from Disney’s Tangled. And Disney Cruise Line’s first-ever two-story “royal suites” come with a grand spiral staircase, stained glass artwork, and expansive ocean views in the impressively named Princess Aurora Royal Suites and Briar Rose Royal Suites.

Three New Family Restaurants

Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure is Disney’s first Frozen-themed theatrical dining experience (Photo: Matt Stroshane)
Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure is Disney’s first Frozen-themed theatrical dining experience (Photo: Matt Stroshane)

The launch of the new Disney Wish also brings three entirely new restaurant concepts to Disney Cruise Line. 

At Arendelle: A Frozen Disney Adventure, characters from the Frozen movies perform a one-of-a-kind musical celebration marking Anna and Kristoff’s engagement, picking up the story where Frozen 2 left off while families dine in a theater-in-the-round environment. Invisible fiber optics show off Elsa’s icy magic, and the venue’s panoramic windows reveal the dancing lights of the Aurora Borealis. The menu features family-friendly Nordic-infused cuisine.

On the Disney Wish, the restaurant 1923 is named for The Walt Disney Company’s founding year (Photo: Kent Phillips)
Photo: Kent Phillips

Old Hollywood comes to life at 1923, named after the year Walt Disney Studios was founded. The glitzy restaurant features a Hollywood-inspired menu, California fusion flavors, and Napa wines in a setting that pays homage to the golden age of Disney animation.

The third new experience, and my personal favorite, is Worlds of Marvel, an interactive cinematic Marvel dining adventure featuring Ant-Man and the Wasp (and a fair number of surprise guest stars from the Avengers). Dishes are inspired by African Wakanda, Eastern Europe’s Sokovia, and of course the Avengers’ home city, New York. As a lifelong fan of all things Marvel, I had a smile on my face for the entire 90-minute dining experience.

Worlds of Marvel is the first-ever Marvel cinematic dining adventure (Photo: Amy Smith)
Worlds of Marvel (Photo: Amy Smith)

Scratch that—I had a smile on my face for the entire cruise, actually. Disney Cruise Line has a winner with its newest ship. For families, it’s a Wish come true.

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Posted: April 2021
Updated: July 2022

Josh Roberts
Recognized with multiple awards for excellence in travel journalism, Josh Roberts has more than two decades of experience helping travelers discover where to go and what to do when they get there. He is the former Senior Executive Editor of Tripadvisor's SmarterTravel, Airfarewatchdog, and FamilyVacationCritic websites, and the co-founder and Head of Content at FamilyVacationist.

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