My family and I recently returned from a 4-night Halloween on the High Seas sailing on board the Disney Wish – the latest addition to the Disney Cruise Line fleet. We confirmed our sailing the nanosecond our booking window opened last summer, and had been counting down ever since. I had high expectations for the ship, the holiday sailing, and the overall experience. Even so, I was magically blown away!
Disney Wish elevates an already magical cruise experience. It is elegant, whimsical, and luxurious. Disney’s ability to weave a story through details and immersion is impeccable. There are so many things to love about this ship, but here are my Top 5.
1. The Grand Hall
The three-story Grand Hall is an homage to Cinderella, and no detail has been overlooked. A life-size bronze statue of the Princess takes center stage. But look carefully. You’ll see that Gus Gus and Jaq are hiding under her dress from Lucifer. Cinderella’s glass slipper is encased close by.
Up high the gorgeous chandelier – let’s call it a glittering icon – is meant to capture the moment Fairy Godmother transforms her housedress into a ball gown. The color scheme changes throughout the day, and children are given their own wishing wand to make their first wish during a special boarding celebration. Don’t ask me how I know this, but kids at heart can ask Guest Services for a wishing wand too. 😉
The staircase railings symbolize the ribbons the fairies used when making her dress. Imagine they are the ribbon rolls unspooling if you will.
And new to Disney ships is the first-ever atrium stage which hosts shows, interactive entertainment, and character meet and greets.
2. Broadway-style Entertainment
Two new Broadway-style shows are featured in the Walt Disney Theatre on board the Wish. They are The Little Mermaid (developed exclusively for the Wish), and Aladdin. Do not miss these! They are fabulous!
Obviously no photos/videos are allowed during the production.
3. Dinner Shows
Disney cruises utilize rotational dining. This means you are assigned one of the Main Dining Rooms for each night of your sailing and your wait staff travels with you from restaurant to restaurant. On this ship there are three: 1923, Worlds of Marvel, and Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure. All but 1923 are a dinner show experience.
Even though its not a dinner show, I could not leave this one out. Named after the year the Walt Disney Company was founded, 1923 is reminiscent of the golden age of animation. The restaurant is divided into two sides: Walt Disney and Roy Disney. Lining the walls are more than 1,000 drawings, movie props, and other artwork from the company’s start to modern times.
Worlds of Marvel
Avengers Assemble! In Worlds of Marvel, guests step into Avengers: Quantum Encounter while dining. Their job is to use the Quantum Core on the table to help Ant Man and Wasp with a mission. Of course, things don’t always go according to plan. The experience is enhanced with screen presentations of hero technology from other Avengers. At the end Ant Man and Wasp make a physical appearance to thank guests for their help.
Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure
It’s a celebration hosted by Oaken, featuring local musicians playing Frozen favorites. Guests will truly feel as though they are in the kingdom of Arendelle as they sing along with beloved characters.
On our four-night sailing, we dined in Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure twice, including Pirate night with its own menu. The show was not played a second time.
4. Hero Zone
Disney Cruise Line has phenomenal kids clubs. This we already know. But Hero Zone takes it a step further. Guests of Vibe (ages 14-17) can experience this new multi-purpose, climate controlled sporting area. Though mainly for free play, Hero Zone also hosts scheduled events, including a Halloween party. No parents allowed!
5. Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge
Imagine sipping on an exotic concoction in space. Star Wars Hyperspace Lounge is a must for Star Wars fans.
It’s similar to Oga’s Cantina on Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in terms of offerings, but the atmosphere is much more subdued. The large screen behind the bar is actually a window to the galaxy where you can watch yourself jump into hyperspace to travel to different planets. Super cool!
Bonus: Walking the Wish Tour
This adult-only, small group tour provides fun facts and context, and reveals a few secrets about this beautiful ship. Our guide was so patient and answered all of our questions. It is free to sign up in the cruise app.
Things I did NOT love:
None of these had a negative impact on our overall experience, but I do think they’re worth mentioning.
- The tables in the main dining rooms are very close together. Too close I think. Several times we heard servers dropping entire trays.
- Unless you’re in first-tier seating for Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure, you do not have a great view of the stage performance. The servers moving about, as well as their service stations partially obstruct the view. This is not helped by parents standing their littles on their laps.
- No nighttime movies on Funnel Vision. One night they were playing the Alabama Tennessee game, which I thought should have been limited to Keg & Compass, but its possible the venue was hosting a private event at that time.
- Touchless elevator button sensitivity. I really liked the idea of making the buttons touchless. However in a crowded elevator, if someone stood too close to the panel, the elevator would make a stop on every deck. Not magical!
- We never could seem to cool our cabin to our preference. Several people I spoke with – primarily middle-aged women like myself so read into that what you will – had the same issue. There was nothing wrong, just an internal setting. Fix it! LOL!
Disney Cruise Line remains my favorite line and this experience cemented that. It is magical for all ages. There’s so much more I wish I could add in this post, but then it would be even longer. Ha!
Up next, I’ll discuss the comparison between a Disney cruise and a visit to Walt Disney World. Check back soon!
As an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner and lover of all things Disney, I would be honored for the opportunity to plan your visit to The Most Magical Place on Earth! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.