Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship, the Disney Wish, will set sail on her maiden voyage on July 14. The fleet’s fifth vessel, the Wish, has been dubbed a “castle on the sea.” It brings a regal new look to the magical Disney experience, along with a boatload of new enhancements and offerings to the traditional cruise vacation.
The Wish offers new ways to experience Disney, Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar beyond the theme parks and updated approaches to the ship’s dedicated adult and kid zones. It also features the most innovative dining and entertainment offerings yet seen on Disney Cruise Line. The Disney Wish sets a new bar for family, multigenerational — and yes, even adults-only — cruising.
My family sailed on the Wish’s christening voyage during a media preview, and though some of the elements of the ship weren’t fully operational yet, we experienced enough to return home and immediately book a four-night sailing on the Wish this October. Here’s a firsthand look at some of the most unique and exciting experiences aboard the Disney Wish.
Kids Can Slide Straight Into The Kids Club
Disney Cruise Line is perhaps best known for its unmatched ability to cater to guests of all ages, and the fleet’s immersive kids clubs are the pièce de résistance. Disney’s Oceaneer Club on the Disney Wish is a sprawling, secure, themed space where kids ages 3-12 get lost in activities like designing their own roller coasters in the Walt Disney Imagineering Lab, creating art projects in Rapunzel’s Art Studio, caring for otherworldly creatures in Star Wars: Cargo Bay, and rubbing shoulders with Disney characters, who make regular appearances in the club.
I have trouble getting my kids out of the club, but for kiddos hesitant to leave parents behind, plunging straight from the Grand Hall on a twisting slide “down the rabbit hole” and into the “Alice in Wonderland”-themed entrance to the club should do the trick.
Adults feeling curiouser and curiouser can take their turn down the slide during Open Houses and get their chance to explore the Oceaneer Club alongside their kids. (Don’t miss trying out one of the coolest features — the automatic hand washers!).
Here’s a look at them in use on my Instagram:
View this post on Instagram
There’s A Star Wars-Themed Bar That Includes Some Elements Of Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser
If you’ve been intrigued by the launch of Walt Disney World’s new “Star Wars: hotel experience, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, but weren’t ready to go all-in on a two-day space cruise aboard the Halcyon, the Disney Wish offers a smaller taste of “Star Wars” cruising in Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge, an out-of-this-world watering hole modeled after a luxury-class space cruiser.
Experience sideways jumps to hyperspace as you hop between planets like Mustafar, Tatooine, Coruscant and Batuu and watch iconic ships like the Razor Crest and the Halcyon fly by. Hear otherworldly beats — the same soundtrack played in Galactic Starcruiser’s Sublight Lounge and atrium — while sipping storied cocktails like the Freetown Reserve from Tatooine, made of “Bantha hides mashed with fermented grains,” and the Berken’s Flow from Mustafar, “from the largest lavafall of the galaxy.”
Kids are welcome during the day and can drink colorful zero-proof concoctions like the bright blue Cloud City, made with oak milk, blue raspberry, and galaxy ice cream or the green Temple Twist, made with apple, mint, pineapple, ginger beer and popping pearls (aka “fish eggs”). This one is a nod to Grogu, whose silhouette tops the drink as a kiwi garnish.
One menu item at Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge that has everyone talking is the $5,000 Kaiburr Crystal cocktail, “the galaxy’s rarest and valuable cocktail,” that will be delivered to your table in a camtono. There’s still an aura of mystery surrounding the drink’s ingredients and it what comes with to command all those credits, but there’s reportedly an entertainment component as part of the drink’s delivery and even a visit to Skywalker Ranch included.
The Wish Introduces Disney’s First-Ever Ride At Sea
A first-of-its-kind water ride, the AquaMouse takes guests on a wet, wild aqua-coaster adventure. Themed with “The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse,” riders will see one of two different shorts during their ascent to the top — and get blasted with more than 60 different water effects in the process. Then, they’ll twist and turn through 760 feet of tubes suspended high above the ship’s upper decks.
Dinner And A Show Is Taken To A New Level
Disney Cruise Line is known for live, Broadway-caliber shows across the fleet, but new to the Wish is the introduction of elaborate dinner shows as part of the ship’s rotational dining experience.
“Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure” invites guests into Arendelle Castle for Anna and Kristoff’s engagement party, hosted by Elsa and catered by Oaken’s “Hearty Party Planning Service … and Sauna.” Tables in the endlessly-detailed dining room are arranged theater-in-the-round style around a stage. There, Anna, Kristoff, Elsa, Oaken, Olaf and two musicians perform original takes on “Frozen” favorites, plus a deleted song from “Frozen II.” A Nordic-themed menu offers some adventurous options, but there’s plenty to please picky palates.
At “Avengers: Quantum Encounter,” dubbed “a cinematic dining experience,” guests attend a special technology showcase hosted by Ant-Man and the Wasp in the ship’s Worlds of Marvel restaurant. On screens throughout the restaurant, some of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s biggest stars — Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, Evangeline Lilly as the Wasp, Anthony Mackie as Captain America, Brie Larson as Captain Marvel and Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel — reprise their Avengers roles in an action-packed adventure that takes place throughout the ship. This experience makes Disney Wish a bucket-list destination for Marvel fans who might want to experience the exclusive show.
Parents Can Race Kids Around An Inflatable Obstacle Course
Adults, if you’ve ever looked longingly at inflatables at a kid’s birthday party or play zone, good news. Everyone gets to channel their inner superhero on the Incredi-Games course, an inflatable obstacle course in the Hero Zone sports area. Sure, your kids probably get plenty of opportunities to play on inflatables at home, but this is your chance to go head to head and race them to the finish.
The Barbershop Has A Concealed Cocktail Bar
Depending on when you pass by Hook’s Barbery, a European-style men’s salon offering haircuts, shaves, nail and skin services, it may look like just an ordinary — albeit elegant — salon, decorated with rich leather, dark wood, and nods to Captain Hook and Never Land. But, concealed in plain sight, the space quickly doubles as a bar, stocked with pre-Prohibition bourbons, vintage whisky and port, aged rum and premium spirits.
Check it out on Instagram:
View this post on Instagram
The dedicated barbershop marks a shift from other Disney Cruise Line ships, which provide adult salon services within the main Senses Spa. On the Disney Wish, in addition to the barbershop, the Untangled Salon is a stunning “Tangled”-inspired space providing salon services including hair and nails.
Also on board the Wish, perennial kid favorite the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique features costumes, hairstyling, makeup and accessories for kids ages 3 to 12.
Staterooms Are Themed To Different Disney Princesses
The Wish’s stateroom design and decor mark yet another departure from the fleet’s four other ships. Standard stateroom decks and hallways follow one of three different motifs — Fairy Tale Castles, Forest and Animals, and Spirit of the Sea. This serves a dual purpose, says Walt Disney Imagineer Laura Cabo.
“It was really important to us that we had a different twist to our staterooms,” Cabo said. “We really wanted to be able to showcase all of our different stories rather than just the nautical theme which is already gloriously done on our other ships.”
Staterooms showcasing each motif include artwork inspired by a specific film and Disney Princess. Fairy Tale Castle rooms feature artwork from either “Cinderella” or “Frozen”; Forest and Animals rooms feature “The Princess and the Frog” or “Sleeping Beauty”; and Spirit of the Sea rooms feature “The Little Mermaid” or “Moana.” Concierge rooms feature “Tangled” and Royal suites take inspiration from Moana and Princess Aurora.
But, says Cabo, the various motifs, which are reflected everywhere from the hallway carpet to details on stateroom doors, also help guests find their way throughout the sprawling ship.
“Because our ship is so vast — over 1.2 million square feet — we wanted to help our guests understand more where they are.”
Ninety percent of staterooms have an ocean view and 900 of the ship’s 1,254 staterooms have the option to adjoin to accommodate larger families. Adjoining rooms even feature alternating princess themes, so guests in connecting rooms will get to see both of the floor’s princess designs.
Concierge staterooms and suites feature upgraded offerings like walk-in closets, master bathrooms with rain showers, sweeping living areas and floor-to-ceiling oceanview windows.
The Wish’s Food and Beverage Program Is A Grown-Up Affair
That $5,000 Star Wars cocktail isn’t the only drink on the ship that comes with an experience. Of the cocktails in Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge, Walt Disney Imagineer Pam Rawlins said, “All of our beverages bring a special entertainment component,” and that’s true not only in Hyperspace Lounge but across the ship’s numerous cocktail bars and lounges (which parents should have plenty of time to frequent while kids are having a ball in the kids’ clubs).
Exciting cocktails include a cinnamon-scented smoke bubble-topped “The Chancellor” made with Hennessy James and Calvados Menorval 1972 in Hyperspace Lounge; “The Rose,” a $50 signature cocktail that mimics the enchanted rose from “Beauty and the Beast”: and the “Frozen Bubbles” cocktails from Nightingale’s piano bar, which come with a mallet for you to smash the huge spherical ice cube in your drink. The Wish definitely makes cocktail hour an interactive experience for grown-ups!
Here’s a look at a few of them on video via my Instagram:
View this post on Instagram
The Disney Wish also introduces two new adults-only dining concepts for Disney Cruise Line, both available for an upcharge. Situated side by side in an adults-only, subtly “Beauty and the Beast”-themed area, guests are first welcomed into an elegant cocktail bar, The Rose.
Palo Steakhouse is a new, meat-forward take (with plenty of plant-based options too) on the popular Palo restaurant on DCL’s other ships, with theming inspired by Cogsworth, the film’s enchanted clock.
Enchanté by Chef Arnaud Lallerment is the Wish’s most elevated dining option, with decor inspired by “Beauty and the Beast” candelabra Lumiere, floor-to-ceiling ocean views, and a menu of upscale, international cuisine celebrating seasonal ingredients. Guests can reserve a fine-dining experience at Enchanté for dinner. They can also come for Champagne Brunch or a five-course dessert tasting menu with coffee.
One Of The Ship’s Best Outdoor Spaces Is Inside the Spa
Disney Cruise Line’s Senses Spa, with its restorative Rainforest Room, is popular across the fleet — but once again, the Disney Wish levels up the experience. The Wish introduces a serene open-air oasis as part of the Rainforest experience, which includes comfy loungers, whirlpool spas and space for open-air yoga. The Rainforest experience also includes plenty of heated loungers, a sauna, steam and dry chambers, sensory spa showers and an ice lounge — a first for the fleet.
The Disney Wish officially begins welcoming guests on three- and four-night sailings out of Port Canaveral on July 14, 2022. What do you think of Disney’s newest ship?