When you wish upon a star…sometimes you end up on board the Disney WISH, the newest ship in the Disney Cruise fleet! I had the incredible honor to attend the inaugural sailing this summer, and the absolute joy of bringing my family along for the ride. It was everything we hoped it would be and then some, in true Disney magic fashion, so I’m sharing a recap of our 4 days and 3 nights on the sea! We’ve got Disney Wish pictures from on board the boat, but also snapshots from Disney’s own private island, Castaway Cay (aka my happy place on Planet Earth!) and notes from one very full, very fun day in Epcot before setting sail. 🙂
Here’s the recap from our first Disney Cruise – which was on board the Disney Dream!
There are some Disney Cruise fun facts to kickoff that post, so I’ll include a few more here…
- Disney Cruise Line is the first in the industry to have “bath-and-a-half” bathrooms; each stateroom’s bathroom is split in two so that you can utilize the toilet/sink and the shower/tub areas separately/simultaneously.
- Each Disney Cruise ship has a character on the stern and a bronze character statue in the main atrium lobby. On the Disney Wish, Rapunzel is swinging by her long hair on the stern, and Cinderella is cast in bronze in the lobby!
- There are free soft drinks 24/7 on board and stations offering soda, water, coffee and tea.
- The Disney Wish is longer than the Eiffel Tower and the Chrysler building in NYC – it’s 1,119 feet long!
- Disney Cruises are notoriously smoother sailing than other cruises because of extra attention (+ $$$) spent on boat stabilizers.
FIRST THING’S FIRST: A park day pre-sail. We had initially planned on park hopping from Epcot to Magic Kingdom and back to Epcot in time for the dessert reception + fireworks show for the Disney Creators event. BUT, it was H-O-T, and it was our first time navigating the Genie+ system…long story short, we were thoroughly enjoying Epcot and stayed put the whole day. 🙂
- I was able to book Lightning Lanes for Frozen Ever After while our flight to Orlando was taxi-ing to take off – ha! Since they open for booking at 7 am, it was about 7:02 that I was able to log on – and Frozen Ever After was already looking at 12:30-1:30 availability, which I booked hoping we’d make it in time. I had been overthinking all of the new Genie+ logistics and had picked a few girlfriends’ brains extensively beforehand, but the easiest advice I’d pass along is this: Genie+ is the system, Lightning Lanes are what you’re booking WITH the system. You pay $15/person/day to have Genie+, and then you’re able to book Lightning Lanes – the new “Fast Pass” – either every two hours OR when you scan into an attraction (whichever happens first). So, we were able to book our first at that 7 am mark – and we were able to book our next upon scanning into Frozen. It gets much easier when you’re actually in the parks using the app! (We also avoided park hopping since you can’t start booking Lightning Lanes until you’re physically scanned INTO the next park – and you can’t park hop until 2 pm, so we figured by 2 the most popular rides would be totally booked anyway).
- Met Minnie Mouse!
- Met Donald Duck in Mexico
- Lunch + margaritas in Mexico – ole!
- Got in the Virtual Queue for the new Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind attraction. The second queue opens at 1 pm – it was saying about an 800 minute wait when the queue opened, but I had heard rumor that it speeds up and wait lessens as the day goes on. The beauty in the queue is that it just holds your place virtually so that you can enjoy the rest of the park!
- Met Anna & Elsa in Norway. This is a totally underrated experience – wow. You go into a private, air-conditioned room and get to individually meet and chat with both Anna AND Elsa. You take pictures, and there is NO rush. I have about a 5-minute video of Olivia with EACH Frozen Queen; her entire life was made, I think.
- 3 Caballeros boat tour in Mexico
- Turtle Talk with Crush (we used a LL but didn’t really need it – stand by was maybe a 15 minute wait!). This is SO CUTE – and great for parents to enjoy, too!
- Seas with Nemo and Friends (nice and cool – no LL needed)
- Dinner in Canada. Don’t overpay for bottled water – they were giving out free cups of ice water at the walk-up food stands!
- Rode Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind! Our time to ride was called around 6:15 pm, so the initial predicted wait obviously let up (bless). This ride is everything you could hope it would be and then some – we were laughing and crying and having the time of our lives. What a JOY. Worth it!!!!
- Dessert party with my fellow Disney Creator friends – always a joy! (And always DELISH)
- The new Harmonious fireworks show – a true treat. The show is set various classic Disney songs sung in other languages and set to colored lights, with streams of water and fireworks making it a unique experience.
- Rode Guardians AGAIN thanks to the incredible Disney team, who got us on again after the park officially closed. A pinch me moment!
DAY 1 aboard the DISNEY WISH
There are now 5 ships in the Disney Cruise ship fleet: The Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Fantasy, the Disney Dream, and now the Disney Wish (ours!).
The Disney Wish fits 4,000 passengers, has 1,254 staterooms, and boasts the latest Disney attraction on deck: the AquaMouse water coaster. There is SO MUCH to do for young and old dreamers alike and there is NO way to get it all done in one 3-night cruise!
The rooms themselves are tight and compact but accessible and packed with anything + everything to help make your stay comfortable. Our room had a big bed, a sofa bunk bed, as well as an additional trundle bed that could pull down from the ceiling – so we fit all 5 of us in one stateroom. You are assigned a stateroom helper for your cruise, too, who takes care of your room, any special requests/needs, etc.
About 88% of the cabins have ocean views or verandas, and they do have accessible staterooms for anyone looking for added accessibility on board. Disney movies are often playing in the theater, and you have Disney shows + movies available to watch for free anytime on your stateroom TV!
There’s a nursery onboard called the Small World nursery for infants, and there are lots of kids’ clubs, too, whether you want/need childcare on board or just want a fun space for the kids to enjoy. You can take kids age 3-12 to the Oceaneer Club for different character meets and activities, in everything from an Imagineer Lab to Belle’s Library, Marvel Superhero Academy and Minnie & Mickey’s Captain’s Deck…there are even Pixar-themed bathrooms, and kids slide into the Club via a tubed slide into Wonderland. There’s a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique on board, a big Pirate Party on deck night two, pool-deck party fireworks – which are made from biodegradable materials!
For the big kids at heart ;), there are adults-only areas, pools and cafes, and a Spa, Salon, and barber shop on board, as well as various bars, etc. One of the most “hyped” experiences is the Star Wars Hyperspace Lounge and Cargo Bay; we unfortunately didn’t get to check it out this cruise, but I heard AMAZING things. Apparently, they have a $5,000 drink on the menu and no one knows what’s in it. 😉
There are three rotational restaurants on board: 1923, Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Experience, and Worlds of Marvel. (For reference, food is all included with the cost of your Disney Cruise, but alcohol is extra – you just pay per drink!). And there are Broadway-style shows nightly in the Walt Disney Theatre.
We did some exploring on board and found some familiar faces – Captain Minnie, Captain Mickey, Goofy AND Pluto were hanging out before the Sailing Away Party. I get all teary every Sailing Away Party because it’s such a magical kickoff to your voyage – the ship’s horn plays “When You Wish Upon a Star” and Captain Minnie announces your sailing before you pull out from port and are on your way!
Our first night’s dinner was in Arendelle, which includes musical entertainment and a show celebrating Queen Anna’s engagement to Kristoff; beyond that, your favorite Frozen characters make rounds between courses to meet everyone, so Olivia was LIVING (and barely eating because she was literally on the edge of her seat in rapture – ha!). We were early to dinner because SOMEONE was beyond excited, so we entered Arendelle to the entire waitstaff at the ready – and it was adorable. They made the OG feel like a true princess – special shoutout to all of the Disney Wish waitstaff on board, because they do the Lord’s work and are truly phenomenal! FUN FACT: about 86 different nationalities are represented by Disney Cruise Line dining room cast members!
We saw the Disney Wish production of Seas the Adventure for Night One’s entertainment, and it was a fabulous sneak peek. All of your entertainment and dining options, as well as things like character meets or other fun opportunities and attractions, are all available and updated regularly in your Disney Navigators’ App.
DAY 2 aboard the DISNEY WISH
For this specific Disney Cruise, our only port of call was Disney’s island, Castaway Cay. It was a gorgeous, peaceful day on the island – we debarked shortly after breakfast and just played in the sand, went on the water slide, floated + snorkeled around…and naturally, got soft serve ice cream. They serve over 15,000 cones a cruise, so it’s a nostalgic treat. 🙂 You can grab lunch at one of the few barbecue buffets when you’re ready, and everyone is back on the boat before 5!
You can rent inner tubes, rafts, or snorkeling gear for exploring – you can a also order beachside beverages.
Our second night’s dinner was in 1923, which was a beautifully classic, nostalgic restaurant – get the coconut tapioca dessert and thank me later. 😉
DAY 3 aboard the DISNEY WISH
The inaugural Disney Wish cruise spent our third day at sea – so we were all on the boat all day and STILL couldn’t do every single thing offered on board, so that tells you just how much is available!
We spent most of the day in the deck pools soaking up sunshine. One of Olivia’s favorite things was the Slide-asaurus REX water slide, which she promptly rode no less than 17 times. It’s fun for grown-ups, too, and the line is typically MUCH shorter and quicker than the AquaMouse’s!
Our last night’s dinner was in Worlds of Marvel, where you experience video updates from Ant Man and The Wasp while dining. The menu is geographically themed from a few Marvel’s homes, which I found super creative and inspiring.
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN ON A DISNEY CRUISE?
Will you be booking one now? 😉 We can’t wait to get back on board – see ya real soon, Captain Mickey!