I’ve been on eight Disney cruises over the past few years, but up until recently, had never been on the Disney Wonder. When the opportunity to experience the ship came up through the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, I was so thrilled to finally see it. The Disney Wonder recently was refreshed in dry dock, so we were also able to experience some of the new features during our three-day cruise. Cruising on the Wonder is different from the other, larger ships, but I loved it.
Disclosure: Affiliate links within. Purchasing and/or clicking on some of the links in this post helps support Family Travel Magazine®. I paid a nominal fee to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration but received perks and discounts.
The Disney Wonder, the second ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet, was first brought into service in 1999. It’s similar in size to the Disney Magic, which was the first ship in the fleet. It offers 11 public decks, 875 staterooms, and can accommodate approximately 2,400 passengers.
The Disney Wonder definitely feels more intimate than the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy, which are much larger ships, but there are still plenty of things to do. You’ll feel the magic, right when you enter the gorgeous lobby atrium. It’s really a beautiful ship.
Disney Wonder Staterooms
When I travel on the Disney Cruise Line, I typically book an oceanview stateroom with verandah, which offers a king bed and a set of bunk beds. It’s small, like other cruise ship staterooms, but there is plenty of room for everything that you’ll bring along with you. We don’t really spend too much time in the room because there is so much to do on the ship.
There are nine different room types on the Disney Wonder, including concierge rooms, verandah rooms, oceanview staterooms (with a porthole window but no verandah), and inside rooms. Connecting staterooms are also available. I do like to have the verandah, because we spend lots of time out there. But if you don’t think you’ll need it, that may be a good way to save money.
Every stateroom has a split bathroom (one room with sink and toilet and one room with shower/tub), a refrigerator, a closet, a safe, a hairdryer, and a television (note that there are some rooms that have just single bathrooms). Irons are not available in the room, but there are laundry rooms on the ship with iron facilities. I usually iron all of my wrinkled clothes when I arrive and hang them up right away.
The beds on the ship are very comfortable – I find that I sleep so well on a cruise ship because of the light sway.
The Disney Wonder offers the same unique rotational dining experience that the other Disney Cruise Line ships offer. The three main restaurants – Tiana’s, Animator’s Palate, and Triton’s, are all delicious. Like on the other ships, you’ll have the same wait staff, who travel with you to each restaurant every night.
Tiana’s Place is the newest restaurant on the ship, and it offers delicious New Orleans cuisine in a festive atmosphere inspired by the Princess and the Frog. Menu standouts include the shrimp and grits and the delicious beignets. In fact, we loved the beignets so much that we asked our server for them on other nights as well! (And, of course, he was able to provide them). During your dinner, you’ll get to experience live music from the house band. That was definitely my favorite dinner on the ship.
Triton’s, which is the more upscale French restaurant, offers a similar menu to Royal Palace and Royal Court on the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy, while Animator’s Palate offers Pacific/Asian cuisine. On the Disney Dream, Animator’s Palate starts out black and white – very different from the more colorful Animator’s Palate on the Dream and Fantasy. On 7-night cruises, you’ll get to see your own drawing come to life on your second visit. On the 3-day cruises, you’ll see the other show.
In addition to the three main restaurants, there are some quick serve options if you are hungry before meals or don’t want to eat in the dining room. Cabanas is the buffet restaurant that offers breakfast and lunch, in addition to the delicious evening buffet on Pirate Night. There is seating both indoors and outdoors – although I always prefer sitting outside when I can.
There are other quick service locations including a pizza place and the Cove cafe (an adult area serving premium coffees). You can also order room service 24-hours a day, except for disembarkation day. At Castaway Cay (for those itineraries that include a stop there), you’ll find two delicious BBQ restaurants on the family beach, as well as an adult-only BBQ restaurant at Serenity Bay. Servers from the ship travel out to the island to serve at these three locations.
For an additional fee, adult can choose to dine at Palo, the upscale Italian restaurant on board. Palo’s often offers a brunch buffet on one day of the cruise. If you want to eat at Palo, book it in advance so you’ll have your choice of times. You can book it whenever your booking window opens – depending on your Castaway Club status. The Disney Wonder food, like the food on the other ships, is delicious.
Adult Areas on the Disney Wonder
The kids clubs are so fantastic on the Disney Wonder, so you’ll probably have some opportunity to explore the ship without kids. There are several adult-only areas and activities on the ship. The three bars/clubs in the After Hours section are adult-only in the evenings, and offer entertainment and game shows. These include the Cadillac Lounge and Azure. There’s also the Promenade Lounge which offers entertainment throughout the cruise.
The Disney Wonder also offers the Cove area of the ship, where you will find the Cove Cafe, as well as an adult-only pool (the quiet Cove pool). When my kids are in the kids’ clubs, I always enjoy grabbing a book and reading in the quiet area. The Disney Wonder also has a Senses Spa, which is a full-service spa offering lots of different services. There’s usually an open house on embarkation day, so that you can learn more about the services offered.
Because I was traveling without the kids, I spend a lot of time at the Cove Cafe and at the adult-only pool. I enjoyed the relaxing vibe of that area.
Disney Wonder Activities
There are so many things to do on board the Disney Wonder that you’ll probably want to have at least one day at sea during your itinerary. The kids’ clubs are a real highlight. There’s a nursery for babies, in addition to the Oceaneer Club, Edge, and Vibe (depending on your kids’ ages). The Oceaneer Club was renovated recently, and now includes the Marvel Super Hero Academy and Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post, in addition to other kids’ activities.
There are also pools, the Aqualab splash area, and the Disney Wonder water slide, where you can enjoy some outdoor fun. At the main pool area, you’ll find the FunnelVision TV, which offers movies and shows throughout the day.
During your cruise, you’ll have the opportunity to see a bunch of popular Disney characters, including Mickey and Minnie. Check the app or your daily navigator to see the schedule. My kids always enjoyed seeing their favorite characters. Lines tend to be much shorter on the cruise ships than in the parks.
Families will enjoy the various game shows and activities offered in D Lounge throughout the days. For adults, there are some alcohol tasting classes that you can sign up for (additional fees apply). I’ve done a few of these and have always enjoyed them. You’ll find a schedule either on the Disney Cruise Line app or in your daily Navigator. If you do want to sign up for a beverage seminar, I’d recommend signing up as soon as you get on board. They can definitely fill up.
What Shows are on the Disney Wonder?
There are three Broadway-style shows that you can see on the Disney Wonder – the Golden Mickeys, Disney Dreams, and the brand-new Frozen. Of the three, Frozen is definitely the standout – it’s absolutely amazing. I’d recommend a trip on the Disney Wonder just for a chance to see that show – it’s that good! During our cruise, it played three times on our Castaway Cay day to accommodate everyone who wanted to see it.
Throughout the day and night, you can also see first-run movies play in the theater. It’s a great opportunity to see a Disney movie that you haven’t had the chance to see yet.
Itineraries on the Disney Wonder
While I got the chance to experience the Disney Wonder on a three-day Bahamian itinerary, the ship travels other places throughout the year. While itineraries change all the time, you’ll often find the Disney Wonder leaving from Vancouver, San Diego, Port Canaveral (for flights leaving from Port Canaveral, we stay at the Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport – Check prices and reviews here), and Galveston. If you are going on a Disney Cruise to Alaska, check out this post.
Here’s the quick video tour we did:
Check out these additional Disney Cruise Line tips: