Looking to book a cruise next year aboard a brand new ship?
It might not be brand new, but with a recently completed top-to-bottom renovation, Disney Cruise Line's Disney Wonder (which originally launched in 1999) now has every amenity of a modern ship.
Similar to the updates made to its Disney Magic sister-ship in 2013, but with plenty of its own flourishes, the Wonder now sports a revised atrium where guests are first introduced to the narrative of a vintage ocean liner. Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and more are all along for the journey, of course.
From enhanced kid-friendly play spaces to new adults-only activities, these are some of the best new features aboard the Disney Wonder.
Everyone’s favorite snowman Olaf is now onboard the Disney Wonder, starring in “Frozen, A Musical Spectacular” which is currently running as one of the ship’s Broadway-caliber production shows. A live cast of singers and dancers bring Queen Elsa, Princess Anna and the rest of the gang to life, using every theatrical trick in the book from advanced puppetry to detailed projection mapping.
Plus, the new Frozen Adventures space at the kids facility gives a permanent home to Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post at sea, where children can participate in a coronation ceremony attended by the queen and princess-- or meet Olaf in person.
2. Family Fun
Fun for the whole family also extends to the new AquaLab for interactive water play inspired by Donald Duck’s mischievous nephews – Huey, Dewey, and Louie. The Twist ‘n’ Spout water slide has been made taller and lengthened for more inches of fun. Adjacent to the slide, toddler fans of “Finding Dory” can splash around at Dory’s Reef.
The new Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique invites parents to take their aspiring princesses and princes for a retail makeover experience befitting Disney royalty.
3. Refreshed Dining
Disney Wonder’s rotational dining, where your party and waitstaff cycle among three unique complimentary restaurants each evening, has also been refreshed with the new Tiana’s Place supper club presenting live jazz music, creole cuisine and appearances by the titular character herself to liven up the New Orleans-style party atmosphere. The Animator’s Palate dining room has also been redesigned to accommodate the “Drawn to Magic” and “Animation Magic” dinner shows. In the latter, guests’ placemat character drawings are animated on screen during dessert.
4. Children’s Facilities
The Disney Wonder does not have a casino, which frees up more real estate for the massive kids facilities onboard-- Disney’s Oceaneer Club and Disney’s Oceaneer Lab. Both signature spaces have been updated, but the club has been remodeled with new "Frozen" features as well as the new Andy’s Room (from "Toy Story") double-decker jungle gym, Club Disney Junior complete with Doc McStuffins and Marvel Super Hero Academy.
Here, kids unlock their inner super hero by learning about courage and responsibility from characters like Spider-Man and Black Widow, among interactive displays and iconic props like Captain America’s World War II shield and Iron Man’s helmet
For tweens, the Edge club has been relocated with a new “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”-like theme, and teens how have their own Chill Spa treatment room in the enhanced Senses Spa & Salon.
5. Enhanced Adults-Only Area
Adults looking for an escape from the kids can head to After Hours where only the classic Cadillac Lounge remains from pre-renovation times. Now, the refined space showcases the Azure nightclub inspired by the undulations of the sea. There's also the Crown & Fin Pub for a proper British experience lined with cinematic easter eggs-- and pouring tasty pints of beer like a lovely house ESB.
Jason Leppert is an international cruising expert and Senior Writer, Cruises and Cruise Travel for TravelPulse.com. He is also the founder of Popular Cruising and a frequent contributor to the Travel Channel, Lonely Planet, Cruise Travel, ShermansCruise and Cruise Radio.