While Disney may be one of the top players in the cruising industry currently, this cruise line filled with family fun and magic isn’t as old as some of the others we frequently feature.
Disney launched its cruising experiences in the late 1990s. Its first ship was Disney Magic, followed closely by Disney’s second-ever cruise ship, Disney Wonder. Today, both of these ships are still sailing the high seas, offering Disney classic magic aplenty to cruising families.
So, what can you expect if you’re cruising on Disney Wonder in the near future? Here’s everything you need to know.
In This Article…
Disney Wonder Cruise Ship Stats
Disney Wonder entered operations in 1999 and is considered Disney Magic’s sister ship. However, there are some key differences between the two — but you won’t see those differences when it comes to size, unless you look really, really closely. Disney Wonder measures in at…
- Gross Tonnage: 83,000
- Length: 964 feet
- Decks: 11
- Guest capacity: 2,400 people
- Crew: 945 people
- Staterooms: 875
Based on the above, Disney Wonder is just slightly smaller than its sister ship Disney Magic, in terms of both gross tonnage and length. However, the ships share the same number of public decks, the same guest capacity, the same number of crew members and the same number of staterooms.
Construction and History
Just like Disney Magic, Disney Wonder was designed in 1994 and ordered in 1995. Built by Fincantieri in Italy, the Disney cruise ship was constructed between 1997 and 1999, and launched in 1999 as well, just one year after Disney Magic.
But it’s the interior of the ship where you’ll see the differences between Disney Magic and Disney Wonder. While both ships feature a somewhat classic theme on the exterior, with a hull design hearkening back to ocean liners, inside, the ships go two ways. Both have that classic feel, but Disney Magic leans more toward an Art Deco motif, while Disney Wonder heads toward an Art Nouveau motif.
What does that mean if it’s been a while since your last art history class? Put very simply, Art Deco is a little more severe and reflects urban styles in the United States around the 1920s and 1930s.
There are a lot of geometric lines, bold shapes and contrasting colors. Art Nouveau is a little softer and more elegant, and is a bit more historic as well (Tiffany lamps are an iconic representation of Art Nouveau style).
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But even though Disney Wonder sports a design style that dates back to the 19th century, the cruise ship has received its fair share of modern upgrades. The most expansive overhaul occurred in 2016. There was also a more recent dry dock that took place in 2019. here are some of the latest enhancements the ship features:
- The After Hours adults-only district of the ship
- The Chill Teen Spa
- D Lounge family entertainment venue
- Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
- Edge Club for teens
- Tiana’s Place restaurant (exclusive to the ship!)
- Redesigned Cove Cafe
- French Quarter Lounge
- Crown & Fin English Pub
- It’s a Small World Nursery
- Marvel Super Hero Academy
- And the pool and splash area for younger kids
Upgrades were also made to one of the main dining rooms and the Palo restaurant, as well as the existing spa and the children’s Oceaneer Club.
What does all this mean for your family? Just about everywhere you look on Disney Wonder, there’s something new and exciting. This is definitely not a ship that dates itself.
Many times, when you sail aboard a ship that was originally launched in the 1990s or even earlier, even if the ship has been refurbished, the staterooms still aren’t as luxe as what you’ll find on other, newer cruise ships.
Luckily, that’s not necessarily the case on Disney Wonder. This ship manages to offer staterooms that are not just spacious (clearly designed for traveling families), but that also manages to not feel overly stuck in the past. Thanks to the ship’s classic stylings and classy nautical theme-ing, mixed with the Art Nouveau influences, things still feel fresh.
There are three types of Disney Wonder staterooms:
Interior staterooms feel spacious, with a large seating area, plenty of storage and a sleeping area that’s kept separate from the main living space via a room divider.
The oceanview rooms feel even larger, with their one or two portholes offering big views of the sea. Again, the living and sleeping spaces are kept separate by a divider, which is nice if you’re traveling with children who maybe need to head to bed a little earlier than you.
Lastly, the verandah staterooms are much the same as the oceanview rooms, but where you might normally have a porthole, you, instead, get access to your own private balcony through a series of large glass windows and doors.
You’ll find Disney Wonder suites labeled as “concierge staterooms,” but they’re really just suites. Depending on the suite you book, you’ll enjoy multiple bedrooms, extra living space, and amenities.
The largest of the suites is The Royal Suite, with more than a thousand square feet of space and two bedrooms, for easily housing more than a dozen cruisers at a time.
Disney Wonder offers three main dining rooms. When sailing on Disney Wonder, you’ll be rotated through these three dining rooms with nightly, timed reservations. Some cruisers may like this set-time dining, but others might find it a bit restrictive. Still, the main dining rooms do offer a lot to love. The main dining rooms are:
- Animator’s Palate
- Tiana’s Place
Animator’s Palate received some upgrades during that mammoth overhaul in 2016, but the vibe is still generally the same. There’s an animation theme and entertainment is at the ready. Triton’s features a Little Mermaid theme and each night features a different dining focus, with different types of cuisine.
Tiana’s Place is the newest of the three main dining rooms, added in 2016. Exclusive to the ship, you won’t be able to experience this restaurant anywhere else. Themed after The Princess and the Frog, you can expect lots of music, character appearances and more, all with a New Orleans flair. Other free dining options include:
- Cabanas, a classic cruise ship buffet serving breakfast and lunch
- Pete’s Boiler Bites, serving poolside eats
- Daisy’s de Lites, offering light snack bites
- Pinnochio’s Pizzeria, for — you guessed it — pizza
Room service is also an option, with a selection of complimentary fare. If you booked a suite room, you’ll also get access to the Concierge Lounge, where snacks and drinks are available.
It’s no secret that the dining options are limited on Disney Wonder. If you’re looking for a family-friendly cruise line that will also appeal to foodies, you might want to look elsewhere.
However, if you’re looking for an adults-only restaurant, you will find one option, with the for-a-fee Palo. The Venetian-themed restaurant offers its own bar and brunch on sea days. There’s also a for-a-fee smoothie bar, Sully’s Sips, near the pool, and a coffee shop, Cove Cafe.
Bars and Lounges
The good news? While you won’t find many adults-only or foodie-friendly dining options aboard Disney Wonder, you will find a few watering holes where you can grab a drink and perhaps a bar snack or two. Bars and lounges sit within an adults-only section of the ship called After Hours. Options include…
- The Promenade Lounge, nearest the dining rooms and with that Art Nouveau theme
- Crown & Fin Pub, a newer addition to the ship, with a London pub vibe
- Cadillac Lounge, with a car theme and live music
- Azure, a nightclub that’s open late
- Signals, an outdoor bar near the pool deck
- Preludes, a bar and snack bar near the theater
There’s also, additionally, a kid-friendly “lounge,” called D Lounge.
Disney Wonder Activities and Entertainment
Where a Disney cruise really shines is in the entertainment area. There’s always something to do, especially if you have smaller children. Even older kids will find lots of fun to be had. Here’s what you can expect.
Entertainment at Every Corner
Disney is in the entertainment business, so you can expect some high-level live performances during your cruise. There’s a theater offering a selection of various kid-friendly productions throughout each cruise itinerary. Another theater shows Disney flicks.
Every cruise ship offers a selection of daily activities for extra, scheduled fun and Disney is no exception. All sorts of activities are offered on sea days, from trivia to tea times, to more adult-friendly options like seminars and wine tastings.
Pools are, of course, plentiful. There are multiple heated pools and the main pool is on Deck 9, featuring two adjacent hot tubs. There’s also an adults-only pool in the Quiet Cove area (this area likewise boasts a hot tub and a bar). For water fun without the pool, there’s one water slide and multiple splash areas for young children.
More Outdoor Fun
For more outdoor fun, you can find it at the sports deck, with its basketball court. There’s also a jogging track and shuffleboard on another deck. Sun decks are near the pool, near the main pool, and in the adults-only Quiet Cove.
If you want to spend a little (more) money during your cruise, you can get in some retail therapy across Decks 3 and 4. There, you’ll find the art gallery, photo center and five Disney stores selling everything from movie memorabilia to typical souvenirs.
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For a little relaxation, you can find it at the spa, but don’t think that a makeover is only in store for mom or dad. There are options for the kids, too.
At the newer (added in 2016) Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, boys and girls can have their own salon experiences, leaving them transformed as their favorite Disney character.
The Chill Spa is a teen spa open to those ages 13 to 17. Parents are allowed to visit if they’re accompanying their child for a mother-daughter or father-son treatment. The regular spa for adults offers a wide range of classic spa treatments, plus steam rooms and a hammam.
But there’s no need to enjoy entertainment as a family only while on a Disney cruise. Thanks to the multiple children’s venues aboard Disney Wonder, kids can go their own ways.
The It’s a Small World nursery provides babysitting services for those ages 3 months to 3 years. The Oceaneer Club provides programming for children ages 3 to 12.
Kids of that age can also enjoy the newly added Marvel Superhero Academy. Preteens will enjoy their own space, Edge, with age-appropriate activities. Teens have a space nearby, Vibe, for less structure and less programming, but still lots of fun in a teen-friendly environment.
Disney Wonder Itineraries
Think a Disney Wonder cruise might just be the perfect fit for your family? See all there is to love on this ship when you book one of Disney’s upcoming sailings.
Disney Wonder FAQ
Yes! Disney Wonder received an expansive refurbishment in 2016, which impacted many of the public spaces and added a handful of new spaces, including restaurants and splash areas for younger children.
Yes, there is one water slide on Disney Wonder. There is also the main pool that is on Deck 9 and which features two hot tubs. There’s also an adults-only pool in the Quiet Cove area, and multiple toddler-friendly splash areas, plus multiple sun decks, for fun in the sun for every cruiser.
The Disney Wonder cruise ship is on the smaller side, but still manages to offer plenty of space for cruising families. The ship measures in at 83,000 GT and 964 feet in length. It has 11 decks and an average guest capacity of 2,400 people, spread over nearly 900 staterooms and served by a crew of nearly 950 people.