Restaurant with chandelier and tables

The Best of the Disney Wish: A Guide To Enchantment

A complete guide to the Disney Wish would take us hours to write and hours for you to read. So we’re keeping it to the highlights: what Disney did best with their newest cruise ship and the must-see while on-board.

Having just completed an inaugural cruise on the Wish, everything is fresh in our minds and ready for sharing. We’re able to compare this new ship to the other 4 and tell you what Disney did right and what they are still missing.

Candle on wall

Keep in mind that inaugural cruises can have some hiccups. While they weren’t as bad as the first sailing, there were still a few and we expect these to be worked out over the next few sailings.

Overall, the Disney Wish is the biggest step in the right direction that Disney has made when it comes to offerings on-board. We will highlight these throughout the articles as well as the places they still seem to be falling short.

Again, these are highlights; things we know you want to hear about without getting into t00 much detail (ie the hallway bathrooms new decor and quick flushes). We’ll let you work those out on your next sailing.

The Ship

Funnel at night

The Disney Wish is a fantastic ship and is well designed and built to accommodate the most guests of any Disney cruise ship. One of the biggest changes we noticed right away on-board is that the ship is split into 3rds with only 2 elevator locations instead of 3.

At first you’d think that would be a major downside but the way Disney located them and the fact that they added more elevators to each block, made things a lot easier for access and a quicker ride.

We loved that Disney move the entire kids section down to level 2 of the ship. It’s quiet and the Oceaneer Club as well as the nursery are right next to each other. It’s the perfect location for both parents and kids.

The pools on the Disney Wish have receive some major upgrades and additions. The most exciting part: there are way more pools on the Wish that any of their other ships. Everywhere you turn on the pool deck, there’s a pool. Or a spa. Or a splash pad. What Disney’s previous ships lacked is no longer on the Disney Wish.

Hallway with gold pillars

The over-all layout of the ship is very easy to navigate. And the design is something to behold. Giant paintings and murals can be found all over. Nostalgia is everywhere.

The theme of the Disney Wish is “Enchantment” and Enchant they did. Walking into the grand hall on deck 3, you’ll be amazed by the marble flooring, the life-size statue of Cinderella and the crystal chandelier. It’s all about the enchanting details on this ship!

The dining is classic with its 3 main rotational venues, except the three on the Disney Wish are brand new and can’t be found anywhere else. While we loved the themes of each one, some were definitely better than others. More on this in a minute.

The over-all technology on-board the Disney Wish is a great improvement over the other 4 ships in the fleet. Again, there’s still room for improvement here but it’s a step forward.

Slide at night time

Same goes for all the quick service dining locations. Definitely better than the other ships with some really great offerings but they still have a ways to go. More on this later.

Over-all the Disney Wish is the new standard for Disney cruising. Every ship that comes after the Wish should be as great or better. We think anyone who experience the Disney Wish will be very pleased with it.

Now let’s dive into some of the details and highlights of the ship.

Pools and Deck Entertainment

We mentioned the pools already. They are everywhere starting on deck 11 and work their way up to 12 and even the front of 13. The coolest addition is a massive pool right in front of the funnel vision screen. It’s really cool and holds a lot of guests. Speaking of funnel vision, the screens clarity is far superior than previous Disney ships.

Smokestack with pipes and a Mickey

As you work your way back from funnel vision and its pool, you’re going to run into a lot of lounger chairs. Perfect for anyone who wants to take in some sun and a flick.

The sides of deck 11 are still home to tables and chairs for ocean view dining. The quick service restaurants wrap around the front of deck 11 while the sweet shops and gift shops wrap around the back of 11.

As you run into the stairs heading up to deck 12 you’ll notice several medium-sized pools on both sides for kids and adults. And they feature waterfalls! Finally up on deck 12 you have access to the brand new Aquamouse waterslide attraction.

Large TV screen on ship deck

The Aquamouse is a one-of-a-kind slide that functions as a hybrid water slide and attraction. Guests load into a 2 person tube and are sent up a slow moving dark tube where they will be interacting with Mickey and the gang through high tech screens and water jets. It’s really quite fun and very cute for all ages.

But before you know it you’re taking the plunge down a dark tube and then around the ship at blazing speeds. Prepare to get wet!

The entire process is really simple and they seems to have gotten down how to move guests quick with this attraction. It can still demand a 30+ minute wait at times and does have its closures occasionally. We recommend getting there early morning or late evening during dinner and show time.

Aquamouse Signage

Wrapping around the back for deck 12 is The Cove. On the other Disney ships The Cove is mostly associated with an indoor bar and coffee hangout. While this is part of The Cove on the Disney Wish, there’s now so much more including one amazing infinity pool overlooking the back aft the ship.

There are also 2 lounger pool areas on either side of the infinity pool. The water in them is about 3 feet deep and then is bench seating around the entire thing. The coolest part is that the backs of the bench have water dripping down them to keep you cool. It’s a very unique design and perfect for anyone who wants to keep cool but not get soaking wet in a pool.

The Cover features an outdoor bar with tables and chairs as well as lounger chairs all the way around the back half of desk 12. And of course there is still a coffee bar inside for guests to enjoy expressos etc.

Pool at sunset

We were very pleased with the improvements here.

Moving to the front of the ship on deck 12, you’ll find the cutest and best kids splash pad Disney has ever done. Its theme? Toy Story and it’s full of all your favorite characters squirt water, and creating slides for the kiddos. It’s called the Toy Story Splash Zone and it is a much needed improvement in the toddler department when it comes to water activities.

Characters in a splash pad

Across from the Splash Zone is a Wheezies Slushies shop where guests can enjoy some frozen drinks.

Moving up to deck 13 is Trixie’s Pool (halfway up the stairs between 12 and 13) and then a bar and a smoking area. On deck 13 and towards the front is a pool for adults and kids to enjoy with plenty of loungers around.

Rex character slide

Lastly deck 13 is home to the entrance of Slide-a-Saurus Rex, a kid-friendly slide that spirals down to deck 12. It’s really fun for kids!

Highlights

Improvements we saw:

  • The Splash Zone is significantly better for the little ones.
  • There are way more pools on the Disney Wish which was badly needed.
  • The Cove adults area is really, really nice and has some of the best pools on the ship.
  • The funnel vision is crystal clear with plenty of loungers and seating.
  • The Aquamouse is amazing. A combination of water slide and park attraction.
  • The available loungers and seating for guests has improved drastically.

Pool on cruise ship

Improvements To Be Made:

  • Disney’s smoking area on deck 13 is right above the kids splash zone, slide and pool. While we were there we would get some secondhand smoke depending on the wind. It’s super unfortunate that they put them so close together. They could have done a better job at this.
  • Disney decks are notorious for burning guests feet. And we heard a lot of chatter about it. While it’s easy to say you should just wear flip flops or something, moving from one pool to the next is super annoying to do this with footwear. Disney needs to work on adding a reflective stain to keep the decks cooler.
  • The Aquamouse seem to break fairly often. Hopefully this is just new ship jitters.

Ship Dining – Quick Service and Rotational

Dining is such a big part of what we do on cruise ships and we were hoping Disney would make some much needed improvement in this category. And for the most part, they did. Some big steps and some baby steps. Either way we’ll take them.

First off, rotational dining features 3 newly themed restaurants:

  1. Arendelle – A Frozen themed restaurant
  2. 1923 – A salute to Walt and Roy Disney
  3. Worlds of Marvel – A Marvel-ous dining experience

Arendelle Restaurant

Restaurant signage

By far the biggest improvement and the one we loved the most was Arendelle. The food was fantastic and a step-up from their usual sit down meals. Something we’ve felt has needed to happen for a while. We’ll let you taste if for yourself but we think you’ll enjoy it.

Table with chairs

The best part about Arendelle is the live entertainment. From fantastic music to character meet-n-greets and jokes all around. The live band and singing was our favorite part. Lovely voices, great renditions of our favorite Frozen songs and some special time with Olaf.

1923 Restaurant

The 1923 restaurant is split into two different sections: Walt Disney and Roy Disney. While they have different names above them, they are both part of 1923 and feature the same menu and same style.

Plate with 1923 at table

This throwback to Walt and Roy was a fantastic idea. And the theme does not disappoint with the entire restaurant covered in original art and pieces of classic Disney movies from the early years on. It’s essentially a museum that you could spend 45 minutes walking around in looking at everything.

Cup of brushes and Nana dog

And the menu is a throwback to the golden ear of Hollywood and the Golden State. This was our second favorite place to dine!

Worlds of MARVEL Restaurant

Bread plate on table with menu

Of course Disney brought MARVEL to their newest ship, and in a big way! The restaurant features some seriously cool technology and a show that’s both humorous and entertaining. Nobody can do it like Paul Rudd can!

Ant Man and the Wasp our your hosts for the evening but receive a little help from Captain America, Ms. Marvel and Captain Marvel. It’s interactive and very fun!

Tables with glowing pillar

The only thing lacking here is the menu. It was…okay. Nothing great. It came in last on our list of sit-down restaurants.

Deck 11 Quick Service Venues

This may be the best improvement yet when it comes to dining on a Disney Cruise Ship. While the other ships in the fleet focus on hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken fingers, the Disney Wish has step up the game with Mickey’s Smokestack Barbecue, Donald’s Cantina, Daisy’s Pizza Pies, Goofy’s Grill and Sweet Minnie’s Ice Cream.

Food on a tray

For the most part, a lot of the food is fresh, meaning, it’s being cooked in the back while being served in the front instead of the food sitting in warmers for 4 hours. We were actually impressed with the quality. Sweet Minnie’s Ice Cream is actually creamy and not full of small ice chunks. There are plenty of condiments for any of the food types you choose and the drink stations were half decent (still a little watery).

Ice cream cone with signage

There could be improvements here and there but over-all, for what you’re getting and how quickly, it’s good.

Marceline Market

The new and improved buffet for Disney Cruise ships is finally here! And we were pleased with the set-up. The food choices are a huge improvement and the overall freshness of the food is much better than Cabanas.

Market signage

The seating areas are much classier and you can enjoy your food inside or outside on the deck. Marceline Market is the new standard for Disney and we like it.

Palo and Enchanté

Chandelier with dining tables

While Palo is essentially Palo from every other Disney Cruise ship, Enchanté is a whole other thing. This enchanting adult-only restaurant is filled with class and, well, enchantment. The menu is fantastic and so is the service. Adults should take a night to enjoy this exciting new restaurant.

Highlights

Improvements we saw:

  • Arendelle and 1923 are amazing new additions for rotational dining including the entertainment and overall feel.
  • The deck 11 quick service dining is a big improvement over the other cruise ships and we were impressed with its options and quality.
  • Marceline Market is a big step forward when it comes to cruise buffets.
  • Enchanté is a fantastic new adult-only restaurant that should be visited.

Wine bottles in fridge

Improvements To Be Made:

  • Worlds of MARVEL needs a menu improvement and quickly.
  • While we love the quick service options on deck 11, the freshness and taste could still be better.
  • Marceline Market is making steps in the right direction though they could improve the freshness of the food as well as the waste.
  • Palo should have become something new like Enchanté is. A new restaurant theme. Really anything.

Bars and Lounges

Red rose in glass case

Aboard the Disney Wish, it’s not hard to find a bar or lounge to enjoy. In fact it seems like there is one at every turn. And not in a bad way. Most of them are just classic bars serving your basic drinks but a few of them definitely stand out.

Star Wars Hyperspace Lounge

Space lounge with bar

Easily the coolest lounge onboard a Disney cruise ship and a must-experience. The Hyperspace Lounge takes guests from ship to space with the push of a button. Currently Disney is running a 45 minute experience instead as demand is high. This means that reservations are also required and should be made in advance. Guests will tour the galaxy, visiting some of their favorite destinations in the galaxy as well as making several jumps to light-speed.

Space containers with bubbling water

A giant screen and some really cool props make this joint a must-do for any Star Wars fan or really any fan of drinking in really cool places.

The Bayou Lounge

Lounge with bar and tables

Located right outside the Hyperspace Lounge, the Bayou is a fresh take on an old classic, featuring live Jazz music, a fantastic bar and some really great decor including Princess and the Frog decorations. Did we mention the vines hanging over-head? It all adds up to make one cool lounge to enjoy.

Nightingales Lounge

Piano and chandelier in bar

Now if you really want class, you’ll find it at Nightingales, Disney’s newest lounge and night club. Featuring a fantastic chandelier and grand piano, guests can enjoy an evening of live music and classy drinks in fancy glasses. You’ll be puttin’ on the ritz here!

The Cove

We mentioned this place earlier as new and improved and that it is. Beside the addition of pools to The Cove, the outside bar and seating are fantastic for anyone who wants to enjoy a view, some shade or sun and some really great drinks.

Chairs and pool on ship deck

Of course The Cover wouldn’t be the Cover without an inside lounge as well. Serving up some of the ships best coffee you can get, The Cove is a great place to sit, chat and think while enjoying something tasty.

Keg & Compass

Bar with TV's and lamps

Small and quaint but serving up some seriously great drinks, Keg & Compass was in pretty high demand come evening time. It’s a pub with a nordic twist on it; and some class. Sit or stand and enjoy some great conversation or take in a game.

The Rose

Bar covered in red rose petals

A lounge designed for guests who are visiting Palo or Enchanté, The Rose is surround by antique mirrors and handing rose petals, inspired by Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. It’s in a class all its own.

Highlights

Improvements we saw:

  • Lots more bars and lounges to be had with better theming and class.
  • Star Wars Hyperspace Lounge is the most unique lounge any Disney cruise ship has ever seen.
  • Water is more accessible at bars with glass coolers being placed for guests to get their own.

Rose in a glass case

Improvements To Be Made:

  • Disney needs to get the Hyperspace Lounge under control so more guests can experience it. Reservations must be made!
  • Drink menus at bars, particularly those around the pools, need to improve their temperance options.

Rooms and Suites

Everything on the Disney Wish is brand new right now some everything inside the rooms look amazing. We just hope they can keep it that way! From inside rooms to suites, this ship features some of the best looking designs inside and out.

Room on a cruise ship

We love the wood overlay that you you’ll find in the hallways and rooms. And the artwork is fantastic, especially behind the beds. While certain rooms still have the classic pull down bunk, several rooms feature a in-wall murphy bed which is much better than the pull-downs.

And yes, there are finally enough plugs, both USB and USB-C for all your electronics. And they are everywhere through-out the room. Rejoice!

Bed with throw

The next big improvement in the rooms are the showers. The doors actually stay shut and move both inward and outward. And while they take a minute to figure out how to use, once you do you’ll thoroughly enjoy the pressure and the room. Big fans.

Bathroom with shower and sink

We also saw a lot of improvement when it comes to storage around the rooms. Tons of drawers and closets to use. Under the bed storage. Great lighting and switches for everything right by the bed. Even the phone was placed in a way to keep it out of sight so to say.

Bathroom with shower and sink

And then we have the suites. Lavish and wonderful. Filled with everything you would ever need and more. The two major players? The Wish Suite inside the front funnel and the Aurora Suite located on deck 13. Both are two stories, feature almost full kitchens, several rooms, dining and living and of course views that were mean’t to take your breath away.

Highlights

Improvements we saw:

  • The addition of Murphy beds to several of the rooms.
  • Showers are much better.
  • Room overlay is beautiful.
  • Room doors actually keep light out from the hallway!
  • Each floor of rooms features a different theme which we loved.
  • Tons of new tech including USB and USB-C ports.
  • New suites that will blow you away.

Improvements To Be Made:

  • We’re still bummed that Disney hasn’t done anything about keeping fresh drinking water in their rooms for guests.
  • Only one side of the bed has an outlet. The other side only has USB. Weird and inconvenient.

Entertainment and Shows

Characters on a balcony

The Disney Wish features a brand new show never seen before on any other Disney Cruise ship called Seas the Adventure. It’s ridiculously cute and features all your favorite Disney characters, most especially Goofy. Also premiering on the Disney with is The Little Mermaid in all its broadway glory! Both shows were fantastic and are must-sees.

Of course no cruise can be complete without some kind of deck party. Right now the Wish is featuring a Pirate deck party with a live show and live rock band. And of course there are fireworks! Did we mention that the fireworks music is played live by the rock band? It’s something to behold!

Guests can also meet and greet with their favorite Disney characters aboard the ship. Look for them on deck 3 in the grand hall.

Remember how the sports courts on the Disney ships are up top and netted/fenced away? No longer! Disney finally moved the sports court inside! You heard right. You can finally play basketball, pingpong and foosball in AC. Thank the maker!

Cinema entrance with cat

The courts are really cool and so the hangout area surrounding it. Two levels of fun for everyone!

Lastly, Disney now has two theaters that show films in them. The first is the Neverland Cinema and the second is the Wonderland Cinema. Both are very charming and can hold a decent amount of guests. The best part about having two theaters is that they can show two different films at the same time.

Highlights

Improvements we saw:

  • We love live rock bands and we love that they play the fireworks music live!
  • New shows in the Walt Disney Theater is always great and neither disappointed.
  • Plenty of character to meet and get your photo with throughout the day.

Improvements To Be Made:

  • The firework show is…okay. They’ve done better and we hope they make the Wish’s better soon.
  • Make the popcorn free Disney!

Clubs and Nursery

Wall murals with small world

Deck 2 is where its all at when it comes to kids. The Disney Wish has dedicated this space for kids and it’s really, really cool. And cute! Murals span the walls between the “it’s a small world” nursery and the Oceaneer Club and they are so cool.

Stairway with cat

Speaking of so cool, the Oceaneer Club is exactly that! The new and improved kids club features several different areas for kids to enjoy including a Star Wars Cargo Bay, Walt Disney Imagineering Lab, Fairytale Hall, Mickey & Minnie’s Captain Deck and a Super Hero’s Academy.

Star Wars Cargo Bay

Cargo bay of ship

See and feel what it’s like to fly on a spaceship while you interact with characters and special cargo! The design of this place in incredible!

Walt Disney Imagineering Lab

Room with tables

Kids can become an Imagineer with hand-on activities and testing out new things like attractions. We’re jealous there isn’t a place like this for adults!

Fairytale Hall

Room with fireplace and books

Kids can craft floating lanterns at Rapunzel’s Art Studio, act out their favorite stories in Belle’s Library, and even create their own ice magic at Anna & Elsa’s Sommerhus!

Mickey & Minnie’s Captain Deck

Room with play toys and slides

A perfect place for the little ones to climb, slide and even steer their own ship with the help of Mickey and Minnie!

Super Hero’s Academy

Here kids can design their own super hero costumes and then train along with their favorite MARVEL super hero’s.

“it’s a small world” nursery

Nursery signage

The cutes place in the ship is here! Infants looking for an escape from their parents will certainly find it here! Toys, books and beds are all at their disposal here! Did we mention it is super cute?!

Highlights

Improvements we saw:

  • Everything about the Oceaneer Club is so great! It’s a kids paradise!
  • The “small world” nursery is adorable and the perfect place for infants to hang-out.
  • We also forgot to mention, kids can check-in to the Oceaneer Club on Deck 3 and take a slide down to deck 2!

Slide down to another level

Improvements To Be Made:

  • Make an area like this for the adults?

Shopping

There’s a lot of shops including ship merchandise, jewelry, handbags and watches, as well as essentials like sunscreen, first aid/medicine and more. We don’t do a ton of this and funny enough, neither did a lot of of guests except at the merchandise shops. The jewelry shops were virtually empty. There’s probably better use for these spaces..

Spa and Services

Of course Senses Spa made its return to the ship and offers the same services you’ll find on the other Disney ships. The only difference is that their space and equipment is newer. Same goes for the gym space. It’s heavily used the first 1-2 days and then the crowds fall away.

Hook’s Barbery is new and offers haircuts and shaves separate from Senses Spa. The also offer nail and skin work as well as a hidden bar for drinks and whiskey tasting. The theme is really in here!

Lastly, Untangled Salon offers a variety of treatments including hairstyling, nails, skin work and facial treatments. It’s themed after Tangled and features her purple dress and floating lanterns.

Conclusion

We loved the Disney Wish, Disney’s newest cruise ship. It’s their new standard for sailing and can only see things getting better from here. While there are a lot of new things to enjoy and experience, there’s still the classic Disney ship feeling.

While it may be hard for us to jump back to the Fantasy, Dream, Magic or Wonder, we’ll always pick on ship based on the itinerary first. So we may be tempted to head straight back to the Wish for another magical sailing, we do want to explore other destinations first.

Of course if you haven’t been on the Disney Wish yet, you need to. You’ll be blown away by what they’ve done with it. It’s Enchantment theme is written all over the place and is very charming and welcoming.

Disney Cruise Line in general still has room for improvement, even with this ship. This will come in time we hope.