Travel: Everything you need to know about Disney Wish, the cruise line’s first new ship in a decade

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.

In just a few weeks, Disney diehards and cruise aficionados can book a trip on Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship, Disney Wish.

Disney unveiled on Thursday a number of details about the debut vessel — the cruise line’s first new ship in a decade and the first in its new Triton class — including new dining experiences, entertainment venues and amenities. Plus, the line finally announced a definitive booking date: May 27, 2021, for cruises that will set sail in the summer of 2022. Those with Castaway Club status, Disney Vacation Club members can book even earlier, starting May 17. (We’ve got more details below.)

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The first Disney Wish journey will set sail from Florida’s Port Canaveral on June 9, 2022 for the Bahamas, including a stop at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.

Cruising may have come to a halt during the coronavirus pandemic (and delayed the long-anticipated delivery of Disney Wish) but the cruise line has kept the magic alive by teasing many details about its first new ship in nine years.

For more cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG’s new cruise newsletter. And make sure to stay updated on all things Disney Cruise by bookmarking our hub page.

Disney Wish is just the first in a fleet of three new ships, called the Triton class, currently under construction at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany. Liquefied natural gas (a more environmentally friendly fuel) will power these 140,000-gross-ton ships that are slightly larger than the existing Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. But like those predecessors, Triton ships will also accommodate 4,000 passengers in around 1,250 staterooms and suites.

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Here’s everything else we know so far about Disney Wish, and the entire trio of forthcoming Disney Cruise Line ships.

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Related: The ultimate guide to Disney Cruise Line

Disney Wish design concept

a large building: The Grand Hall of the new Disney Wish cruise ship will immediately immerse guests into their own fairytale as soon as they board. (Rendering courtesy of Disney) © The Points Guy The Grand Hall of the new Disney Wish cruise ship will immediately immerse guests into their own fairytale as soon as they board. (Rendering courtesy of Disney)

The theme and inspiration for the Disney Wish is: Enchantment. It’s a theme that ties all Disney stories and fairy tales together. And it’s going to be at the heart of this new ship’s experience.

Disney had released design concepts ahead of the full reveal on Thursday, but with the new details, it sounds even more magical.

Inside, guests will be greeted with the ship’s three-story Grand Hall inspired by the story of Cinderella. And at the foot of the grand staircase will be Cinderella herself.

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Another highlight of the Grand Hall will be a stage right in the atrium for “theatrical surprises” set to take place throughout the day. According to Disney, you can expect fairy-tale castles, forests and animals and the spirit of the sea all included in the design of the ship experience.

If the rendering of the Grand Hall is any indication, Disney Wish will be a fantastical dream brought to the high seas.

“Enchantment is about unlocking the wonder in everything we do and experience,” said Laura Cabo, portfolio creative executive of Walt Disney Imagineering, during an exclusive media panel following the Disney Wish announcement. “For the Disney Wish we are … infusing every inch of this enchanted ship with more Disney stories and characters than ever before. The Disney Wish will be a place where families really do get to wish upon a star.”

Rooms get a fairy-tale makeover

a bedroom with a large bed in a room: (Image courtesy of Disney) © The Points Guy (Image courtesy of Disney)

For the roughly 4,000 passengers who can set sail together on the ship, there will be 1,254 staterooms, 90% of which will have outside views (yes, just 10% will be interior rooms).

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Of those ocean-facing rooms, a whopping 70% will have verandahs. Cruisers can expect more storage space, and more “compartmentalized” rooms according to Disney, to give kids and parents a feeling of separate spaces within the stateroom.

a large tub next to a window: (Image courtesy of Disney) © The Points Guy (Image courtesy of Disney)

Also on deck for Wish, and a first for Disney, are a pair of two-story suites that will feature spiral staircases and bathrooms with freestanding soaking tubs as well as spectacular views.

Another first: Disney Cruise Line offering will be seven exclusive oceanview rooms located in a prime spot just above the bridge. These rooms will have extended living areas with ocean views that can be enjoyed through floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the bow.

a bedroom with a bed and a chair in a room: (Image courtesy of Disney) © The Points Guy (Image courtesy of Disney)

Of note for those who enjoy the higher level of service and amenities with the Disney Concierge Level is that this ship will have more than double the number of concierge rooms and suites as the other Disney ships. Those 76 rooms and suites will have access to an expanded concierge lounge with full bar and a private sundeck with two whirlpools, a wading pool and other exclusive amenities.

Entertainment to rival Disney World

Disney specializes in entertainment for the whole family, so it should come as no surprise that Disney Wish will amp up the opportunities for shows and experiences.

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Among the highlights: Three Broadway-style shows, including Aladdin, a Musical Journey (and two new productions that have yet to be announced); two movie theaters showing first-run films; and the aforementioned Grand Hall stage at the atrium. Disney is also bringing back its fan-favorite fireworks at sea.

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There are also two family entertainment concepts that will eventually come to life: Luna, which will transform into an adult entertainment area at night, and the superhero-themed Hero Zone, where families can participate in an obstacle course and competitions.

There will also be plenty of shipboard watery fun with a new Disney aqua coaster attraction called AquaMouse. Disney says this will be its first-ever attraction at sea, which means it is sure to come in several notches above the previous ships’ AquaDuck slide. The ride will include an immersive animation short called “Scuba Scramble” along with special effects, and it will “zig, zag and zoom” through 760 feet of winding tubes suspended high above the upper decks with views out over the water.

a person sitting at a dock: (Photo courtesy of Disney) © The Points Guy (Photo courtesy of Disney)

Dining with a twist

Dining on a Disney cruise is always something to get excited about, and Disney Wish is adding an array of new experiences that should please both the littlest cruisers and their parents. Guests will rotate through three highly immersive spaces (all included in the cruise rate):

a group of people on a stage: Arandelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure (Image courtesy of Disney) © The Points Guy Arandelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure (Image courtesy of Disney)
  • Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure is a “Frozen”-themed dinner theater with live entertainment space featuring Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Olaf. Food will have Nordic influences.
  • Worlds of Marvel is being considered the first-ever “Marvel cinematic dining adventure,” where guests will participate in an interactive Avengers mission (so no, your kids won’t sit quietly through a meal). What’s on the menu? We’re told it’s “Marvel-inspired dining from Wakanda to New York.”
  • And in honor of the year The Walt Disney Company was founded, 1923 is an “elegant celebration” of Disney with California-style cuisine.

As with other Disney ships, there will also be 24-hour room service, places to grab casual bites and, of course, unlimited soft-serve ice ceam.

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No grown-ups allowed

This is Disney, after all, so you’re probably expecting great programming for kids — and parents won’t be disappointed.

For children ages 3 to 12, the kids club experience starts with a deck-long slide from the Grand Hall down to the Oceaneer Lab. (There’s a regular old door entrance for parents to enter the space, too.)

During the day, kids can attend the Marvel Super Hero Academy (a high-tech Avengers “headquarters” where kids can become heroes through interactive activities, and Spider-Man, Black Panther, Ant-Man and the Wasp pay regular visits).

There’s also Fairytale Hall — a “royal” space for creative endeavors with Rapunzel’s Art Studio, Belle’s Library and Anna and Elsa’s Sommerhus (and yes, all of those royal princesses will make appearances).

And there’s even a Walt Disney Imagineering Lab, which is considered a first-of-its-kind opportunity for kids to learn tricks from Disney Imagineers with hands-on activities and inventive experiments.

There’s a separate play area for babies and toddlers (for a fee), the It’s a Small World Nursery, and tweens and teens can hang out at Edge and Vibe, spaces that grant them a bit more independence.

Related: Review of sailing with a family on the Disney Dream

Fun for the adults

Yes, we’re all kids at heart, but sometimes it’s nice to be treated like an adult, too. Disney Wish is treating grown-ups to a number of kid-free zones on the ship.

First, there’s a Quiet Cove pool area and the Senses Spa and Fitness where adults can relax and unwind.

a group of people sitting at a table with a glass of water: (Image courtesy of Disney) © The Points Guy (Image courtesy of Disney)

But personally, I’m more excited about all of the dining and cocktails (available for an additional charge) at the Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge. Yes, Star Wars on the high seas, and in high style, with a super-sleek cocktail bar that glides by destinations such as Batuu, Tatooine and Mustafar that you can spot out of the windows.

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(Image courtesy of Disney) © The Points Guy (Image courtesy of Disney)

A number of adults-only options take a cue from “Beauty and the Beast.” There’s Palo Steakhouse (a retread of the elegant Italian venue on other Disney cruises, this time with an added steakhouse focus) which is inspired by Cogsworth, the tale’s majordomo-turned-enchanted clock; Enchanté by chef Arnaud Lallement of Michelin-star fame, which was inspired by the elegant candelabra Lumiere; and The Rose, an upscale cocktail lounge taking design inspiration from the flower at the heart of the story.

Girl power

The ship will continue the Disney Cruise Line tradition of adorning two character art pieces on the hull, giving a nod to smart and powerful women and girls everywhere.

Disney Wish’s stern will feature Rapunzel. (Rendering courtesy of Disney Cruise Line) © The Points Guy Disney Wish’s stern will feature Rapunzel. (Rendering courtesy of Disney Cruise Line)

Disney Wish’s hull will feature Captain Minnie Mouse for the first time, “solidifying her pioneering place at the forefront for the fleet’s future.”

And Rapunzel will be the first female character to grace the stern of a Disney Cruise Line ship. “Spirited, smart, curious and above all, adventurous, Rapunzel embodies the wish and desire to see and experience the world,” Disney Cruise Line said. She will appear to “decorate” the ship’s exterior with Pascal the chameleon at her side.

Related: Is Disney Cruise Line concierge level worth it?

Bound for the Bahamas

Disney Cruise Line has announced that the maiden voyage for Wish, along with the rest of the sailings in its first season, will be bound for the Bahamas, including Disney’s private island Castaway Cay.

Also in the works from Disney is a potential second private-island port of call in the Bahamas. Called Lighthouse Point, on the island of Eleuthera, it will be a sister private island to Disney’s Castaway Cay. However, this project will not be completed on the same timeline as the Disney Wish. In fact, it is facing some local and environmental opposition. But, assuming agreements can be reached, this island should play a major role as Disney gets ready to welcome the three Triton class ships to its fleet.

a large body of water: Disney is building a new signature island experience. (Rendering courtesy of Disney Cruise Line.) © The Points Guy Disney is building a new signature island experience. (Rendering courtesy of Disney Cruise Line.)

Retired iconic Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde, who designed much of Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park and Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii, toured the Bahamas in the summer of 2019 to meet with local artists to learn about the culture.

The result of his research trips will inform his design aesthetic for the new port of call. His time in the Bahamas also led him to Kevin Cooper, an artist from Eleuthera, and Antonius Roberts, an artist from Nassau. Both play major roles in the artistic evolution of Lighthouse Point.

Related: Guide to cruise private islands

Disney purchased the privately owned Lighthouse Point early in 2019 and signed an agreement with the Bahamian government that “guides the responsible and sustainable way the site will be developed.”

Disney says it plans to develop less than 20% of the property and, through the Disney Conservation Fund, donated $13 million to marine conservation programs around the world — including some in the Bahamas.

Related: Guide to sailing with the Disney Cruise Line

When will Disney Wish reservations open?

Circle May 27, 2021, in red! That’s the day reservations will open to the general public for Disney Wish.

While it’s almost always best to book a Disney cruise as soon as it goes on sale for the best prices and availability, that’s going to be especially true with the newest vessel as it will be pretty competitive to grab some of the cabins. In fact, we expect multiple sell-outs for this anticipated ship.

Early Wish bookings will open in the following order:

  • May 17: Those with 25+ Disney Cruise Line sailings
  • May 18: Those with 20+ Disney Cruise Line sailings
  • May 19: Those with 15+ Disney Cruise Line sailings
  • May 20: Those with Disney Cruise Line Castaway Cay Platinum status
  • May 24: Those with Disney Cruise Line Castaway Cay Gold status
  • May 26: Those with Disney Cruise Line Castaway Cay Silver status

You can book Wish sailings directly with Disney Cruise Line or via a Disney vacation planner or travel agent.

graphical user interface, application: (Screenshot courtesy of Disney) © The Points Guy (Screenshot courtesy of Disney)

The first sailing will be a five-night Bahamas-bound special sailing from June 9 – 14 and for the rest of the summer of 2022 the Disney Wish will alternate between three- and four-night sailings to the Bahamas (Friday to Monday and Monday to Friday).

graphical user interface, application: (Screenshot courtesy of Disney) © The Points Guy (Screenshot courtesy of Disney)

Related: Guide to Disney Castaway Cay status

How much will a cruise on the Disney Wish cost?

Disney has not yet released prices for the first season of Wish sailings. However, we can make a few educated guesses based on pricing for some similar Disney sailings on other ships.

Just before the Wish will set sail, the Disney Dream has a four-night sailing from Port Canaveral to the Bahamas from May 30 – June 3. Prices for that sailing currently start at just over $5,000 for an inside stateroom for a family of two adults and two children.

Staterooms with a verandah start at over $5,500 and one-bedroom suites start at over $12,000 for that similar trip. Both because Wish is a new ship and those first few months of sailings come during a peak-demand period during summer break, we expect the Wish prices to potentially come in higher than those numbers for the first few months.

As you get to more off-peak dates in the fall, it is possible that prices will come down some, with the least expensive sailings being the three-night options during the traditional school calendar.

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When will the sixth and seventh Disney ships be completed?

The sixth and seventh Disney Cruise Line ships will join the fleet later than originally announced.

The most recent timeline shared on a Disney investor call in late-2020 is that these two ships that will come after Wish will now be completed in 2024 and 2025 (originally 2022 and 2023). The Disney Wish also encountered a pandemic-related delay as it was originally set for completion in 2021.

Bottom line

For almost a century, Disney has given children and adults alike a sense of magic and wonder as they explore the world around them through fairy tales. Now more than ever, many are craving a bit of fairy dust and sparkle, and it’s clear that’s precisely what Disney is aiming for with its upcoming new ship the Disney Wish.

Want to learn more about cruise vacations? Here are some resources:

  • Dreaming on the Seas: A Review of Disney Cruise Line’s Dream
  • Interesting Way to Save Money on a Disney Cruise
  • Early 2021 Disney Cruises Go On Sale This Week; Princes Only Go Up From Here
  • How to Book a Cruise Using Points and Miles
  • Which Cruise Ship Cabin Category Should Your Family Book?
  • Cruising With a Family: Booking Two Staterooms for the Price of One

Featured image courtesy of Disney.

Additional reporting by Madison Blancaflor and Summer Hull

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

A major cruise line will sail from a US port this weekend for the first time in 15 months .
The long-awaited comeback of big-ship cruising out of U.S. waters finally is at hand. In a milestone moment for the cruise industry that surely will have cruise fans celebrating, Celebrity Cruises on Saturday will kick off the first big-ship voyage out of a U.S. port since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The seven-night sailing …In a milestone moment for the cruise industry that surely will have cruise fans celebrating, Celebrity Cruises on Saturday will kick off the first big-ship voyage out of a U.S. port since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

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