The Wish will contain Disney Cruise Line’s first Star Wars bar/lounge, Disney’s first Marvel dining experience at sea, Disney’s first attraction at sea, some really unique staterooms, and more! But, recently we got a closer look at the kids’ clubs coming to the Disney Wish and so many other details that might just make you say “I’ve gotta book a cruise on the Wish.”
Recently, Disney invited us to a media preview of the Disney Wish. During that preview, we got to speak with Imagineers, see prototypes of certain things, and get all kinds of insider details about the Wish. Here are some of the new things you’ll see on this ship and some of the amazing details that make this ship unique.
More Star Wars is On the Way
Before we even dive into some of the other cool stuff, we HAVE to mention one exciting thing that was revealed during our time at the Wish conference. While we’ve already heard about the Star Wars Lounge coming to the ship, some wondered if other Star Wars-themed spaces would also be featured on the ship.
Disney’s response? There will be more announcements coming about other potential Star Wars experiences for the Wish! Get out those lightsabers, put your hair in those space buns — more intergalactic fun is likely in store and we can’t wait to find out what it is!
Next, let’s take a look at some of the details shared about the kids’ clubs and specifically Disney’s Oceaneer Club. We already shared an overview of some of the spaces that make up Disney’s Oceaneer Club, including Fairytale Hall, Marvel Super Hero Academy, and Walt Disney Imagineering Lab. But, before we get into a bit more detail about these spaces, let’s talk about the entryway.
During our preview, we actually got a really cool view of one really unique feature about the Oceaneer Club — the slide kids can use to get to it! The slide is located in the Grand Hall area. The slide itself goes directly into an enclosed area for the Oceaneer Club, meaning your kiddos won’t be sliding down and then able to run off toward other parts of the ship. Instead, they’ll be sliding safely into the club.
But, parents won’t just have to assume that their kiddos make it down there. There’s actually an area just past the slide that is open to the floor below, meaning parents can peer over and watch as their kiddos exit into the Club.
Or, they can opt to take the stairs to the club, which are located near the slide. The stairs are themed to Alice in Wonderland. Keep an eye out for little details that show this theme — like a Cheshire Cat design at the bottom of the stairs!
The Oceaneer Club is actually made up of multiple spaces. Only 3 (Fairytale Hall, Marvel Super Hero Academy, and Walt Disney Imagineering Lab) have been revealed so far, but more details are set to be shared in the future about what other adventures kiddos might be able to go on in these spaces.
The spaces will all be connected be a central hub. One of the Imagineers shared that parents have long wanted to sort-of interact in a way with their kids while they’re in the club. While they didn’t provide many details on it, we did see some images of large doors (featuring a variety of Disney characters on them) and the Imagineers shared that they are meant to serve that purpose of providing adults with that small bit of interaction in a way with their kiddos. We’ll definitely be on the lookout for more details about that.
Walt Disney Imagineering Lab
Within the Oceaneer Club, you’ll find the Walt Disney Imagineering Lab. The lab actually has 2 spaces in it. We’ve already seen images of one side — the mock-up bay. This space is sort-of inspired by the large warehouses Imagineering uses for some of its prototypes and testing (not unlike the one we visited). And this is where kids will get to design their roller coasters and test them out. More on that in a second.
But, during the preview, Disney also shared that there will be another space full of desks, and the space showed a Cast Member and kiddos working on some blueprints. There were also some triangular shapes in this room that the Imagineer noted were inspired by Spaceship Earth (EPCOT fans rejoice!).
Okay, back to the roller coaster designs. What’s really unique is that kids will actually be able to track their scores in relation to their designs by scanning their MagicBand at this spot. As they design more/better coasters, they’ll be able to unlock new track pieces or potentially new show set pieces to add to their coasters.
We actually got to see a coaster design/ride test for a Thunder Mountain-style design during which the guest will be able to select different unique items to add to their coaster. And yes, there was a goat.
Over at Fairytale Hall, there will be 3 unique spaces — an arts and crafts area themed to Rapunzel, a reading area themed to Belle (where Imagineers confirmed there will be physical books as well as iPads for use and it is meant as a sort-of decompress area), and an area with games themed to Anna and Elsa.
During our time at the preview, we actually got to see a preview of some of the games coming to the Anna and Elsa area. Specifically, there will be 3 separate digital games involving Elsa’s snowy powers. The games are: Ice Magic (where guests will paint with ice/make ice sculptures), Snow Ball Bash (where guests will duck and dodge snow balls being thrown at them, and toss snow balls back to the trolls), and Snowgie Hide & Seek (where guests will control a search glass and search for snowgies hidden in the screen, and guests may even be able to unlock characters like Bruni during the game)!
The games looked very fun and interactive for kiddos of all ages. Each child in the concept art was playing on their own screen. And it seems that kids will be able to scan their MagicBands before playing to keep track of their scores.
Marvel Super Hero Academy
At Marvel Super Hero Academy, your adventure will begin as you design your Super Hero costume. Again, kids will tap their MagicBands to start this part of the game and will get to keep track of what they’ve worked on. You’ll actually get to see the suit “made” on a mannequin nearby much in the same way that the Black Panther suit would just form onto that character.
In terms of suit designs, we saw a pretty large variety of options kiddos will have to choose from. There were designs for suits that looked like the ones worn by Ant Man, Black Panther, Spider Man, Iron Man, Captain Marvel, and even variations of costumes that looked like other unique characters like potentially Spider-Gwen. Of course, keep in mind that this was concept art.
Once you’ve designed your suit, it’s time to carry out some Super Hero activities. There are 2 different games guests will get to play here. First, there’s a game where the kiddos will need to fight oncoming enemies. And second, there’s a game where kiddos will need to fly to dodge things. At the end of these games, you’ll be fighting Hydra and/or Ultron, classic villains from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The higher the scores you achieve, the more abilities you may unlock! The Imagineers noted that in a way it’s a prequel to the Worlds of Marvel dinner show.
And there are lots of cool details to look for in this space including notes that Shuri may have just left lying around when she last stopped by.
Keep in mind that the age range for these spaces contained in the Oceaneer Club is 3 through 12, but adults can stop by during Open House times (and we have a feeling Marvel, Princess, and theme park fans will WANT to check these things out).
Other Kids or Teen Spaces
In terms of the other spaces on the Wish, you’ll find the “it’s a small world” nursery for the youngest passengers. The nursery actually features designs of various Disney and Pixar characters that are inspired by Mary Blair’s signature art style. In the concept art we saw, there were images of Woody, characters from Cars, and Peter Pan drawn in a really adorable, fun way.
In terms of older spaces, there is Edge and Vibe. We got a look at some of the concept art for Edge (for those ages 11-14) and there was a space with some art from the movie Up as well as a really unique and beautiful skylight on the ceiling of the space. Overall, there’s just a lot to look forward to when it comes to how these spaces have been uniquely redesigned on the Wish.
Unique Details and Things that Make the Wish Different
If you’ve been on a Disney cruise before, you can probably already see all of the ways that the Wish is different. But there are more unique details you’ll want to look for onboard, and other things that actually make this ship really different than previous ones. Here are just a few we got the chance to learn about:
This might seem like a boring tidbit but it can be important when it comes to guest flow and congestion. Previously there were elevators much closer to the central atrium space. On the Wish, in the Grand Hall the staircases and elevators have been moved a bit further away from the central area so you’ll have to walk a bit more to get to them. But, this design should help spread guests out a bit more and ease crowding in the Grand Hall.
In the grand hall, you’ll find a statue of Cinderella and she is REALLY big, like full-size, offering guests a great photo opportunity. And the Grand Hall itself is full of amazing details you’ll want to look for. In the rug, there are designs of vines like a pumpkin patch, along with glass slippers and other character designs.
The railing has elements meant to sort-of look like a tiara and there’s colored glass fit into it. The chandelier is based on the moment Cinderella is transformed from her rags into her beautiful ballgown and the pixie dust that surrounds her.
There’s a true stage within the Grand Hall where they’ll be able to host all kinds of entertainment. Disney has shared that they’ve worked with their live entertainment partners on special offerings and have also been working on a special way to welcome guests aboard!
Overall, on the Disney Wish you’ll find that many venues have been made smaller. Where there was 1 large movie cinema before, there are now 2 smaller ones. The goal has been to make spaces feel more intimate.
In sort-of a similar fashion, on the Wish, Disney has spread out the pool offerings across the ship. Instead of just a few, big pools, there are now various pools spread out throughout various levels of the ship for families to access. And what’s neat is that all of the pools can be covered to become stages. There are also spaces where there is like an amphitheater of sun lounges with the pool spaces interspersed below. That gives families the ability to watch their kids from their loungers while the kids are in those smaller, individual pools.
We actually got to go into the DISH, which is where Disney can see some of their conceptual designs in a really unique way, and we got to “walk through” some of these spaces.
Other cool things to note about the pool areas is that there is a digital panel between one pool area and the Funnel Vision screen where there will be parties/events. The digital screen will be used as a unique backdrop so that’s something fun to look for.
There are a variety of areas on the upper decks when it comes to pools: there’s a Mickey & Friends area (where all of those various pools are spread out), a Toy Story-themed family area (where there is a play area for little kids as well as the Partysaurus Rex family slide), a quiet family pool area, and then Quiet Cove for adults.
The quiet family pool area (that isn’t adults only) is all the way to one side of the ship, so there will be some pretty spectacular views from here. And there’s a unique pool here with 2 layers.
Also nice is the fact that Quiet Cove is ALL the way on the other side of the ship. So, people won’t be walking through Quiet Cove to get to other spaces. Instead, adults can really enjoy the peace and quiet of that area to themselves. Plus, there’s a really great infinity pool with a built-in bench.
When it comes to the staterooms, there will be different themes. The ones discussed during the media preview were Cinderella, Frozen, Princess and the Frog, Sleeping Beauty, Little Mermaid (featured in the solarium suites), Tangled (which will be featured in the concierge level), and Moana. One thing guests are probably really familiar with are the designs of the room numbers next to their stateroom doors, and (more specifically) the design of those mail clips or fish extenders. On the Wish, the design of these numbers in front of the rooms and the mail clips will look different. The clips will actually be designed to look like a crown to fit that overall theme of enchantment.
Also, Disney shared that the themes will be different by floor, so some floors will explore the spirit of the sea, while others will be more focused on the magic of the forest, etc.
During the conference, we also got to learn a really fun detail about Nightingale’s, a piano bar on the ship. In this bar, there is sheet music that surrounds the piano space. Disney shared that the sheets actually contain real sheet music, so if you know how to play an instrument you’d actually be able to read and play them out!
When it comes to another unique space — the Untangled Salon — Disney shared that you’ll be able to get a glass of bubbly there as you get pampered (much like how you’ll be able to get some drinks at the barber area onboard from its hidden bourbon bar).
On one side of the ship, there’s another cool detail you’ll want to look for! You’ll find Rapunzel hanging near the stern of the ship and around her will be 5 stars. Why 5? Well, the Wish represents the 5th ship in Disney’s fleet!
Love those signature Disney Cruise Line horn sounds? Well, on the Wish you’ll find that the ship’s whistles have been housed in a Mickey-shaped structure that is something the Imagineers shared others will be able to see for miles.
And yes, there will be fireworks on the Disney Wish. The Imagineers we spoke to noted that the theme for the show will be announced soon!
In terms of overall comparisons to prior ships, the Wish has more mixed-use spaces, is designed to be more intimate, and will offer more entertainment distributed through a variety of spaces.
Finally, you might be wondering what adjustments (if any) Disney has made to this ship in light of the pandemic. When asked about this, the Imagineering team said that they’re always looking for ways to make the ship safer and more hygienic (and were doing so before the pandemic even began). They shared that they’re far enough away to deal with flexibility if they need to, but didn’t identify any ways in which the design of the ship or thoughts surrounding it have been specifically affected.
WHEW. And that’s just an overview of some of the amazing things we got to see in relation to the Disney Wish. Seriously, a Disney cruise is truly like a floating theme park — there is a LOT to experience and see, and that’s certainly true for the Wish.
We’ll be on the lookout for more details about this ship and we’ll let you know what we find. Stay tuned for all the latest details!
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Disclosure: In nearly all circumstances, Disney Food Blog writers and photographers pay full price for their own travel, hotel, food, beverage, and event tickets. We do this because it’s important to us as journalists to ensure not only that we give you unbiased opinions, but also that you can trust us to do so since we’re paying our own way. On rare occasions, when we are invited by a company to attend a preview as media, and when we choose to accept that invitation, we will always make you, our readers, aware of that situation. We were invited by Disney World to attend their media preview of the Disney Wish. Note that when we attend events as media we are 1) Not required to review that event/food on any of our channels, and 2) Not required to review that event/food favorably. You can always count on DFB to give you a 100% unbiased and honest review of any event that we attend, food that we eat, or beverage that we drink.You can see more in our Disclosure Policy. Thank you for reading. — AJ
What detail about the Disney Wish are you most excited about? Tell us in the comments!