Disney unveils new features for adults-only aboard Wish: Here’s everything you need to know about Disney’s newest ship
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.
You may think that Disney Cruise Line caters solely to families but the more we learn about the line’s forthcoming ship, Disney Wish, the more it’s clear that anyone — even those 18+ — can enjoy a fantastic cruise aboard the first of a trio of Triton-class vessels.
This week, Disney announced more information about the elements of Disney Wish that will be especially enticing for the adult crowd. We’re talking an outdoor spa retreat, salon experiences plus bars and lounges.
Bookings opened for summer 2022 sailings back at the end of May for Disney Wish, which is the line’s newest ship in a decade.
Disney’s 140,000-ton Triton-class ships, constructed at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany, are designed to run on liquefied natural gas — a more environmentally friendly fuel. They are slightly larger than the line’s existing Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy ships, but like those predecessors, Triton ships will also accommodate 4,000 passengers in roughly 1,250 staterooms and suites.
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.
For anyone looking to book a stateroom on one of Disney Wish’s sailings next summer or fall, after school resumes, the most affordable option for a family of four runs about $3,200 for the least expensive accommodations. Most summer dates (while school is out) start around $4,500 for a family of four, with veranda rooms coming in about $300 higher than the cheapest available cabin on three-night itineraries.
Four-night sailings for a family of four start between $6,000 and $7,000 in summer, with savings to be had on cruises that depart in August. Those who can wait until fall will see fares from $4,000.
But, before you reserve your cabin, here’s everything else we know so far about Disney Wish and the entire trio of forthcoming Disney Cruise Line ships.
Disney Wish design concept
The theme and inspiration for Disney Wish is enchantment. It’s a theme that ties all Disney stories and fairytales together, and it’s going to be at the heart of this new ship’s experience.
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.
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. “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.”
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, which is reserved for guests 18 and older. You’ll find an infinity pool, whirlpool spa, an open-air bar and a poolside cafe.
Adults can also relax in the Senses Spa, which is an open-air oasis. It’s an extension of Disney Cruise Line’s signature Rainforest experience that’s been reimagined for Wish. It will include the fleet’s first “ice lounge.” Guests will also find heated lounges, sensory spa showers and sauna, steam and dry chambers.
Couples will want to book either a private treatment room or spa villa where they can enjoy all sorts of massages, facials and acupuncture therapies. Senses Fitness pairs with the spa to offer exercise and wellness facilities, including equipment as well as a cycle studio and aerobics space.
The Untangled Salon and barbershop (Hook’s Barbery) round out the offerings.
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.
If Star Wars isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other lounges to sample. Try Keg & Compass, a pub with architectural elements reminiscent of a late-1800s Norwegian sailor’s map room.
Nightingale’s is the ship’s piano bar that offers Champagne, fine wine and hand-crafted cocktails.
Finally, The Bayou is New Orleans-inspired with “The Princess and the Frog” theming. Think lily pads, magnolia blossoms and twinkling fireflies. Here, you can order cocktails or specialty coffees with signature beignets.
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.
Rooms get a fairytale makeover
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.)
Of those ocean-facing rooms, a whopping 70% will have verandas. 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.
Also on deck for Disney Wish, and a first for the cruise line, is 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 will offer 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.
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 a 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.
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.
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.
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):
- 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 cream.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
When will Disney Wish reservations open?
Disney Wish sailings are available for booking right now. It’s almost always best to book a Disney cruise as soon as it goes on sale for the best prices and availability.
You can book Wish sailings directly with Disney Cruise Line or via a Disney vacation planner or travel agent.
The first sailing will be a five-night Bahamas-bound special sailing from June 9 to 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).
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 Disney Wish sailings. However, we can make a few educated guesses based on pricing for some similar Disney sailings on other ships.
Just before Disney Wish will set sail, the Disney Dream has a four-night sailing from Port Canaveral to the Bahamas from May 30 to 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 veranda start at over $5,500 and one-bedroom suites start at over $12,000 for that similar trip. But because Disney Wish is a new vessel and those first few months of sailings come during a period of high demand during summer break, we expect Disney Wish prices to come in potentially 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, with the least expensive sailings being the three-night options during the traditional school calendar.
When will the other 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 Disney Wish will now be completed in 2024 and 2025, respectively (originally 2022 and 2023). The Disney Wish also encountered a pandemic-related delay as it was originally set for completion in 2021.
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, Melissa Klurman, Summer Hull and Ashley Kosciolek.
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