Yesterday Disney revealed a lot of information about the newest member of its fleet, the Disney Wish, and let’s just say that it doesn’t look like your typical cruise ship. If you’re a fan of the various beloved media properties under the Disney umbrella, or admire the significant level of theming and attention to detail they bring to their projects, this spectacular boat might be the ship for you. From a new Star Wars bar that makes you seem like you’re having a drink in the fanciest joint in the galaxy, to a dinner show starring the characters of Frozen, the Wish promises a wide-ranging round-up of Disney-flavored activities, all on the high seas.
Let’s start with the AquaMouse. The water ride is touted as “the first-ever Disney attraction at sea,” and despite the unique location, it doesn’t seem to skimp on the quality you expect from a Disney theme park ride. As your raft jets through a tube, you’ll get to enjoy show scenes based on the current series of Mickey Mouse animated shorts, and experience the kind of special effects and design tricks found at the parks. It’s an all-ages ride that promises “splashtacular surprises” and over 700 feet of tube to shoot through, so it sounds a good bit more substantial than a water slide.
The Disney Wish will also have distinct themed areas, like a theme park. The AquaMouse will be found in a Mickey-themed area, with multiple pools and character-themed dining. A Toy Story area will have water features appropriate for toddlers and younger children, like a wading pool, along with a smoothie bar. Finally, Quiet Cove is what it sounds like: a place for adults to escape from the kids for a while and catch some quiet time. It features an infinity pool, a bar, and more.
When you’re ready for a sitdown meal, the Wish will offer three themed restaurants for the whole family. Worlds of Marvel promises a “cinematic dining adventure” with an interactive Avengers mission; I don’t know if that means you’ll have to order the Human Torch’s jalapeno poppers in order to save Franklin Richards from the clutches of Doctor Doom, but I hope it does. Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure sounds a bit like a Frozen dinner theater production, with “immersive live entertainment” featuring Anna, Elsa and the bunch, and Nordic-influenced food. I am going to assume that reindeer won’t be on the menu, but hey, if you ever find yourself in Norway, don’t hesitate to try that out. It’s really good. Finally, 1923 is focused not on any specific movies or characters, but on the early days of The Walt Disney Company and its history of innovation in animation. It sports a menu inspired by the cuisine of California, and a classy, old-school aesthetic that recalls Disneyland’s famously fancy (and private) Club 33.
Your family will also find a number of theaters for both films and live entertainment. Two different cinemas, the Wonderland and the Never Land, will show classic movies from Disney’s expansive vault, as well as brand new movies that are still in theaters. The Luna features a combination of live shows and “interactive programming,” with a family-friendly focus in the daytime and an adults-only experience at night. Broadway-style shows can be enjoyed at the Walt Disney Theatre, and the Hero Zone promises a game show-style set of physical challenges for the whole family. And the Grand Hall will be home to various immersive, interactive shows, using special effects and an atrium theater to let you “play a special role in the magic.”
Kids will get to keep some of the fun to themselves at Disney’s Oceaneer Club, which is exclusively for 3 to 12 year olds. They can train to be superheroes at the Marvel Super Hero Academy, or get creative with the princesses at Fairytale Hall. Tweens can hangout at the tween-only club Edge, while their older siblings can meet at the teen-only Vibe. And the Walt Disney Imagineering Lab is an interactive exhibit that gives kids a hands-on look at the work of the Disney Imagineers.
When adults need some time away from the young’uns, they can go grab a drink at the Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge. Based on the concept art, this is a sleeker, fancier watering hole than Oga’s Cantina at Galaxy’s Edge; it looks like where you’d get a drink on the Cloud City of Bespin. There are also a couple of high-class restaurants and a bar themed around Beauty and the Beast that are open only for adults, including Paleo Steakhouse, a lounge called The Rose that sounds at least conceptually similar to one found at the Grand Floridian Resort at Disney World, and a restaurant called Enchante whose menu was put together by a chef with three Michelin stars. That means it’s real fancy, folks. And since no cruise is complete without a spa day, adults can visit the Senses Spa for all the deep relaxation they need.
So, uh, that’s a lot. There will be no excuse for any child or adult to go bored on the Wish. And that’s without even getting to the fact that the ship sails to Nassau during its five-day journey, and also makes a stop at Disney’s Castaway Cay island, which features its own large list of activities and amenities. The Wish has 1254 staterooms and four royal suites, all with Disney-themed adornments, and will be making its maiden voyage in June, 2022. If it seems like something you’d be into, bookings start May 27, 2021, at the Disney Cruise Line website.
I’ve been on one cruise in my life. It was to Alaska. It was beautiful. I basically hung out with whales and seals while drinking all day next to a glacier. It was a special memory I’ll cherish forever. The Disney Wish obviously offers a very different experience, but one day I’ll ride the AquaMouse and have a drink at the Hyperspace Lounge, and probably find myself with some more memories to hang onto.
Senior editor Garrett Martin writes about videogames, comedy, travel, theme parks, wrestling, and anything else that gets in his way. He’s also on Twitter @grmartin.