Sailed on Disney Wish’s christening cruise. There are 5 reasons why Disneyland fans should try it

When The Walt Disney Company got into the cruise ship game, it brought in a company with decades of experience serving vacationing customers in a whole new realm. For the most part, all previous cruise ships in the Disney fleet still provided what I would call the “traditional cruise ship experience”, with a few Disney elements such as costumed characters and themed dining added to give it all that Disney feel.

The newest ship in the Disney Cruise Lines fleet, the Disney Wish, makes it feel like something different, offering Disney fans a little more. The “Disney” of it all has been increased dramatically, making the Wish feel like it’s in a Disney theme park floating on water. Specifically, the Disney Wish resembles the Disneyland Resort. You can’t walk around the ship and experience what it has to offer without thinking about Disneyland. So I guess what I’m saying is fans of the California park should check it out.


(Image credit: Disneyland Resort)

The Aquamouse will remind you of the Matterhorn

Water slides aren’t new to cruise ships, but with the Aquamouse, Disney claims to have created the first “attraction” at sea. To be sure, the Aquamouse does more than just throw you down a slide. It has a lift hill like a traditional roller coaster and it tells a story on that hill through an original Mickey Mouse cartoon. There are actually two different cartoons, giving you reason to ride the Aquamouse more than once, just like many Disney park attractions.

There is a specific Disneyland attraction that the Aquamouse will summon, Disneyland’s first roller coaster, the Matterhorn. When I rode the Aquamouse on my recent visit to the Disney Wish Christening Cruise, I was able to watch the Swiss merger animated short, which includes an appearance from the attraction’s classic Yeti. Plus, the music you’ll hear while queuing for the Aquamouse during the Swiss merger The phase includes some of the same music you would hear if you were queuing for the Matterhorn.

Carthay Circle Restaurant at Disney California Adventure

(Image credit: Disneyland Resort)

1923 is essentially Carthay Circle

One of the things about Disney Cruise Lines that sets them apart is how they serve dinner. Rather than having one massive dining room that you return to every night, they have several (slightly) smaller areas that customers pass through, offering everyone a variety of themes, menus, and potentially entertainment. The “gastronomy” location of the three is called 1923.

Named for the founding year of The Disney Bros. Studio, which would eventually become The Walt Disney Company, its overall theme is that of the Golden Age of Hollywood. The walls are covered in concept art from Walt Disney Studios animation projects old and new, while piano music of classic Disney tunes plays over speakers. If this all sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’ve been to Carthay Circle at Disney California Adventure. While this restaurant was established around 1937, approximately the world premiere of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which took place at the theater of the same name, it is still part of the golden age of the Hollywood era. The background music track from 1923 is also literally identical to what you will hear at Carthay Circle.

Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure

(Image credit: Disneyland Resort)

Marvel Worlds Belongs to the Avengers Campus

Another of the new dining experiences aboard the Disney Wish, and perhaps the best of the lot, is called Worlds of Marvel. It’s a bit of a dinner and a show, with the courses of your meal interrupted by a story on screens throughout the dining room. It’s a fun and exciting way to energize dinner, but it also feels oddly familiar.

The heart of the Quantum Encounter story is that Ant-Man and the Wasp is on hand as part of Pym Technologies’ showcase, showcasing a new development, the Quantum Core. Unfortunately, something goes wrong and some Marvel heroes, with the help of the guests, have to save the day. It’s basically also the plot of WEB-SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure at the Avengers campus. Just swap Ant-Man for Spider-Man. Indeed, the Worldwide Engineering Brigade (WEB) is one of the sponsors of the Pym showcase.

Live Disney shows would be home at the Hyperion or Fantasyland Theater

One element that has been part of Disney Cruise Lines since the beginning and continues to be is stage performances. This is of course also something you will often see at any Disney theme park. The Disney Wish has three shows, a medley show called Seas the adventure, which stars Minnie and Goofy and would be a worthy successor to Mickey and the Magic Map at Disneyland’s Fantasyland Theater. There is also a new version of The little Mermaid and an updated version of Aladdin spectacle that has already been seen on other Disney ships.

Even though I couldn’t see the updated version of Aladdin, and I’ve never seen it on a cruise ship, I’ve seen Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular at Disney California Adventure, which is a version of the same show that originated on Disney Cruise Lines. I saw a preview of the new Little Mermaid show and I have to say it looked amazing, so it wouldn’t shock me to see a version of it end up making it to theme parks. Either way, these should be a must for fans of these Anaheim experiences.

Captain Jack Sparrow and Redd at the Pirates Rockin' Parlay Party on the Disney Wish

(Image credit: CinemaBlend)

Pirates Rockin’ Parlay Party inspired by Pirates of the Caribbean (The Ride, Not The Movie)

It wouldn’t be a Disney experience at sea if there weren’t pirates involved, but of course Disney’s wish covers all of that. The Pirates Rockin’ Parlay Party has appeared on Disney cruise ships before, but the version of the Disney Wish is brand new and specifically inspired by the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, not the movie franchise it was based on. Of course, since Captain Jack Sparrow is part of the attraction these days, he can still show up.

The scallywags appear to be performing a rock version of “A Pirate’s Life for Me”. Finally, they are joined on stage by Redd, a singer inspired by the red-haired pirate now found in most versions of the famous boat ride. She is then joined in turn by Jack Sparrow, before the performance comes to an end in the same way that every great night at Disneyland ends, with a fireworks display.

There’s a lot about the Disney Wish that still feels like a more traditional cruise vacation. If you want to sit by the pool and drink mojitos all day, don’t worry, that’s always an option. If you want to spend your time on the Disney Wish eat delicious food and drinking expensive wine with a great view of the ocean, no one will stop you. If, however, you want to have something more like a Disneyland vacation, while too go on a cruise, the Disney Wish is the way to have exactly this experience.

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