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February 2017 Archives

February 7, 2017

Exploring the Enhanced Disney Wonder Cruise Ship

Deb's Digest Blog

Linda and I recently toured the Disney Wonder which returned from dry-dock on November 10, 2016. Many changes and enhancements have been made to the ship. You can read the full Press Release HERE. While we were only on the Disney Wonder for a few hours (while it was in port), we were able to see several of the changes.

We always experience that "back home" feeling when walking onto a Disney classic ship. They were the originals, the ones we "cut our teeth on." The Magic and the Wonder have a certain charm and intimacy absent from the larger ships. While they may not have all the new-fangled gadgets, they certainly clean up pretty nice! It has been a number of years since we have been on the Disney Wonder so it was a fun homecoming for us.

The atrium has a whole different look and feel highlighted by the beautiful red chandelier. One of the staircases has been removed and the Ariel statue has been re-positioned.

Disney Wonder Cruise Ship
Disney Wonder Cruise Ship


The first thing we did on-board was see "Frozen, A Musical Spectacular" in the Walt Disney Theater. The show follows the story-line with a few twists here and there to make it unique. While it is similar to the Frozen show at Disney California Adventure, there are differences. We thought the beginning was a great surprise, a simple yet very creative way to begin the show. No more details -- we don't want to spoil it for you!

Disney Wonder Cruise Ship


According to Disney Cruise Line, "The show features dynamic costumes and sets, remarkable special effects, and spectacular production numbers that will delight Disney Cruise Line guests in new and surprising ways. The creative disciplines blend to create a seamless environment – blurring the lines between costume and scenic, set piece and video, puppet and puppeteer – and expand upon the most imaginative elements of the film."

Disney Wonder Cruise Ship


The special effects were outstanding and totally immersed the audience in the intimate Walt Disney Theater. Some very creative moves and costume changes will make you wonder, "How did they do that?!" Bringing Sven and Olaf to life added to the specialness of this show. The one thing that fell short for us (based on the show we watched) was the connection and love between Anna and Elsa. I have no idea if either actress was a stand-in, but the chemistry was noticeably missing.

Disney Wonder Cruise Ship

Next up was perhaps the best of the best in our opinion, Tiana's Place, which has taken over the former Parrot Cay.

Disney Wonder Cruise Ship


You are immediately transported to Princess and the Frog's New Orleans era completed with a jazz band, The Crawfish Crooners.

Disney Wonder Cruise Ship


Princess Tiana welcomes you to her new place and the band plays during the meal, which is an incredible addition to the Disney Wonder. I have not been able to confirm if Tiana makes appearances at each table, or if she is only on the stage. (Please leave a comment if you've experienced Tiana's Place.) It would be great if each ship were able to intertwine live music and dinner. Plus, we found the food to be good and not too spicy. Do NOT miss the beignets!

Disney Wonder Cruise Ship
Disney Wonder Cruise Ship
Disney Wonder Cruise Ship
Disney Wonder Cruise Ship


All too soon, it was time to leave Tiana's and see the other new areas of the ship -- in Disney's Oceaneer Club. The kids' spaces have been totally redone.

Disney Wonder Cruise Ship

The two new sections are the much heralded Marvel Super Hero Academy and Wandering Oaken's Trading Post.

Disney Wonder Cruise Ship
Disney Wonder Cruise Ship
Disney Wonder Cruise Ship
Disney Wonder Cruise Ship
Disney Wonder Cruise Ship


The adult district has been transformed into After Hours featuring Azure, the night club; Cadillac Lounge, a piano bar; and the Crown and Fin Pub, an English tavern.

Disney Wonder Cruise Ship

The Cadillac lounge received some elegant appointments with Cadillac hubcaps inserted into the cocktail tables and Cadillac fins for lights on the wall.

Disney Wonder Cruise Ship
Disney Wonder Cruise Ship
Disney Wonder Cruise Ship

The Azure Lounge is fresh, modern and has the feel of being under the sea.

Disney Wonder Cruise Ship
Disney Wonder Cruise Ship

Finally, the brand new English tavern, Crown and Fin, is sure to be a hit with dark woods, leather furniture and brass accents, even game tables. Be sure to look for the nods to classic Disney films set in London.

Disney Wonder Cruise Ship
Disney Wonder Cruise Ship
Disney Wonder Cruise Ship

Outside you'll find all new water features (some similar to the Disney Magic) including Twist 'n' Spout Slide, Dory's Reef and the AquaLab. There is no AquaDunk on the Disney Wonder.

Disney Wonder Cruise Ship
Disney Wonder Cruise Ship
Disney Wonder Cruise Ship


One thing we wanted to be sure and share is the staircase leading up to the new Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.

Disney Wonder Cruise Ship

There are numerous other changes to the Wonder so I guess you'll just have to take a cruise and see for yourself!

Disclaimer: AllEars.Net was invited by Disney Cruise Line to tour the newly renovated Disney Wonder. Our opinions are our own.

February 12, 2017

Update 2/12 - Rivers of Light Soft Openings

Deb's Digest Blog

FEBRUARY 12TH UPDATE:

Last night I attended the Rivers of Light show via Annual Pass wristbands. Folks started filtering in the seating area about 75 minutes prior to show time. Cast Members were directing guests where to sit.

The show began on time and then around the 9 minute mark it went dark and stopped. An announcement was made and we waited 5-10 minutes. Then another announcement said the show would restart in about 15-20 minutes. When it did restart, it did so from the very beginning.

As I said below, keep in mind this is a soft opening and not all effects may be working and the show may stop at any time and may or may not restart.


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It was announced a few days ago that the long awaited nighttime show in Animal Kingdom, Rivers of Light, would officially debut February 17th.

That said, the show is currently in a soft opening phase. Soft opening is a term used by Disney when an attraction or show has not officially opened but is in the final testing stages. The show may or may not go on, depending.....

There is NO guarantee the soft opening will continue or that the process for obtaining wristbands will continue.

Yesterday, February 10th, FastPass+ for Rivers of Light appeared in My Disney Experience. Once word got out, it booked quickly.

rol-fp.JPG

Also yesterday, wristbands were being given out in Animal Kingdom for DVC and AP holders.

rol-wristband.JPG

Today, February 11th, wristbands are being given out to AP and DVC folks for this evening's show. A little later in the morning, the FastPass+ appeared in My Disney Experience. You must have your entire party present for the wrist bands. Cast Members will put them on your wrist for you.

At least this morning, near the entrance to the Rainforest Cafe, 2 Cast Members were holding up signs, one for Annual Passholders and one for DVC. DVC members be sure to have your membership card with you.

So, if you want to see the show before it officially opens, either go to Animal Kingdom first thing in the morning to obtain a wristband, or keep checking your My Disney Experience account for possible day of FastPass+.

Please remember: There is NO guarantee the soft opening will continue or that this process for obtaining wristbands will continue.


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About February 2017

This page contains all entries posted to Deb's Digest in February 2017. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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