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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.

The previous post in this blog was The Plaza Restaurant at Magic Kingdom REVIEW.

The next post in this blog is Update 2/12 - Rivers of Light Soft Openings.

Comments (4)

Mary Jo Collins:

Thank you, Deb, for the update on the Wonder. It was our first DCL ship we sailed back in 2003. I can imagine it was in need of a little TLC. I am currently pondering the 5-night California Coast Cruise from San Diego to Vancouver in May and this helped sway me toward the "we should do it" side.

Brooke:

It looks beautiful, but I have to admit that I'm so sad that the Chihuly chandelier has been replaced! The Wonder is the first Disney ship I ever went on, all the way back in 2000 on an amazing land and sea vacation with my mom and my best friend, and I'll always remember seeing that gorgeous atrium and wondering with my best friend if "it was a Chihuly". We even went to Guest Services to find out the answer. We're from the Seattle area, so we're all fairly familiar with his exquisite glass works

I'm so glad I was able to do an Alaskan cruise in 2015 and see it again before it was gone! I'm also glad to have seen Parrot Cay one more time, but I'm anxious to visit Tiana's Place in the future (especially since Parrot Cay was my least favorite of the 3 rotation restaurants). I love how Disney keeps things fresh and makes sure there's something new to see on each trip!

Lisa:

Just went on the Wonder for the 1st time in January. LOVED the ship! Smaller than the Dream and "felt movement" more but fantastic. Tiana's was a favorite and Louis came on stage.

To answer Deb's question, Tiana walked around the room, she did not stop at tables. The food was great and agree, do NOT miss the beignets.

Frozen show was amazing and while a few glitches as there was a lot going on, it did not take away from our enjoyment. Thought the actors/actresses did a spectacular performance.

Pool area was nice though seemed a little cramped. Guess Cabana's was new to Wonder but we experienced on the Dream and seemed the same.

Overall, great trip and would sail on the Wonder again.

Michele:

Hi---Was on the 3 night transition to PC cruise. Tiana's Place was our best experience of the new enhancements. Tiana does seem to visit all the tables but the role she takes here is like the movie: an owner of the restaurant. She's out on the floor for about 10 mins at a time and then disappears to the kitchen. But as she walks around the dining room tends to speak to the tables as she walks by. She visited with us first and took pictures, and as the night went on and she breezed by she commented on our meals/experience. "How was Momma's soup". "Leave room for dessert". Etc. Again, reminded me of a real restaurant owner checking in on a table.

We also had appearances from Louis, who did have a handler and did specifically, and methodically, visit with each table. We also enjoyed the Mardi Gras parade at the end of our meal. But I'm told that on longer cruises some of the entertainment is broken up. The live band was fantastic: great entertainment and interaction with the whole theme. (Also note, Animators now has the capability of the drawings show during the meal but that's only done on longer cruises, we were told. We got the normal sorcerer Mickey. We were disappointed.)

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 7, 2017 11:25 AM.

The previous post in this blog was The Plaza Restaurant at Magic Kingdom REVIEW.

The next post in this blog is Update 2/12 - Rivers of Light Soft Openings.

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