Exploring the Enhanced Disney Wonder Cruise Ship
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.
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!
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."
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.
Next up was perhaps the best of the best in our opinion, Tiana's Place, which has taken over the former Parrot Cay.
You are immediately transported to Princess and the Frog's New Orleans era completed with a jazz band, The Crawfish Crooners.
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!
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.
The two new sections are the much heralded Marvel Super Hero Academy and Wandering Oaken's Trading Post.
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.
The Cadillac lounge received some elegant appointments with Cadillac hubcaps inserted into the cocktail tables and Cadillac fins for lights on the wall.
The Azure Lounge is fresh, modern and has the feel of being under the sea.
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.
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.
One thing we wanted to be sure and share is the staircase leading up to the new Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
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.