Disney In Your Day Giveaway

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Part of what is so great about writing about Disney is that I get to connect with other Disney bloggers who are just as passionate about the Mouse as I am! One of my favorite bloggers is Becky from Disney In Your Day.

Becky is hosting a 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway. She has lots of great Disney prizes which will be posted on her blog in the build up to Christmas Day.

Check out her blog for some fabulous Disney content and click on the link below to see how you can enter to win!

Enter to Win A Belle Doll

Disney Wonder Bars

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Disney Wonder Bars

Here is a comprehensive guide to the Disney Wonder Bars so that you know what is available before you sail on your Disney Cruise.

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All of the Disney Wonder rotational restaurants have a drinks menu. Your assistant server will take your order so there is no need to visit one of the Disney Wonder bars if you want a drink with your dinner.

Disney Cruise lines also allows you to take a limited amount of wine on board with you. If you want to know more about this you can click here.

Disney Wonder After Hours

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The Disney Wonder underwent a major upgrade in dry dock in 2016. This included a complete redesign of all the bars in the adult area on Deck 3.

The improvement was huge. Gone was the Route 66 theme and name. Instead this area was renamed After Hours in line with the Disney Wonder’s sister ship the Magic.

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The color scheme of the corridor of After Hours is a modern subtle gray color. Along the corridor are huge portholes. They are big enough to sit in! This can even be a quiet place to bring a book and relax.

In the After Hours area you will find three bars. The Crown and Fin, The Cadillac Lounge and Azure.

Whilst this is an adult area of the Disney Wonder, some of the time it is used for family oriented activities. Only the Cadillac Lounge is completely child free all day. The Crown and Fin and Azure welcome children prior to 9pm in the evening.

Disney Wonder Crown and Fin

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The Crown and Fin is one of my favorite bars on the Disney Wonder. It used to be called Diversions but was renamed and restyled in the 2016 Disney Wonder dry dock refurbishment.

It is designed with the look and feel of a traditional English Pub. It reminds me of home!

The Crown and Fin is the closest that the Disney Wonder gets to a sports bar, but this theme really is secondary to the English pub feel. There are lots of screens in the Crown and Fin, but they are not overwhelming. It is a great place to catch the game, or just settle down and enjoy a drink or two.

It is cozy without being too small and it has plenty of light coming in from the huge porthole windows at one side of the room.

There are lots of nostalgically British touches in the Crown and Fin. As soon as you enter you will see the traditional red phone box. There are many decorations on the wall.

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The leather chairs are very inviting. Towards the right hand side you will find an area with lots of chess, checkers and backgammon tables. There are also board games available.

Disney Wonder Crown and Fin Pub Menu

The Crown and Fin Pub has a drinks menu and a food menu.

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As you would expect,the Crown and Fin has a good selection of beers on draft. Included of course is a pint of Guiness for $7.75. If you want something a little lighter the Alaskan Amber Ale or the great value Crown and Fin Ale are good choices.

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If you are a beer enthusiast why not try La Trappe Quadrupel. Of if you want to splurge then sample the Lindemans Framboise Lambic for $17.75.

If beer and lager is not your thing there is also a wine and cocktail menu. We highly recommend the Gin Tea Tonic. This is a delicious mix of Hendrick’s Gin, Green Mango Peach Tea and King’s Giner for $8.75.

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It is served in a beautiful tea pot and you drink it from a cup and saucer. The serving is huge – it just keeps pouring!

The Crown and Fin Pub is the only bar with a food menu on the Disney Wonder.

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We have never ordered from the food menu, but last time did see someone else order the German Pretzel. It was huge! Just can’t see why we would order food there when it isn’t exactly difficult to find food which is included on the Disney Wonder. However, if you enjoy Bangers and Mash you can get your fix here!

Disney Wonder Cadillac Lounge

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The Cadillac Lounge also underwent a major refurbishment in the Disney Wonder 2016 dry dock. The basic idea of a piano bar with a Cadillac theme stayed the same. However, the dry dock improved the decor by making it a lot more welcoming and rather less gloomy.

This is an adults only area all of the time. The Cadillac Lounge on the Disney Wonder is usually open from 6pm to midnight every day.

The theme is the 1950s when Cadillac was the height of its success. Lots of leather chairs which are made to look like nostalgic car seats. Take some time to look at the details.

We think that the seating arrangements are slightly strange. The middle of the room has a row of double chairs set opposite each other in groups of four. They are too far apart to encourage conversation, but too close to be conducive to a romantic evening!

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Nevertheless on our recent trip on the Disney Wonder the Cadillac Lounge became our favorite bar. The entertainment from the live piano player every evening was great.

The bar staff were particularly helpful and friendly here and that makes so much difference. Sit at the bar and get to know the bar staff on the Disney Wonder. There are some great people and we have made many friends this way who always remember us when we go back!

The Cadillac Lounge is a great place for some cocktails. They also have a little known feature on the menu. The Sommolier Bin.

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I am glad that I tried the Sommolier Bin. Not many people seem to know this secret of the Cadillac Lounge. You pay $10 for a glass of red, white or sparkling wine. The glass that you get is a surprise. The bar tender gives you what they have available from an open bottle.

If it is priced at less than $10 you will get it for the lower price. If it is higher, you will just pay $10.

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It is a great idea for the guest as they may get a much higher valued glass. It is also a good idea for Disney as they get to use up open bottles of wine which may have to be thrown out if they are not used that day.

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I was very pleased as I got the Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label. This is usually $24 so the $10 Somolier Bin was a steal.

Disney Wonder Azure

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Azure also got an upgrade and a name change with the 2016 Disney Wonder dry dock. It used to be called Wave Bands.

I have to admit that I see the Azure Bar on the Disney Wonder more as a location for events. Lots of the daily activities are held in Azure. For instance Bingo is always played here as it is the largest bar venue on the ship. Daily events such as Trivia and Karaoke are also often held here.

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Azure is much larger than either the Cadillac Lounge or the Crown and Fin. It is one large area of seating with a long bar at the far end of the room.

Disney Wonder Azure Drinks Menu

Cocktails

Le Grand Blue – $11.25

Ocean Organic Vodka, Grand Mariner, Blue Curaçao, Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice, Moët & Chandon Impérial
Pomegranate Passion – $11.25

Pomegranate Liqueur, Passion Fruit Purée, Moët & Chandon Impérial
Azure – $11.25

Kissed Vodka, Sparkling Sake Mio, Patrón Citrónge, Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice, Guava Juice, Sugared Rim and a Souvenir Glow Cube
Elderbubble – $11.25

Absolut Raspberry, St Germain Elderflower Liquor, Moët & Chandon Impérial
Eco-tini – $11.25

Veev Açai Liqueur, Grand Mariner, Agave Nectar, fresh Ginger, Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice and a Souvenir Açai Seed Bracelet
Limone Basilico – $11.25

White Wine

Pino Grigio, Italy – $6.00
Castello Del Poggio Moscato, Italy – $7.50
St. Frances Chardonnay Sonoma, USA – $8.50

Red Wine

Seven Daughters Pinot Noir California, USA – $7.50
Murphy-Goode Merlot California, USA – $8.25
Kendall Jackson Cabernet Sauvignon Vinter’s Reserve California, USA – $8.75

Beers and Ciders on Tap

Angry Orchard 5% ABV – $6.75
Longboard 4.6% ABV – $6,50
Big Wave 4.4% AVB – $6.25

Disney Wonder Promenade Lounge

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The Promenade Lounge is probably the bar which you will at least walk past the most on the Disney Wonder! It is located on Deck 3 aft close to Tiana’s Place. It is open every day from 7.30 am until midnight and is the place you will go for many scheduled activities on the Disney Wonder. It is the place where we have spent many happy times at Disney Trivia events!

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Unlike some of the other bars on the Disney Wonder, the Promenade Lounge is always open to anyone of any age. In the evening it will have a live band playing and there is a small dance floor where you will often see the younger kids joining in the dancing.

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The Disney Wonder Promenade Lounge also serves snacks. In the morning you will find a selection of pastries. In the evening you will usually find chips and salsa.

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It is also a great place to have a glass of wine, a beer or a cocktail.

The Promenade Lounge has one disadvantage. It is not enclosed. it is a busy walkway which gets a fair amount of traffic from guests walking from the Lobby Atrium area to Tiana’s Place Restaurant.

This means that before each seating for dinner there will be a long line of guests waiting to go into dinner. The walk way space isn’t very big so the tables right at the side near the porthole windows are not usable during this time.

Having said that, the Promenade Lounge is a great informal place to spend some time. It is welcoming for adults on their own but families are also very welcome.

Disney Wonder D Lounge

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D Lounge is located on Deck 4 Mid ship on the Disney Wonder, above Triton’s Restaurant. This is one of the larger bars and is used for a lot of family activities.

The opening times of D Lounge vary according to the daily Navigator Schedule It is a place where all ages are welcome. The huge bar is in the back corner of the room, making this feel much less like a bar and more like a meeting place. Often the doors are open, but the bar is not. D Lounge is probably not a space that you will spend much time in unless you are attending scheduled activities.

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D Lounge is a space where the bar is incidental to the other uses of the space. Having said that, as always take some time to get to know the friendly bar staff. It’s always interesting to get to know them and many have been on the Disney Wonder for years.

Disney Wonder Cove Cafe

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The Cove Cafe on the Disney Wonder is located in the adult only area on Deck 9 Mid Ship. No children are allowed in the Cove Cafe at any time.

Many people think of the Cove Cafe as being just a coffee bar, but it is much more than that. It is one of my favorite places on the Disney Wonder. The decor is relaxing, the chairs are comfortable and the bar staff always have time to talk.

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My favorites on the Disney Wonder Cove Cafe Menu are the Eco-Tini where you even get a bracelet as a souvenir!disneyecotini

The Moet and Chandon Ice is also a treat even though it is priced at $14.75.

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Just make sure you get a decent pour of the Moet and not just the ice!

Disney Wonder Signals

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The Signals Bar on the Disney Wonder is at the side of the adults only pool. Signals is usually pretty quiet and is the perfect place to grab a drink to enjoy by the pool.

The bar staff walk around the Deck 9 area, including the family pools, and will deliver drinks to you. As with all Disney Cast Members they are friendly and not pushy. It is easy to order a drink but they will not hassle you over and over.

Disney Wonder Preludes Bar

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If you want to enjoy a drink during one of the shows in the Walt Disney Theatre the Preludes Bar is just outside.

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You can purchase a drink before you go in or get the attention of one of the bar tenders who will be walking around prior to the show.

Disney Wonder Palo Bar

Disney Wonder Palo Bar

Not many people really think about Palo on the Disney Wonder as having a bar. However, during dinner service the bar is open and you are welcome to sit there whilst you are waiting to be seated.

However, for the many times we have dined at Palo it is very rare that we have ever seen anyone sitting at the bar. Just bear it in mind that to truly savor your Palo dinner experience on the Disney Wonder why not arrive early and order a cocktail or a glass of wine?

Disney Palo Restaurant

You get a great view into the open kitchen at Palo from the bar. If you want a unique experience on the Disney Wonder take the chance to spend some time at the Palo bar – few guests ever do.

Money Saving Items To Pack For A Disney Cruise

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You may have been looking forward to your Disney cruise for months or even years. Now it is time to think about what you should include on your Disney cruise packing list.

We all know not to forget our swimming gear in the Caribbean, warm clothes in Alaska and a great guidebook for Europe. However, did you realize that some items that you pack for your Disney cruise can actually save you money?

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Here are some suggestions of what to pack for your Disney cruise to save you money on board.

Sunscreen

Even in Alaska you will need sunscreen! You can be sure that they will sell it in the store on your Disney ship. However, it will be much more expensive that sunscreen that you bring with you.

Also if you pack your sunscreen to bring on your Disney cruise you can be sure that you will get a brand that you like. We like this Neutrogena Water Resistant Sunscreen Lotion . It’s SPF 45 and water proof.

If you prefer a spray on sunscreen this Sunscreen Spray is a good value.

Wine

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Disney cruise lines has one of the most generous policies of any cruise line with regard to taking your own wine on board. Most cruise lines prohibit it completely. However, you can save a lot of money if you take advantage of Disney cruise lines alcohol policy.

Each adult over 21 can bring up to 2 bottles of unopened wine or champagne on board a Disney cruise. Each bottle of wine should be no larger than 750 ml. As an alternative you can bring up to 6 beers of no more than 12 ounces for each can or bottle.

You are allowed to drink the wine or beer in your stateroom. It you drink it in the restaurant you will be charged a corkage fee of $25.

For more information about the Disney Wine Package to see how much you will save if you bring your own, Click Here.

This allowance applies when you board the cruise and at each port of call.

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The wine or beer has to be packed in your carry on luggage. Don’t put it in checked luggage. Security will find it and it will be held until the end of the cruise. Or the bottle will break and you will have red wine all over your suitcase. Neither outcome is great!

We use this 2 Bottle Neoprene Wine Bottle Tote to keep the bottles safe in our carry on luggage.

If you are taking beer bottles on board a Disney cruise these Beer Bottle Sleeves are also really useful.

Bottled Water

Disney has a lot of beverages included with the basic price of the cruise. It includes many different types of soda, coffee. tea and hot chocolate. This is available on the pool deck from the self service machines and also in any of the restaurants and the buffet.

However, one thing which is not included is bottled water. The water from the faucet in your stateroom is perfectly safe to drink, but we know that many people prefer bottle water.

Disney cruise lines allows guests to bring as much bottled water on board the ship as they can carry. It has to be unopened and in carry on luggage.

You can bring as much water on board a Disney cruise as you want to. However, you do need to give some thought as to how best to transport your bottled water on to the ship.

A pack of just 12 bottles of water is pretty heavy and bulky. Make sure that you have a wheeled Carry On Bag to either put them in or balance them on top of.

Also remember that your Disney cruise stateroom is not going to be ready until 1pm. This means that you could have a couple of hours on the ship balancing those water bottles on your carry on. Just bear that in mind when you choose how to transport it.

However, you will save a considerable amount of money if you bring your own bottle water. A 6 pack of bottled water costs $9.75 and a 24 pack is $39. This does not include tax and gratuity.

SD Memory Card

You can buy an SD card on board, but it will be at a premium price. Also you will have a limited choice. It is much better to remember to bring your own.

We think the SanDisk Extreme Pro 64GB Memory Card is a good buy.

Travel First Aid Kit

It is a good idea to always travel with a basic first aid kit. There is a doctor on board for more serious issues but if you just want a band-aid it can be frustrating to learn just how much they cost in the store.

This Compact First Aid Kit has the basic supplies that you need. It is wise to put this in your back pack when you leave the ship in port. You never know when you might need it.

Water Proof Pouch

This can save you a whole lot of money. Keeping your phone or other electronic items safely out of the water is highly important! Losing your phone in the ocean on Castaway Cay is not going to be pleasant.

Make sure that you keep electronics safe in a Universal Waterproof Pouch Cellphone Dry Bag Case .

Sea Sickness Remedies

No one really wants to think about this, but a minority of guests do experience sea sickness. If you are one of those people there are many remedies that you can choose to help alleviate your symptoms.

These Anti-Nausea Acupressure Wristband for Travel work very well for a lot of people. They are a great solution if you want a remedy without taking medication.

Another solution which works really well is the Motion Sickness Patch. These small circle patches offer a completely natural way of combating sea sickness.

Dramamine is also one of the best medications. It now comes in non drowsy form and there are Formulas For Children.

Laundry Items

I prefer to pack light and do some laundry on a cruise. There are plenty of laundry rooms on the Disney ships. THey do sell detergent, but I much prefer to bring my own.

Not only is it cheaper to bring your own laundry detergent, you also know exactly which brand you are getting. It’s not great to find out you are sensitive to the laundry detergent when you are on board! I like to bring individual Laundry Detergent Pacs . They are easy to pack and do not take up much room in your suitcase.

There are irons on board the Disney ships in every laundry room. You are not allowed to bring your own iron on board due to the fire risk. However, one very handy product I recently discovered is Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus . This spray, which is available in travel size bottles, works miracles on creased clothes, so you may not need to walk down the corridor to iron your shirt after all.

Snorkel Gear

If you are planning any snorkel activities or excursions it cab save you money to take your own Snorkel Set with you.

You may want to consider bringing your own snorkel gear if you are spending the day on Castaway Cay. You can rent snorkel gear for $32 for adults and $16 for ages 5 to 9. However, you may find you save money buying your own set.

Another item we highly recommend that you pack for a visit to Castaway Cay is a pair of Water Shoes

All of the beaches on Castaway Cay have sharp stones which can be really uncomfortable to walk on. Get some inexpensive water shoes and you will be really glad that you brought them with you!

Disney Western Caribbean Cruise – What You Need to Know

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Are you thinking of sailing on a Disney Western Caribbean Cruise? Here we share information and tips on how to make the very best of your Disney Cruise.

We look at the itineraries available, how to save money and give you the low down on how to get the most out of your Disney Western Caribbean Cruise.

Disney Western Caribbean Cruise

Disney Western Caribbean Cruise

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Disney CaribbeanCruise Mistakes to Avoid

Disney are regularly voted the top rated cruise lines in the industry for families. There is a whole lot to do on a Disney cruise for every member of the family, no matter what their age.

We have sailed on a Disney Western Caribbean cruise a number of times in different staterooms. Every time it has been an amazing trip which we highly recommend.

What Choices Do You Have of Disney Western Caribbean Cruise?

A Fantastical Morning in Jamaica

If you want to sail the Western Caribbean you have a number of choices. There are 4, 5, 6 and 7 night cruises available.

The majority of the Disney Western Caribbean Cruises are 7 night itineraries sailing from Port Canaveral on the Disney Fantasy. The Fantasy is Disney’s newest cruise ship.

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However,if you are wanting to book a Disney Cruise Western Caribbean cruise there are a number of options. The Disney Dream is the only ship which does not offer any Caribbean cruises. The Disney Dream only sails the Bahamian cruises.

Here we will explore exactly what the Caribbean itineraries are available on the different Disney ships. Then we will look at why you might choose one over the other for your Disney Caribbean cruise.

Disney Western Caribbean 4 Night Cruise Sailing on Disney Wonder

The 4 night Western Caribbean cruises are rare for Disney cruise lines. For 2018 and 2019 they sail from Galveston. In 2020 there will be 4 night Disney Western Caribbean sailings from New Orleans

The Disney Wonder sailed from Galveston on November 8th and 12th 2018. The 4 night Disney Western Caribbean Sailings on the Disney Wonder for 2019 are on January 9th and 12th and 16th December 2019.

Day 1 Galveston, Texas
Day 2 At Sea
Day 3 Cozumel, Mexico
Day 4 At Sea
Day 5 Galveston, Texas

New for 2020 are the sailings of the Disney Wonder from New Orleans. There are only 2 sailings scheduled so fat for 2020. These are on February 27 and March 2.

Day 1 New Orleans,LA
Day 2 At Sea
Day 3 Cozumel, Mexico
Day 4 At Sea
Day 5 New Orleans, LA

This is one of the few Disney Western Caribbean cruises which does not visit Castaway Cay. You may want to consider if this cruise is a good option as Castaway Cay is probably on your wish list.

Here you can see our complete Guide to Castaway Cay so that you can make a decision about whether or not this is important to you.

5 Night Disney Western Caribbean Cruise From Miami Sailing on Disney Magic

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These sailings on the Disney Magic sail on December 9th 2018.
The Disney Magic also sails in 2019 on this itinerary on February 3rd and 17th, March 3rd, 17th, and 31st and April 14th

Friday Miami, Florida
Saturday At Sea
Sunday Cozumel, Mexico
Monday At Sea
Tuesday Castaway Cay
Wednesday Miami, Florida

These 5 night sailings include a port stop in Grand Cayman instead of Cozumel. The Disney Magic sails on December 23rd 2018.

The Disney Magic also sails in 2019 on this itinerary on December 21st 2019. The 2020 dates are March 28, April 11 and April 25.

Sunday Miami, Florida
Monday At Sea
Tuesday Cozumel
Wednesday At Sea
Thursday Castaway Cay
Friday Miami, Florida

There is a third variation of Disney Magic sailing from Miami on a 5 night Western Caribbean cruise. This includes Grand Cayman as a port stop. The Disney Magic will sail on 28th December 2018 and January 6th and 20th, April 28th and December 7th 2019.

Sunday Miami, FL
Monday At Sea
Tuesday Grand Cayman
Wednesday At Sea
Thursday Castaway Cay
Friday Miami, FL

6 Night Disney Western Caribbean Cruise From Galveston

The Pelican View

This is an itinerary which the Disney Wonder rarely sails.

Friday Galveston, Texas
Saturday At Sea
Sunday Cozumel Mexico
Monday Grand Cayman
Tuesday At Sea
Wednesday At Sea
Thursday Galveston, Texas

This will sail on 21st December 2018, The 2019 Disney Cruise 6 night sailings on the Wonder are on January 3rd and December 6th.

6 Night Disney Western Caribbean Cruise From Port Canaveral

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This is a rare 6 night Disney Fantasy Western Caribbean sailing.

Sunday Port Canaveral
Monday At Sea
Tuesday Cozumel
Wednesday Costa Maya, Mexico
Thursday At Sea
Friday Castaway Cay
Saturday Port Canaveral

This will sail on January 3rd and October 27th 2019 and March 29th 2020.

6 Night Disney Western Caribbean Cruise From Miami

Saturday Miami
Sunday At Sea
Monday Grand Cayman
Tuesday Cozumel
Wednesday At Sea
Thursday Castaway Cay
Friday Port Canaveral

There is only one sailing scheduled for the Disney Magic from Miami on this 6 night Western Caribbean cruise. It will sail on November 23rd 2019.

6 Night Disney Western Caribbean Cruise From New Orleans

Friday New Orleans, LA
Saturday At Sea
Sunday Cozumel
Monday Grand Cayman
Tuesday At Sea
Wednesday At Sea
Thursday Port Canaveral

There is one sailing for the Disney Wonder from New Orleans on this 6 night Caribbean cruise. This sails on February 21st 2020.

7 Night Western Caribbean Cruises from Port Canaveral on Disney Fantasy

Fantastical Night

These are the majority of the Disney Western Caribbean sailings. They set sail from Port Canaveral on the Disney Fantasy. Most of the sailings have these port stops in this order.

The currently released sailing dates for 2018 are January 6 and 20, February 3 and 17, March 3, 17 and 31, April 14 and 28, May 12 and 26, Jun 9 and 23, July 21, August 4 and 18, September 1, 15 and 29, October 13 and 27, November 10 and 24, December 8 and 22.

The 2019 dates are January 5 and 19, February 2 and 16, March 2, 16 and 30, April 13 and 27, May 11 and 25, June 8, July 6 and 20, August 17 and 31, September 14 and 28, October 12, November 9 and 23, December 7 and 21.

The 2020 dates released so far are January 4, 18, February 1, 15, 29, March 14, April 11, 25, May 9, 23

Saturday Port Canaveral Florida
Sunday At Sea
Monday Cozumel Mexico
Tuesday Grand Cayman
Wednesday Falmouth, Jamaica
Thursday At Sea
Friday Castaway Cay
Saturday Port Canaveral Florida

7 Night Disney Western Caribbean Cruise Sailings on Disney Wonder From Galveston 2018

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There are two sailings in 2018 on the Disney Wonder from Galveston which are a 7 night Caribbean itinerary. They sail on November 30th and December 20th 2018.

Friday Galveston, Texas
Saturday At Sea
Sunday Cozumel, Mexico
Monday Grand Cayman
Tuesday Falmouth, Jamaica
Wednesday At Sea
Thursday At Sea
Friday Galveston, Texas

7 Night Disney Western Caribbean Cruise Sailings on Disney Wonder From New Orleans 2020

Friday New Orleans, LA
Saturda At Sea
Sunday Cozumel, Mexico
Monday Grand Cayman
Tuesday Falmouth, Jamaica
Wednesday At Sea
Thursday At Sea
Friday New Orleans, LA

This is due to sail on February 14th 2020.

Which Disney Western Caribbean Cruise Should You Choose?

Fancy The Fantasy

Now you know all the dates and the possibilities you may be overwhelmed and not know which Disney Western Caribbean cruise to book. There are some questions that you can ask yourself to narrow it down so that you can make a choice.

Probably the first question that you need to ask yourself is, how flexible are you with your Disney cruise dates? Most people have a limited time frame that they can travel, so you need to look at this question first to see if this rules out any of the options.

Which port is it easier for your family to sail from? If you are combining a Disney cruise with a visit to Walt Disney World you will most likely want to sail from Port Canaveral as this is an easy transfer from the parks. However, if you live in the Western United States, Galveston may be easier to get to and start your cruise. Some people may also find Miami a better option for them.

Another very important question is which Disney ship do you want to sail on? They all have their own special personality and features. The newest ship is the Disney Fantasy. It has the Aquaduck which is a huge draw for many people.

It is the biggest ship and many would say that the Fantasy is the best. The Disney Fantasy also has the largest choice of dates for your vacation. The Fantasy has the most 7 night Western Caribbean sailings of all of the Disney ships.

The Water Cannon

To read more about the Aquaduck here is our guide:

Disney Fantasy Aquaduck

However, you may want to sail on one of the classic ships – either the Disney Magic or the Disney Wonder. We love the Disney Fantasy, but always see the Disney Wonder as our “first love”. The Magic and the Wonder are smaller than the newer ships, but in some ways we prefer this.

Both the Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder are recently re- imagined and so have a number of new features. Take some time to read about the different ships to see which you think would be best for you and your family.

Price is of course a very important factor in deciding which Disney Caribbean cruise to choose. The Disney Fantasy tends to be more money per person per night than the Magic and the Wonder. This is very much a generalization and will depend upon which sailing you choose and how far ahead you book. However, the lower fares are generally found on the classic ships of the Disney Wonder and Magic. This may be the deciding factor for you.

The next question is do you have a particular port stop that you want to see? Most of the itineraries include the same port stops, but there are variations. If you are set on going to Key West Florida, your choices are going to be pretty limited as only the February 11th 2018 sailing on the Disney Wonder has this port stop on a Western Caribbean sailing.

Most of the other choices are going to be rather easier for you as most of the sailings go to the same ports. It really doesn’t tend to matter which ports are in which order.

You need to ask yourself all these questions so that you can narrow down your choice and then decide upon the perfect Disney Caribbean cruise.

Which Stateroom Should You Choose for Your Disney Western Caribbean Cruise?

The Pelican View

This is a very important decision, because this will determine the cost of your Disney Western Caribbean cruise. We have sailed in many different categories of stateroom on the Disney ships and we would say that we haven’t found that our level of enjoyment was directly proportional to the category of the stateroom we chose! We have been just as happy in an Oceanview Stateroom as we have in the Deluxe Family Oceanview Staterooms with Verandah. Of course it is nice to have a balcony and some extra space, but we think the Disney cruise staterooms are comfortable and spacious. If you don’t want to spend that extra money on a larger stateroom and you think that your family can survive in a small space for 7 nights we think that you should go for the category that you can comfortably fit into your budget.

We have written a comprehensive guide to staterooms on the Disney Fantasy and you can find that by clicking on the link below:

Disney Fantasy Cruise Staterooms

Isn’t A Disney Caribbean Cruise Just For Kids?

A Quiet Night at Quiet Cove

We know that it is a very common misconception that Disney cruises are just for kids. They really aren’t. Anyone who is already a fan of the Disney parks is probably already convinced that they can have fun, even as a grown up on a Disney cruise. Disney brings out the child in all of us and that is a big part of the appeal.

However, Disney cruise lines have made very sure that they appeal to the adults as well as to the children. They have dedicated spaces and entertainment on the Disney ships which is meant just for the adults. All of the ships have a very large amount of space and facilities which are child free. The Disney Fantasy in particular has a huge amount of space which is for the adults only. The pool deck spaces are a sanctuary for adults looking for child free time.

Still not convinced? If you want to bring back the romance in your life check out our guide:

Top 10 Romantic Things To Do on a Disney Cruise

What Makes a Disney Western Caribbean Cruise Worth It?

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We think that Disney cruises offer amazing value for money. Of course we know that their basic price per night is more than many other cruise lines. However, we really do go by the saying “You get what you pay for”. We have sailed on many other cruise lines and we still rate Disney the highest by a long way. This is not just because we are Disney fans, but because their cruises just offer a much higher quality of experience.

There are a number of important differences which we think makes Disney a much better value that other cruise lines. Here are some of the reasons which we think sets Disney apart.

Disney Cruise Ship Entertainment

Disney knows how to put on a very impressive show. You will experience Broadway quality shows and this is all included in your cruise price. We know of no other cruise line which even comes close to this. Of course these are all Disney themed and if you are not a fan of the Mouse you will probably not enjoy the shows. However, who is going on a Disney cruise who really isn’t a fan of Disney? If you even have a passing interest in the House of Mouse you will be impressed by the shows.

All of the Disney cruise ships have their own shows. If we had to pick a cruise ship with our favorite shows we would pick the Disney Wonder as it has “Golden Mickeys” and the new “Frozen, A Musical Spectacular”. However, it is really difficult to choose a winner as all the Disney ships have amazing stage shows.

The Disney Magic has a number of stage shows including the newest “Disney Tangled:The Musical” and the always popular “Disney Dreams – An Enchanted Classic”. The Disney Fantasy favorites include “Disney Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular” – not as great as the now sadly missed Disney California Adventure show, but still an amazingly entertaining performance.

Really Disney excels at the big production shows. No one comes close. Think about how much it would cost if you took your family of 4 to a Broadway Disney show. You would not have change from $500 so we think of that as part of the value of a Disney cruise. It really is excellent value for entertainment.

Break A Le.... errr... Sleep Pattern

The Buena Vista Theater also shows a lot of great Disney movies. If there is a Disney premier it will be shown on the ship. You can see classic Disney movies as well as new releases in this very comfortable setting. Again, if you think about how much a trip to the movies would be for your family. This all adds great value to a Disney Caribbean cruise.

Disney Cruise Dining

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No one does it quite like Disney with the dining concept either. We admit that the food can be hit and miss. This actually seems to be the norm these days on most cruise lines as the standard of food declines. However, what we really love about Disney cruise lines is the Disney rotational dining. What this means is that you get to experience three different restaurants at least once, and you take your wait staff with you.

The rotational dining experience is unique to Disney cruises. We think it is genius. Instead of going to the same restaurant every evening on your cruise you get to “rotate”. In other words you go to a different restaurant every evening. As you can imagine, the Disney restaurants are the most imaginative at sea.

Where else can you draw a figure and then see it animated on the wall at the end of your meal? Animators Palate is one of the highest rated restaurants on the Disney ships. If you sail on the Disney Fantasy you can even have a conversation with Finding Nemo’s Crush Turtle whilst you eat your meal.

The attention to detail in all of the Disney cruise restaurants is amazing. It is more than a place to dine. It is an immersive experience. The attention to detail in all of the Disney cruise restaurants is outstanding. The food is sometime very good. Other times it is a miss. However, as an overall experience you will look forward to dining in the rotational restaurants on your Disney cruise.

The best thing is that the food is all included in your basic Disney cruise rate. Sure, you can upgrade to one of the Disney adult restaurants if you want a treat – they are really very good for a reasonable up charge. However, the included dining is going to be more than enough.

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Another great thing about Disney cruise rotational dining? The service. Your wait staff will follow you to each restaurant. The great thing about this is that they get to know you very quickly. They are the best waiters we have ever experienced at sea. They get to know what you need and so you will arrive on your second day to your favorite drinks.

Nothing is too much trouble for your server and almost without exception (yes we have seen one bad waiter out of many) they will look after you as though they are family. We have never experienced that on any other cruise line apart from Disney.

Disney Castaway Cay

Disney's Human Element - Chase the Oasis

Castaway Cay is Disney’s private island in the Bahamas. It is paradise. There are no tender boats to get on the island. Disney thought of everything and built a dock so that you can step right off the ship and on to the island. That kind of fundamental detail makes a very big difference from the very start.

They have pretty much thought of everything on Castaway Cay. There are separate idyllic beaches for the family as well as having a separate adult only and supervised kids only beach. You can not spend anything on Castaway Cay if you don’t want to. You simply walk off the ship and go to the beach. Sure, you can spend money on activities, but you really don’t need to. A buffet lunch is provided and is included in your cruise fare.

Disney - Welcome to Paradise

All of the beaches are idyllic. The white sand and the incredibly pleasant ocean are all designed so that you have the ultimate island experience. Cruisers consistently rate their experience on Castaway Cay as the highlight of their cruise. Other cruise lines have private islands, but none comes close to offering the Castway Cay experience.

Disney Characters

Disney Cruise

A Disney cruise is a great opportunity to see the Disney characters. It is so much more of an immersive experience than at the parks. It is somehow exciting every time Mickey Mouse passes you in the corridor. There are lots of scheduled character greetings each day. There are lines, but it is so much easier to see the Disney characters than it is in the parks.

Disney Pirates in the Caribbean Deck Party

Arrr... there be fireworks at sea

This is another very unique Disney cruise experience – The Pirates in the Caribbean Deck Party. This is a whole lot of fun on your Disney cruise. The evening starts with a pirate themed dinner in your rotational dining restaurant. Everyone is encouraged to join in the pirate fun. Some guests dress up as pirates and of course there is plenty of pirate merchandise for you to purchase on the ship.

Captain Jack Sparrow and Mickey Mouse are an unusual, but highly entertaining combination. At the end of the deck party the highlight is the fireworks which appear high in the sky at the side of the ship. Disney is the only cruise line authorized to have a firework display on a ship. The end of the evening is a very lavish buffet – it is worth seeing the display even if you have had so much food during the day that you simply cannot have any more!

Disney Kids Clubs

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As you would expect, Disney cruises does this very well. There are kids clubs for every specific age group up the age of 17. Disney is one of the very few cruise line with a babysitting service for the under 3s. The baby and toddler babysitting service does have a nominal extra charge, but everything else is free. The kids themed spaces are excellent, with lots of organized activities for the kids. You will probably have a problem getting your kids out of the kids clubs!

A Disney Cruise is For Adults Too

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When you think Disney cruises you tend to think that it’s all about the kids. Whilst it is true that there are many things to keep the kids happy, Disney definitely thought just as much about keeping the adults entertained as the young ones. Every ship has an adults only area where the grown ups can be child free for a while. This takes up a lot of space on each of the ships, particularly the Disney Fantasy.

There is also adults only dining available. Palo is on all of the Disney cruise ships. For a small extra charge you can enjoy a fabulous brunch or dinner.

Appetizer at Remy's

The newer Disney Dream and Fantasy have the multiple award-winning gourmet restaurant Remy to keep the adults very happy. For an extra charge you can enjoy Michelin 3-star restaurant quality food and service.

If you want to know more about what a great job Disney cruises does in making adults feel just as special as the children you can read our guide at:

Top 10 Romantic Things To Do on a Disney Cruise

Is A Disney Western Caribbean Cruise Worth It?

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In our opinion we absolutely think that it is. It is pretty obvious that we are huge Disney fans. However, this is not the only reason why we would choose a Disney Western Caribbean cruise over any other cruise line.

We are seasoned cruise travelers and we admit that we sail on non Disney cruises. This is because we love the cruise experience and to be honest, many other cruise lines cost less than Disney.

However, given the choice between one Disney Western Caribbean cruise and two cruises with a rival cruise line we would choose Disney. Why? Because they are just of a higher standard.

When you have limited vacation time, as most of us do, you need to choose your experiences carefully. For us, Disney cruises win every time. We are careful where our cruise dollars go, but for us, Disney cruises win every time.

The Disney Fantasy Western Caribbean Cruise is our first choice. What about you? Let us know if you are thinking of your first Disney Western Caribbean Cruise or are already a veteran of the Disney cruise experience.

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Top 10 Disney Magic Kingdom Rides for Seniors

Disney Magic Kingdom Rides for Seniors

What are the Top 10 Disney Magic Kingdom rides for seniors? When we think of Disney World many think that it is a place just for children but really it is for everyone of any age. Whether you are traveling with family or making the trip to Walt Disney World by yourselves it really can be The Happiest Place on Earth for seniors too.

Top 10 Disney Magic Kingdom Rides for Seniors

Top 10 DisneyMagic Kingdom Rides For Seniors
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Here is a Top 10 list of attractions which may particularly appeal to seniors in Disney’s Magic Kingdom.

Jungle Cruise Magic Kingdom

Jungle Cruise - Magic Kingdom - Walt Disney World

This 10 minute Magic Kingdom Jungle Cruise boat tour is one of the original Disney World rides which opened in 1971. Guests board a boat and take a trip down The Amazon, The Congo, The Nile and The Macong River.

Along the way you will encounter lots of animatronic animals including elephants, monkeys, snakes and hippos. The main attraction of the Jungle Cruise is your guide. Corny jokes abound but it is all good fun for all ages.

This is a Fast Pass attraction so make use of that if you can. Lines can get pretty long but they do move quickly as the boats are loaded. The line area is under cover. However, it can get pretty hot and feel a little claustrophobic in the waiting area so make sure you get a Fast Pass if the line is over 20 minutes.

Also it can be a little difficult getting in and out of the boat. Always ask for help if you have mobility issues of any kind. The Disney Cast Members will always be happy to help you.

Peter Pan’s Flight

This wonderful Peter Pan’s Flight ride will take you flying over the streets of London in a magical flying pirate ship. The theme is of course the story of Peter Pan. You will fly over scenes from the story and encounter Captain Hook , The Crocodile and Mr Smee.

Peter Pan’s Flight is one of the must see rides in Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom no matter what your age. This is one of the rides which in our opinion makes Magic Kingdom truly magical.

Peter Pan’s Flight is simple by the technology standards of today, That is part of it’s appeal. Peter Pan’s Flight is truly a classic Disney ride. It is one of the original Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom rides which opened in 1971.

Peter Pan’s Flight is one of the most popular Magic Kingdom attractions. It also has one of the longest wait times anywhere in a Disney theme park.

Make sure that you get a Fast Pass for Peter Pan. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the line is shorter than the published wait time. There is a hidden element to the line which you only discover once you have been standing in it for quite a while!

Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin

999999 on Buzz Lightyears Space Rangers Spin

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Fight the evil Emperor Zurg on this fun Tomorrowland attraction. Guests board a two person space cruiser on Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin to start their journey through 10 very colorful scenes.

As one of Buzz Lightyear’s Junior Space Rangers you use the laser guns to shoot at the targets. When you hit one of the targets you will get points. At the end of the ride you can compare your scores on the Space Ranger board to see how you measure up to your fellow Rangers.

This ride is a lot of fun and brings out the competitor in most everyone of all ages. Often you will be tempted to go back to improve your score!

There are many secrets of how to get a higher score. One of the most basic ones is avoid wasting time on the circular targets as they are low scoring. If targets are lit then they have a higher than usual score.

Buzz Lightyear Spacerange Spin is a Fast Pass attraction. The line does move quickly most of the time but if it is over 20 minutes get a Fast Pass. Most of the line is indoors but if it is extending outside then definitely get a Fast Pass.

Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean is one of the original and best of all of the Disney World attractions. This should be on everyone’s must see list whatever their age.

Guests board a 15 passenger boat to take an almost 9 minute water ride to encounter the Pirates of the Caribbean. There is a small drop in the dark but nothing too scary.

You will glide past over 100 animatronic figures and encounter a pirate attack complete with explosions. All good fun and set to a song which will probably remain with you forever! This is one attraction which inspired a movie – rather than the usual pattern of a ride being made because of a successful movie.

The ride now includes animatronic Captain Jack Sparrow figures. Apparently Johnny Depp once appeared in Disneyland Pirates of the Caribbean, so watch out and see if he ever plans to visit Florida.

There isn’t a Fast Pass for this ride but lines tend to move quickly. Another great feature is that the line is completely under cover so you can escape from the Florida heat for a while. We challenge you to get the Pirates of the Caribbean ride music out of your head once you have experienced this ride!

Carousel of Progress

Dad in the 1900s

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There’s A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow. So goes the song which is sung throughout this original and very nostalgic Magic Kingdom attraction.

The attraction is set in a huge revolving theater which takes you from around the beginning of the 1900s to what is meant to be the present day. There are 4 scenes which represent the different generations of one family.

At the end of each scene the theater rotates and you move to the next one. This attraction is 21 minutes long and you cannot exit in the middle of the ride. If you have experienced it more than once it is also a great place to escape the heat of the day and have a nap!

This is one of those thought provoking attractions which appeals to most ages. The animatronics figures tell the story of how technology has changed their lives, from the invention of electricity to the technology of the present day (well to the mid 90s anyway).

This is one of those attractions that you should see at least once but probably won’t be on your list of things to do again. The lines are generally very short.

It’s A Small World

Goodbye!

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A Disney classic and a must see on any visitor to Magic Kingdoms list, but this will particularly appeal to seniors. A slow moving indoor boat ride past hundreds of animatronic dolls happily singing a song about the unity of the world.

It’s A Small World was the last ride to be overseen by Walt Disney himself. The one warning is that you will probably never be able to get the song out of your head!

There is no Fast Pass for It’s A Small World in Magic Kingdom. However, the lines do tend to move pretty fast as it loads continuously. If the lines are outside the building then wait until later in the day, or during a parade when lines should be shorter.

The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh

This is a gentle and colorful ride through the whimsical world of Winnie the Pooh and friends. Guests board a 4 person vehicle (or Hunny Pot) and head off on a short but sweet ride with Winnie the Pooh on his search for his pot of honey. This is another ride which is in Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom.

Wait times can be long for this popular ride and the line is outside so get a Fast Pass or ride early or late in the day.

Often you will get a surprise Fast Pass for Mickey’s PhilharMagic show so be sure that you stop by and watch this very entertaining attraction too.

Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover

This is a great place to give you a wonderful overview of the park and have a much needed rest after walking around the Magic Kingdom! I always advise people of all ages to take a break on the Transit Authority. It is a relatively quiet and restful place to sit down for a while.

So what is the Magic Kingdom Transit Authority? Walt Disney was fascinated by innovative transport systems. The Transit Authority is a 10 minute ride on a track above Tomorrowland which gives you great views of Cinderella’s Castle.

It even takes you right through Space Mountain so that you can see the ride vehicles flashing by and often hear the screams of the passengers! If you want to go around again the Cast Members are usually fine with this unless there is a line. This is another one of those Magic Kingdom rides which can be great for a mid afternoon nap. If you want more ideas about this check out our guide of Top 10 Places to Take a Nap at Walt Disney World.

Wait times for Transit Authority tend to be short at most times of the day. If you see the line going to far around the bottom of the escalator, skip it until a quieter time.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

If you enjoy mild roller coasters then Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is a great option for seniors. It is thrilling rather than scary. However, be aware that it is bumpy with twists and turns. If you have any of the health problems listed on the warning then you should avoid the ride.

The theming on the ride is some of the best in the whole of Walt Disney World. You board a runaway mine train for a 3 and a half minute fun ride at speeds of up to 30 miles an hour. There are no big drops but there are 3 small dips and plenty of twists and turns. If you have any health concerns always heed the warnings on any Disney World ride. Always be safe.

There is a Fast Pass for Big Thunder Mountain. Lines can be up to 60 minutes so make sure you ride early, late or get a Fast Pass.

Disney Splash Mountain

Splash Mountain

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If you don’t mind getting wet then head for Splash Mountain. Take the warnings seriously. There is a serious risk you will get absolutely drenched!

The ride is based on the highly contentious 1946 Disney classic movie Song of the South. Lots of cheerful animatronic characters and scenes with Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox. The tune is very catchy and you will be sure to be singing it by the end of this ride.

Guests board 8 passenger logs for this 11 minute ride. There are several climbs, drops, and twists but of course the major event is the 5 story 40 mph drop. The ride is much more thrilling than scary.

There is a Fast Pass for Splash Mountain. If you plan to ride both this and Big Thunder Mountain then get a Fast Pass for the one that you aren’t riding.

Photos by expressmonorail unless additional credit appears

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Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge Restaurants

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Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge Restaurants offer some of the best dining choices of all the Disney World Resort Hotels.

If you are spending some time at Walt Disney World and you want to experience something completely different you should consider visiting Animal Kingdom Lodge and checking out some of the dining options there.

Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge Restaurants

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Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge Restaurants

There is no where else in North America that you can enjoy fine dining whilst looking out on a savannah which includes giraffes! Animal Kingdom Lodge is a bit out of the way compared to the other Disney World Resorts. However, it is well worth a visit if you can fit it into your schedule.

Here is our guide to the best Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge Restaurants. We think that the Animal Kingdom Resort Restaurants are some of the best in the whole of Walt Disney World.

Disney Animal Kingdom Boma

Boma Elephant

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Boma was once one of Disney World’s best kept secrets. What was once a little known Disney dining restaurant option, Boma has now become one of the most popular of the Disney World Resort Restaurants.

The Boma Flavors of Africa Animal Kingdom Lodge restaurant is truly unique. From the welcoming decor to the excellent food, we think that Boma is somewhere which you should have on your Disney restaurant bucket list.

Boma definitely has the award from us for being the best Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge Restaurant. It’s a close call with Sanaa, but we think Boma still has the edge.

Disney’s Boma serves an all you care to eat breakfast and dinner.

Boma ceiling

The decor at Boma Animal Kingdom Resort Restaurant is beautifully themed. Solid, dark wood furniture coupled with brightly colored materials decorating the ceiling. The decor makes Boma a very pleasant place to dine. It is loud and the tables are pretty close together, but the ambiance is upbeat and friendly.

Boma is located in the original Jambo House part of Disney Animal Kingdom Resort Hotel. Either before or after your meal make sure to walk out to the savannah. It is a truly special experience to catch sight of some of the wildlife. Disney Animal Kingdom Resort offers such a unique opportunity to see the animals.

Disney Boma Flavors of Africa Breakfast

Boma at Jambo House at Animal Kingdom Lodge

If you are looking for a very ample, high quality Disney buffet breakfast, we think that Disney’s Boma Breakfast is one of the best out there.

A Boma breakfast is not the place to meet with the characters. They don’t visit here. However, this helps to keep the price to a slightly more palatable level. $24.23 to $29.49 for adults and $13.71 to $19.84 for children aged 3 to 9.

The price of the Boma breakfast varies between seasons and days of the week – just like most Disney World restaurants these days.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Breakfast at Boma Flavors of Africa is one credit on the Disney Dining Plan. If you are really trying to max out your Disney Dining Plan savings, Boma is not a good choice. This is beacuase it is on the lower end of cost of Disney breakfasts.

However,if you are not on the Disney Dining Plan, Boma is one of the best values of the Disney buffet breakfasts.

The Boma Flavors of Africa breakfast menu gives you a choice of over 60 items. Some are the traditional breakfast fare which you would expect. Eggs, pancakes, cereal, omelets, bacon, sausage, breakfast potatoes, pastries and breads are available here. If you want a traditional breakfast you will find it at Boma.

However what makes the Boma breakfast unique is that you get a chance to try a lot of different breakfast foods. Why not try a Disney Animal Kingdom Restaurant specialty? Turkey Bobotie is a Signature dish here at Boma as well as Tusker House in Animal Kingdom Park.

BOMA ceiling detail

What is Boma’s Bobotie? It is a bit like a English Shepherd’s Pie. It has highly flavored meat with an egg based topping rather than potato. Certainly worth trying.

You may also sample the rather unattractively named Pap. This is one for trying in small amounts. It is a mix of corn flour butter and water. It’s an African staple which is worth trying just to say you have. Chakalaka is worth a taste too. This is a spicy vegetable based relish. Try it on the side.

Another great feature of the Boma Flavors of Africa breakfast is the expanded fruit collection. They have the usual favorites of melon, pineapple and grapes. However, they also offer papaya and mango.

Boma Dinner Buffet

Condiments at Carving Station

Our favorite is definitely the Boma dinner buffet. It is one of our favorite Disney dining experiences.

The price for the Boma dinner for adults ranges from $41.33 to $47.59 and for children is $23.10 to $28.29. This makes the Boma dinner one of the best value Disney dining buffets.

The food at Animal Kingdom Boma is influenced by African flavors. You do have to be a little adventurous with your food to fully enjoy the Boma experience. However,it also offers some standard American fare if you don’t want to try something new.

You have a choice of more than 75 different items at Animal Kingdom Lodge Boma. Things do change every day but there is always something great to try.

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We particularly like the selection of soups and salads. We always have the Spicy Nigerian Peanut Soup and the Carrot Ginger Soup if it is available. The selection of African breads and dips is always worth sampling too. The Lentils and Hearts of Palm Salad is another favorite.

There is a great selection of entrees with something always available at the Carving Station. We love to pair the Nut Crusted Salmon with the Peanut Rice. The mashed potatoes are a must have!

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If you still have room for dessert you will definitely want to try the famous Zebra Domes. The Bread Pudding and the Guava Panna Cotta are pretty difficult to resist.

Don’t worry about the kids. If they really don’t want to try something new there is a kids Boma buffet with the usual favorites. If they just want to eat the usual Mac and Cheese with Fries they can do that here.

The price of the buffet includes a non alcoholic beverage. They have a good selection of South African wine and beer as well for an extra cost.

Disney Jiko – The Cooking Place

Animal Kingdom Lodge

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Disney’s Jiko The Cooking Place is also located inside the Jambo House of Animal Kingdom Lodge. We think this is one of the best Disney Signature Dining Restaurants. All Signature Dining Restaurants require two Disney Dinning Plan Credits.

The decor at Animal Kingdom Jiko is spectacular. It is meant to evoke a feeling of dining outside under the stars on an African safari. The lighting changes as the evening goes on.

Look up and you will see a blue sky with birds. Look down on the floor and you will see a beautiful wooden floor with wheat sheaf inlay details.

Animal Kingdom Lodge

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The word “Jiko” literally means kitchen or oven. The center piece of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Jiko restaurant is a huge traditional pizza type stone oven.

The one thing which you would expect, but which Jiko doesn’t have, is a view. The only place to even look out of the window is the side wall which overlooks a man-made water feature. It is pleasant. However, it does nothing to rival the view from Sanaa as we will see later in this review.

Maize-crusted Wreckfish

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The Animal Kingdom Jiko The Cooking Place menu changes frequently. However, here are some of the items which are available as at November 2018.

Appetizers start at $12 and rise to $20. Favorites include Grilled Wild Boar Tenderloin with Mealie Pap, Chakalaka, Truffle Oil and Micro Cilantro for $19. Charcuterie and Chees includes chef’s selection of hand-crafted meats and artisanal cheeses with seasonal accoutrements for $20.

The Mauritius Poached Shrimp is a combination of Meyer Lemon-Sumac Vinaigrette, Rougaille Sauce, Pickled Radish, and Chile Oil for $13.

Grilled Shrimp Curry

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If you enjoy something less meat based you may want to try the Taste of Africa which is African inspired Dips, papadum, sesame fatir, house-made flax seed naan for $15.

Entrees at Disney’s Jiko start at $30 for a vegetarian dish and range up to $48 for the Botswana Style Sesswa Beef Short Rib.

If fish is more your thing you should try the Bo Kaap Malay Seafood Curry for $47. It has lobster, calamari, red shrimp, mussels, coconut curry sauce, saffron rice.

The Snake River Farms Wagyu Strip Loin with Macaroni and Cheese, Kachumbari, Brussels Sprouts, South African Red Wine Sauce is also a favorite at $49

Like many of the Disney Signature Restaurants, Jiko The Cooking Place has a section of the menu devoted to “Enhancements”. This isn’t just another term for side dishes. The Enhancements are not the usual vegetables selection of sides. It includes such things as North African Spiced Scallops for $17 and Coconut Curry Shrimp for $16.

They used to have a lobster offering as well but this appears to have gone for now. Perhaps the $29 price tag for something to add to your entree cost was a little on the high side!

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You really should leave room for a Jiko dessert. The Kilimanjaro Jiko dessert is a favorite. This is a combination of Tanzanian chocolate mousse, pistachio financier, pink peppercorn meringue, cacao nib crunch, and pineapple. All for $11.

If you want to try something a bit different why not choose the Malva Pudding which is Melktart ice cream, Kataifi, kanu tuile, and cabernet gelee for $13.

Jiko is also known for its excellent African wine list. It is one of the finest collections in North America so you really should indulge in an exceptional wine to accompany your dinner at Jiko.

The Jiko dress code is the same as with all Disney World Signature Restaurants. Use your common sense. You do not need to wear a dress or a suit and tie. However, you should not arrive in shorts and flip-flops either. Jeans are permitted if they are “in good condition”.

Here is Disney’s Official Policy

If you book the Wanyama Safari at Animal Kingdom Lodge, you will have an opportunity to sample the food at Jiko as part of your tour. The food is served family style, but it is plentiful with a good variety of dishes to enjoy.

Jiko Wine Tasting

Jiko Wine Tasting is a highly recommended thing to do if you are visiting Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge. This is one of the little known extra activities that you can do at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Jiko Wine Tasting takes place each Wednesday afternoon from 3pm to 4pm. This event is very popular so if you want to do the Wine Tasting at Jiko you have to book ahead.

The Jiko Wine Tasting cost is $25 plus tax and tip. You will be given 3 wines to taste with 3 different cheeses. It’s a fun thing to do and highly recommended.

Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge Sanaa

Sanaa Giraffe

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If you didn’t know that Disney Animal Kingdom Sanaa restaurant existed, you are highly unlikely to stumble upon it. Sanaa has the dubious distinction of perhaps being the most remote of any of the Disney World Restaurants.

Disney Sanaa is hidden away in the Kidani Village part of Animal Kingdom.

A little out-of-the-way it may be, but a trip to Disney Animal Kingdom Resort Sanaa is well worth it. Not just because Sanaa has great food. The view from the restaurant is breathtaking. The huge picture windows ensure that you will be able to watch the animals go by as you dine.

The view over the savannah in Sanaa restaurant is certainly unique. Where else in North America can you dine and watch giraffes just feet away from you?

Sanaa serves breakfast,lunch and dinner.

The menu at Sanaa is African and Indian inspired. The servers are very good and will listen to your preferences if you do not like your food overly spicy. Most of the dishes are very flavorful rather than just highly spiced.

Don’t worry about the kids at Animal Kingdom Sanaa. There is the usual Kids Menu with Mickey Check Meals. They can choose something different if they want, but there is always the good old mac and cheese or pizza as a standby.

Sanaa Quick Service Breakfast

Sanaa window

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Breakfast at Sanaa is served from 7 until 10 am every morning. You order your meal at the register and then go and find a table. Obviously the most sought after tables at Sanaa are close to the window. If you want to increase your chances of getting a window table go to breakfast as close to 7 am as you can.

The food is brought to your table. The selection is good with your usual favorites with a slight twist. A popular choice is the Boere Breakfast which is two cage-free eggs any style, tomato chutney, Tanzanian hash browns, Boerewors sausage, bacon and a corn Johnny cake for $10.99. A more traditional choice is the Safari Waffle which is topped with seasonal berries and chai whipped cream and priced at $8.99.

The Sunrise Sandwich is a reasonable $6.99 and has scrambled eggs, bacon and cheddar cheese served on a croissant.

If you aren’t that hungry at breakfast time there are some lighter items such as fruit and oatmeal.

Coffee

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If you are a coffee fan you should try the Press Pot Coffee. At $7.50 you may think that is on the high side, but there is enough for two. It is Kenyan A/A 100% Specialty Grade Arabica Coffee so we think it is worth it.

Sanaa Lunch and Dinner

App For 2 @ Sanaa

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Lunch is served from 11.30 until 3 pm. Dinner is served from 5.30 to 9pm. Lunch has a smaller menu than dinner.

The big advantage of lunch at Sanaa is that it will be light outside so you will get a great view of the animals. The most sought after tables are the ones right next to the window. However, you can see the savannahs from most places is Animal Kingdom Resort Sanaa Restaurant.

Bread Service

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If you dine at Sanaa you really must try the Indian-style Bread Service. You have a choice of different types of Naan Bread and dips. It is great to share with the table and you can get all the dips for $17 or have your choice of 5 for $13.

Entrees on the Sanaa dinner menu range from $26 to $34. The Grilled New York Strip at $34 is perhaps the most familiar dish on the menu. If you want to try something a little different why not go for the African Inspired Biryani? The vegetarian version is just $19 or if you want to add Shrimp or Chicken this rises to $25.

Table View of Sanaa at Lunch

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The desserts on the Sanaa menu are pretty heavily biased towards the chocolate lover, so if that is you then you are going to enjoy this. Perhaps the most decadent is the African Triple Mousse. This is Manjari 64% dark chocolate of Madagascar, Jivara milk chocolate, Ivoire white chocolate, chocolate biscuit, and strawberries for $8.

The Chocolate Orange Tart is also a delicious combination of blood orange cremeux, chocolate mousse, candied blueberries, and orange gel for $11.50.

If chocolate is not your thing then try the Serradura butterscotch pudding. This is an almond coffee streusel, pineapple, mango, and Breton shortbread combination for $7.

Sanaa desert platter

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If you want something a bit lighter you should order the Caramel Ndizi for $7. This is a Banana Financier with Caramelized Milk Chocolate Crémeux, Hazelnut Crunch, Banana-White Chocolate Chantilly, and Ginger Raspberries.

Disney Sanaa Lounge

The Sanaa Lounge is another great place to relax inside Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village. It is a relaxing place to sample some fabulous South African wine or beer. Wine flights are available for a reasonable $17 and upwards.

There is also a small food menu at the Disney Sanaa Lounge. One thing which we really like is that the Indian Style Bread Service is available in the Sanaa Lounge.

The Salad Sampler for $9 is also a good option for a small plate in the Sanaa Lounge. The salads are Chickpeas with Cucumber and Tomato, Watermelon, Cucumber and Fennel, Nigerian Root Vegetable and Citrus.

As you would expect, Sanaa Lounge serves some interesting cocktails. You have to try the Malawi Mango Margarita. This is frozen blend of Tequila, Van der Hum Tangerine Liqueur, Mango Purée, and Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice.

Disney Animal Kingdom Dine With An Animal Care Specialist

Grey Crowned Crane

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Do you want to learn more about the animals in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge? A great chance to meet with and talk to one of the very knowlegable animal keepers whilst enjoying a 4 course lunch at Sanaa. The Dine With an Animal Care Specialist runs every day at 11 am at Sanaa.

It is limited to just 12 participants so everyone gets a chance to talk toe the specialist and ask whatever questions they want to. Children aged 8 and up are welcome.

The party is seated at a large table near the picture windows so everyone will get a great view of the animals.

The first two courses are served family style. The Indian Bread Service is offered first. Then a Selection of Salads follows. The entrees vary, but there is always a vegan and a vegetarian option.

The Dine with An Animal Specialist experience lasts around 3.5 hours and is excellent for anyone wanting to learn more about how the animals are cared for.

Jiko v Sanaa

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If you can only choose either Jiko or Sanaa which should you choose? Guests often ask this, but forget that Jiko is considerably more expensive than Sanaa. Jiko is a Signature Dining Experience, but Sanaa just takes one full service dining credit.

We think that Sanaa offers better value than Jiko, but the food is not as good. It is very difficult to compare, because Jiko is in general much higher priced than Sanaa.

For an Animal Kingdom Hotel restaurant with a view you really can’t beat the experience at Sanaa.

Animal Kingdom Lodge Culinary Tour

The lobby of the Animal Kingdom Lodge

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is a fascinating place to just look around and soak in the amazing architecture and attention to detail. A little known Disney secret is that anyone can sign up for the Animal Kingdom Lodge Culinary Tour.

A guide will take you around Boma and Jiko pointing out the architectural details and talking about the food. You do not get to talk to the chefs or try any of the food – but this is a great free tour and well worth it if you are spending time at Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge.

You do not need to be a guest to sign up for the Animal Kingdom Lodge Culinary Tour. Just meet at the Check in Desk at Animal Kingdom Lodge a little before 4pm. Tours run every day.

How To Get To Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Arusha Savanna from Jambo House at Animal Kingdom Lodge

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom Hotel is a little out-of-the-way from the main areas of Walt Disney World. It is close to Animal Kingdom Park, but there is no walking path from there.

The only way to reach Disney’s Animal Kingdom is by car or bus. If you have your own car and have Advance Dining Reservations for one of the Animal Kingdom Resort Restaurants, you can park for free in the parking lot. Jambo House is the first building you will come to. If you are heading to Kidani Village it is a short drive further on.

You can also take a Disney Parks Transportation bus to Animal Kingdom. There are no direct buses between hotels. If you are traveling from a Disney Resort to Animal Kingdom your best plan is to take a bus to either Disney Springs or The Transport and Ticket Center. You can get a bus to Animal Kingdom Resort from there.

Which is your favorite Animal Kingdom Lodge Hotel Restaurant?

Disney Animal Kingdom Restaurant tips

Disney Castaway Cay – The Ultimate Guide

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Are you wanting to know more about Disney Castaway Cay? One of the highlights of a Disney cruise is a trip to Disney’s private island Castaway Cay. Here we want to share with you some of the secrets of Disney Castaway Cay island.

Most Disney cruise guests say that their visit to Castaway Cay is the highlight of their trip. We agree!

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Disney Castaway Cay

Disney's Human Element - Chase the Oasis

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Disney was one of the first cruise lines to offer their guests a private island to explore. Disney wanted to be the very best. They made sure that the island had the perfect location in the Bahamas and offered an amazing experience for their guests.

Disney’s Castaway Cay private island is 1,000 acres in area. However, most of this is not developed. Disney cruise lines has made a 55 acre paradise in the Bahamas for their cruise guests. Disney Castaway Cay Bahamas is often the highlight of a Disney cruise.

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Disney Castaway CayWhat You Really Need To Know
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If you want to learn more about some of the itineraries which have a port stop in Disney’s Castaway Cay you can read our guides at:

Disney Western Caribbean Cruise

Castaway Cay Tips and Hacks

Disney Cruise Miami

Disney Castaway Cay History

Castaway Cay

A very limited number of cruises also stop at Castaway Cay twice in one sailing. There are known as castaway Cay Double Dip sailings and you can read about them here.

Disney Castaway Cay History

It is fun to know a little of the rather dubious past history of Castaway Cay. Contrary to popular belief Disney does not actually own Castaway Cay. The island of Castaway Cay actually belongs to the Bahamian government. Disney Cruise Lines have a 99 year lease which began in 1997, the year before Disney Magic was launched. They are reputed to have spent $25 million on making this island a true Disney paradise for their cruise guests.

However, this his 1,000 acre island in the Bahamas, which was known as Gorda Cay, was not always used for family friendly activities!

Disney Castaway Cay has an interesting history …….

Disney Legend has it that pirates used the island to hide and wait for passing ships to ambush. There is some evidence that this is actually true as there were some treasures found on the island from a ship which sank in 1733. Fortunately, the only pirate who you will encounter on Castaway Cay now is Captain Jack Sparrow. He will be out and about and available for photos on the island.

Castaway Cay view from the Disney Dream
Before it was renamed Castaway Cay it was called Gorda Cay. The island was used in the last century by farmers who lived on the neighboring islands. An entrepreneur, Alvin Tucker, bought part of the island in the 1960s. He built a runway to improve access to the island.

However, the fact that it was a great place to grow things and had a very useful airstrip built in the 1960s, meant that it was discovered by drug smugglers. When Alvin Tucker heard about this he tried to stop it but failed. It is rumored that even the local police were supporting the operation. Tucker sold his interest in the island to a private company which later was revealed to be backed by drug smuggler Frank Barber.

Frank Barber thought it would be a great idea to use the island for tourism as well as running his drug operation there! However, in 1983 his reign came to an end when the police raided the island and found $100 million worth of cocaine.

Disney leased the island from the Bahamian government in 1997, just a year before the launch of the first Disney cruise ship, the Disney Magic. It is believed that they spent $25 million converting Gorda Cay into an island paradise for Disney cruise guests. This included blasting out some of the sea bed to build a dock and importing 50,000 truck loads of sand to build the beach.

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Getting Off The Ship at Disney’s Castaway Cay

The Rainy Walk

It is an incredible experience to watch the ship approach Castaway Cay. You will arrive early in the morning. If you have a verandah stateroom it is a great idea to get a room service breakfast that day. You can then enjoy a leisurely breakfast whilst you watch Castaway Cay get closer and closer.

If you do not have a verandah then you should head on up to the buffet to get some breakfast. You can still watch your arrival at Castaway Cay from the buffet whilst you get a bite to eat.

Our tip is to start the day early at Castaway Cay. You only have a limited time there and the best way to get the maximum benefit from it is to start out early. You can also get some precious island time before the sun gets too strong.

It is very easy to get off the ship and on to Castaway Cay. Disney thought of pretty much everything when they were creating their private island. Tender boats are a pain, and so Disney made sure that their ships could dock directly on the island.

Many cruisers get off the ship early at Castaway Cay. However, because the process is so easy you won’t experience those awful lines to disembark which some other cruise lines have.

Remember to take your Key to the World Card with you. This is your way to get on and off the ship. You also use your KTTW for any purchases that you want to make on the island.

There isn’t really much else that you actually need to bring with you when you get off the ship. We always advise hats and sun screen though.

You probably want to bring something to take photos with too. You can pick up a water proof camera for a reasonably low price these days.

Castaway Cay with Disney Fantasy

When you exit the ship one of the first things that you will see is a stack of towels. You can pick up one of these to use for the day – no need to bring towels off the ship.

Always remember to take waterproof sunscreen with you. They do sell it on the island, but of course it is highly priced. Take some with you!

Another Disney cruise tip which people with young children need to know is that you do not have to bring a stroller off the ship. Disney has everything covered for you. There is free stroller rental right off the ship.

Kids usually think it’s fun to have a different stroller. Take advantage of this free Disney cruise perk which includes strollers, wagons and even jogging strollers. There are free wheelchairs available too with huge wheels so that you can take them on the beach.

You will pass the Disney Castaway Cay Post Office on your right. This is a great place to send a postcard as it will be stamped with the Castaway Cay post mark. It will take some time to reach its destination but it is a cool thing to do!

The first decision of the day that you will face is whether to take the Castaway Cay Tram or not. We suggest that you do not take it on the way out to the beaches. It really isn’t that long of a walk and you may find that it is quicker than taking the trams at the beginning of the day. We usually don’t take it on the way out, but take it on the way back.

Walking to the beaches has the advantage that you tend to get to the beach earlier than most people, who are still stuck waiting for a tram. You can also get more of a sense of the island and see some of the Disney details along the trail.

If you are thinking of sailing on a cruise on the Disney Cruise we always suggest contacting a Disney Authorized Travel Agent. We recommend Destinations in Florida – Get a Quote Now!. Their services are free and you may even get a discount!

Which Disney Castaway Cay Beach Should We Choose?

Castaway Cay

Another great thing about Disney Castaway Cay is that there is more than one beach to choose from.

The closest beach to the ship is Castaway Cay Family Beach. As you would expect, this is the most popular beach on the island. The Castaway Cay Family Beach is set out in a number of different areas.

The Family Beach on Castaway covers the most space on the island. There are different places that you can aim to settle for the day.

Pelican Plunge

Human nature being what it is, most people don’t want to venture far from the Disney ship. Therefore the rule seems to be that the further you get from the ship, the less populated the beach is. It’s kind of like the principle of how you can search for ever for a parking space close to the store. However,if you are prepared to walk for two minutes there will be plenty of space.

As the day progresses the beach gets more crowded. The Disney Wonder and Magic have many less guests than the Disney Dream and Fantasy. This means that you will have fewer people on the island if you are on the classic ships.

We don’t think that Castaway Cay ever seems that crowded. But it isn’t empty either. If you want to get your preferred spot on the Castaway Cay Family Beach you need to be one of the first batch of guests off the ship.

Castaway Cay

People also leave early in the afternoon. Another tip is to go for the last couple of hours on Castaway Cay when everyone else is heading back to the ship. Guests, and we admit this includes us, tend to go back to the ship earlier than is really necessary.

Maybe it’s the mostly irrational fear that you will be waving goodbye to the ship and stranded on this island of paradise! Whatever it is, people tend to start leaving the island around 2 hours before the departure time. If you want to take advantage of this, leave your beach time until the end of the day.

Disney probably won’t thank us for this insight, but they aren’t going to leave you behind. We have seen guests left behind in other ports. However, do you you really think Disney isn’t going to make sure you are off their own private island?

Don’t take advantage of this and inconvenience other guests and the Captain by being late. Be cool about it. However, you can leave the island 15 minutes before the scheduled departure and still be fine.

Castaway Cay

If you are child free you will definitely want to Serenity Bay Castaway Cay. This is the adults only beach. If you want a fabulous, perfect, pretty much empty beach you will find it on Serenity Bay Castaway Cay. If lying on the beach and going for a swim in the perfectly clear and calm ocean is your thing then this is paradise.

Sitting on a beach is definitely not our thing – anywhere else in the world except Serenity Bay. However, here Disney has created the perfect beach paradise which even people like me can actually relax on for more than 15 minutes!

You can leave the kids in Scuttle’s Cove if you want to catch some time on Serenity Bay. We say it is worth it, even if it is just for a couple of hours out of the day. There is also Teen Hideout for those over 13 who probably don’t want to spend the whole day with you anyway!

Castaway Cay Cabanas

Disney Dream Cruise - Castaway Cay

One of the most sought after commodities on Disney’s private island are the Castaway Cay Cabanas. If your budget can stretch to a Castaway Cay Cabana you will be very happy in your very own private paradise. However, you have to be very lucky to get one.

There are 24 Castaway Cay Cabanas and they generally all sell out as soon as booking opens. What this means is that usually you have to be a Disney cruise concierge guest to even have a chance of booking one. The concierge guests have priority booking of 120 days out from the cruise and they are usually gone on day one of the booking window.

Most of the Cabanas are on the Family Beach, but there are some available on Serenity Bay. The Serenity Bay cabanas are slightly easier to book – most people go on a Disney cruise with their children.

So why are the Disney Castaway Cay Cabanas so popular? They offer your own haven of shade and comfort on the island. They are wooden cabana structures which have the front open to one of the Castaway Cay beaches. They also give the lucky few who book them some extra things such as free rafts, tubes and snorkel gear. There are more things which we will detail later.

Castaway Cay

If you book a Castaway Cay Cabana you will receive a note with special instructions in your stateroom. Here you will get a wrist band so you can be identified as having snagged that elusive Cabana reservation. Once you get off the ship you will go to the Disney Castaway Cay Cabana Check In. Once you have checked in a helpful Cast Member will take you by golf cart to your very own cabana.

The Cast Member will give you a tour of your Castaway Cay cabana. They will make sure that you know about all of the perks and amenities. If you want anything then a Cast Member can easily be called with the push button in the cabana. They will even come back and transport you anywhere you want to go with the golf cart at any time during your stay.

The furnishings inside and outside the cabana are of very high quality. There is a fabulous porch with comfortable furniture on the deck outside. It is an amazing experience to sit outside on the deck – there is a ceiling fan in case you get too warm. You will probably find that you spend a lot of your time outside there on the deck close to the sand.

Another great perk of the Castaway Cay Cabanas is that you get your very own hammock.

Guests who experience the Disney Castaway Cay Cabanas usually feel as though they are worth the cost.

What extra perks do you get with the Castaway Cay Cabana? You will have use of your own refrigerator which is stocked with hand towels, bottled water and soda. There is a safe, which is great for peace of mind if you are carrying cameras and phones. There is also a power socket so you can charge these.

There will be basic snacks in your cabanas such as fruit, bags of chips and granola bars. You are even provided with sun screen, sand toys and magazines.

Castaway Cay cabana

We really can’t stress the importance of sunscreen on Disney Castaway Cay. We are really vigilant with it, but have experienced sun burn. Not a great thing to return to the Disney ship with.

Although there are snacks in the cabanas you will have to make your way to the barbecue for lunch. The advantage is that you can eat it in your own private space if you want to.

Castaway Cay cabana

There is a fresh water shower and a changing curtain for privacy. You can also have music in your cabana. If you have a young children you can request a Pack N Play.

The one thing that you don’t get with your Castaway Cay Cabana is a bathroom. You still have to walk to the bathrooms and depending upon where your cabana is located, this can be a bit of a trek.

As you can imagine all of this comes at a price. How much do the Castaway Cay Cabanas cost? The Family Beach Cabana is $549 and accommodates up to 6 guests, the Grand Family Beach Cabana is $899 and will accommodate up to 10 people. The Serenity Bay Beach Cabana is $399 and will accommodate 4 guests.

You can add extra guests to each Castaway Cay Cabana for an extra fee. If you want more than 6 in the Family Beach Cabana there are charged at $50 per person up to 10 guests. The Grand Family Beach Cabana can add up to 6 guests for an additional $50 per person up to 16 guests. If you want to have more than 4 guests in the Serenity Bay Cabana they are also $50 per person up to a maximum of 10 guests.

A Castaway Cay Cabana is the most difficult thing to actually book on a Disney cruise as there is such limited availability. There are only 21 cabanas and demand far exceeds supply. You really have to at least be a Platinum Castaway Cay Club member or Concierge Guest to even have a chance of getting one of these. However, we have occasionally heard of guests getting a last-minute reservation when someone cancels.

Our Disney cruise tip is to go to Guest Services when you board the ship and ask to be put on the waiting list. Nothing ventured nothing gained. You may get very very lucky and get a last-minute cancellation of a Castaway Cay Cabana.

If you want a complete guide to Castaway Cay Cabanas then you can read that here.

Disney Castaway Cay Activities

Waterslide at Castaway Cay

You can spend the whole day on Disney’s Castaway Cay simply relaxing on the beach, but there are also many activities on the island to keep you occupied. Some of the activities are free such as Pelican Cove on the Family Beach. This is a 2,400 square foot floating platform which has slides and water canons. It is a lot of fun for the kids. However, you do have to swim out to it though so they have to be comfortable out in the water. There is one open and one enclosed water slide.

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Disney’s Pelican Plunge is a very popular feature of the family beach. If you want to avoid the crowds make sure that you get there early or stay late. The part of the beach which is closest to Pelican Plunge is always the busiest.

Spring a Leak is also a lot of fun, particularly for smaller children. It is a 2,400 square foot water splash area. It has lots of water fountains and sprinklers for the kids to play in.

There are some paid activities and excursions on Castaway Cay as well. There are a variety of Disney Castaway Cay excursions to choose from. You really can enjoy Castaway Cay without spending any additional money at all. However there are some activities for an extra cost which may interest you and your family.

Umbrellas at Castaway Cay

Some of the least expensive and good value extras are the equipment rentals on Castaway Cay. You need to head to Marge’s Barges and Sea Charter Dock on the Family Beach for rentals.

We always rent a Float or a Tube to enjoy the ocean on Disney’s Castaway Cay. They are $10 for the day. Bicycle rentals are also a great idea. Castaway Cay has a great bike trail and you will get to see parts of the island that you usually wouldn’t. These are $10 by the hour.

It is good value to get a day package which gives you snorkel equipment rental and an inner tube for the day, as well as bike rental for an hour. The price of this is $40 so this offers good value if you think you will take advantage of all of these things.

Castaway Directions

Snorkeling is a very popular activity. There is a special area on the Family Beach for snorkeling. Of course Disney puts its very own special magic on this activity and you will find some unusual items in the water. You can rent snorkeling equipment for $29 for adults, $14 for children for whole day. This is a great introduction to snorkeling.

Castaway Cay Watersports

You can have a lot of fun with the boat rentals too. These are priced at $14 for a 2 person paddle boat and $18 for a 4 person paddle boat for 30 minutes. A Hobie Kat is $27 and a Sea Cycle is $24. You can also rent a 1 person sea kayak for $14 and a 2 person for $18. All prices are for 30 minutes. They are rented from the Family Beach.

Take our advice and make sure you wear hats and use a lot of sun screen. It’s hot out there and you can get burned quickly – we know from experience!

Castaway Cay

One of the most popular of all of the Castaway Cay excursions is the Castaway Ray’s Stingray Adventure. If you want to get up close and personal and learn something about these creatures, this very popular adventure is for you. The current price is $52 for adults and $41 for children under 10. Your kids have to be at least 5 years old to participate. Most people review this experience very highly. It is limited in numbers each day so it is advisable to book the excursion as soon as you can.

Disney Castaway Cay Stingray Adventure

One of the most expensive of the Castaway Cay excursions is the Parasailing Experience. This is available for anyone aged over 8 and the experience costs $104. The actual above ground experience lasts less than 10 minutes, but is one of those things that you will never forget. If you are a thrill seeker this is as good as it gets on Castaway Cay.

There are a number of other port adventures that you can enjoy at Castaway Cay. We actually view Castaway Cay as an amazing experience in itself and rarely spend much on port adventures apart apart from renting the inner tubes and bikes. We prefer to save our money for other ports of call.

There are so many Castaway cay excursions we have written a separate article for you which you can find here.

Disney Castaway Cay 5K Run

Disney Dream Cruise - Castaway Cay

If you want to burn off some of those extra calories you will be eating on the ship you might want to enter the now very poplar Disney Castaway Cay 5K Run. This is a great way to start the day on Disney’s private island. Everything is very relaxed and this is an amazing place to run your first 5K. It is free to enter. You will be rewarded at the finish line with a Disney Castaway Cay 5K medal.

You need to register for the 5K at the ships Guest Services. You will then be given a ticket with a time and place to meet on the ship for the morning of your day at Castaway Cay. The usual time is around 8.15 and you will all disembark the ship as a group with the Cast Member who is dealing with the Castaway Cay 5K that day.

You have to be at least 10 to take part in the Disney Castaway Cay 5K. This is very much a family event and not one is really taking any notice of how fast or slow you are! If you have kids under 10 you can drop them off at Scuttle’s Cove so that they can be taken care of whilst you run the 5K.

You will need to decide if you are going to go back to the ship to get a shower and get changed after the run. This is up to you – if you go back to the ship you will of course not have as much time on Castaway Cay. If you decide that you won’t go back to the ship you can take your swimwear and change of clothes in a back pack and leave them in the free lockers provided.

The route is flat, but of course it can get pretty hot, even that early in the morning. Make sure that you drink plenty of water along the way. Many participants take the chance to take a lot of photos along the way and just enjoy the experience rather than try and get the best time.

When you have finished you will get a Disney Castaway Cay 5K medal. If you want you can also buy one of the shirts.

Disney Castaway Cay Dining

You will never go short of food on a Disney cruise and Castaway Cay is no exception. The food is fine and functional. It is not gourmet and it isn’t as good as that offered on the ship. However, as a beach food venue it is fine.

If you want better quality food you should go back onto the ship and we have done this sometimes. You will have an almost empty buffet experience on the ship because most people are out there enjoying Castaway Cay. It is pretty quick to get back on to the ship and off again, but time on the island is at a premium.

The food on Castaway Cay is fine, not fabulous. If you can just accept it for what it is and enjoy it. Time on Castaway Cay is valuable so we advise eating here even if we admit we are a bit negative about the food quality.

There a three barbecue locations on Disney’s Castaway Cay. Cookies One is located closest to the ship on the Family Beach and tends to be less busy that Cookies Two which is further in but also on the Family Beach. They both serve the same menu. It is typical barbecue fare and you certainly won’t go hungry.

There is also a Serenity Bay BBQ. If you can possibly eat here we recommend it. The Serenity Bay Beach is the least crowded of all the areas on Castaway Cay so that is an obvious advantage. They also sometimes serve dishes that aren’t on the Family Beach.

You do need to be aware that the buffet is not open all of the time that you are on Castaway Cay. It typically opens late morning and will close by 2 pm. We actually think this is something which Disney should probably address as not everyone likes to eat on that schedule. However, just as long as you are aware of the opening times you can plan accordingly.

All of the Castaway Cay BBQ venues serve the same menu (although you may get lucky at Serenity Bay). There is a selection of salads and fruit as you first enter the buffet area. You will also usually find Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Ribeye Steaks, Rotisserie Chicken, Cajun Mahi Mahi and BBQ Pork Ribs.

If you are vegan or have other special dietary needs it is best if you ask your servers about this when you are on the ship. They will make sure that you are catered for and will tell you which particular venue to go to.

You will also find the usual BBQ favorites such as corn on the cob, fries and fresh fruit. There are also bags of Lays Chips available which for some reason seems to absolutely delight the kids!

Dessert is limited, but you are in the sun on the beach so really it’s not the place to crave sugar! If you do there are some good chocolate chip cookies to enjoy. There is a also self service ice cream station located next to the serve yourself soda bar.

Disney Castaway Cay Bars

Castaway Cay

You can enjoy as many drinks of soda as you want on Castaway Cay as there are drinks stations at each of the three BBQ venues on the island. Just as on the cruise ship, all the soda is free. If you want to enjoy a more adult drink on the island of course there are plenty of places you can purchase these too.

There are four bars on Disney’s Castaway Cay. The very best is of course located on Serenity Bay – the Castaway Air Bar. If you really want to enjoy a cocktail on Castaway Cay the general option is that the Konk Kooler is the one to go for. This is a mix of Rum, Passion Fruit, Pina Colada and Passion Fruit which will make your time on Castaway Cay all the more memorable. The Deep Blue Sea is also a favorite and includes Bacardi Rum, Blue Curacao, and Sweet Lemon Mix.

The other bars on Castaway Cay also serve the same menu. The Sand Bar and Conched Out Bar are both close to the Family Beach. The closest bar to the ship is the Head’s Up Bar which is near to the Castaway Ray Stingray Adventure. Prices for all the bars are pretty reasonable. You can enjoy a cocktail for less than $6 here.

The bars are not the only place where you can enjoy a premium drink. We particularly like the Summertime Freeze Frozen Drink venue. As everyone knows, Disney’s Frozen gets everywhere. It is obvious that Olaf is a perfect fit to permanently live on Castaway Cay. Close to the Family Beach on Castaway Cay you can find some great smoothies. Of course they cost extra, but we think you should indulge at least once when you are here.

The names of the drinks are pure genius and include Worth Melting For, Sven’s Carrot Delight, and Frozen Heart. The prices here are what we think is a reasonable $5.95 or $11.95 in an Olaf Sipper. That souvenir is going to be something you actually use back home so why not treat the kids?

Disney Castaway Cay Scuttle’s Cove

Castaway Cay

We think of Disney’s Castaway Cay as a place to enjoy with all of the family and so we have always stayed together. However, we secretly admit (well maybe it’s not a secret now) to wanting to go to Serenity Bay for an hour or two! If you want to do that and have children there are Disney kids clubs available on Castaway Cay.

You can check your kids into a supervised program, just as you can on the ship. For your peace of mind the children have plenty to do, but they are definitely not taken anywhere near the water.

If you have older kids they may not want to spend the day with you anyway! There is a Teen Beach on Castaway Cay. There is also a Castaway Cay activity which is exclusively for teens which they may really enjoy. This includes a kayaking adventure, cycling, snorkeling as well as a tour of Disney’s private island. This may be a great way for your teens to spend time with their friends and for you to actually get some alone time in paradise!

Disney Castaway Cay Shopping

Castaway Cay

The shopping on Castaway Cay is surprisingly limited. There really isn’t that much to see, but there are some small shops to browse on the island. She Sells Sea Shells and everything else and Buy the Sea Shore sell Castaway Cay merchandise which can make a nice souvenir. You can also pick up items that you may have forgotten to bring such as sun screen and sand toys. Cultural Illusions sells Bahamian craft items, but doesn’t have a great selection.

Should I Stay on the Ship at Castaway Cay?

A Day as a Castaway

We admit that we are big fans of staying on the ship in port stops that we really are not interested in anymore. Nassau immediately springs to mind! It is a great opportunity to experience a Disney ship without many other guests if you stay on the ship whilst you are in a port that you do not want to experience. However, we really think, and so do the majority of Disney cruise guests, that Castaway Cay is the highlight of most Disney cruises. To stay on the ship is not an option that we really recommend. There is paradise right out there so we recommend taking the opportunity to experience it.

Having said that, if you do want to stay on the ship it is one of the best times to experience the Aquaduck. You will have pretty much no wait time and can experience it again and again.

The food is also much better on the ship that on the Disney island. Again, we really don’t suggest losing any time on Castaway Cay. However, we do acknowledge that the food is so much better on the ship. For us, this is not a reason to go back to lunch. You can experience fabulous dining for the other meals on your cruise. Castaway Cay isn’t about the food (which really is fine, but we know isn’t fabulous).

Really what we are saying is that Disney’s private island is not somewhere that you are every going to spend much time. Even if you go on lots of Disney cruises you have limited time there. We say, make the most of it. We think that Disney’s Castaway Cay is about as close to paradise as we are going to get!

Getting Back Onto the Ship At Castaway Cay

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A lot of people go back to the ship earlier than they really need to. We are not sure why – it really isn’t going to be that Disney leaves you behind. Most people start to head back to the ship around 2 hours prior to the time that the ship is due to leave the island.

We are not advocating arriving back late and causing thousands of people and of course the ship’s crew, the inconvenience of leaving late. That is just not cool. What we are saying is don’t leave a huge window to get back to the ship. Enjoy the experience for as long as you possibly can.

A trip to Disney Castaway Cay really is one of those experiences which you will remember for a lifetime. Then you will want to work out how you can do it all again soon!

Do you have any Disney Castaway Cay tips and tricks? Share them with us in the comments section below.

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Disney Cruise For Adults

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Is a Disney Cruise for adults? We all know that the kids are going to be happy but what does a Disney Cruise offer for adults? Plenty!

Whether you are adults traveling with children or sailing with just grown ups a Disney cruise really can be a dream vacation. There is so much to keep the adults happy on a Disney cruise.

Disney Cruise For Adults

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The Disney Ships

Right now there are four Disney ships. The Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder are the classic ships. The newer ships are the Disney Fantasy and the Dream. They are known as the Dream Class Disney ships.

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The Classic Disney ships have 11 decks and can accommodate up to 2,400 guests in 875 staterooms. The Disney Fantasy and Dream are significantly larger than the Classic Disney Magic and Wonder. They have 16 decks and can accommodate up to 4,000 guests in 1,250 staterooms.

There will soon be three new Disney Cruise Ships.

Best Disney Cruise Ship For Adults

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Which is the best Disney cruise ship for adults? This doesn’t have a straight forward answer! All of the Disney ships have great entertainment, service, dining options and adult only areas and activities.

The Disney Fantasy and Dream are larger ships. They each have a very large area devoted just to the adults. This extends over 2 decks and includes an adult only pool, a bar and an adult only cafe.

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The smaller ships also have areas which are exclusively for adults. If you feel that you will prefer a smaller ship you should try either the Disney Wonder of the Magic.

There is no easy answer to the question of which is the best Disney cruise ship for adults. They are all fabulous choices.

Quiet Cove Pool

We all have times when we just want to spend some kid free time. The Disney Wonder, Magic and Dream all have an adult only area which centers around the Quiet Cove pool. The pool is open to the over 18s only.

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On the Disney Magic and Wonder the pool is a maximum of 5 feet deep. It is heated to a very nice temperature all day.

The Disney Magic and Wonder Quiet Cove Pool has 2 jacuzzis at the side of the pool. A nice feature of the jacuzzis is that they are shaded.

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The pool deck has plenty of upgraded sun loungers, and of course the Signals bar is right next to the pool.

The Disney Dream and Fantasy have a very different pool design to the classic ships. There are two elements to the pool. There is a conventional pool. However, the Quiet Cove also features a 6 inch deep pool which has sun loungers and misters so that you can cool off and sunbathe.

Needless to say this is a popular spot on the ship.

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Here is our guide to the Disney Fantasy Quiet Cove Pool.

For those who want a quiet relaxing place to sit and enjoy a cocktail, glass of wine, or a coffee, then the Cove Cafe is a place just for the adults too.

Many cruise lines say that they have adult only spaces but I have to say that some I have experienced do not particularly enforce this and you will often find that children find their way into the adult ‘sanctuary’. This is not my experience of Disney ships.

The rules just seem to be adhered to and, save for the occasional child passing through it is rare to see the under 18s in any adult reserved areas on a Disney ship. Perhaps it is because there are so many spaces for kids why on earth would they want to enter the places where the ‘boring’ grown ups are!

Disney Cruise Palo

Palo is the fine dining adult only restaurant. The Palo restaurant is found on all of the Disney cruise ships. Palo is larger on the newer ships, but the menu and quality of service are the same.

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You really do need to experience a Palo Brunch or Dinner at least once on your cruise. On the Disney Wonder and Magic, Palo is located on Deck 11 and seats 130 guests in a beautifully designed restaurant with an Italian theme. There is an additional charge of $30 per person for Palo Brunch and Dinner.

The Disney Palo Brunch menu has hot entrees which you can order a la carte.

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The real attraction of Palo Brunch is the buffet items. There is a huge selection. You will be sure to find something that you enjoy.

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Disney Palo is on Deck 12 of the Fantasy and the Dream. The restaurant is larger than on the Classic Disney Ships, but it still has a cozy romantic atmosphere.

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Some of the tables have a fabulous view of the ocean.

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It is very difficult to resist the desserts!

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Senses Spa and Salon

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Another area for the over 18s only is the Vista Spa, Salon and fitness area. Offering the usual range of spa and salon services as well as the Rainforest Room. If you are looking for the ultimate in relaxation then a visit here is a must.

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The fitness area on the Disney Wonder and Magic is smaller than on many cruise ships of similar size, However, it has a good range of equipment. Classes are also offered each day. The fitness center is open to the over 18s only.

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Always look out for Day at Sea deals in the spa as you can often get a discount on a package of treatments.

Disney Cruise Rainforest Room

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The Rainforest Room is part of the Senses Spa. Even if you are not particularly a “spa person” you should think about getting a pass to the Rainforest Room. It is one of my very favorite features of a Disney cruise.

The Rainforest Room on the Disney Wonder and Magic has a steam room, sauna and aromatherapy showers. The best feature is the heated stone chairs.

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The Rainforest Room on the Disney Fantasy and Dream is much larger than on the Classic Ships. It is located at the front of the ship and the area with the stone chairs and the jacuzzis has a fabulous view of the Ocean. You can even see the ocean from the sauna!

Whilst I much prefer the design of the Rainforest Room on the newer ships, I always get a pass for the Rainforest on the Wonder and Magic too.

Perhaps unfairly, the price for all of the ships is the same.

However, if you think that you are going to enjoy the Rainforest the length of cruise pass is a better value. There are individual passes and couples passes available.

Single Pass for the Disney Cruise Rainforest:

3 Day Pass $69

4 Day Pass $101

5 Day Pass $114

7 Day Pass $144

Couples Pass for the Disney Cruise Rainforest:

3 Day Pass $102

4 Day Pass $144

5 Day Pass $169

7 Day Pass $193

You can also buy a Day Pass for $16 or a Deluxe Pass for $27. The Deluxe Pass includes a scrub. This is a nice feature but I think that $11 is way too much of a premium.

If you are sailing on a Disney cruise for adults you really should at least try one day in the Rainforest Room.

Disney Cruise Lounges and Bars

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On all of the Disney ships you will find a number of bars and lounges to enjoy. Some are family friendly but most are adult only after 9pm.

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Don’t sail on a Disney cruise expecting a wild night life. That is simply not what Disney is about! However, there are many places to enjoy a drink, sit back and relax and listen to live music.

Disney also has one of the most relaxed policies at sea when it comes to how much wine you can bring on board from home. Each adult can bring up to 2 bottles of wine or 6 bottles of beer on board.

Here is our complete guide to Drinking On A Disney Cruise.

Activities for Adults on a Disney Cruise

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Disney ships always have a strong and varied program of activities for the over 18s only. There is the traditional wine and drinks tasting. We had a great time at the Mixology Class on the Disney Wonder.

The Art of Entertaining talks where a chef shows you how to prepare a dish featured in one the Disney restaurants.

The Disney Behind the Scenes talks are particularly informative and enjoyable. On one Disney Wonder cruise I particularly enjoyed the presentations by Leslie Iwerks. She is the grand-daughter of Walt Disney’s business partner, Ub Iwerks. He was an exceptional animator and the now acknowledged creator of Mickey Mouse.

Activities for All Ages

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As well as all of the over 18s only areas and activities there are so many things on the ship which adults will enjoy. Disney has the best stage shows at sea. They are so superior you really will struggle to watch most others when you have experienced Disney.

The Disney cruise stage shows are for all ages. There are also some late night adult only performances by different variety acts.

If you are a movie fan then you will find something to watch in the Buena Vista Theater. Disney shows it’s movies all day and evening, and often shows new release and even premiers its own movies onboard.

Disney Castaway Cay For Adults

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Castaway Cay is Disney’s very own private island. This paradise in the Bahamas is the highlight of many Disney cruises.

Most of the Disney Caribbean and Bahamas cruises have a port stop at Castaway Cay. However be sure to check that you Disney ship sails to Castaway Cay if this is big part of what you wish for on your cruise.

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Disney is also planning a second private island which will be used in addition to Castaway Cay when the first of the new Disney ships is launched in 2021.

Castaway Cay has an adults only beach on Castaway Cay. Serenity Bay is kept strictly for the over 18’s. It is the further

Disney Cruise Without Kids

Is a Disney cruise a good alternative for guests who do not have children coming along with them? Disney is very much known as a family cruise line. However, it has a huge amount to offer adults traveling without children too.

We recently sailed on our first Disney cruise without kids and would definitely do it again. It is very different without children, but Disney cruise lines has a lot to offer adults.

The quality of the Disney cruise ships, the beautiful staterooms, the itineraries, the entertainment.the dining, service and Castaway Cay all make it a wonderful cruising experience. We have sailed with other cruise lines but Disney always comes out as the best.

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In my view it is possible to go on a Disney cruise if you do not particularly know anything about or even particularly enjoy Disney.
You can walk around the ship and forget sometimes that the whole environment is built around the Disney theme. Yes really. Mickey Mouse is not going to approach you unless you approach him!

Really a lot of the magic is because it is what it is. Disney. So if you actively dislike the Mouse (apparently there are such people) then of course this really isn’t for you.

However, if you are a Disney fan, or even curious to know what all the fuss is about, then this could be the ideal cruise experience for you.

Will you be sailing on a Disney Cruise for adults?

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