Are you wondering if the Disney Palo Brunch on the Disney Wonder is worth the money?
This adult-only Palo dining experience is available on all sea days on the Disney cruises. Is the extra cost worth it for the Disney Palo Brunch?
Disney Cruise Palo Brunch
The Palo Brunch is offered on all the Disney cruise ships and we have done this many times on the Disney Wonder. Palo is the only restaurant on the Disney Wonder and Disney Magic which is for over 18s only.
The Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream also have Remy as a choice of adult-only restaurant. In many ways, I actually prefer Palo on the Disney Wonder.
However, this is just a personal choice of restaurant design. Palo on Disney Wonder and Disney Magic is smaller than on the Dream and Fantasy.
The food is great at Palo no matter which of the Disney ships that you sail on. The standard of service is also excellent at Palo on all the Disney ships.
Disney Wonder Palo Reservations
The Palo Brunch is only offered on days at sea on cruises of 3 nights or longer. The times of the Palo Brunch are from 10 am until 2 pm.
Usually, we try to eat around 10.30 am so that we can combine breakfast and lunch as we know how much food we will eat for brunch!
It is possible to book your Palo reservation prior to sailing. You should do this online if you want to ensure that you get the reservation time that you want.
A lot of people get very upset that they can’t get their Disney Palo reservations online. However, you can book Palo once you get onboard.
Palo only releases a limited number of reservations to be booked online. So don’t worry if you do not have a Palo reservation prior to boarding the ship.
However, you really do need to make your Palo reservation as soon as you board the ship. You will see on the Navigators that you have received at the port, where the Palo team will be for you to make your reservations.
On the Disney Wonder, this is often in the Promenade Lounge.
Disney Wonder Palo Cost
The price of the Palo Brunch is $40 per person. It doesn’t seem like so long ago that it was $10 per person, but really we think that even at the current price it is well worth it.
The $40 does not include gratuity. People often ask how much you should tip at Palo. As always, the amount of any gratuity on a Disney cruise is a personal decision. The service is exceptional so you may want to leave at least 20%.
Disney Wonder Palo
The cuisine and interior design of Palo is Northern Italian. Take some time before you even get into the restaurant to look at the area outside.
There are some beautiful display cabinets close to the elevators. Even the restrooms deserve a visit even if it’s just to look at the decor!
There is a fabulous view out of the windows and the dining room is very light and airy. The window tables are the best so be sure to ask your server if you can be seated there. It can get pretty warm if you are seated by the window, but there are solar blinds which help cool it down.
Disney’s Palo does have a dress code of cruise casual. Over the years the dress code has become more relaxed in Palo. Gone are the days when you would be sent back to your stateroom to change if you were wearing jeans!
You can now wear jeans at Palo provided they do not have holes! However, tank tops, swimsuits, swimsuit cover-ups, shorts, hats, cut-offs, torn clothing, t-shirts with offensive language and/or graphics, flip-flops or tennis shoes are not permitted at Palo.
The atmosphere in Palo is best described as elegant but relaxed. On the Disney Wonder and Magic, it has an open kitchen and several tables filled with amazing food.
When you arrive for your Palo Brunch you will be seated and introduced to your server. The servers are very knowledgable. Always ask them if you have any questions. In particular, tell your server if you have any dietary requirements.
As with everywhere on a Disney ship dining at Palo with a special dietary requirement is a breeze. There are always alternatives.
I have dined in Palo selecting only things that are gluten-free and there is plenty of selection. The chef will talk with you about your gluten-free options. The difficult thing about that is seeing all of the fabulous desserts most of which are not gluten-free.
You will be served with a complimentary glass of Prosecco or a Mimosa. If you want any additional alcoholic beverages these are charged separately.
I always find myself wondering just where to start at the buffet as there is so much choice. Your server will take you on a tour of the Palo buffet and introduce you to all the wonderful choices.
Everything is clearly labeled and your server will always be happy to help if you have any questions.
If you are a seafood lover you are going to enjoy Palo.
All the seafood items are on one table so if you have an allergy you can avoid it without a problem. This table includes Crab Legs, Smoked Salmon and an incredible Smoked Salmon Mousse. You can even sample the Caviar.
Another table is laid out with a lot of different breads and cheeses.
The Danish and Breakfast pastries are very tempting too.
The table opposite the seafood is filled with lots of tempting things. I enjoy the Grilled Marinated Vegetables from this selection and the Mozzarella and Tomato Salad.
There is a huge selection of pastries as well. Really the only difficult choice is where to start!
The desserts are amazing. They are in small portions so you really do have an excuse to try out as many as you want.
Disney Wonder Palo Brunch Menu
The sample entrees are all laid out in front of the kitchen so that you can see what is available. Usually, I prefer the Palo buffet selections but you can order as many of the entrees as you want to.
The usual choices include Pizza, Pancakes, Tilapia, Eggs Benedict, Eggs Julia, and Chicken Parmesan.
Usually, by the point I am thinking about ordering an entree I am pretty much full on the buffet. However, I tend to order something. Yes, just because I can!
Just as you think you really can’t eat anymore it is time to start looking at the dessert selections. And of course, I always find room even though you think I probably shouldn’t. There definitely is too much to tempt you here!
It is very difficult to choose a favorite dessert – so just try as many as you want…
Is Palo Brunch Worth the Cost?
A Palo Brunch is one of my favorite experiences on a Disney cruise. It is a wonderful time to just relax and spend some time enjoying some great food, and some exclusively adult company.
Most of the time I want to be with my children on a Disney cruise but just once in a while, it is nice to talk with the grown-ups.
Have you enjoyed a Palo Brunch onboard a Disney cruise? What do you like about it?
However, if you stretch your budget just a little bit you may be able to upgrade to an Oceanview stateroom. This will give you a view out onto the outside world.
For some cruisers, the price difference is definitely worth it. For others, they would prefer to save their dollars and are very happy with the Inside stateroom choice.
Is it worth the Disney cruise stateroom upgrade to a balcony? Many think that it is. Particularly on a Disney Alaskan cruise.
Spending the extra money on a balcony stateroom could be a wise move if you think that you will spend a lot of time out there. However, many guests find that there is so much to do on the Disney ships that it really doesn’t matter which stateroom you choose.
If you want to have a balcony stateroom on your Disney cruise, but don’t mind the location you should consider a white wall balcony.
Most of the verandahs on the Disney ships are clear. This means that you can see through them as they are plexiglass. There are some staterooms with balconies that have a solid white wall.
These white wall verandahs are usually priced the lowest of all the balconies on the ship. If you are prepared to compromise on the view this can be a great option.
The white wall means that you cannot see much of the ocean when you are seated. However, it is still a balcony stateroom and it will usually save you some money over the other categories of balcony stateroom.
I have sailed many times in a Disney Cruise white wall balcony stateroom and been very happy with my choice.
The last thing that you want to risk is missing the boat. Literally. After all those months of planning and saving, you want to make sure that you get to your Disney ship on time.
It may seem like a good idea to book an early morning flight arrival on the day your Disney cruise leaves port. You will probably make it to your Disney ship on time. However, there is a risk that you won’t. Flight delays happen so it is always wise to leave as much time as you can.
The best solution is to arrive at the port or at least stay close by the night before. Many of the Disney cruises sail from Port Canaveral. This is within easy reach of Walt Disney World so many guests visit the parks prior to their cruise.
This doesn’t just apply to when you first board your Disney cruise. You will probably want to get off the ship during your cruise to go on an excursion or have a look around the port.
There will be many reminders when you are in the port of the all aboard time. This is the very latest that you can get back to the ship. Take that time very seriously.
Do not risk being late. If you are late you risk being left behind in port. We have seen it happen. Literally seen people waving from the port unable to board. Don’t let that be you.
All cruise ships have to leave the port at a certain time. Whilst the captain is not going to want to have to leave you in the port he will have no choice.
This is why I always recommend booking Disney cruise excursions. I know that you can save money by booking an independent excursion. However, if you book through Disney you are assured that they will get you back to the ship on time. For many people, the peace of mind that gives is worth the extra cost.
Forget Those Essential Items To Pack For Your Disney Cruise
There are some things that can really make a difference to your Disney cruise that you should not forget to pack! Planning a cruise is a lot of fun. Packing not so much. It really does make sense to be organized and make sure that you have the essential items with you.
Always think carefully about what you want to pack for your Disney cruise carry on bag. Remember that your checked bag may not arrive until the evening of your first day on your cruise.
Make sure you put all essential items in a carry on bag. This includes your cruise documents and passport of course. Also if you have any essential medications they should always be in your carry on.
You might also like to put your swimwear in your carry on. The pools are at their quietest when you first board your Disney ship. It can also be a great time to ride the AquaDuck if you are on the Disney Dream or Disney Fantasy.
If you want to read more about the essential items you should pack to save you money on your Disney cruise Click Here.
No one really wants to think about this, but sometimes sickness happens on a Disney cruise. A big mistake is not being aware or prepared for the fact that this may happen. A bit of planning goes a long way in helping to prevent being sick on a cruise.
Disney has some of the healthiest ships at sea. However, there are still things that you can do to minimize your chances of being sick. Hand washing is incredibly important. This is why there are sinks outside the buffet.
Make sure that you wash your hands thoroughly before eating and after using the restroom. It amazes me how many people skip this. Germs spread easily, but simple hand washing goes a long way to stop this.
In every Disney cruise bathroom, there is a disposable hand towel and trash can by the door. Use the hand towel to open the door so that your hand is not touching the surface of the door. Once you get into this habit it becomes something you do automatically.
These Handi-Pack Disinfecting Wipes are easy to pack in your cruise luggage. You can use them to wipe over surfaces in your Disney cruise stateroom. Your Disney cruise steward takes great care of your stateroom, but I always like to take my own wipes as well.
Another concern is seasickness. Disney ships are extremely stable and most of the time you don’t feel any movement at all. However, sometimes seasickness happens.
Hopefully, you will be having a lot of sunny weather on your Disney cruise. Always make sure that you wear Sun Screen and keep reapplying it.
Be An Idiot
You really don’t want to be that person. The one who doesn’t think about how your behavior is affecting other people. You know who you are!
Who am I talking about? The people who put their belongings down on a sun lounger and then disappear for hours. Or the ones who “reserve” lots of seats in the middle of the theatre for friends who arrive at the last moment.
And those parents who let their children run along the corridor screaming loudly in the early hours.
Let’s also talk about those people who skip the line in the buffet. Of course, the buffet is designed so that there isn’t a traditional line. However, don’t be one of those people who shove others out of the way or leans over them to get to the dish of the day.
Just don’t be that person.
Bad behavior on Disney cruises is rare. In general, you will meet some fabulous people and can even meet life long friends. Just always be considerate of other people and don’t be the sun lounger idiot!
Not Take Time To Understand the Beverage Policy on Your Disney Cruise
If you want to drink wine or beer on a Disney cruise you can save yourself a considerable amount of money if you understand their beverage policy. Most cruise lines will not allow you to take any alcohol on board. Disney Cruise Lines is different.
Unlike many other cruise lines, Disney does not offer a Drinks Package.
I know many people like this as an option, but having sailed on other cruise lines and seeing just how much people can drink to excess I really hope this is never introduced on Disney cruises.
I don’t think it will be. Drinks are very reasonably priced on Disney cruises and of course, there is free soda 24 hours a day.
However, Disney Cruise Line has a very generous policy allowing guests to take up to two bottles of wine or a six-pack of beer on board per person.
Disney Cruise Line Guests 21 years and older may bring a maximum of 2 bottles of unopened wine or champagne or 6 beers on board at the beginning of the voyage and at each port-of-call. The wine has to be no larger than 750ml and the beers no more than 12 ounces.
You can enjoy the wine or beer you bring on board in your stateroom. If you want to drink it in one of the restaurants or any public there is a $25 corkage charge.
You must put any wine or beer that you bring in your carry on luggage. Do not put it in your checked baggage. Not only is there the potential for a huge mess if the bottle breaks, but security will also find it and hold it until the end of the cruise.
There are so many amazing dining experiences on a Disney cruise you really should take advantage of as much as you possibly can. The Rotational Dining System is unique and definitely something to be enjoyed to the max.
On each of the Disney cruise ships, there are three main dining restaurants. Each day you will dine in a different restaurant. What is unique about the experience is that your servers will go with you.
Disney Rotational Dining means you get the best of everything. You eat in different restaurants and also have the advantage that your servers get to know you and your family.
All Disney cruise restaurants are unique and brilliantly themed. Enjoy an evening of music at Tiana’s Place, unique entertainment and decor at Animator’s Palate, understated elegance at Enchanted Garden.
Remember that your servers want you to have the best experience. If you want two entrees and can’t decide which dessert to have, just order more than one. You can deal with the diet later!
Your Disney Cruise servers will cut up your child’s food, give them Mickey-shaped ketchup designs, and remember your name on your next cruise. They are exceptional. We always look forward to seeing our favorite servers.
Cabanas buffet is a great place to enjoy lots of different tastes. However, always remember that one of the rotational dining restaurants will be open for breakfast and lunch. Make sure that you try this at least once on your Disney cruise.
Many Disney cruise first-timers don’t realize that when they board the ship there is the option of a sit-down restaurant lunch as well as the buffet. It can be a more relaxing start to your vacation than the rather crowded Cabanas buffet on the first day.
One of the best experiences onboard a Disney cruise is dining in one of the adult-only restaurants. They do have an additional charge but for the standard of food and service, it is a great value.
Disney’s Palo is available on all of the cruise ships and offers Brunch on sea days and Dinner every day. Remy is only available on Disney Fantasy and Dream.
Remy is truly an exceptional dining experience. Read more about these options at Disney Dream Dining. The adult-only dining is something you have to experience at least once. And then you will want to do it again.
Skip The Entertainment
Disney cruise lines do many things very very well. One area where they go more than above and beyond is in their Broadway-style entertainment. Make sure you take the time to watch the shows.
There is a combination of Disney Broadway type shows and Variety Acts. Some of the variety acts can be a bit hit and miss, but make sure that you see the Disney cruise favorites.
If you are on the Disney Wonder you will not want to miss Frozen. On the Disney Fantasy, you have to see Aladdin. These are all shows that if you took your family to see them in the theater it would cost you hundreds of dollars so don’t miss out!
Don’t forget the Buena Vista Theater which shows current and classic Disney movies. Now Marvel is part of the Disney stable there are now even more amazing movies to watch for free.
We all know that going to the movies can be expensive if you take the family. So enjoy this chance to see some great movies onboard for free! If you are really lucky you will get to see a Disney movie premiere at midnight as soon as it is released.
Character Greetings are also a huge part of the entertainment offered. Every day you will get the chance to meet and greet lots of different Disney characters. Yes, there are lines, but they are nothing compared to those in the Disney parks.
If you want to get up close and personal with your favorite a Disney cruise really is the best place to do that.
If your favorite characters are Anna and Elsa be aware that they are so popular you need tickets to see them. Make sure you book ahead of your cruise on your Disney Cruise Personalizer as even though the tickets are free they are limited.
Ignore Safety Warnings
Sailing on a cruise is one of the safest forms of travel. However, there are some essential safety rules that you have to follow.
I know that the safety drill is not where you want to be. However, always attend the muster drill and give it your full attention. It doesn’t last long and it gives you vital safety information.
Never think that you can skip the muster drill. Your Key To The World Card is scanned. If you do not attend you will be contacted by a Crew Member and have to attend another drill.
The muster drill only takes up a short amount of your time. Often these days it is held in a restaurant or bar! You can sit down comfortably whilst listening to the safety instructions.
Never throw anything over the side of the ship. Nothing. No exceptions. One of the worst things of course, and yes we have seen it done, is to throw a cigarette over the side. This is a huge fire risk and extremely dangerous.
There are only certain areas where smoking is allowed on a Disney ship. Stick to those areas and dispose of your cigarette ends in the receptacle provided.
A Disney cruise is worth every penny. However, it is wise to educate yourself so that you can see the areas that you can save money. This includes both before you book and whilst you are on the ship.
The biggest mistake that many Disney cruise first-timers make is not realizing how the Placeholder booking works. To get the benefit of this future Disney Cruise discount deal you have to be on board.
How does the Placeholder work? You can see complete details here but this is broadly how it works. If you book a future cruise whilst you are onboard a Disney ship you receive a 10% discount and a reduced deposit. Unfortunately, the onboard credit is no longer offered.
There are of course certain terms and conditions which apply to Disney Cruise Placeholder bookings. You can’t use it for a Concierge stateroom to get a discount, but you can get the onboard credit.
There are certain block out dates and certain cruises are excluded from the Placeholder discount.
However, if you are sailing on a Disney cruise and want to book another, make sure you stop by the Future Cruise Desk to get complete details and make a Disney Placeholder reservation.
There are many other ways you can save money on a Disney cruise. Here is our article packed full of ideas on How To Save Money.
Which are the best Disney Magic Kingdom rides for toddlers? Visiting the most magical place on earth is great fun with kids of all ages but it is always best to be prepared so that you can know which rides everyone is likely to enjoy the most. So here is my top 10 guide to the best rides at Magic Kingdom for toddlers.
Most young children love Winnie the Pooh so this almost 4-minute ride will keep most of them happy. This indoor ride is very upbeat and is based on the story Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day. Children will see all of their favorites, Tigger, Eeyore, Piglet, Owl, and Rabbit in very bright colors.
One of the best parts of the ride is the Winnie the Pooh dream sequence. This is one that all the family will love and is likely to be a favorite with very young children in particular. This is, of course, a popular ride.
A Fast Pass is available (the machine is located close to Mickey’s Philarmagic). The standby line now has some interactive features to keep you entertained whilst waiting in line.
Prince Charming Regal Carousel
Sometimes the simplest designs are the most captivating and this is certainly true of the classic carousel now named Prince Charming Regal Carousel. The ride was built almost 100 years ago it was purchased in 1967 for Walt Disney World.
This attraction was for many years called Cinderella’s Golden Carousel but was renamed in 2010. It is one of the most popular Disney Magic Kingdom rides for toddlers
Try and steer your toddler towards one of the inside horses. They move much slower than the ones on the outside. You can stand with your toddler if you feel that they are not balanced enough or confident enough to ride by themselves.
Although the Carousel is quite slow to load the wait is not usually less than 30 minutes.
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Your toddler is likely to say that Dumbo is his favorite ride in the world. This cute flying elephant is a wonderful ride for toddlers. 16 flying Dumbos spin around slowly on this 90-second ride. A Disney classic.
There is only one problem with Dumbo. The lines. As this ride only takes 32 riders at a time and is very slow to load the line moves at a snail’s pace.
Fortunately, New Fantasyland introduced a second Dumbo Ride in 2012 so this has helped reduce the time in line. The Dumbo Ride is a whole lot of fun for all ages, but if you have a toddler is it definitely one of those “must-do” rides.
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin is based on exactly the same ride design as Dumbo. It does have one very big advantage over the Dumbo ride though. Less time in line.
The theme is different of course – you board a flying carpet and not a cute elephant – but the basic idea is just the same and your toddler will most likely love it. Riders can control the height of the carpet so as to avoid (or not) the light spray of water.
Like many of the other rides in the Magic Kingdom, it is a good idea to experience it both in the day and at night. It gives a very different feeling to it.
One thing which we have particularly enjoyed is riding The Magic Carpets during the fireworks show. It is a very different way to experience the fireworks.
It’s A Small World
The ‘happiest cruise that ever sailed’ is sure to be a favorite with your toddler. This 11-minute ride is one of the best known of all the Disney rides, and not just because once you have experienced it you will never be able to get that song out of your head!
It’s A Small World is one of the original Magic Kingdom rides. It is one of the best rides at Magic Kingdom for toddlers.
Guests board a boat for this 11-minute ride past cute animatronic figures representing many countries around the world. The younger ones will also enjoy the additions of Disney movie favorites including Nemo and Ariel The Little Mermaid.
It’s a Small World is also a great place to head in the middle of the day if your toddler (or you) need a nap. It is inside so a great place to get out of the sun for a while.
Another very popular ride in Fantasyland which your toddler will enjoy. Guests board 2 seat pirate ships to be taken on a ride over the streets of London.
The ride was designed for Disneyland in 1964 and is truly one of the classic Disney dark rides. Guests ride through scenes from Peter Pan and although the ride technology is far from sophisticated in this day and age, this is part of its appeal.
Unfortunately, Peter Pan’s Flight line rivals that of Dumbo. You should aim to either arrive early and ride this first or pick up a Fast Pass.
The line for Peter Pan is not magical when you have been standing in it for 60 minutes with a toddler! There are Fast Passes available and this is one of those rides where we recommend you make use of it – particularly if you have a toddler with you.
As with many toddler-friendly rides this one is located in Fantasyland. This is a very entertaining show for all ages but toddlers will mostly love the characters, the music, and the funny effects.
Guests are seated in a 450 capacity theater to watch the 3D show. The story is that Mickey is late for a concert but Donald Duck tries to step in and help. Lots of Disney movies are referenced so there is sure to be something that your toddler recognizes.
Usually, the line for this is not over 30 minutes. Often you will get a surprise Fast Pass for this with your Winnie The Pooh Fast Pass.
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
Young children love Toy Story so this will be a lot of the appeal of this ride for them. Guests board a 2 person vehicle and shoot at targets to get points.
Your toddler is most likely not going to be able to reach the ‘laser gun’ very well so that part of the ride is not going to work well but usually they just love the activity and the colors. And of course, Buzz Lightyear appears along the way.
The Enchanted Tiki Room
The Enchanted Tiki Room is an original Disneyland attraction and you can certainly say that it is showing it’s age. As an adult, you probably want to experience it once just to see why everyone is saying it is outdated!
But for a toddler, it can be a favorite Magic Kingdom attraction. Young children will enjoy the upbeat songs and all the moving animatronic figures.
For the grown-ups, it may just be a chance to sit down for 9 minutes and rest their feet! It can be a welcome break from the heat of the park and it’s another great place for a nap!
Mad Tea Party
Toddlers love this spinning teacup ride. Bright colors and an Alice in Wonderland theme will catch the attention of the little ones.
Guests spin around in teacups which they can spin faster and faster if they want to. Your 2 year old probably won’t be able to make a difference to the speed but your 5 year old certainly will want to make it go faster.
There is plenty to keep your toddler very happy in a visit to the Magic Kingdom. There are certain rides that they can’t go on of course but that does not mean that the older children and grown-ups can’t go on these attractions.
Where there is a height requirement there is always a Child Swap option. This means that all the family can stand in line and then one waits with the child whilst the other rides, and then the nonriding guest swaps and rides the attraction.
This is available at Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain.
Do you agree with the rides chosen for the top 10 Disney Magic Kingdom Rides for Toddlers? If you have your own suggestions and tips for visiting the Magic Kingdom with toddlers then leave me a comment below.
Are you wondering whether a Disney Cruise Photo Package is worth it? You may want to capture the magic of your vacation with a Disney Cruise Photo Package, but a lot of people get confused about how it all works.
Disney Cruise Photo Package
Here is our complete guide to all the options of the Disney Cruise Photo Package to help you decide if it is worth it. Learn some things along the way which will help you make the most out of your Disney Cruise Photo Package.
Disney Cruise Photographers
Even in the Disney cruise port terminal, you will have your first chance to have a picture for your Disney cruise photo package. Mickey and Minnie Mouse will be there for you while you are waiting to board.
When you board a Disney cruise the first thing you do is hand your Key To The World Card to be swiped to show you have entered the ship.
The second thing you will do is encounter your first Disney Cruise Photographer! They are stationed at a strategic position right before you get on your Disney ship.
I have to confess I am not the most enthusiastic person about stopping for that embarkation photo. However, it is often the very best one we have taken for all the cruise.
Disney cruise lines outsource their photography to Shutters. I kind of wish they wouldn’t because they are just not quite as magical as the Disney cruise line crew members sometimes. However, I have to say they mostly do a great job.
They are everywhere on the ship. Every character greeting you go to you will find a photographer. You can always use your own camera. However, there will also be a professional on hand.
They also set up lots of photo backgrounds around the ship. You can even have your photo take with the captain on certain sailings! You can see which backgrounds they are setting up so you can choose which one you like.
The lines for photography on formal night on a Disney cruise are always the longest. If you want a formal night photo be aware that you may be standing in line for quite a while.
Disney cruise lines make it very easy for you to see your photos. On every ship on Deck 4, there is a Shutters photo area. There you will find digital kiosks where you can view your photos.
All you need to do is swipe your Key To The World and all the photos which are in their system will be displayed.
How do they know who you are? They have a digital facial recognition system which in theory puts all of your photos in your account so that you can view them on the kiosk.
I say in theory because it doesn’t always work. If you think that photos are missing the Shutters staff can help you find them. Just inquire at the desk.
Another way to make sure that your photos definitely make it into your account is to hand the photographer your Key To The World Card. This then links the photos with your account.
All of your Disney cruise photos used to be printed out. This is not the case anymore. They have gone fully digital and your photos are all available to view on the Shutters kiosk. This is located on Deck 4 of all of the Disney ships.
Photos are of course an amazing way to capture the memories of your Disney Cruise. My house is filled with photos from past cruises. The photographers are generally good. Not outstanding.
However, given that they are working quickly and often with very large parties, they do a good job. They have the advantage over you in that they have worked out the lighting and the best angles.
You really should have as many photos taken as you can just so you can see which ones you like.
Having said that I am not a big fan of the backgrounds that Shutters use sometimes. The borders around the photos are often just not my taste.
Unfortunately, you do not have the option to choose to remove or change the borders. I am not sure why in the age of digital ease but you get what you are given with the borders.
I am sure that one day soon that will change but at the moment there is no option to choose a different one.
It’s great also that you actually get a complete family or group photo. I know that there are such things as selfie sticks but nothing beats a great photo of the whole family having fun on a Disney cruise. If Minnie Mouse is with you then that’s even better!
There are a number of ways that you can buy Disney cruise photos. If you know you are going to want a Disney cruise photo package then the best way is to purchase it online before you sail on your cruise.
You can do this up to 48 hours before you sail. See below for prices and the Shutters website.
You can also buy a package or individual photo at any time that the Shutters desk is open. Just like anything on a Disney cruise, the amount will be charged automatically to your onboard stateroom account.
What you absolutely must do is to purchase the photos that you want whilst you are still onboard your Disney cruise. Once you have left the ship it is too late. There is no going back to reorder!
My advice is to choose whatever photos you want prior to the last evening on the ship. If you try and buy on the last evening of your cruise you are going to be with crowds of people and wait in a long line. Just really try and avoid it. That is not how you want to spend the last evening on your cruise.
Disney Cruise Photo Package For More Than One Stateroom
This is where people get very confused. However, it’s simple if you break it down!
Often families or groups stay in more than one stateroom on a Disney cruise They want to know how to make the Disney cruise photo package work most economically for them.
The general rule is that it is one package per stateroom. Say you have one stateroom with your kids and the grandparents have a separate stateroom. This is a pretty common set up on a Disney cruise. However, you can’t combine a Disney Cruise Photo Package with two staterooms (with certain exceptions I will explain below).
Say for your embarkation photo you have a group photo with all the family. Parents, kids, and grandparents. Just the parents get the package. The picture will show up in the parents and the grandparent’s account on the Shutters kiosk.
The facial recognition or the swiping of the Key To The World will make sure they know who you are. However, if the parents have bought a package they can get it for their account. The grandparents can’t.
If the grandparents decide to get a photo just the two of them it will not be on the account if just the parents bought it for their stateroom. Remember. It’s about the stateroom, not the group.
However, if the grandparents decide to get a photo with the kids, that photo will be included on the parent’s stateroom account.
It’s all about who is in the photo. The package is exclusive to the stateroom but just so long as someone from that stateroom is in the picture and you have bought a package, it will be available as part of what you bought.
There is an exception. A lot of families travel with parents in one stateroom and kids in another. Just so long as there is one person over 18 in each stateroom this is allowed. The exception for kids being in another stateroom is for any “children” aged under 21. This is a great exception if you are traveling with older offspring as well!
If you have 2 or more staterooms and your children aged 17 or under are in a stateroom they will be included in the package. That’s easy.
How does this work? Let’s say Dad is in one room with the 5-year-old and Mom is in the other stateroom with the 12-year-old. If Mom or Dad had a Disney cruise photo package linked to their stateroom, pictures from both staterooms would be included.
To make sure this works you do have to visit Shutters on the first day of your Disney cruise. They can explain what the position is.
There is another way to get a discount if your family is traveling in 2 staterooms. The first stateroom can buy the Disney cruise photo package online.Then once you get onboard the second stateroom family can buy the package at a 50% discount.
However, this isn’t quite as good as it sounds. This is 50% of the onboard price. Therefore you do not get 50% off the online discounted rate. You get 50% off the higher price onboard. It is still a discount. Just perhaps not as great as it seems at first.
If you want to buy individual prints on your Disney cruise these are the prices:
Photo Print 8 X 10 $20.95
Photo Print 6 X 8 $14.95
Any 6 prints or digital $99.95
Any 10 prints or digital $149.95
Any 15 prints or digital $199.95
Any 20 prints or digital $249.95
If you decide you want to buy the digital image package and not the prints you will be given a CD. This CD will then show you reasonable size proofs of all of the photos you had taken.
You can then choose which photos you want and choose the number of images you have paid for. You can then unlock the full resolution images and print them as you wish.
You can also buy a length of sailing Disney Cruise Photo Package. This can be a good value if you are planning on taking a lot of photos. This will give you all the photos that you have taken on your cruise
If you think you are going to buy a number of photos it will bring the cost per photo down if you buy a package. To get these prices you have to purchase in advance via OurCruisePhotos
2 Night Sailing $194.95
3 Night Sailing $194.95
4 Night Sailing $194.95
5 Night Sailing $211.95
7 Night Sailing $295.95
14 Night Sailing $339.95
Prices onboard the ship will be higher:
2 Night Sailing $199.95
4 Night Sailing $229.95
5 Night Sailing $249.95
7 Night Sailing $349.95
14 Night Sailing $399.95
You will get your photos on the last night of the cruise or the final morning before you disembark. Note that these prices are for all your photos on USB. They will not be printed out for you. You will have printing costs on top of this when you get home.
Disney Cruise Photo Book
Another great option is the Disney Cruise Photo Book. The price if you buy it online at Our Cruise Photos is $139.95. There is also a Shipping Charge of $10 for the Continental United States, Alaska & Hawaii. All other countries are $15.
You can add up to 34 photos in your Disney Cruise Photo Book. This is a really good way to make sure that you get a good selection of your Disney cruise photos to keep.
It’s a lot of fun putting together your Disney Cruise Photo Book. You can do this at the Shutters kiosk.
It’s easy to change photos in and out of your Disney Cruise Photo Album and arrange them on the page as you want to. Don’t leave this until the last moment.
The Shutters area on the Disney ships is very crowded on the last evening. Don’t leave it that late.
I suggest that you keep looking at your photos every day so you know what is there and start arranging them in the Disney Cruise Photo Book. You do not want to be leaving all of this to the last evening of the cruise.
Shutters will be crammed full of people on the final evening and you may feel pressured to get it done. It’s a lot easier to do it a bit at a time. You can always rearrange things if you get photos that you prefer.
I actually think that the Photo Book is a reasonable option as you do get to have a lot of printed memories for a reasonable price. However, if you prefer to put your pictures on display this is obviously not the best option as they are all in a book.
How To Get The Most Out of Your Disney Cruise Photo Package
A Disney Cruise Photo Package is pricey. There is no denying that. Some people think it is an amazing value. Others think it is a huge expense. Only you can decide which view is your view.
However, if you do decide to get the Disney Cruise Photo Package there are ways to make it more valuable. How? By getting more photos taken. It is one thing to pay $349.95 for 10 photos on a disk but quite another if you get 100 photos!
How can you maximize the number of photos in your Disney Cruise Package? There are so many photo ops you really can go all out and maximize it.
We have heard of guests having 800 photos on a 14-night cruise. Not sure if you would actually get a chance to sleep if you were having your photo taken that many times. However, it definitely is possible.
The secret is planning. You know that every day on the cruise there will be photographers out setting up backgrounds. These are on Deck 3 of all the ships. Go and take a walk before the first seating of dinner and see what your options are. Arrive early so you minimize the time spent in line.
Sometimes the photographers will be in your rotational dining room. They always suggest what pictures they take. For instance, they may say a photo of you as a couple, as a family and then separate photos of the children.
Ask for what you want. If you want extra ones tell them. It is not going to take much extra time, but it will mean that you get more photos in your account.
Disney photographers are even found on Disney Castaway Cay. You may be floating along in your inner tube in the ocean and see a photographer approach. Go and seek them out.
If you want a family photo then set one up. Photo of you and your significant other? Ask for one. The photographers want to sell as many photographs as possible so they are happy to oblige.
In my experience, a lot of people ignore them on Castaway Cay. So go for it. You may get a great Castaway Cay picture for your Disney Cruise Photo Package.
Character greetings are often the best chance you have to get a really great photo for your Disney Cruise Package. Every day the character greetings are posted in the printed Navigators you get in your stateroom every evening.
If you want to be even more organized and plan further in advance use the Disney Cruise Navigator App so that you can see where the characters will be more than one day in advance.
Mickey and Minnie appear most often in lots of different costumes. I love the Golden Mickeys costumes for Mickey and Minnie.
However, if you want to have your photograph taken with one of the more minor characters, say Peter Pan or Captain Hook this takes a little more planning as they don’t appear as often.
If you have your heart set on a photo with Captain Jack Sparrow he appears on Castaway Cay as well as on Pirate Night. You do need to plan ahead to seek out the Disney characters which appear less often.
It is so much easier to get a picture with a Disney character on a cruise than at the Disney parks. You can wait for less time. In air-conditioned comfort. Make the most of it and get as many photos as you can. Then the value of the Disney Cruise Photo Package really kicks in.
Will you be buying a Disney cruise photo package? Let me know in the comments below.
If you are thinking of sailing on a Disney cruise you may be asking which is the best Disney cruise ship?
There are four Disney cruise ships at sea right now – with another three being built.
However, is one Disney cruise ship better than the others?
Which Is The Best Disney Cruise Ship?
First, let’s take a look at the different Disney cruise ships.
The Classic Disney Cruise Ships
The Disney Magic was the first ship to be launched in 1998. The Magic’s sister ship, the Disney Wonder was launched a year later in 1999.
The two “classic Disney ships” are basically the same design. The Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder are the smallest cruise ships in the fleet.
The Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder are 984 feet long. That’s pretty small in the cruise ship world these days. They have 875 staterooms and at full capacity can have 2,400 passengers. There are 950 crew members.
The newest Disney cruise ships are 40% larger than the Disney classic ships. The Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy are 1,147 feet long. They can carry a maximum of 4,000 passengers at full capacity and have 1458 crew members.
These are known as the Disney Dream Class Ships.
To put this in perspective it is often quoted that these ships are longer (or taller) than the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
The Disney Dream was launched in 2011 and the Disney Fantasy followed in 2012.
There are 3 more Disney ships on the horizon which are due to be launched in 2021, 2022 and 2023. There are very few details available at this time. All we really know is that they will be bigger than the Disney Dream and the Fantasy.
The Disney Fantasy-class ships are 130,000 gross tons and the new ships will be 140,000. However, we do know that the new Disney ships will only have the same amount of staterooms at 1,250 as the Fantasy and Dream.
We would guess that the majority will be balcony staterooms on the new Disney cruise ships. It’s a pretty good bet that the new Disney ships will have the virtual portholes in the inside staterooms as well. Another highly likely feature of the new Disney cruise ships is that there will be an expanded concierge class.
Disney is in the process of expanding its fleet from 4 ships to 7 ships by 2023.
At the moment, very little is known about the new Disney cruise ships except for rumors and speculation. The one thing that we do know is that right now the name being used for the project is “Triton Class”.
The first ship will arrive late 2021, the second in 2022 and the final one in 2023.
This is a very exciting time for Disney cruise lines. Not only will there soon be 3 new ships, but there will also be a brand new Disney private island location.
Will the new ships be the best Disney cruise ships? Anything which we say now will of course just be speculation. However, we are sure that the new Disney cruise ships will be amazing!
What is the Difference Between the Classic and the Newer Disney Dream Ships?
The really obvious answer to this is their size. There is a lot of difference.
If you want a smaller Disney cruise ship which is easier to get around and also to get to know, you will be happier on the classic ships.
If you want more facilities and don’t mind the fact that there are more people, the newer Disney ships are the best.
However, it really isn’t that simple. There are many other things to consider when you ask yourself which is the best Disney cruise ship.
What is Basically the Same About All of the Disney Ships?
Before going into what is different about each of the Disney cruise ships, let’s think about what really is the same.
The level of service is exceptional on all of the Disney ships. It is always very difficult to explain just how above and beyond most of the Disney crew go to give exceptional service to their guests.
You have to experience the Disney difference to believe it. I have witnessed this first hand so many times. The Cast Members go the extra mile and welcome you like family.
Most recently I was on the Disney Wonder and was in Triton’s, one of the main rotational dining restaurants, having lunch.
I heard a shout of pure joy as a server recognized a family from a previous cruise. She ran over and greeted that family as if they were long-lost cousins.
That’s the Disney difference that you just can’t explain unless you see it. That kind of experience is genuine and is what Disney is all about.
There are other things that are just the same on all of the Disney ships. The large staterooms, most of which have the split bath. The excellent children’s programs. The adult spaces. The Disney rotational dining. Broadway-quality entertainment.
However, there are very distinct differences between each ship. Which Disney cruise ship that you think is the best for you and your family, will depend on other factors.
Let’s think about the things which are going to influence your choice of Disney cruise ship. When you are deciding which is the best Disney cruise ship you are going to look at a number of factors.
Disney Cruise Ship Itinerary
This really is going to be a big deciding factor when you look at which Disney cruise ship is the best for your vacation.
All of the Disney cruise ships sail very distinct itineraries from different home cruise ports.
If you want to sail the Caribbean on a Disney cruise ship you will find that the most convenient itineraries are on the Disney Fantasy. She sails mostly 7 night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries – all out of Port Canaveral Florida.
However, if you want a 3 or 4 night sailing on a Disney cruise then the Disney Dream is going to be your best choice. The Disney Dream sails mostly 3 and 4-night itineraries to The Bahamas from Port Canaveral Florida.
The Disney Dream can be an excellent first Disney cruise. The prices are obviously going to be lower than a full 7 night on the Disney Fantasy.
Disney’s Private Island Castaway Cay
The Disney Dream also has a big advantage that all sailings will make a port stop a Disney’s private island Castaway Cay. For many Disney cruisers, the day at Castaway Cay is the highlight of their vacation. Here you can get a complete guide to Disney’s Castaway Cay.
Both the Disney Wonder and the Disney Magic have more varied itineraries than the larger Disney ships. This might be the decider for you when you are thinking about which is the best Disney cruise ship. Itinerary may be the most important thing.
The Disney Wonder sails from Port Canaveral, Galveston, San Diego, and Vancouver. If you are looking for a more diverse itinerary then you really should consider the Disney Wonder.
One of the most spectacular of the Disney Wonder itineraries are the cruises to Alaska. Here you can browse the Disney Cruises to Alaska.
The Disney Wonder also sails through the Panama Canal twice a year. If we had to pick our very favorite Disney cruise it would be the Panama Canal cruises. Each cruise is for at least 14 nights, so is ideal for people who have more time to spare on a vacation.
There is nothing quite like the sight of the Disney Wonder sailing through the Panama Canal. The 14-night break gives you so much time to relax.
These cruises also tend to include extra features such as chances to look behind the scenes at the galley and the theater. There are usually not so many children on these cruises either.
The Disney Wonder now sails from San Diego on cruises to the Mexican Riviera. They range from 2,3,4,5 and 7-night cruises so there really is something for everyone. If you are based on the West Coast these Disney San Diego cruises are a great idea.
The Disney Magic also has a number of different itineraries. You are sure to be able to find a Disney Magic sailing that suits you. In the summer months the Disney Magic sails in Europe. These cruises vary from Southern European cruises from Barcelona to Northern European cruises as well as cruises around the British Isles from Dover England.
The Disney Magic has a Transatlantic sailing twice a year. This cruise offers great value for money for people with some flexibility and time to spend on this longer cruise.
The Disney Magic also has some sailings from New York and Miami. This is perfect for cruisers for whom Port Canaveral is not their first choice. Most of these cruises also have a port stop in Castaway Cay.
Disney Cruise Theme Sailings
Disney Cruise lines also offer a number of differently themed sailings.
One of the most popular is the Star Wars Days at Sea. If you are a Star Wars fan you really should think about booking one of the Star Wars special cruises.
For more details about what to expect you can see our guide here.
The Disney Magic has Marvel Days at Sea on select dates.
If Star Wars or Marvel is not your thing then you may want to enjoy one of the seasonal cruises such as the Halloween on the High Seas Cruises or a Very Merrytime Cruise.
Other Differences on The Disney Cruise Ships
Which is the best Disney cruise ship is always going to depend on so many factors which only you can answer. However, there are some other things which may help you make up your mind about which Disney cruise is best for you and your family.
Each Disney ships has different entertainment. All of the Disney cruise ships have amazing nighttime entertainment. However, all have different shows.
If your Disney Princess is a particular fan of Princess Anna and Queen Elsa then you may want to pick the Disney Wonder.
All the cruise ships will have personal appearances by the Anna and Elsa, but only Disney Wonder and Disney Fantasy (from Fall 2019) has Frozen, A Musical Spectacular.
The Disney Wonder also has Tiana’s restaurant.
If your favorite movie is Tangled then you may want to consider the Disney Magic. They are the only ship to have Tangled the Musical on board. The Disney Magic is also the only ship to have Rapunzel’s Royal Table restaurant.
If I had to choose a ship that has the best entertainment I would always say the Disney Wonder as it has Frozen and The Golden Mickeys.
I do also enjoy Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular on the Disney Fantasy. However, for me, the Disney Wonder wins on the stage show entertainment right now.
If you want to ride the AqauDuck then you have to sail on the newest ships of the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy. The classic Disney Wonder and Magic really do not have anything to compare with this.
The Disney Magic has the AquaDunk but this is not really a comparison. The Disney Wonder had a fabulous re-imagination recently but if you want an AquaDuck equivalent you just don’t get it here.
If the finest dining at sea is important to you then you need to choose the Disney Fantasy or the Disney Dream as they are the only ships to have Remy. This is one of the finest dining experiences at sea.
Palo is on all of the ships and is our preference, but if you want to experience what many think is the best of the best then you have to sail on one of the larger ships.
If you are thinking of booking Disney Cruise Concierge we would also say that the better choices are the newer ships of the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy.
The classic Disney Wonder and Magic ships have been re-imagined to accommodate a new concierge lounge. However, the Fantasy and Dream were purpose-built with concierge guests in mind. The Disney Fantasy and the Disney Dream have a fabulous outside pool deck.
All the ships have the concierge lounge now but we think that the very best are on the Disney Dream and Fantasy. The only benefit of the Wonder and the Magic is that there are fewer concierge staterooms so it seems to be more of an exclusive benefit. You will get more individual attention, but it is pretty amazing on all the ships.
If you want an inside stateroom with the Virtual Porthole you do have to sail on the Disney Dream or the Fantasy.
Apparently, it was too much of a technological difficulty to refit the Magic and Wonder with the virtual portholes. We think they are a nice touch, but this really should be a minor reason to sail on the newer ships.
Which is the Best Disney Cruise Ship?
As you will see the answer to the question about which is the best Disney cruise ship really is going to vary according to what you and your family want.
We love all the Disney cruise ships, but if we had to decide we would say the Disney Wonder.
Is this because the Disney Wonder was our first Disney cruise and we have spent more time sailing on her than any other ships? Possibly. But you have to decide what is best for your family. All of the Disney cruise ships offer an amazing experience which really doesn’t have any comparison.
Our advice? Look at the itinerary first and then choose the ship. Whichever of the Disney ships you choose you will have an amazing time. There really isn’t an answer as to which is the best Disney cruise ship. They are all amazing.
Whichever you sail on you will probably think is the best Disney cruise ship!
Which is the best Disney Cruise Ship for Toddlers? Is it even a good idea to take a toddler on a Disney Cruise?
Best Disney Cruise Ship For Toddlers
Are you considering a Disney Cruise with a 2-year-old? A Disney cruise is a great choice for families, but is one of the Disney ships better than an another if you are taking a toddler or baby?
Here you will learn everything you need to know about taking a toddler on a Disney Cruise.
The Different Disney Cruise Ship Choices
To get an idea of which is the best Disney Cruise Ship for Toddlers you first need to understand a little about the four different ships which are sailing at the moment.
The Disney Magic was the original Disney ship which was launched in 1998. The Disney Wonder followed the next year.
The Disney Wonder and Magic are fundamentally the same basic design but have different interior decor and theming. These are known as the Classic Ships. They can hold up to 2,700 passengers and 950 crew members.
The Disney Dream was launched in 2011 followed in 2012 by the Disney Fantasy. These ships are known as the Dream Class and are much larger than the Classic ships. They can hold up to 4.000 passengers and 1,450 crew members.
Even though each Disney cruise ship is very different there are certain things which are very similar to each design.
On all the Disney Cruise ships the first two decks are stateroom decks with inside and outside cabins. The third and fourth decks have the restaurants, bars, and the Walt Disney Theatre. Deck 5 has the Kids Clubs and the movie theater. Decks 6, 7 and 8 are all passenger decks.
Deck 9 has the pool deck and the cabanas buffet. It also has the Cove Cafe, adult areas and the spa. The higher decks are the sports decks.
The Disney Dream and the Fantasy are the only ships to have the AquaDuck. This was the first water coaster at sea. This is a lot of fun, but if you have a toddler it is unlikely that they will meet the 42″ height requirement. If they do, they can ride with you on the AquaDuck.
Is one Disney ship more toddler-friendly than the other because of its design? Really this doesn’t help you much with your decision. The smaller Classic ships are easier to get around, but the larger Dream class are also pretty easy to navigate.
Aside from the design of the ship, you have to think about where the ship is sailing. Disney Cruise lines offer many different itineraries. From the Bahamas to Europe, from Alaska to the Mexican Riviera.
The Disney Dream sails on 3 and 4-night itineraries to the Bahamas. The Disney Fantasy sails on 7 night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises.
The Classic ships have a much more varied choice of itinerary. The Disney Wonder sails Bahamian and Caribbean cruise when she is based out of Port Canaveral, Galveston, and New Orleans. When she repositions via the Panama Canal each year she sails Alaska cruises out of Vancouver and Mexican Riviera cruises from San Diego.
The Disney Magic sails from Miami on Bahamian and Caribbean cruises. She also sails over the Transatlantic each year to reposition for a variety of cruises from Europe.
Is any one ship itinerary better for a Disney cruise with a toddler? If you have not sailed before it might be a good idea to try one of the three or four-night cruises on the Disney Dream. This gives you a taste of what cruising is like, without committing to the longer sailing. These all sail out of Port Canaveral Florida.
If you are on the West Coast you may want to try one of the Disney Wonder San Diego cruises as these offer sailings ranging from two nights up to 7 nights.
The new Disney Wish will be launched in early 2022 and we will be writing about this as soon as more details are known. We are sure that this is going to be an amazing ship.
All of the Disney cruise ships have toddler-friendly items free of charge. Subject to availability they have:
Pack n Play
You should pack any items which your baby or toddler needs such as diapers and wipes. However, sometimes you forget or run out of something. These items should be available at the store:
Baby bath supplies
Of course, these will be charged at a premium and also may not be your preferred brand. It is always preferable to pack enough supplies and bring them on board with you.
Is Your Child Old Enough To Sail on a Disney Cruise?
We think that a Disney cruise is a great option whatever age your child is. However, there are some rules as to the minimum age which your child needs to be in order to be allowed to board a Disney cruise.
For most Disney cruises the minimum age to sail is 6 months of age on the day of sailing.
However, the rules are different if you are sailing on a Transatlantic, Panama Canal or Hawaii itineraries. For these Disney cruises, the minimum age is one year of age on the day of sailing.
Are Disney Cruise Staterooms Toddler-Friendly?
Disney cruise lines go above and beyond to make sure that families are very well catered for. Their staterooms are some of the very best and are up to 25% larger than others in the cruise industry.
Which of the Disney cruise ships staterooms is the best for toddlers? It really depends on what you are looking for, as well as your budget.
Usually, the prices for Inside Staterooms will be the lowest, followed by Oceanview and then Verandah Staterooms. If you want to know exactly what is included in the cost of a Disney cruise and what is extra you can see this guide.
The staterooms on each of the Disney ships are very similar to each other.
Size is important. As you know, along with a toddler or baby comes a whole lot of stuff. Other cruise lines just don’t offer the space that Disney does.
The smallest stateroom is a Standard Inside Stateroom. However, even the smallest stateroom is a relatively generous 184 square feet in size. This is going to be a tight squeeze for a family with a toddler if you are going to use a pack n play, but it is certainly doable.
Here is a video which shows you a Standard Inside Stateroom on the Disney Wonder. Staterooms on the Disney Magic are identical.
There isn’t any need to bring your own as Disney will supply a pack n play for your baby or toddler.
However, you do need to think of the floor space available. Disney cruise staterooms are very well designed, but if you add a pack n play it does impact the space in the stateroom.
The alternative is that your toddler has a sofa bed. This is a good alternative if your child is used to sleeping in their own bed.
Bearing in mind the space that the pack n play takes up you may want to encourage your child to go in their own bed before you sail on your Disney cruise!
In some staterooms there is room for 4 guests, so one of the beds will be a pull-down bunk. They do have rails but many parents would not be happy about their toddler sleeping in the high bunk.
If you are thinking about staying in an Inside Stateroom with your toddler, then the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy have a feature that the older classic ships do not. The Virtual Porthole.
All Inside Staterooms on the Disney Dream and Fantasy have a virtual porthole. This makes them an extremely popular choice for families with toddlers on a Disney cruise.
A Virtual Porthole not only gives you a view of the outside by broadcasting images from the ship’s camera of the exterior view, but you will also sometimes see Mickey and his friends appearing on the screen.
All ages love this feature, but it is particularly entertaining for your toddler or young child. If a Virtual Porthole is what you are looking for then you need to book either Disney Dream or Fantasy as they are not on the Classic Ships.
A unique and very useful feature of most Disney cruise staterooms is the split bathroom. This is a particularly welcome feature when you have a baby or young children with you in the stateroom.
A split bathroom means that you have one room with a toilet and sink and another bathroom with a bath with a shower over, and another sink.
The Standard Inside Stateroom is the only stateroom which does not have a split bathroom.
It is a particularly welcome feature to have a bath in a Disney stateroom when you have a toddler. Bathtime is usually a very important part of a routine for any baby or young child. It is so great that you can continue this routine on a Disney ship.
Most other cruise lines only have baths in their most expensive staterooms. Disney has a bath in each and every stateroom on their ships.
The next step up is an Outside Stateroom. This can be a great choice if you have a toddler as they may really enjoy looking out of the porthole at the ocean.
Another thing which makes Disney Cruise Staterooms really great for families is the heavy thick curtain which you can draw to partition the living room/kids sleeping area off from the main sleeping area.
If your budget allows you really should consider a Verandah Stateroom on a Disney Cruise.
Is a Verandah Stateroom Safe? Many parents of toddlers and young children are concerned about the safety aspect of having a balcony stateroom.
Whilst you always need to use common sense you really should not let having a toddler in your stateroom put you off choosing a verandah.
A verandah stateroom is an excellent choice on any of the Disney ships. Disney always puts safety first. The verandah stateroom doors are difficult to open as they are heavy, but as an extra precaution, there is a child lock at the top of every door.
You should of course never leave your toddler or young children unattended on a Disney cruise verandah.
Having a verandah gives you a wonderful extra space and of course that fabulous view from your Disney cruise stateroom. There is nothing quite like sitting out on your verandah watching the ocean go by.
You should take the chance to sit out on your verandah whilst your toddler has their afternoon nap (if you are lucky enough to have a child that actually take a nap)! It is a great chance to have some alone time whilst still being able to supervise your toddler.
Disney Cruise Food For Toddlers
There are so many great choices of food on a Disney Cruise you will not know where to begin! However, we all know that toddlers are not always the easiest of ones to please when it comes to food.
Not to worry – there are plenty of options for even the pickiest of eater on a Disney Cruise.
You may already know that Disney cruises do dining very differently to other cruise lines. On each of the Disney ships, there are 3 main dining restaurants. These restaurants operate on what is known as the Rotational Dining system.
What is Rotational Dining? It means that each night you will dine in a different restaurant. As most of the Disney cruises are at least 3 nights long this means that you will dine in each restaurant at least once.
There are two seatings for dinner. Early dining starts at 5.45 pm and late dining is at 8.15 pm. Most families with young children will want to choose the early dining time. There are not many toddlers who are going to want to wait past 8 pm for their meal!
Early dining is the most popular choice, which may mean it is not available at the time you request it before your cruise. As soon as you book your cruise you will see online whether or not early dining is still available.
If early dining is not available online then you can request to be put on a waitlist. Disney cruise lines will do everything possible to help guests get the time they want. However, sometimes you have to wait until you are on board to see if this request will be granted.
If you still don’t have the dining choice you want then visit the dining team as soon as you board your Disney ship. You can see where to go by looking at your schedule, which is known as your Navigator’s, as soon as you board.
The restaurants on each Disney ship are individually themed. Each of the ships has Animator’s Palate. This is many guests favorite restaurant.
With the magic of lighting and special effects, your dinner show will be one to remember in Animator’s Palate.
The Disney Dream and Fantasy each have Enchanted Garden. This beautiful restaurant is themed after the Palace of Versaille Garden in France.
Royal Palace and Royal Court are also on the Fantasy and the Dream. As a very classic tribute to the Disney Princesses, you will find lots of rich colors and lavish materials. Even the brad basket is shaped after Cinderellas’s Pumpkin Coach.
The Disney Wonder has Tiana’s Palace which is themed after the movie Princess and the Frog. Here Princess Tiana herself will entertain you with her orchestra. You can even finish your meal with her famous beignets.
The Disney Magic has Rapunzel’s Royal Table. This restaurant is an example of Disney Cruise lines at it’s very best. Imaginative, immersive themed restaurants where you can meet the characters from a popular Disney movie.
Disney Wonder has Triton’s. Probably my least favorite restaurant on this ship, Triton’s is themed after The Little Mermaid. The lighting and decor give the whole effect that you are dining under the sea.
Lumiere’s on the Disney Magic invites you to be their guest in this French restaurant which is themed after the Beauty and the Beast movie.
Rotational Dining means that you will experience each of the restaurants on the ship at least once.
The great thing about this is that your Servers follow around with you. What this means is that you get to know your serving team and they get to know you.
The Servers on a Disney cruise are exceptional. They soon get to know your likes and dislikes.
You will find after the first night they will have your favorite drinks waiting for you. Want an extra appetizer? No problem. Whatever you want they will do their best to make it happen for you.
All of the Disney Servers we have ever met has been great with kids. They will even cut up your child’s food for them.
Just watch how they serve a plate of ketchup in the design of the famous Mickey Ears. They usually have a magic trick or two to show as well. They go above and beyond in entertaining your family and making sure that everyone is happy.
You can be sure that your servers will have a highchair already waiting for you for your toddler.
The restaurants all have a kids menu for the little ones. You will find the usual kid-pleasing food like pizza, chicken nuggets, and french fries.
You will find the Cabanas Buffet located on the pool deck of each of the Disney ships. This is a great place for breakfast and lunch. It is usually easy to find something for your toddler here.
The selection of different food options is huge, particularly on the large ships of the Disney Fantasy and Dream. You are sure to find something that your toddler is happy to eat. Here is a complete guide to Food on a Disney Cruise.
If your toddler is still at the stage where they are eating pureed food, this is not a problem. You can ask that freshly pureed vegetables be prepared at the main dining rooms. You can also request pureed vegetables from Room Service.
What if you know your little one will only eat things from home? Can you bring food onto the Disney ships? If you need to bring your own baby food and formula onboard a Disney ship this is fine. Just make sure that the items are pre-packaged, unopened and do not require any food preparation from the kitchen. You also need to make sure that you put these food items in your carry on bag.
The essential thing which parents of babies and toddlers on a Disney cruise need to know is that Disney does not have plastic straws or lidded cups on their ships.
This is part of their commitment to reducing waste and is commendable. However, if you have a young child who spills their drink you need to bring a Sippy Cup.
There are many reasons to choose a Disney cruise over other cruise lines. If you have a baby or toddler the It’s a Small World Nursery is going to be a welcome feature which will most likely make you realize that Disney cruise lines are the obvious choice.
Why? Because It’s a Small World Nursery will take babies and toddlers aged from 6 months to 3 years. Most cruise lines only have childcare facilities and kids clubs for children aged 3 and up.
Also, to attend It’s a Small World Nursery your toddler or baby does not have to be potty trained.
All the other kid’s clubs on Disney ships are free of charge, but the It’s a Small World Nursery has a charge of $9 per hour. If you have additional children in the same family they are charged at $8 per hour. If you cancel 4 hours in advance there is no penalty. If you miss that deadline you will be charged.
Every day between 8 am and 9 am there is an open house at the Nursery. This means that a parent or family member can spend time with their child in the Nursery. This could be a great way to ensure that your child is comfortable with being left there by themselves.
How To Book It’s A Small World Nursery
You do need to book ahead. This can be done online before your cruise on your Cruise Personalizer, or when you get onboard the Disney ship.
You can only reserve 10 hours on your Cruise Personalizer. It is on a first come first served basis, but according to your Castaway Club status, you may have an advantage at getting the hours that you need.
Here is the schedule for how many days in advance you can book the It’s A Small World Nursery online:
120 days for Concierge and Platinum Castaway Club Guests
105 days for Gold Castaway Club Guests
90 days for Silver Castaway Club Guests
75 days for First-Time Cruisers
As you will see, the more Disney cruises you have taken, the easier it is to book
You can also make or alter your reservations during the open house on Embarkation Day on a first-come, first-served basis. Because space is extremely limited, be sure to book your child’s nursery stay early. Additional times may be added later based on availability.
What Do You Need to Take To It’s A Small World Nursery?
We suggest that you book as far in advance as you can. There are only 4 infants (babies who are not yet walking) and 16 toddlers permitted in the Disney Cruise Nursery at any one time. This is subject to staffing levels of the Counselors.
The It’s a Small World Nursery is very nicely decorated with a brightly colored Mary Blair influenced theme. The main area has lots of toys to play with.
Each Nursery also has a quiet area at the back of the room where your baby or toddler can sleep. There are full-size cribs available.
Things such as a favorite toy or blanket often help a child to settle in an unfamiliar environment.
You do need to bring your own diapers, wipes, spare clothes, formula, and food. It is also a good idea to bring anything which is likely to make your toddler or baby feel more at home.
Food is provided for lunch and dinner in the Nursery. However, this is only solid food. If your baby or toddler does not eat solid food you will need to bring your own.
The type of food provided is the usual toddler fare of mac and cheese and chicken nuggets. There will also be crackers and juice available for snacks. If you want your child to have anything different you need to provide it.
As you would expect, Disney cruise lines is very good when it comes to accommodating food allergies. Tell the Counsellors if your child has any special dietary requirements. Nuts and peanuts are not allowed in the Nursery or Kids Clubs.
Safety is a priority and there will always be a Counselor who is First Aid and CPR trained. They can’t give medication though, so if your child needs this make sure you have scheduled their visit around it, or you will have to go back to the Nursery to give them the medication.
You will need to be contactable by the Nursery Counselors. So you need to remember to take your Disney Wave Phone with you when your child is in the Nursery. We know that this technology seems like it is somewhere out of the ’90s but for now it is all that is available!
Disney Cruise Activities For Toddlers
There are a number of onboard activities which you can enjoy with your toddler. Disney really does want to include every family member in some activities.
Meeting Disney Characters
One thing which is, of course, unique to Disney cruise lines is the opportunity to meet the characters. Your little one may love meeting Cinderella, Goofy and Mickey Mouse. The lines to meet the characters are much shorter on the cruises than they are in the Disney parks, so this can be the perfect opportunity for your toddler to meet their favorites.
Always be careful if your toddler has not met a Disney character before. They can be scared of them! You may have your heart set on your little one meeting Minnie Mouse, but it is not unknown for a child to be very wary.
The characters are brilliant at dealing with these situations, but if your child just isn’t being won around, beat a hasty retreat and try again another time. A toddler may find the Disney Princesses easier to meet than the characters in costume.
If your young child is obsessed about Anna and Elsa there is a separately ticketed meet and greet with the Frozen characters. You have to get tickets to see these very popular characters.
The tickets are free and available online before you board, If you don’t get tickets before your cruise you may be able to get them by going to Guest Services as soon as you board. You can learn more about the Disney Frozen Meet and Greet.
Disney Cruise Shows for Toddlers
Disney cruise line is known for its amazing entertainment and stage shows. Each ship has it’s own Broadway Quality stage shows which really are amazing. You would pay hundreds of dollars for tickets to see these shows on land, but it is all included on a Disney cruise.
One of the most popular of the shows is Frozen: A Musical Spectacular. Your young child will most likely love this show. Another great one is Golden Mickey’s which is a celebration of a wide variety of Disney movies.
The great thing about watching a show on a Disney cruise is that you know that you are going to be amongst people who understand that a toddler may not behave perfectly all the time, and also that you may need to leave mid-show. Obviously you need to be considerate of others, so it can be a good idea to sit near the sides where you can easily leave if your toddler has had their limit of “Let It Go”.
The Buena Vista Theater screens a wide selection of Disney movies. This can be a great chance to introduce your child to movies on the big screen. No one is going to make a big fuss if you need to leave before the end.
Disney Cruise Toddler Pools
None of the Disney pools are available to use unless your child is already potty trained. Swim diapers are not permitted in cruise pools for health reasons.
However, every one of the Disney ships has a splash play area which is perfect for toddlers. Swim diapers are allowed in these areas.
Disney’s private island Castaway Cay is one of the highlights of a Disney cruise. Most of the Disney Caribbean and Bahamian cruises have a port stop at Castaway Cay.
Castaway Cay is a perfect Bahamian island with all the advantages of the Disney magic. Blue ocean, huge white sand beaches, and Disney makes sure you can walk straight off the ship into paradise. No need to take a tender boat as you dock right at the port.
Castaway Cay is a fabulous place to spend some time on the beach with your toddler. However, you should always make sure that you are sun safe. Take hats and apply sunscreen regularly.
Disney cruise lines even have a limited amount of strollers available for you to use. These have big wheels so you can even take them on the beach. There is no need to book ahead, but they are limited on a first-come-first-served basis.
There are two beaches on Castaway Cay. Serenity Bay is the adult-only beach. The closest beach to the ship is the Family Beach and this is the perfect place for you to spend some time with your toddler.
Food is available on Castaway Cay. It is barbecue style and a lot more limited than on the ship. If there really isn’t anything that your toddler will eat you could return to the ship as Cabanas buffet is open. This may be an opportunity for an afternoon nap in the air-conditioned shade.
Which do you think is the best Disney Ship for toddlers?
Is there a Disney Cruise to Hawaii? Many cruise lines including Princess cruises sail to Hawaii. However, although Disney has offered Hawaii cruises, at the moment there are none scheduled until 2020. Sadly there is no Disney cruise Hawaii 2018 or 2019.
Disney Cruise Hawaii
Disney cruise lines just announced that they will be sailing to Hawaii again in 2020. The Disney Wonder has two Hawaii sailings for 2020.
Scroll down to see whether or not it is likely that there will be any Disney Cruises to Hawaii for 2021.
2020 Disney Wonder 9-Night Hawaiian Cruise from Vancouver to Honolulu
This Disney Hawaii cruise sails on 4/29/2020
Day 1: Vancouver (British Columbia), Canada Day 2: At Sea Day 3: At Sea Day 4: At Sea Day 5: At Sea Day 6: At Sea Day 7: Nawiliwili, Hawai’i Day 8: Kahului, Hawai’i Day 9: Hilo, Hawai’i Day 10: Honolulu, Hawai’i
2020 Disney Wonder 10-Night Hawaiian Cruise from Honolulu to Vancouver
This Disney Hawaii cruise sails on 5/8/2020
Day 1: Honolulu, Hawai’i Day 2: Hilo, Hawai’i Day 3: Nawiliwili, Hawai’i Day 4: Nawiliwili, Hawai’i Day 5: Kahului, Hawai’i Day 6: At Sea Day 7: At Sea Day 8: At Sea Day 9: At Sea Day 10: At Sea Day 11: Vancouver (British Columbia), Canada
Disney cruises first sailed to Hawaii in 2012. The Disney Wonder is the only Disney ship which has cruised to Hawaii. She is the only Disney cruise ship which has sailed on the West Coast.
The Disney Hawaiian Cruise had port stops at Hilo and Kahului in Hawaii, Honolulu on Oahu and Nawiliwili on Kauai. The final port was Ensenada Mexico.
Here is the full itinerary for the Disney Hawaii cruises which sailed in 2012.
Sunday Los Angeles Monday At Sea Tuesday At Sea Wednesday At Sea Thursday At Sea Friday Hilo, Hawaii Saturday Kahului, Hawaii Sunday Honolulu, Oahu Monday Nawiliwili, Kauai Tuesday At Sea Wednesday At Sea Thursday At Sea Friday At Sea Saturday At Sea Sunday Ensenada, Mexico Monday Los Angeles
A 15-night cruise gives you plenty of time to truly relax and enjoy a vacation. There is a lot of time at sea on this Disney cruise to Hawaii but that is a huge part of the appeal.
How often do you go on a trip only to find yourself at the end of it, more exhausted than when you started out? Sometimes it is a good idea just to step back and take some time to truly relax. Even perfect the art of doing nothing, if only for a few days!
Disney also sailed to Hawaii in 2015. These were very different itineraries as they were not round trips. She sailed from Vancouver to Honolulu on one cruise and from Honolulu back to Vancouver on the return.
The Disney Wonder had just completed her Alaskan sailings for 2015. The first one sailed on September 7th, 2015 out of Vancouver. The second one sailed from Honolulu on September 17th, 2015. Each Hawaii Disney cruise was 10 nights.
Each Disney Hawaii cruise 2015 had the same port stops of Hilo (Hawaii Island), Nawiliwili (Kauai) and Kahului (Maui) and Honolulu (Oahu).
As you can see, these two Disney cruises to Hawaii are very different. I remember that demand for the 15-night roundtrip sailings to Hawaii was in huge demand. The 11-night sailings in 2015 didn’t sell as well. One way cruises are generally more difficult to sell.
A huge part of the appeal of the roundtrip cruise to Hawaii is that you do not have to pay for airfare back if you can easily get to LA.
On the one way cruises from Vancouver and back your only option was to fly one way – unless you could sail on both and make it a round trip! Imagine a 22 day round trip Disney Cruise. Very nice, but not an option for most people!
Will There Be Disney Cruises to Hawaii in the Future?
We predict that there will be more Disney cruises to Hawaii on the horizon. We were right to predict that there would be a return to Hawaii in 2020 and we are confident that there will be more sailings in the future.
Disney cruise lines have ordered 3 more ships. The first new Disney Cruise Ship will set sail in 2021. Two more will be launched in 2022 and 2023. The new Disney ships will be slightly larger than the Disney Fantasy and the Disney Dream. However, it will have the same number of staterooms at 1250.
Of course, it is fun to speculate about where the new Disney cruise ships will sail from in the future. We know that the new Disney Wish will be sailing from Port Canaveral.
With Disney cruise lines almost doubling its fleet by 2023 we think that there will be a lot more opportunity for cruises to Hawaii. Whilst we know that there won’t be any Disney cruise to Hawaii for 2018 or 2019, it seems to be that by 2021 we can look forward to a return to the islands.
With more Disney cruise ships sailing the ocean, there will be more of an opportunity for at least one of the ships to be on the West Coast. If this happens the Disney Wonder could sail out of San Diego and Vancouver year-round.
We now know what the early Disney Cruise sailings for 2021 are. The Disney Wonder will sail from Galveston and then there are some Disney New Orleans sailings for 2021. The Wonder will then sail to San Diego via the Panama Canal.
The Disney Wonder will then spend March and April sailing from San Diego to Mexico. She will sail to Vancouver on 12 May 2021. It remains to be seen whether or not the Disney Wonder will sail to Hawaii in 2021.
She won’t arrive in Vancouver until 17 May 2021. That is the equivalent of almost 3 weeks later than the Disney Wonder arrives in Vancouver in 2020. This might mean that Disney cruise lines are not intending to schedule any Hawaii cruises for May 2021, but that they will go straight into the Alaskan cruises.
Therefore this would be the perfect opportunity for a Disney cruise to Hawaii. Most likely this would be a round trip from Los Angeles.
Will Disney cruises have Hawaii as a home port? In some ways, this would make sense. Guests could then combine a Disney cruise with a stay at Aulani. However, there are problems with this plan which make it unlikely.
Ever heard of the Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA)? Probably not, but it has a big impact on the cruise industry. The PVSA was signed into law by President Grover Cleveland in 1886 to protect US workers. It means that to sail passengers from one US port to another, without a port stop in a no US port, certain conditions have to be met.
The ship has to be owned by a US company, built in the US and exclusively staffed by a US crew. If it isn’t and it breaks the rules it has a $300 fine per passenger.
The only condition which Disney and most cruise companies meet is that they are US companies. However, cruise ships aren’t built in the US. The cruise ship industry usually relies on a large number of non-US crew.
These rules explain why the only cruise ship to sail around Hawaii is NCL Pride of America. It has a crew which is entirely made up of US Citizens or Green Card Holders.
This ancient law also explains why ships which sail from a US port have to always sail to a non-US port before returning back to the US. That is why the Disney cruises to Hawaii had to have a port stop in Ensenada Mexico before sailing back to Los Angeles.
Why Should You Sail on a Disney Cruise to Hawaii?
A Disney cruise is an amazing experience for the whole family.
Of course, there is so much to do on a Disney cruise you are always going to have something to keep you occupied. Disney cruises are very family orientated but there is something for all ages to enjoy.
Don’t think that this one is just for the kids because the adults are not going to want the cruise experience to end either!
What is so special about a Disney cruise? So many things make a Disney cruise a magical experience. The staterooms are up to 25% larger than others in the industry.
This makes a huge difference, particularly when you are sailing on a longer cruise. The children’s entertainment and kids clubs are the very best at sea.
Disney always excels at putting on a show and you can experience Broadway-quality entertainment every night on your cruise. And of course, you have the Disney magic.
It is difficult to put into words if you have never sailed on a Disney ship, but the standard of service is exceptional and the attention to detail is not something you usually find with other cruise lines.
As soon as there is a Disney cruise to Hawaii announced we are going to be one of the first to book it. Are you?
The Disney Cruise New Orleans 2020 sailings will be the first time that Disney has sailed from this home port. The news that there will be a Disney cruise leaving from New Orleans in 2020 was greeted very warmly.