Today in Disney History, 2011: The Disney Dream Had Its Maiden Voyage

by | Jan 26, 2024 | Disney Cruise Line, Disney Dream

Today in Disney history in 2011, the Disney Dream had its maiden voyage, making it the third ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet.

When people think of experiencing the magic of Disney firsthand, theme parks are generally what come to mind initially. And rightfully so. These parks provide world-class rides, shows, dining, and other attractions. 

However, another great way to take in the wonders of Disney is on the seas. More specifically, on a Disney Cruise Line (DCL) ship! These enormous vessels allow guests to experience the quality service and entertainment that Disney is known for while sailing to beautiful destinations around the world.

Five ships are currently active in the DCL lineup, including the one we’re focusing on today: the Disney Dream. Each ship offers a unique set of restaurants, recreation, shops, amenities, and comforts. They bring guests from all over the globe, including the Caribbean, Europe, the South Pacific, and more. Disney also has a private island in the Bahamas called Castaway Cay that hosts its own 5K as part of the runDisney program. 

So what makes the Disney Dream special? Let’s dive in…

The Disney Dream Maiden Voyage

The Disney Dream is the 3rd ship to join the DCL fleet. The ship was first announced back in 2007, with the design being unveiled two years later. In December 2010, it made its way over to Port Canaveral, Florida after being built in Germany. 

On January 26, 2011, the Disney Dream departed on its maiden voyage on a 4-night trip to Nassau and Castaway Cay in the Bahamas. Its sister ship, the Disney Fantasy, would make her maiden voyage over a year later. The Disney Dream is an impressive ship, with a length of over 1,110 feet. It is almost 220 feet high with 18 decks and a max capacity of 4,000 passengers. It sails various itineraries from Florida to the Bahamas, as well as sailings in Europe.

A Dreamy Offering of Recreation

Of course, what truly sets apart DCL from other cruise lines is the magic of Disney. And the Dream offers plenty.

For many guests, cruising is all about relaxing and having fun. And the Disney Dream has a plethora of recreational activities. There are of course pools, including an adults-only option. If you want to inject your poolside activities with some adrenaline, be sure to check out the AquaDuck, a thrilling 765-foot water coaster slide. Not only is it longer than 2.5 times the length of a football field, but the clear portions of the enclosed tubes provide amazing views, and even take you 13 feet over the edge of the ship!

There are also several age-based clubs available for children, teens, and grown-ups. For adults, there is a salon and spa, several bars, and a dance club. You don’t have to be on land to enjoy some nightlife!

Feasts, Treats & More

Food is a huge part of Disney travel. The theme parks and surrounding resorts are famous around the world for their unique and delicious dining options.

So it’s no surprise that the Disney Cruise Line ensures that guests have a top dining experience throughout their voyage. One way they do this is through the Rotational Dining program. This allows guests to enjoy each of the themed restaurants through a schedule that is received upon arrival. But why is this so special? Because the wait staff also rotate with you through the restaurants. That way, diners receive consistent service from the same staff that is familiar with any preferences, allergy restrictions, etc.

One of the highlights of dining on the Dream is Animator’s Palate, which includes a dinner show with Disney characters. Other main restaurants include the Royal Palace and the Enchanted Garden. 

animator's palate disney dream

Animator’s Palate. Photo by Jimmy DeFlippo

There are multiple casual dining options as well, including Flo’s Cafe, Cabanas, Frozone Treats, and Eye Scream. Whether you’re looking for some breakfast, a burger, or a sweet dessert, the restaurants aboard the Dream won’t leave you hungry.

Adult-only restaurants are also available at Palo and Remy. The latter is a luxurious fine-dining affair that provides guests with top-notch French cuisine and views.

Entertainment on the Seas

Lastly, what would a Disney experience be without live shows, movies, and fireworks? Well, you can get all these types of entertainment aboard the Disney Dream!

The Dream offers a live production of Beauty and the Beast, both new and classic Disney films, and spectacular fireworks at night. And of course, what would a Disney trip be without meeting characters? Not only can you meet the main mouse himself, but other fan-favorite characters are waiting to meet you around the ship.

Children also get a special experience through the Oceaneer Club, which includes the opportunity to fly the Millennium Falcon through space, perfect for younger Star Wars fans! Additional games, crafts, and activities are available as well.

Bon Voyage!

Whether you choose the high-end Concierge staterooms or a budget-friendly inside room, you’re in for a cruise experience you won’t forget aboard the Disney Dream. From character interactions to thrill rides and excellent dining, the Dream continues to provide guests with the magic of Disney across the high seas. 


Posts by Morgan Flaherty

Morgan is the Staff Editor for WDW Magazine. A lifelong Disney fan, her dream day involves just about anything to do with Animal Kingdom. Along with several years of experience writing about Disney, Morgan has also written as a contributing writer for Well + Good, Scary Mommy, Brit + Co, and Baby Chick.

Authored by
Morgan Flaherty

Morgan is the Staff Editor for WDW Magazine. A lifelong Disney fan, her dream day involves just about anything to do with Animal Kingdom. Along with several years of experience writing about Disney, Morgan has also written as a contributing writer for Well + Good, Scary Mommy, Brit + Co, and Baby Chick.
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