Every Disney cruise ship is different and offers a different experience. Here’s a look at what details differentiate the Dream versus the Wish.
When you’re booking a sailing aboard the Disney Cruise Line, you have so many options and choices! From your itinerary to shore excursions to onboard activities to your rotational dining schedule, you can customize your cruise experience in countless ways – but it all starts with the ship itself. The ship you sail aboard can make your cruise, shaping the details of your daily dining, your onboard entertainment, and even how your stateroom is decorated and designed. So, how do you decide which cruise ship is the best choice? Are some Disney cruise ships better than others?
I’ve had the chance to sail on two ships within the Disney Cruise Line Fleet: the Disney Dream and the Disney Wish. Which did I prefer? Here’s my overview of what the Disney Dream does well and where the Disney Wish excels.
The Dream or The Wish: Which is the Better Disney Cruise Ship?
While it’s tough to compare – and choose between! – different Disney Cruise Line ships, the experience is different on different sailings. And I’ll just tell you right off the bat that overall, I preferred the Disney Wish to the Disney Dream.
Yes, it’s true! I have only ever been on two Disney Cruise Line sailings, and I’ve only experienced the Wish and the Dream. I was not expecting to prefer the Wish, to be honest, because the Dream and the Fantasy are such classic ships, and they’re so beloved by Disney Cruise Line fans. I was kind of surprised that I liked the Wish more, and by how much more I liked it. Here’s an overview of my experiences on both the Wish and the Dream, and where I think each ship really shines.
The Food is Better on the Disney Wish
The biggest detail that was so much better on the Wish – like, leaps and bounds better – was the food. I’m talking about the regular rotational dining and the buffet dining; while on the Dream all of that food was unremarkable, on the Wish it was great.
The detail I was really shocked by on the Wish versus the Dream was the difference in the quick service food options. Both The Wish and the Dream have a quick service area on the pool deck. However, on the Disney Dream, these quick service windows are offering pizza, sandwiches, hot dogs, burgers, and similar items. On the Disney Wish, the options are more varied and interesting. There’s a Mexican buffet and a barbecue buffet, for example. I enjoyed these quick service options on Deck 11 of the Wish so much. I wasn’t expecting to, but they were fantastic!
And when it comes to the buffets – Cabanas on the Dream and Marceline Market on the Wish – Marceline Market was so much better. I found the quality of the food there better, and it seemed more organized. The Cast Members really took the time to serve Guests the food instead of it being more of a free-for-all. Plus, there was a really nice omelet station!
However, there was one detail that stood out to me on the Dream that the Wish couldn’t match: the Mickey waffles! If you’re a fan of Mickey waffles like me, I found these to be better on the Dream. I think the Wish was still maybe a little new and working out its Mickey waffle recipe. So, while the food was generally better overall on the Wish, those Mickey waffles won on the Dream.
Rotational Dining Wins on the Wish
Rotational dining is a huge part of your Disney Cruise Line experience, and when it comes to this key detail, the Wish was far and away superior. The rotational dining on the Disney Wish outdid what was available on the Disney Dream. This is because of the theming, first and foremost. Outside of the quality of the food, the rotational dining on the Wish is better because it’s much more immersive. You don’t get nearly the same level of immersion and theming on the Dream. While rotational dining is themed, it’s much more subtle – and when I’m on a Disney cruise, I want immersive dining experiences.
What does the rotational dining onboard the Disney Wish include? There are three locations: Worlds of Marvel, Arendelle, and 1923. Those three restaurants were really so much more interesting than the dining options and thematics on the Dream (which are Enchanted Garden, Royal Palace, and Animator’s Palate). While Animator’s Palate is up there in terms of immersion, it was more for the kids. The rotational dining on the Wish still appeals to kids, but these restaurant options are better suited for every age, I would say, and appeal to both kids and adults.
The Disney Wish Offered More Entertainment Choices
If you’re hoping to satisfy the interests of your entire family on your Disney Cruise Line vacation, the Wish offers entertainment that appeals to both kids and adults. I personally found the entertainment options on the Wish much more appealing for my age bracket. I’m in my 30s and I don’t have kids, and I am a Disney girl; I love Disney stage shows, and I enjoyed the shows offered on the Wish.
The stage shows weren’t of the same caliber as on the Dream. I found this ship’s stage shows quite dated. They were cute, but I felt they were really built for kids. And in my opinion, the thing about Disney that’s so special is when the entertainment appeals to everyone. The Wish, I feel, really encapsulated that. On this ship, the available shows were able to appeal to all age groups.
Staterooms Are Bigger (and Theming is Better) on the Disney Wish
Let’s talk about rooms. After all, it’s where you’ll be staying (albeit for short periods of time, since you’ll be out enjoying all Disney Cruise Line ships have to offer!). The rooms on the Wish are better – they’re a little bit bigger, and they’re themed. You can stay in rooms themed to Frozen, Cinderella, or The Little Mermaid, and you’ll also spot different themed hallway art and lighting throughout the decks. The rooms and their theming are so stunning!
While you can stay in themed rooms on the Wish, you can’t really get that same perk on the Dream. Your Dream room will either include a veranda or no veranda. But otherwise, all of the rooms aboard the Disney Dream look the same. And hallway or deck theming is pretty consistent ship-wide.
And when it comes to comfort, the Wish won for me! I slept on a pull-out couch on both the Wish and the Dream, and let me tell you: The pull-out couch on the Wish is so much better. It’s so much more comfortable! It came with actual bedding and blankets. On the Dream, this wasn’t the case.
To learn more about the different Disney Cruise Line ships you can explore and experience for yourself, keep reading: