Which Disney Cruise Ship is the Best? Everything You Need to Know.

by | Jan 11, 2024 | Disney Cruise Line, Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy, Disney Magic, Disney Treasure, Disney Wish, Disney Wonder

Wondering which Disney Cruise ship is the best? We’re breaking down all your options when sailing on Disney Cruise Line.

With so many different Disney Cruise Line ships to choose from, how do you know which is best for you and your travel party? We’ve got you covered! In this guide we will break down what is offered on each ship, what amenities are special to any particular Disney Cruise Line ship, and more.

Which Disney Cruise Line Ship is Best?

Choosing a ship all boils down to personal preference, but let’s start by giving some basic background on each of the five (soon to be six) Disney Cruise Line ships. First is the Disney Magic, which had its maiden voyage in 1998. Next is the Magic’s sister ship, the Disney Wonder which first set sail in 1999. Over 10 years later, Disney Cruise Line debuted its third ship – the Disney Dream, in 2011.

The sister ship to the Disney Dream is the Disney Fantasy, which set sail one year later in 2012. The newest Disney Cruise Line ship is the Disney Wish, which had its maiden voyage in 2022. And the sixth ship, the Disney Treasure, is set to sail for its first time in 2024.

Different Options on Each

Now, each ship is unique in its way, offering different amenities, entertainment options, sit-down restaurants, and more. But, we do want to note that every Disney ship includes character meet and greets, activities such as trivia, drawing classes, alcohol seminars, cooking seminars, and more. And that’s not even mentioning pools, an adults-only section, adults-only restaurants, and Senses Spa.

They all also host “Mickey’s Sail-A-Wave Party!… A Bon Voyage Celebration” which is performed on deck on the first day of your voyage, and every Disney Cruise Line ship has a Pirate Night featuring a deck stage show and fireworks presentation. With that being said, let’s dive into each ship and try to figure out which one is best for you and your party. 

Disney Magic

With a capacity of just over 2,700 passengers and 875 staterooms, this Disney Cruise Line ship is a bit on the smaller side compared to other ships in the fleet, but that doesn’t mean it is short of offering entertainment, food, and other amenities. Its decor is considered an Art Deco design.

The bow of the Disney Magic, the first ship of the Disney Cruise Line fleet

Photo courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

The Disney Magic holds nightly entertainment in the Walt Disney Theater, which includes Broadway-style shows – but there are some shows that you won’t find on any other cruise ship, and only on the Disney Magic, including Twice Charmed: An Original Twist on the Cinderella Story and Tangled, the Musical.

Rotational Dining Restaurants

The three main dining halls on the Disney Magic are:

  • Rapunzel’s Royal Table: Celebrate Rapunzel’s birthday with a German-inspired feast.
  • Animator’s Palate: A version of Animator’s Palate is offered on every ship.
  • Lumiere’s: Themed to Beauty and the Beast, which means it, of course, features French cuisine.

The Disney Magic typically sails to the Caribbean, but during certain times of the year also sails to the Bahamas, Canada, New York, and Europe.

Who Is It Best For?

This comes down to personal preference. This ship is a bit on the smaller side, so the atrium and the pools may feel a bit more packed compared to other ships, such as the Disney Wish or the Disney Fantasy, so that is something to take into consideration. Plus, if you are looking for a shorter, tropical vacation, we recommend going on the Disney Magic for a four-night voyage to the Bahamas. 

Disney Wonder

Next on the list is the Disney Wonder. While this is the sister ship to the Disney Magic, there are both similarities and differences offered on board. 

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Screenshot from video by Kathleen Lee

For starters, the capacity is the same as the Magic – just over 2,700 passengers and 875 staterooms, however, the design is a bit different than the Magic. While the Magic has an art deco design, the Wonder has an ​​Art Nouveau design. Regarding entertainment offerings, the Broadway-style shows offered include The Golden Mickeys, Disney Dreams – An Enchanted Classic, and Frozen, A Musical Spectacular.

Rotational Dining Restaurants

The three main dining halls on the Disney Wonder are:

  • Tiana’s Place: Dine with Tiana and listen to live jazz music, while enjoying a classic southern Louisiana-inspired menu.
  • Animator’s Palate: On the Wonder, Animator’s Palate teaches voyagers about the evolution of animation while enjoying their meal. The experience here is different than on other ships.
  • Triton’s: The Little Mermaid-inspired restaurant serving French cuisine.

The Disney Wonder offers a variety of itineraries which include stops in Alaska, the Mexican Riviera, Hawaii, the Caribbean, and passages through the Panama Canal. On Alaskan voyages specifically, the Disney Wonder also hosts a Frozen-themed evening, where there’s a special Frozen stage show and voyagers dress up as their favorite character from the animated movie.

Who Is It Best For?

Again, this all comes down to personal preference but we say that The Disney Wonder is best for those looking for a once-in-a-lifetime vacation. Sailing to Alaska is like nothing else you have ever experienced, (I know because I was lucky enough to have done it). 

Plus, for those “Frozen” fans, having an entire night dedicated to the animated film is pure magic. 

Disney Dream

With a capacity of 4,000 passengers and 1,250 staterooms, this Disney Cruise Line ship is almost double the size of the Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder. Its decor is considered golden art deco but one of the best parts about the Dream is that in the atrium, a stunning chandelier made up of Swarovski crystals dangles from the ceiling, which is covered with 24-karat gold plating!

Disney Cruise Line Luggage: What You Need to Know

Photo by Brett Svenson

Regarding entertainment offerings, the Broadway-style shows offered include “The Golden Mickeys” (like on the Disney Wonder), “Beauty and the Beast,” inspired by the live-action remake of the classic animated film, and “Disney’s Believe.”The Disney Dream also offers Marvel Day at Sea on select sailings.

Rotational Dining Restaurants

The three main dining halls on the Disney Dream are:

  • Animator’s Palate: What makes Animator’s Palate on the Dream different than the Magic or the Wonder is that the entertainment offered during your meal features Crush from “Finding Nemo” who will speak to Guests at their tables.
  • Enchanted Garden: This restaurant is inspired by the gardens of Versailles.
  • Royal Palace: This is considered the upscale restaurant on the Disney Dream, and is themed to the Disney Princess films and features a French and American-inspired menu.

One thing to note is that the restaurants on the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy are nearly identical. The Disney Dream currently offers three, four, and five-night sailings to the Bahamas and the Western Caribbean stopping in Cozumel and Grand Cayman – plus it sails to Disney’s private island Castaway Cay.

Who Is It Best For?

If you are looking specifically to sail to Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, we recommend either the Disney Dream or the Disney Fantasy. The main difference between the two is that the Disney Dream offers shorter sailings, while the Disney Fantasy offers longer sailings (such as seven nights.)

Disney Fantasy

With a capacity of 4,000 passengers and 1,250 staterooms, this Disney Cruise Line ship is the same size as its sister, the Dream, and almost double the size of the Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder. Similar to the Dream, the Fantasy also has a stunning chandelier in the atrium, but what makes this one different from the one on its sister ship is that this chandelier features a stained-glass peacock-inspired design. The overall design is considered art nouveau.

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Photo by Rich Ramos

The Broadway-style stage shows offered on Disney Fantasy are Frozen, A Musical Spectacular, Disney’s Believe (just like on the Dream), and Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular. Plus, Disney Fantasy offers Pixar Day at Sea, which is exclusive to this ship.

Rotational Dining Restaurants

The only difference between the dining halls on the Dream and the Fantasy is that the Royal Palace on the Dream is called the Royal Court on the Fantasy. Otherwise, the restaurants offer the same menus and the same sit-down restaurant designs/styles. 

  • Animator’s Palate 
  • Enchanted Garden 
  • Royal Court

While the Disney Dream offers a Western Caribbean itinerary, the Fantasy offers an Eastern Caribbean itinerary, with stops at Mexico, Jamaica, and the Cayman Islands. The Fantasy also sails to Disney’s private island Castaway Cay.

Who Is It Best For?

As mentioned above, if you are looking specifically to sail to Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, we recommend either the Disney Dream or the Disney Fantasy. Again, the main difference between the two is that the Disney Dream offers shorter sailings, while the Disney Fantasy offers longer sailings (such as seven nights.)

My personal preference is the Disney Fantasy. I enjoy the longer sailings as you get to know your Crew Members on a more personal level, and you have more time to explore and enjoy everything that is offered on the ship.

Disney Wish

The Disney Wish is not only the newest ship, but also the biggest in the fleet. It holds 5,000 passengers and has 1,254 staterooms, including a 2-story Royal Suite with a Verandah! Plus, the Wish is the first Disney Cruise Line ship not to feature Mickey as Captain. Instead, you are led by Ms. Minnie Mouse! The entire ship is themed to being the “castle on the sea” meaning everything is inspired by the Disney Princesses, specifically to Cinderella. The atrium is called the “Grand Hall” and it features a stunning chandler, complete with little Disney Easter Eggs.

The Disney Wish offers a sail-away party, however, it has a different name and the premise is slightly different than the one on the other ships. The “Set Sail on a Wish” is offered on the first day of each sailing. The Broadway-style stage shows on the Disney Wish are Disney Seas the Adventure starring Minnie and Goofy, The Little Mermaid, which is brand new to the ship, and Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular” similar to the show on the Dream and the Fantasy.

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Arendelle on the Disney Wish. Photo by Danny Shuster

One of the offerings aboard the Disney Wish that is not offered on any other ship is the Kiss Goodnight. The Disney Wish also has Disney’s first-ever at-sea coaster called the AquaMouse. All three main dining halls on the Wish are different than the other four ships.

Rotational Dining Restaurants

On the Wish you will dine at:

  • Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure with Norwegian-inspired dishes.
  • Worlds of Marvel – “Avengers: Quantum Encounter”: A restaurant experience with food inspired by the different locations and organizations of the Marvel universe.
  • 1923: This restaurant has two dining rooms, the Walt Disney Room or the Roy Disney Room, which both feature sketches, props, and other items representing animated Disney films.

In addition to the unique restaurants, the Disney Wish also offers the first-ever “Star Wars”-themed bar. The Disney Wish offers three- and four-night voyages to Nassau, Bahamas, and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.

Who Is It Best For?

The Disney Wish is perfect for those who are looking for a more upscale theme and a unique experience, as this ship offers a variety of amenities and restaurants that cannot be found on any other ship. Plus, with shorter sailings, this ship is good for those who are looking for a long weekend away or to have a split stay with Walt Disney World. 

Disney Treasure

And last, but certainly not least, is the soon-to-be Disney Treasure. Slightly smaller than the Disney Wish, the Disney Treasure holds 4,000 passengers but still has 1,254 staterooms. The theming to the Disney Treasure will give off an ”adventure” vibe, with blue and gold color scheme inspired by Agrabah.

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Haunted Mansion Parlor concept art. Photo Courtesy of Disney

The Broadway-style show that is only offered on the Treasure will be a brand-new production called Disney The Tale of Moana. The Treasure will also have the pre-existing Beauty and the Beast and Disney Seas the Adventure show. The Disney Treasure will also have its own version of the AquaMouse.

Rotational Dining Restaurants

The Disney Treasure will have two of the same restaurants as the Wish once it sets sail, but it will have one unique restaurant as well.

  • Plaza de Coco: A Coco-themed restaurant exclusive to the Treasure and features a Mexican-style menu.
  • Worlds of Marvel: Similar to the restaurant offered on the Wish.
  • 1923: Just like on the Wish, you may dine in either the Walt Disney room or Roy Disney room.

Special to the Treasure, there will be a Jungle Cruise-inspired bar and a Haunted Mansion-inspired bar – which you won’t find on any other ship.

The Treasure will offer 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings.

Who Is It Best For?

For those looking for a unique Disney Cruise Line experience and a full-week vacation, the Disney Treasure will be a great cruise ship to choose.

Posts by Kelly Coffey-Behrens

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After being an out of state Walt Disney World Annual Passholder for 6+ years, Kelly decided to make her lifelong dream become a reality as she packed up and moved from New Jersey to Central Florida. Now that Disney World is in her backyard, you can typically find her hanging out with the 999 happy haunts, watching the Tam Tam Drummers of Harambe, or sipping on Joffrey’s while people watching on Sunset Boulevard. Thanks to her passion of both Disney and journalism, Kelly has been reporting on a wide variety of topics for the last 12+ years and has written for several publications including BuzzFeed, NJ Digest Magazine, and The Blast.
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Authored by
Kelly Coffey-Behrens

After being an out of state Walt Disney World Annual Passholder for 6+ years, Kelly decided to make her lifelong dream become a reality as she packed up and moved from New Jersey to Central Florida. Now that Disney World is in her backyard, you can typically find her hanging out with the 999 happy haunts, watching the Tam Tam Drummers of Harambe, or sipping on Joffrey’s while people watching on Sunset Boulevard. Thanks to her passion of both Disney and journalism, Kelly has been reporting on a wide variety of topics for the last 12+ years and has written for several publications including BuzzFeed, NJ Digest Magazine, and The Blast.
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