Earlier today, Disney Cruise Line finally announced the updates that are going to be made to the Disney Wonder this Fall. While many people were aware of the giant hole in the Disney Wonder schedule for the last year, not much was known about exactly what was going to be changed on Disney’s second oldest ship. The Wonder’s sister ship was updated in 2013, and the fact that the Wonder had not yet received a similar update has been frustrating to many Disney Cruise fans. Well, that is all about to change.
My Thoughts on the Disney Wonder Updates
- It is about time! As mentioned above, these updates are 2 – 3 years overdue. The ship was really the sore thumb of the Disney Cruise fleet, as it lacked many of the updated experiences added to the Magic, and that were introduced on the Dream and Fantasy. However, Disney Cruise was a bit hamstrung on this decision. The Disney Wonder sails from Florida to Alaska and back every year by way of the Panama Canal. As the Wonder currently sails, she can pass through the Panama Canal, but the Magic cannot, with the additions that have been made to that ship. So, Disney Cruise decided to wait for the new Panama Canal, which is much winder, to open this year. Once open, the new canal will easily accommodate the updated Wonder or Magic without problem.
- Marvel Super Hero Academy – I am all for anything added to Disney Cruise ships or Disney theme parks that are aimed to entertain boys. As the parent of three boys (and two girls), there is just very little at any Disney destinations for boys, but an embarrassing amount of options available to little girls. The Marvel Super Hero Academy will be a fantastic option for boys and girls alike in the Oceaneer Club, and has received rave reviews on the other ships that Disney has added it to.
- Oceaneer Club Updates – Andy’s Room, Frozen Adventures and Disney Club Junior will be added to the Oceaneer Club on the Wonder. While the Oceaneer Club on the Wonder has been ok, these updates will bring it inline with the other Disney Cruise ships.
- Tiana’s Place Restaurant – Princess Tiana will finally get her own place. Replacing the tired Parrot Cay Restaurant, it will be interesting to see if Tiana’s is better received. Parrot Cay has always been a bit of a strange choice for me, like Disney ran out of money and just threw together a third restaurant. Any restaurant that features food from the Bayou along with Jazz is off to a great start, I hope it all works out.
- After Hours – A new adult only area that will feature a new Cadillac Lounge as well as a brand new English Pub. The Dream and Fantasy have a huge adult only area, but there just isn’t room on the Wonder, so this will have to do. I love the adult only places on the Dream and Fantasy, though I rarely go there, but they offer adults a fantastic place to hang out and socialize.
- Animator’s Palate – Animator’s Palate will be updated to include the “Drawn to Magic” and “Animation Magic” dinner shows, which are down right fantastic. Probably my favorite dining experience on the Dream and Fantasy, the show holds everyone’s attention the entire meal. Great, great change!
- Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique – Finally, a BBB will be added on the Wonder. It has been super popular on the other Disney Cruise ships, I am sure it will be on the Wonder too.
- Cabanas Casual Dining – Beach Blanket Buffet is being converted into Cabanas, similar to the other cruise ships, with buffet options for breakfast and lunch as well as a table service option for dinner. I rarely eat here, but I do enjoy the Cabanas concept much better than Beach Blanket, so another nice change.
- Water Fun – Disney will be adding three new water areas to the Wonder, and all three are great additions to the ship:
- Twist ‘n’ Spout – Yes! The water slides on the other three Disney Cruise ships have been super popular and have been a great addition. While no other information is given, I am sure it will be a blast.
- Dory’s Reef – A new splash zone will be added near Mickey’s pool
- AquaLab – A water play zone for kids and adults alike. You can never get enough water play areas on a cruise ship.
That is about it. I am sure the rooms and common areas will all receive an upgrade, similar to the Magic in 2013. I am excited to see the new additions to the Disney Wonder, I think all of the announced changes are positive and long overdue.