What is the best Disney cruise ship for your family?
There are five Disney Cruise Line ships:
- Disney Dream
- Disney Fantasy
- Disney Wonder
- Disney Magic
- Disney Wish
You may find some Disney ships are better than others, even though each is special in its own way.
Figuring out what the best Disney cruise ship is for you largely depends on your travel party.
For example, people traveling with toddlers are probably looking for different ship features than people who are cruising with big kids or adults.
Inside this post you’ll discover what is the best Disney cruise ship for your specific needs and wants.
Your desired destination matters
You might want to consider the destinations Disney Cruise Line ships visit before comparing them.
You’ll want to look out for the ship’s itinerary when deciding which Disney cruise ship is right for you and your family.
For instance, families looking for Hawaii cruises will instantly narrow down their search to the Disney Wonder.
There’s only one Disney ship that goes to Hawaii right now, the Wonder.
Depending on your departure port, you may want to pick the right ship.
You might not want to fly all the way to California if you live on the east coast.
You may be able to save money on flights if you live near a particular port.
This information could help you narrow down your choices.
Additionally, the itinerary of a ship may influence your decision.
Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay, is a huge draw for cruise ship passengers.
Disney cruises on ships that visit this idyllic island may be the best choice for your family.
The best Disney cruise ship rooms
Whether you want an interior cabin or a concierge suite, Disney ships have it all.
But the size and price of these rooms can differ from ship to ship.
Disney Magic and Wonder tend to have a bigger price difference between room categories than Wish, Dream, and Fantasy.
On Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, staterooms with a veranda usually cost a lot more than cabins with a window or a balcony.
You’ll notice that the stateroom rate doesn’t go up very much when you move up a category on the Disney Dream, Disney Wish, or Disney Fantasy.
When you compare the prices of an oceanview room with an oceanview room with a balcony, you’ll see that there isn’t a huge difference between them on the Dream, Wish, and Fantasy.
To avoid paying more for a room with a balcony, you may want to stay at the Disney Fantasy, Disney Wish, or Disney Dream if you are certain you want a veranda.
What is the best Disney cruise ship for kids?
Consider comparing the four Disney cruise ships’ pools, activities, and entertainment options if you are looking for the best Disney cruise ship for kids.
How do the four Disney cruise ships differ from one another?
Disney Cruise Ship Pools
Disney cruise ships each have two main pools on the pool deck, in addition to adult-only areas.
Disney Magic’s Twist-n-Spout slide
The pools onboard Disney cruise ships are relatively comparable, so you probably wouldn’t make your decision based on the pools alone.
However, you can learn one way or another by observing the water slides on the ships.
Disney Magic and Disney Wonder
There is a yellow water slide on each Disney cruise ship that is suitable for children 38 inches or taller.
It’s also open for big kids and adults to ride the Twist-n-Spout slide on the Disney Magic.
There’s also a more elaborate water slide for big kids and adults on Disney cruise ships. It’s called AquaDunk on Disney Magic.
You go down the slide, then the floor drops out from under you.
To slide on the AquaDunk, riders need to be 48 inches or taller.
Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream
Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream guests are only allowed to use Mickey’s Slide if they are 4 to 14 years old.
Water slides on Disney cruise ships could be a deciding factor for your family, depending on the age and height of your kids.
The AquaDuck is on both the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.
You need to be 42 inches tall to ride the AquaDuck.
There’s a lot less noise on the AquaDuck than on the AquaDunk.
You can float through a tube with two people on it.
Water slides are fun for younger kids, even if they’re not quite 48 inches tall.
Activities on the Disney cruise ships
If you go on a Disney cruise, you will never have enough time to do everything.
To see what activities are available on your ship, you can visit the DCL website before your cruise.
All the ships have toddler time and characters.
Midship Detective Agency
Two of the Disney ships have an interactive game and activity known as Midship Detective Agency.
There’s a quest with a case to solve.
After that you’re on your own to look for clues on the cruise ship.
Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy have a Midship Detective Agency.
Kids of all ages can hang out in Disney’s youth clubs.
If your kid is three years old or older, you can sign them up for the kids club.
There’s no extra charge for the clubs on Disney cruises.
There’s a nursery for little ones under three, but it’s not included in the cruise price.
You may want to compare the youth clubs on each ship if your kids want to spend time in the youth clubs.
Marvel Super Hero Academy in Disney’s Oceaneer Clubs, for example, is available on Disney’s Fantasy, Wonder and Magic.
You might want to consider this when booking your cruise if your kid is a big Marvel fan.
Entertainment on Disney Cruise ships
Your family might enjoy themed nights on Disney Cruise Line ships.
There’s a Rapunzel-themed dining room at Disney Magic.
You’ll see the characters from Rapunzel’s Royal Table while you’re eating.
There’s also a Princess and the Frog-themed dining room at Disney Wonder.
There’s a live jazz band and a New Orleans-inspired menu at Tiana’s Place, so you’ll see characters from the movie.
Toddler-friendly Disney Cruise Ships
You probably want to compare the different activities on the ship if you’re cruising with a toddler or baby.
There’s a difference in ships for family cruises with a toddler, there’s a water play area for babies and toddlers.
Splash Zone vs Nemo’s Reef
On Disney Cruise Line, kids have to be 3 years old or older AND potty trained in order to go in the pools.
Different Disney ships have different toddler splash zones.
Both Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy have Nemo’s Reef.
There are a bunch of water features on this splash pad.
For little kids who can’t use the larger slides on the ship, there’s also a tiny slide in Nemo’s Reef.
Water play areas for babies and toddlers on Disney Magic and Disney Wonder aren’t as fancy.
This is a good splash zone for babies and toddlers since it’s smaller and has less exciting water elements.
The Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy have Nemo’s Reef on them if you’ve got a toddler or a preschooler.
Disney Fantasy, Disney Wonder, and Disney Magic have an additional water play area called AquaLab.
Children must be at least 3 years old AND potty trained to use this area.
Final Thoughts on what the best Disney cruise ship
It’s entirely up to you which Disney cruise ship is right for you.
It largely depends on who you’re traveling with.
And what you’re interested in.
Each Disney cruise ship offers unique and fun experiences for families, so it’s hard to rank them from best to worst.
All of them are great.
Have you been on a Disney cruise? We’d love to hear about your experience!