October 5, 2022

Entertainment takes center stage on Disney Wish

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Disney is getting ready to debut its newest cruise ship to the masses.


What You Need To Know

  • Disney’s new cruise ship, the Disney Wish, will launch July 14
  • The ship was designed with entertainment in mind with many venues more focused on that element
  • In the Grand Hall, where passengers first enter, there’s a large stage where productions can take place

​​​The Disney Wish, the fifth ship in the company’s fleet, is scheduled to make its maiden voyage from Port Canaveral, Florida, on July 14.

At 1,119 feet long, the Wish is slightly larger than Disney’s previous ships, and the company is using the new, bigger ship to do something a little different.

Familiar Disney Cruise Line flourishes—themed dining, characters, live shows, and unlimited ice cream—can be found aboard the Wish. But at the center is entertainment.

Almost every aspect of what’s offered on the ship is built around that concept, according to Disney Imagineers tasked with populating the Wish with things to keep passengers entertained.

The first glimpse of how much focus has been put on entertainment happens the moment passengers arrive on the ship.

In the atrium, called the Grand Hall here, there’s a stage where different experiences can take place. One experience called First Wish involves royal characters and actors called fairytale players greeting passengers as they arrive.

“As soon as you step onboard, you’re thrown into a story,”  said Denise Case, director entertainment creative for Disney Cruise Line.

There’s also a game show called “Who’s Behind That Curtain” that takes place in the space.

“We treat this space as an environmental theater, in that we bring it to life in many different ways with many different levels of engagement,” Case said.

So many venues on the ship have been given some sort of “entertainment” element. The Bayou, a lounge inspired by Disney’s animated film, “The Princess and the Frog,” serves cocktails, specialty coffees and specialty beignets. But it also features a stage area than can host a variety of activities throughout the day, including a meet-and-greet with Tiana.

A new space exclusive to the Wish is Luna, where families can gather for games shows like the new Villains Game Night, trivia and musical acts. The two-story venue has a stage with a video wall and a bar in the back. At night, it will also feature entertainment just for adults.

The entertainment element can also be found in the design of the ship. The ship’s deck has several tiered pools, but the redesign of the area was also done to accommodate shows like the sail away party, “Set Sail on a Wish,” and the pirate deck party, which now has a rock n roll twist with a live band playing through the fireworks.

Even the restaurants offered on the Wish are more entertainment-heavy. Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure features a stage in the center of the restaurant. Not only will passengers be treated to a menu of Nordic-inspired dishes but they will also be part of a story that’s unfolding around them as guests at Queen Anna and Kristoff’s engagement party.

Passengers will also be part of a story at the Worlds of Marvel restaurant, which features the interactive dining experience, Avengers: Quantum Encounter.

“Entertainment is the DNA of Disney, and it’s absolutely something that’s got to be around every corner,” said Ed Whitlow, director of artistic and talent casting for Disney Cruise Line. “It’s so great to see venues with some element of stage.”



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