Compared to the other major cruise lines Disney's fleet is considered small with just 4 ships. I personally think Disney was pretty smart with the way they built their fleet. They started out with 2 ships back in the late 90s and waited to see how that went before building more. The next 2 ships came a little more than 10 years later. Now here were about another 10 years after those 2 ships and Disney will be adding a couple more starting with the Wish in 2022.
The First 2 Ships
Disney's first ship was the Disney Magic which set sail on her Maiden voyage on July 30, 1998. Having just been onboard the Magic this month I can say for sure she doesn't look her age at all! Disney does an impeccable job of keeping their ships fresh and new looking all the time. Honestly at times I didn't remember which ship I was on since they all look just as new. The Disney Wonder followed the next year with her Maiden voyage on August 15, 1999. The Disney Magic and wonder were almost identical when they debuted. Both have 875 staterooms and 11 decks and are 984 feet long (that is longer than Main Street USA in Magic Kingdom!). Both ships were built at Fincantieri Shipyard in Italy (Palo was inspired by the Italian roots of the ships). Over the years they have each gotten some modifications that make them a little more unique. For example the Disney Wonder started doing Alaska so in one of her refurbishments Disney added some more indoor viewing areas.
Did you know that Disney had to get special permission from the Coast Guard to have the yellow lifeboats? Before Disney all lifeboats were bright orange and Disney really wanted to keep the Mickey color scheme so they had to prove to the Coast Guard that yellow was just as easy to spot as orange.
Did you know that Disney was also the first to offer a rotational dining system where guests moved between 3 different themed dining rooms during their cruise and their dining team moved with them too? This meant guests kept the same servers but got to experience a different dining room.
Did you know Disney was the first cruise line to be able to dock their ships right at their private island? All of the other cruise lines were using tenders to get into their private islands and some still do.
Did you know that Disney was the first cruise line to offer a split bathroom in most staterooms? Having a separate room for the toilet and shower is really convenient for families..
2 More Ships
The Disney Dream set sail on her Maiden voyage January 26, 2011. The Disney Fantasy followed the next year with her Maiden voyage on March 31, 2012. Just like the Magic and Wonder the Fantasy and Dream were built as sister ships almost identical to each other. They both have 1,250 staterooms over 14 decks and are 1,115 feet long. These ships were built at Meyer Werft in Germany. Dream and Fantasy debuted the first water coaster at sea.
Even though the Magic and Wonder were over 10 years old when the new ships came out all 4 ships still looked very similar. Disney kept the same look for all 4 ships and even though they are bigger, not a whole lot else inside was different from the classic ships. You still get 3 main dining rooms which guests rotate through but since Dream and Fantasy are bigger and hold more guests you will notice that the dining rooms also are much bigger. All 4 ships have the Cabanas buffet which is always in after of the upper deck. Dream and Fantasy also added another adult only dining option with the addition of Remy. along with Palo.
If you are a spa person you will have noticed that Disney greatly improved the spa on the new ships. They realized on the classic ships that putting the spa under the basketball court not a good idea. One of my favorite places on any ship is the Rainforest Room and Disney did so much better with that space on the new ships. I love that the Rainforest room has 2 hot tubs on an open air verandah included. I am very excited to see what Disney does with the spa on Wish!
Did you know that the Magic and Dream are both done in art deco style inside and the Wonder and Fantasy are done in art nouveau style? That is one subtle way Disney connected the Classic ships with the New ships.
Did you know that all 4 ships each have a different character statue in their atrium? The Magic has Mickey, Wonder has Ariel, Donald is decked out in his Admiral attire on the Dream, and Minnie is dressed in her vintage best along with her luggage on the Fantasy. The Wish will have Cinderella waiting to greet guests in the atrium.
Disney you know all 4 ships have different characters that look like that are busy painting the ship's name on the very aft of the ship? Magic has Goofy, Wonder had Donald and his nephews, Dream has Fantasia Mickey with the brooms doing the work, and Fantasy has Dumbo. Wish will have Rapunzel using her hair to keep here hanging on the back of the ship.
While I love all 4 ships I am partial to the Classic ships mostly because I like smaller ships but also because the Wonder was the first Disney Cruise I took and was also what inspired me to become a travel agent 20 years ago!
Which is your favorite ship?
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