Some of the fun of a Disney Cruise is the extra Disney magic you can arrange ahead of time:
Arrange a character phone call: Schedule a free character call for your kids at a date and time of your choosing to announce the cruise or to generate excitement the evening before.
Attend the Royal Court Royal Tea Party: During your advance reservation window (75 days ahead of departure for first time cruisers), book this tea party celebration with Disney Princesses in a beautifully decorated venue. Your little princess will have a meet-and-greet with Disney Princesses and indulge in a fancy menu of herbal tea and a two-course snack (includes one savory and one sweet snack). Every child receives a gift assortment as a keepsake of their special experience. This sells out quickly, so book as far in advance as possible. The cost is $210 per child and $69 per adult.
Book a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique appointment: This unique beauty salon for kids will transform little girls into little princesses or Disney divas and little boys into knights in shining armor or sea captains. Prices range from $19.95 to $199.95 depending on the amount of costumes, accessories, and hair and make-up time included in the package. Another opportunity to visit Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is before pirate night. Girls and boys can be made-over into pirate maidens or pirate captains. Pricing for pirate night ranges from $44.95 to $99.95. All appointments can be made during your advance reservation window. If you’re lucky, there may be some spots available after you board the ship by visiting the Boutique.
Schedule Character Meet-and-Greets: Different ships have different Disney characters, but one thing to note is that you’ll need to make a reservation to visit some of them. For example, the Princess Gathering and the Frozen Greeting are ticketed events. To participate, make a reservation during your advance reservation window or sometimes some tickets are available at Guest Services on the first day of your cruise. When reserving tickets, keep in mind that if a specific day/time is not available, there may be other options. This free event completely sells out on every cruise, so the earlier you reserve your free tickets, the better.
Schedule the Character Breakfast: This popular free breakfast is held once per cruise on select 7-day or longer sailings with at least 2 days at sea. There are very limited tickets available for this, so booking ASAP is a must. If you want to do this, book the first day your advance reservation window opens…. and you may get lucky.
Sail during a Marvel Day at Sea: Book a select sailing on the Disney Magic that features a 24 hour fun-filled day with characters from the Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Spiderman. One at-sea day will be filled with character meet-and-greets, deck parties, live shows, movies, special games and activities in the Oceaneer Club, surprise hero or villain appearances all over the ship, and themed food and beverages. Sailings with the Marvel Day at Sea will cost a little more than regular sailings, but it’ll be worth it if you have little super hero at home!
Sail during a Star Wars Day at Sea: Book a select sailing on the Disney Fantasy to experience a full day of Star Wars everything. Much like the Marvel Day at Sea, there’s deck parties, Star Wars characters, Jedi Training Academy, themed games and activities, movie screenings, and special food and beverages all day long. The Fantasy is generally the most expensive ship to sail on, and this event on certain sailings really increase the price. But I know there are die-hard fans out there that think it’s totally worth it!
Register for the Oceaneer Club: This free youth club offers children ages 3-12 unlimited fun and games all day long. Each ship has different experiences, with the Dream and Fantasy having “Andy’s Room” from Toy Story and a Pixie Hollow room, the Magic has Marvel Avengers academy, and the Wonder has Captain Hook’s pirate ship. Youth activity counselors facilitate fun games and activities or the kids can have as much free play time as they would like. Kids love spending time in the Oceaneer club and it gives adults some free time to relax or go to the spa! You’ll register the kids prior to embarkation, during the check-in process or after boarding the ship at the Oceaneer Club itself. I recommend registering before boarding to avoid the long line on the ship.
More not-to-miss onboard fun:
- Live nightly shows and activities
- Play the Mid-ship Detective Agency game on the Dream and Fantasy
- First-run movies in the Buena Vista Theater
- Themed dining rooms
- AquaDuck, AquaDunk, or AquaLab (depending on the ship)
- 24-hr ice cream
- Deck parties
- Games on the sports deck