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A Grandparents’ Guide to Cruising with Disney in 2016

posted on October 13th, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line

Grandparents often tell us that the best part of a Disney Cruise Line vacation is seeing their grandchildren’s joy throughout the voyage. I recently shared the top five ways to spoil your grandkids on a Disney cruise – things you can do to make any getaway with us extra special.

Today, I have suggestions for specific cruises to take with grandkids for the ultimate grand-travel vacation. All are jam-packed with memorable experiences you can’t get anywhere else. Grandparents, here’s your guide to cruising with us in 2016…


Dream a little bigger aboard the Disney Dream. New experiences are coming to the Disney Dream in late 2015, including super-cool play areas in the kids club, one themed to Star Wars and another to Disney Infinity. Your grandkids may not want to leave once they enter these new worlds of fun, but grandparents can join the play during Open House. Another brand-new space both you and your grandchildren will love is Vanellope’s Sweets and Treats, a shop serving handmade gelato and ice cream, novelty sundaes, and more candy than you can imagine. The made-to-share signature sundaes are a fun way to satisfy the sweet tooth of the young and young at heart.

Disney Fantasy at Sea

Experience the Force in the Western Caribbean. On eight special sailings from January through April, the Force will be strong! For the first time ever, we are offering Star Wars Day at Sea on the Disney Fantasy, perfect for a new out-of-this-galaxy experience with your grandchildren. The day-long celebration features a deck party, meet-and-greets with favorite characters, Star Wars-themed youth activities, unique food and beverage offerings, and special merchandise. There will also be exclusive at-sea screenings of the Star Wars films and the new Disney XD animated series, “Star Wars Rebels.” Have the time of your life with your grandkids, you will.


Explore the magic of Disney on land and sea. Three of our ships will be sailing from Florida in early 2016, giving you the chance to extend precious time with your grandkids through a combined Walt Disney World Resort and Disney Cruise Line vacation. Our home ports in Port Canaveral and Miami are driving distance from Orlando where you can experience Disney’s world-class resorts and four incredible theme parks. Pre- and post-cruise add-on options give you flexibility to enjoy Walt Disney World Resort before or after your magical voyage. A trip to Walt Disney World and a Disney cruise? You’re getting the Best Grandparent of the Year award!


Discover the grandeur and culture of Europe and Alaska. In the summer of 2016, we’re returning to exotic locales around the world and, once again, offering Port Adventures designed to entertain and inspire both children and adults. On the Disney Magic, you’ll have the chance to visit destinations in the Baltic, Norwegian Fjords, Iceland, British Isles, Greek Isles and the Mediterranean. Cruises to Alaska on the Disney Wonder offer family-friendly adventures like whale watching, gold mining, dog sledding and more. There’s no better way to share your love of traveling the world with your grandkids than in true Disney fashion, with an extra dash of pixie dust for both grandchildren and grandparents.


Seek thrills and chills during Halloween on the High Seas. Who says Halloween can only be celebrated on October 31? Weeks before the big day, you’ll enjoy Halloween-themed parties, lively entertainment and elaborate décor onboard all four ships. One of the best celebrations for grandparents and grandkids to enjoy together is Mickey’s Mouse-querade Party, a costume party with Disney friends, games, dancing and lots of candy. Make sure you get into the fun by bringing a costume of your own! For this one, you’ll receive the Coolest Grandparent of the Year award!


Join Santa and his elves on Very Merrytime Cruises. Starting in November, our ships transform with a 24-foot Christmas tree, a life-sized gingerbread house, garlands, poinsettias, shimmering lights and more. Each voyage has festive events like a spectacular tree lighting ceremony, Santa Claus meet-and-greets and a tropical holiday deck party. Especially for grandparents who can’t be with their grandkids on Christmas morning, our holiday cruises are the perfect way to enjoy together the traditions of this special time of year.

Which of our special cruises in 2016 will your grandkids enjoy most?

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Disney Cruise Line Unveils Ports and Itineraries for Early 2017

posted on October 6th, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line

Today we revealed that in early 2017 we will return to popular destinations in the Caribbean and Bahamas. Most cruises will feature a stop at Castaway Cay, our private island paradise reserved exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests.

For the first part of the year, we’ll continue sailing from Port Canaveral and Miami, in addition to cruises from San Juan, Puerto Rico and Galveston, Texas. Bookings open to the public on October 8, 2015. Keep reading for more details, and check out the Itineraries and Ports for 2017 page of

Port Canaveral

With three Disney ships in port and cruises spanning three, four and seven nights, you have a full menu of options from Port Canaveral in early 2017. The best part? Every sailing includes a day at Castaway Cay!

The Disney Fantasy will continue to sail seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean voyages, while the Disney Dream continues on three- and four-night cruises to Nassau and Castaway Cay. Beginning January 29, the Disney Wonder will alternate similar three- and four-night itineraries.


To kick off 2017, the Disney Magic continues sailing from Miami with three-, four- and five-night voyages to the Bahamas, plus select five-night Western Caribbean cruises, through March 31.

Again, Castaway Cay awaits guests aboard every one of these Disney Magic sailings! Other Bahamian ports of call include Nassau and Key West, while a stop in Grand Cayman or Cozumel headlines the Western Caribbean itineraries.

San Juan and Galveston

From San Juan, the Disney Magic sets sail on four seven-night cruises to the Southern Caribbean. Departing April 9, 16, 23 and 30, this limited-time engagement includes calls on Barbados, St. Lucia, Martinique, Antigua and St. Kitts.

The Disney Wonder completes a season in Galveston with two seven-night Bahamian voyages to Key West, Castaway Cay and Nassau on January 6 and 13. From there, the ship embarks on a six-night journey to San Juan on January 20 with stops in Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Falmouth, Jamaica.

On January 26, a three-night cruise aboard the Disney Wonder takes guests from San Juan to Port Canaveral, just an hour away from Walt Disney World Resort – the perfect stop for a fairytale land-and-sea adventure.

As always, we’ll keep you posted on the Disney Parks Blog when new itineraries and destinations are unveiled. Stay tuned for more on where we’re headed in 2017!

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Tips to Add Variety to Mealtime on a Disney Cruise

posted on September 23rd, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line

Last week I gave you a look at the many, many dining choices on a Disney cruise. And believe it or not, there are still additional options to satisfy your taste buds! Here are some of my tips to add even more variety to mealtime …


  1. Opt for dinner at Cabanas or Beach Blanket Buffet.

  2. You know that Cabanas (Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy, Disney Magic) and Beach Blanket Buffet (Disney Wonder) offer buffet-style dining for breakfast and lunch. But what you may not know is that in the evenings, the restaurant transforms into a table-service casual dining experience, where dinner entrees are cooked to order. No reservations are required, making it a convenient option when you aren’t able to make your assigned dinner time in the main dining room.


  1. Order room service whenever your stomach desires.

  2. Breakfast in bed, afternoon nosh or midnight snack – cravings can be satisfied any time of day with 24-hour complimentary room service. You can feast on fresh, made-to-order food in the comfort of your stateroom around the clock. This convenient service comes in quite handy when your little one is taking a nap during lunchtime or when you can’t pull yourself away from that gorgeous view on your personal verandah.


  1. Eat a delicious barbeque lunch on Castaway Cay.

  2. The chefs you love onboard also grill up specialties like Cajun mahi-mahi, ribeye steaks and chicken on our private island, Castaway Cay. The “all-you-care-to-eat” island barbecue is offered in three spots under the shade of covered pavilions and umbrellas. Two family-friendly locations are steps from the Family Beach, while adults have a dining area all to themselves at the far end of the island next to Serenity Bay.


  1. Try the local cuisine out in port.

  2. Exploring a destination is always a great opportunity to try new cuisine and taste the local fare. I know you’ll miss what the Disney chefs are serving, but don’t miss your chance to eat in port. Do some research before your cruise to determine the best spots, or ask around to get suggestions from other Disney cruisers who have been there before. Even better, choose a Port Adventure that includes a lunch of authentic dishes prepared by locals.


  1. Join the party at a themed buffet for families.

  2. A great party isn’t complete without tasty grub! After our Pirates IN the Caribbean deck party, head over to the pirate buffet for a late-night snack on fiesta favorites like fajitas, tacos, rice and beans. There’s also a huge selection of desserts and a made-to-order crepe station with ice cream. In Alaska, our midday barbecue feast of wild Alaskan salmon and other special seafood dishes celebrates the momentous occasion of sailing through the breathtaking Tracy Arm Fjord.

Any tips to add? In my final post of this series next week, I’ll tell you about dining indulgences onboard just for adults you won’t want to miss!

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A Peek at This Year’s First Halloween on the High Seas Cruise

posted on September 8th, 2015 by Darren McBurney, Cruise Director, Disney Cruise Line

Ready, set, boo!

We’re off on our very first Halloween cruise of the season! It’s day four of Halloween on the High Seas aboard the Disney Fantasy, and it’s no surprise cruisers are having a wickedly good time. It’s always fun to see the creative outfits guests of all ages wear throughout the voyage, especially at yesterday’s costume parties.


In the afternoon, families joined Disney friends at Mickey’s Mouse-querade Party for dancing, and, of course, lots of candy. Then later that night, adults had their own fun at a costume party just for them. As always, it was highly entertaining and a great way to end the night!


On the first night of the cruise, we kicked off the fun with an interactive movie experience in the Walt Disney Theatre, A Nightmare Before Christmas—Sing and Scream, inspired by Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. Cruisers watched this classic holiday film like never before with 3-D and 4-D effects. A special sing-along was even part of the action. Plus, at the end of the movie, families were treated to a surprise meet-and-greet with Jack Skellington and Sally.


We’re only halfway through this cruise, so there’s a lot more fun to come! Halloween on the High Seas began yesterday on the Disney Dream and starts early October on the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder. To see more of the excitement that will take place on all of our Halloween voyages, check out Jonathan’s post, Top Five: Halloween on the High Seas with Disney Cruise Line. We hope to see you onboard!

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20 Awe-Inspiring Photos of Disney Cruise Line in Alaska

posted on August 5th, 2015 by Clayton Lyndsey, Cruise Director, Disney Cruise Line

Just last week I embarked on the Disney Wonder, marking my first season in Alaska as Cruise Director. I’ve traveled to some pretty spectacular places with Disney Cruise Line, but I have to say that Alaska is now at the top of my list. Where else can you capture spectacular photos of a family of brown bears and have a 12-foot Orca whale swim right under your catamaran, all before enjoying your noon lobster bisque in downtown Juneau?


If you know anything about Alaska, you know it’s famous for stunning scenery and endless outdoor adventures. Not to mention it is brimming with opportunities to spot wildlife and experience native culture. I could go on all day about the many reasons why Alaska tops my list, but since a picture is worth a thousand words, here are a few that might inspire thousands of descriptors. Take a look at these 20 awe-inspiring photos of a Disney cruise to Alaska:

We’re sailing from Vancouver to Alaska for about another month, so I hope I have the chance to meet many of you onboard (or maybe even run into you on an adventure in port!) If you aren’t able to join us here this summer, I have good news for you: we’re returning to America’s Last Frontier in 2016!

To learn more about a Disney cruise to Alaska, check out these past posts with videos:

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QUIZ: How Well Do You Know the Disney Cruise Line Ships?

posted on July 21st, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line

It’s time to see how well you know the Disney Cruise Line fleet – the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy! From stem to stern, there are tons of cool details that make each ship unique. Take the quiz below to test your knowledge …


How Well Do You Know the Disney Cruise Line Ships?

All of these movies inspired spaces aboard a Disney Cruise Line ship except:
The anchor on the Disney Magic weighs nearly the same as how many full-grown elephants?
Combined, the chandeliers on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy have nearly how many Swarovski crystal beads?
A dazzling chandelier glistens overhead in the expansive, three-deck atrium lobby on the Disney Dream. Descending more than 13 feet from the ceiling, and spanning more than 22 feet in width, the illuminated masterpiece sparkles with thousands of hand-crafted crystal beads. Reminiscent of early 20th century transatlantic ocean liners, contemporary design and Art Deco style grace the grand lobby to exude splendor and sophistication throughout. (Kent Phillips, photographer)
Nautical flags on the carpet of the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream spell out what?
Pepe the King Prawn, the Muppet who stars in the Midship Detective Agency game, has his very own stateroom on the Disney Fantasy. What is his stateroom number?
Pepe the King Prawn and a cast of Muppets make their debut on the Disney Fantasy in “The Case of the Stolen Show,” a new Midship Detective Agency game. In the game, guests help the Muppets find their missing props for a big performance. Guided by a map and a unique game card, guests take an interactive adventure quest around the ship, uncovering clues via more than a dozen pieces of Enchanted Art and physical “evidence,” such as Pepe the King Prawn’s Muppet-sized stateroom door.
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Disney Vacation Club Explores Disney’s Wild West

posted on May 31st, 2015 by Ryan March, Editor, Disney Vacation Club’s Disney Files Magazine

Greetings from somewhere between Ketchikan and Vancouver!

Today marks the final day of our first Disney Vacation Club Member Cruise to Alaska, where our adventures through the Wild West have included a bit of time travel.


Two of my very favorite people – Walt Disney Archives Director Becky Cline and Disney author and historian Tim O’Day – are taking members on an irreverent journey through “Disney’s Wild West,” one of several unique entertainment experiences created for this special charter voyage. Their fast-paced presentation uses filmed treasures and rare artifacts from the Walt Disney Archives to illustrate “8 Simple Rules for Enjoying Life in Disney’s Wild West.” If history class had been this entertaining, I would’ve paid far closer attention.

Becky and Tim asked if they could share some artifacts with all of you, and I always do what historians tell me.

I’ll leave them to show off their treasures while I go grab seats for “Broadway and Beyond: Songs We’re Wild About,” a new finale concert created by our friends from Disney Theatrical Productions. Man I’m going to hate seeing this voyage come to an end. By this time tomorrow, the artifacts will be back in their vault, the celebrities will be back doing whatever celebrities do, and my bed will be in the same zip code every night. Good thing there’s another Member Cruise in August!

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Disney Vacation Club Goes Wild About Goofy

posted on May 29th, 2015 by Ryan March, Editor, Disney Vacation Club’s Disney Files Magazine

Greetings from Skagway, Alaska, gateway to the Klondike!


Today marks Day 4 of our first Disney Vacation Club Member Cruise to Alaska, and things are starting to get really Goofy here on the Disney Wonder. I’m joined by Disney Legend Bill Farmer, the longtime voice of Goofy and one of the many special performers and presenters who are helping make this voyage unlike any other.

Bill recently earned a prestigious Annie Award from the International Animated Film Association for Outstanding Achievement in Voice Acting for a Television Production – one of several Annie Awards garnered by the contemporary animated shorts that have returned Mickey Mouse, Goofy and other familiar characters to their squashing, stretching, comedic roots. We’re screening some of Bill’s favorite shorts during our voyage, including “Goofy’s Grandma,” the title that earned Bill his Annie.

I asked Bill to share a few insights with our friends here on the Disney Parks Blog, and he does just that in the video below. I’ve also included the “Goofy’s Grandma” short in its entirety so you can hear Bill’s award-winning performance for yourself.

I’ll be back in touch again before our voyage ends, but I need to run to get Bill back to the buffet. You wouldn’t like him when he’s hungry.

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Disney Vacation Club Sails Onward to Alaska

posted on May 26th, 2015 by Ryan March, Editor, Disney Vacation Club’s Disney Files Magazine

My workplace looks a little different today. There are pine trees on the horizon instead of palms, I’m surrounded by water that appears oddly void of reptiles, and a curious number of people have cloaked themselves in some kind of woven, long-sleeved alternative to shirts called “sweaters.” Weird, but fun.


Clearly, I’m not in Florida anymore. I’m in Canada. Or at least I was yesterday. I’m not sure exactly where I am today, but I know I’m somewhere between the port of Vancouver and the Tracy Arm Fjord, sailing with Disney Vacation Club Members aboard the Disney Wonder on our first Member Cruise to Alaska!

Always my favorite business trip and long a highlight on many Members’ vacation calendars, a Member Cruise is a Disney Vacation Club charter voyage that enhances the already extraordinary Disney Cruise Line experience with custom décor, unique in-room gifts and a diverse lineup of special shows and experiences for Members and their guests. This year’s entertainment lineup is as wild as our Alaskan itinerary (a dramatic departure from our traditional Bahamian Member Cruise itineraries), featuring everyone from contemporary filmmakers to dynamic stage and screen stars to insightful authors and historians.

Part of the fun of the Member Cruise experience is the surprise reveal of our lineup as we sail out of port. For this year’s epic voyage, we introduced our entertainment lineup with an epic movie trailer. I actually voiced the trailer’s “scratch track” before we hired a professional actor, and I now understand why those temporary recordings are called “scratch” tracks. Listening to my voice describe the lineup made me want to scratch my ears off. Fortunately, the final cut I now share with you kept me safely away from the microphone. You’re welcome.

I’ll check back later in the voyage to introduce you to some of our special guests. In the meantime, I’m off to see a presentation about bears. Maybe I’ll meet Kenai. Or Koda. Or Ditka!

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Exciting Expeditions in Juneau with Disney Cruise Line

posted on April 20th, 2015 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Manager, Port Adventures Research & Development

In just a few short weeks, we’ll be returning to Alaska where the Disney Wonder will sail through breathtaking scenery and stop at incredible ports of call. This year, we have a selection of brand-new Port Adventures, and I’m so excited to be sharing some of Juneau’s newest excursions with you today!


The famous gold rush of the late 1800s put Juneau, Alaska’s capital city, on the map. In fact, the city was named after a prospector named Joseph Juneau, who was one of the first men to strike gold in the city.

Your family can have its own gold-seeking adventure on the Family Gold Exploration and the Mendenhall Glacier and Mine Ruin Exploration expeditions. Only Disney cruisers encounter an eccentric prospector mining the hills and join him at his camp. You’ll enjoy the miner’s stories around the fire before leaving with tips of the trade from the prospector himself.


On the Family Gold Exploration, your family will also explore the Treadwell Mining District, pan for gold and garnets at the Alaska Gastineau Gold Mine and journey into the abandoned mine at the Maggie Kathleen Tunnel.
In the Mendenhall Glacier and Mine Ruin Exploration, you’ll discover even more mine ruins and trails at Douglas Island’s Treadwell Mining District and take in the astonishing sights of the Mendenhall Valley complete with snow-capped mountains and lush green forests.


Teens get their own thrilling adventure on the exclusive teen only Canopy and Zip Line Expedition. Disney Cruise Line youth counselors accompany teens for off-road adventure which includes zip lines and two towering sky bridges, ending with an exhilarating rappel from the treetops.

Next week, I’ll share with you some of Skagway’s newest Port Adventures, from a campfire breakfast to some friendly competition. Who’s looking forward to kicking off the Alaska season with us?

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