Entertaining Evenings: Disney Cruise Line Review - PassPorter.com
Award-winning travel guidebooks

   guidebooks   |   news   |   podcasts   |   boards   |   blog   |   worksheets   |   photos   |   articles   |   updates   |   register   |  

Entertaining Evenings: Disney Cruise Line Review

by Bernie Edwards, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 01-12-2012

PassPorter.com > Articles > Disney Cruise Line > Dining  

Cruising with any ship on the Disney Cruise Line is a fabulous experience.

Before I went on my first cruise, however, I was concerned about going. I knew the Disney ships visited great ports of call throughout the world on the various cruises and that I would love whatever excursion I did, but I was worried about not having anything to do at night or on a day at sea on my family’s first cruise (a 7-Night Western Caribbean Cruise onboard the Disney Magic). I have been and always will be a Disney theme park fanatic and thought I would be bored on the ship. Well getting bored never happened, and now after going on several cruises, I proudly say that cruising with Disney is one of my favorite Disney experiences in my life.

There are a lot of activities to do onboard the ship. On your first day, and then every night thereafter (for the next day), you will be given a Personal Navigator. The Personal Navigator is a newsletter-type document (with a part that reminds me of a TV show listing) which outlines all of the activities on the ship. It’s impossible to do everything and there is literally something for everybody!

In the evenings, the big family entertainment takes places in the beautiful Walt Disney Theatre. The Disney Cruise Line is famous for its Broadway-style shows that are offered on select evenings during the cruise (and sometimes there are matinee performances, so look for them in the Personal Navigator). Current Broadway style shows are:

  • Disney’s Believe, on the Dream
  • Disney Dreams, on the Magic and Wonder
  • The Golden Mickeys, on the Dream and Wonder
  • Toy Story – The Musical, on the Wonder
  • Twice Charmed, on the Magic
  • Villains Tonight, on the Dream and Magic

I’ve had the privilege of seeing all of these shows, except for Toy Story – The Musical, and they are all great family entertainment. Disney’s Believe and Disney Dreams are definitely something that should not be missed. If you have something scheduled that will cause you to miss seeing Disney’s Believe or Disney Dream (such as a Palo reservation), I suggest changing it to another time or night; these shows are that good! I’ve gotten misty eye while watching a few of the shows over the years.

Proscenium of the Walt Disney Theatre photo
Proscenium of the Walt Disney Theatre

Waiting for the curtain to go up in the Walt Disney Theatre - photo by Dave Marx

There will be more shows added once the new Disney Fantasy arrives (her Maiden Voyage is scheduled for March 31, 2012): "Disney’s Wishes," and “Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular." I wonder how similar the Aladdin show on the Fantasy will be to the spectacular and long-running Aladdin show at Disney California Adventure; seeing Aladdin is a “must do” on all of my trips to the Disneyland Resort and I suspect it will be a “must do” on the Fantasy as well.

My youngest son’s favorite evening activity is participating in “Mickey Mania,” a game show-type Disney knowledge quiz that everyone can participate in. On the Magic, it generally takes place in Studio Sea, but only on select evenings. Four teams, consisting of one adult and one child each, are chosen by the host to go up on stage and stand behind a podium. Questions are then asked by the host and the first team that gets the answer right gets points; it’s a little bit like playing the game “Disney Scene It” or the Nintendo Wii video game “Disney Think Fast.” One of the popular segments during the game is watching a silhouette of a Disney character out of focus or just “jumbled,” slowly come into focus; each team wants to be the first to identify the character correctly. We attended Mickey Mania three times on our last cruise, but never got selected, though one lucky family got selected to play twice. That said, there is a lot of audience participation in the game, so you don’t have to be one of the chosen teams to have fun!

An activity similar to Mickey Mania,, but geared more towards adults, is “Who Wants to Be a Mouseketeer.” Instead of just winning a medal, like on “Mickey Mania,” contestants can win things like hats, pins, glass paperweights for the office, plush Disney characters, etc on Who Wants to Be a Mousketeer. This game is more like the TV show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” with lifelines and everything.

Children may also choose to participate in various organized programs at night. There’s the Oceaneer’s Club and the Oceaneer’s Lab for younger children, and Edge and Vibe for older children. Families can also watch movies via the movie channels in the staterooms or by going to the Buena Vista Theatre to see recently released Disney films. However, one of my favorite family activities is swimming in the pools at night. If you are cruising on the Dream, be sure to try the AquaDuck at night. It’s a completely different experience at night than during the day!

There are places for both families and adults-only to dance or listen to live music at nightclubs and lounges throughout the Disney ships. My family and I often strolled on Deck 3 of the Magic, and I always loved stopping and listening to the live music in the Promenade Lounge; there was live music or some other activity in the lounge every evening. There are bars located deep in the heart of the ship in the adults-only area (it’s adults-only at night) and on the top deck of all of the ships. All of the ships have such places, but the Dream (and the Fantasy when she joins the fleet) has more, and in my opinion, better-themed offerings, than the Magic and the Wonder. My favorite bar on the Dream is Skyline, an adults-only cocktail lounge with sweeping views of some of the world’s most famous cities; the skyline magically transforms from time to time. Another great bar on the Dream is Meridian, an adults-only bar located between Palo and Remy; I don’t think many guests know about it, so it’s typically less crowded than the other bars on the ship.

One of the more popular nights on most cruises is Pirates IN the Caribbean Night. You start off with a special dinner and “parade” at your regular rotational dining room and eventually make your way upstairs to a deck party and fireworks. A lot of guests, especially children, will dress up in pirate attire. Don’t worry if there’s no room in your suitcase to pack anything more. You can pick up pirate gear onboard and Disney even gives each guest a special souvenir bandana at dinner.

No doubt about it -- there are a lot of activities to enjoy in the evening on a Disney cruise. I didn’t even get a chance to touch on a lot of other things to do, such as visiting the onboard spa, going to one of the cabaret-style shows, playing bingo, going to special character meet and greets, and working out. Another favorite activity of many guests is just ordering room service and sitting out on your private verandah overlooking the ocean! I can’t believe I ever thought I might be bored on a Disney cruise! There are simply too many fun things to do and not enough time! Bon Voyage!

The Golden Mickey's photo
The Golden Mickey's

Opening number of the Golden Mickey's - photo by iloverags2

You've discovered a PassPorter's Club Concierge Tip!
Ting the bell to read your tip and save it in your Concierge Desk!
About the Author:
Bernie Edwards lives in Maryland with his wife and two children. He is an engineer for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and a member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel. He enjoys visiting both Walt Disney World and Disneyland, and sailing on the Disney Cruise Line.

Recent Disney Cruise Line Articles:
When Is the Best Time to Board Your Disney Cruise Ship? - A Disney Cruise Line Review last updated 09-03-2015
Top Ten Favorite Adult Experiences Onboard Disney Cruise Line - A Disney Cruise Line Review last updated 08-13-2015
Cruising with Special Needs - Part 2: Wheelchairs - A Disney Cruise Line Planning Article last updated 07-30-2015
Cruising with Special Needs - Part 1: Autism - A Disney Cruise Line Planning Article last updated 07-23-2015
Our First Four Night Cruise on the Disney Dream - A Disney Cruise Line Review last updated 07-09-2015

More Related Links:
Veggie Dining At Disney - Table Service Locations last updated 12/11/2008
Veggie Dining At Disney - Counter Service Locations last updated 12/04/2008
The Kosher Traveler At Walt Disney World - A Guide last updated 02/05/2009
Dining at Walt Disney World - An Introduction last updated 2/5/2009
Yachtsman Steakhouse From a Vegetarian's Point of View - A Dining Review last updated 5/14/2009

Reader Comments:

View all comments in forum thread

So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!

(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)

Updated 01-12-2012 - Article #767 

Read additional articles from PassPorter.com

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  



We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2015
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks


RSS Test PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel - Planning Your Disney Cruise Voyage
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
Get onboard and share your plans and ask your questions about sailing the high seas on the Disney Cruise Line! Forum sponsored by MouseEarVacations.com

Star Wars Day At Sea
by CruisinCristina
5 Oct 2015 at 12:23am
I am excited that we've booked our 6th cruise that will have a Star Wars Day at Sea. Has anyone heard about any of the activities on board? I read...
(click title above to view replies)

Rainforest Room Passes: multiple single day vs length of cruise (Dream & Fant...
by Starwind
4 Oct 2015 at 9:20am
Alright fellow Passporters, I am reaching out to you because I reached out to DCL via email and the response I got back did not in any way, shape or...
(click title above to view replies)

Tortola, British VI??
by ladytikibird
2 Oct 2015 at 5:45pm
Has anyone ever been to the cruise port in Tortola?? If so any ideas of the best excursions, shopping, food etc?? I've never been and I think many of...
(click title above to view replies)

Information about Tortola
by cfaletra
2 Oct 2015 at 10:08am
I am hearing mixed reports about Tortola. We are on the Magic April 2016. Some are saying stay on the ship as the port is a disaster, some say the...
(click title above to view replies)

Do Staterooms on the Magic Require card with magnetic strip for lights?
by toddjodybrent
1 Oct 2015 at 11:44am
We haven't been on the Magic since the rehab and I am helping friends plan their first cruise. Is a card with magnetic strip required for lights to...
(click title above to view replies)

Total Visits: 9119

PassPorter ~ 1998-2015 ~ 17 Years of Making Dreams Come True!
Publishers of bestselling travel guidebooks and proud recipients of 13 national book awards
About PassPorter
About Us
Site Map
Privacy Policy
Images & Artwork
News & Updates
Message Boards
Concierge Desk
Books & E-Books
Customs Office
Register Books
Book Updates
Help & Info
Finding Answers to Questions
Help Desk
Using Your PassPorter Forum
Store Customer Service
E-Mail Us
Follow Us
PassPorter.com Front Page (Updated Daily!)
PassPorter Newsletter (weekly and free)
Latest Posts
YouTube Channel
Questions? Check our Site Map and visit our Help Desk to learn how to contact us online, by e-mail, and by phone.
Please feel free to link to this page so that other vacationers can find it.