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Credit: Todd Anderson/Disney

First Look: Disney Wonder Enhancements Revealed

Disney Cruise Line ships feature classic designs that set them apart from other cruise lines. We just love the designs of the ships on the inside and out. But Disney never stops moving forward and is always striving to bring guests the best experience at sea. Recenty the Disney Wonder, received some upgrades that we are so excited about. Catch all the details below.


Here are all the details from Disney cast member Melanie Curtsinger:

This week, the Disney Wonder set sail and delighted our guests with a collection of brand-new enhancements! The centerpiece of the beautiful and exciting changes throughout the ship was unveiled — French Quarter Lounge. Here, the wonderful world of Princess Tiana comes to life in new ways with the addition of this New Orleans-themed lounge that transports guests deeper into the heart of the city’s iconic French Quarter.

Inspired by the Disney animated feature “The Princess and the Frog,” the French Quarter Lounge is the perfect complement to Tiana’s Place Restaurant, which is just steps away on the Disney Wonder. The jazzy lounge invites guests deeper into the story.

Credit: Disney

Each evening at the French Quarter Lounge, guests can enjoy live music on the lounge’s gazebo stage, sip a New Orleans-themed specialty drink and dance the night away.

The French Quarter Lounge is designed as a whimsical outdoor space in New Orleans featuring decorative details like a storefront window with a wrought-iron balcony above. If you’re a fan of “The Princess and the Frog,” you’ll notice that the hats in the display are inspired by hats worn by your favorite characters in the film.

Credit: Disney

Throughout the lounge, other inspired details include a full-sized streetcar on the St. Charles line – the same trolley that Tiana rides in the film. Authentic wooden bench seating creates a cozy place to sit, listen to music and experience the ambiance. Step aboard the handsome streetcar which is the picture-perfect spot for your family memories.

The bar is a focal part of the lounge with New Orleans-style wrought-iron adornments and shutters. In addition to offering specialty cocktails, nonalcoholic beverages and coffees, the bar also displays elements inspired by the popular character, Dr. Facilier. A mural on the wall is painted with Dr. Facilier’s shadow and his business card from the film – another cool photo spot! A door in the area is based on the entrance to Dr. Facilier’s shop, with signage and three flickering “candles” overhead.

Credit: Disney

The story continues all day long in the French Quarter Lounge with New Orleans-themed family activities, trivia, character meet-and-greets and music that bring the bayou spirit of family gatherings and fun to life.

Elsewhere on the Disney Wonder, adults have a reimagined space all their own in Cove Café, an exclusive retreat redesigned as a coffee shop for world travelers, complete with warm, comfortable and trendy décor.

With ample, seating and ocean views, Cove Café is the perfect place to sip a specialty coffee or tea throughout the day, and indulge in wine or a cocktail and light bites during the evening hours. Just steps away, the adjacent Signals Bar has also received an update with a similar look.

Credit: Disney

Vibe, the space on the ship reserved for teens ages 14-17, has transformed into a contemporary place to hang out with friends while at sea. The club has a timeless feel with an open, bright redesign that includes framed quotes on the walls, a light color palette and metal work. A new coffee bar and updated virtual reality technology add to the list of activities just for teens.

Aboard the Disney Wonder, you can experience a variety of itineraries and ports of call throughout the year including Alaska, the Mexican Riviera, Caribbean and Bahamas. For the first time, the Disney Wonder will also call New Orleans home in 2020 with Caribbean and Bahamian itineraries departing from this new home port beginning Feb. 7. And just announced, the Disney Wonder will be returning to New Orleans in early 2021.

You’re “Almost There!” Are you ready to experience the reimagined Disney Wonder that’s “Down in New Orleans” just like Princess Tiana?

RELATED ARTICLE: Disney Cruise Line: Food Allergies and Sensitivities

by Mike and Jamie Sylvester

With all the planning that goes into a vacation, sometimes it seems unfair to have to factor in a food allergy or sensitivity that a family member might have. Everything changed when Mike was diagnosed with Celiac. How we ate as a family totally shifted, which restaurants we could eat at, and even which grocery store we shopped at changed. How would a food allergy alter our Disney vacations? Would going on a Disney Cruise and trying to dine allergy-friendly in the middle of the ocean work? Before you disembark on your Disney Cruise Line vacation, check out a few points we’d like to share about food allergies and sensitivities.


1 – First Things First

Well, we are happy to report that YES – the Disney Cruise Line is not only on point with allergy and sensitivity requests, but they were able to provide extremely delicious tasting food! We read countless reviews in advance regarding food allergies and almost every one of them was positive. Experiencing it first hand, we learned that much like dining at Walt Disney World, the Disney Cruise Line is in the “know-how” and go above and beyond expectations. Compared to other non-Disney cruise reviews – we can tell that Disney is one of the top Cruise Lines that handles food allergies with paramount care.

2 – Let Them Know When Booking

It’s very important when booking your Disney Cruise Line itinerary that you let Disney know you have a food allergy or sensitivity. Unlike being at a Disney Resort or somewhere on land, the ship stocks up and plans for food allergies of all sorts. While there is an abundance of food and we doubt they would ever have a food shortage, Disney still requests this information when booking. Good news– Disney Cruise Line doesn’t charge any more than a normal guest dining fee for allergy requests.

Animator’s Palate. Credit: Disney/Matt Stroshane

3 – Alternatives Offered

What is your food allergy or sensitivity? The Disney Cruise Line offers food alternatives for some of the most popular allergies including: Gluten or Wheat, Eggs, Fish, Milk or lactose, Peanuts and tree nuts, Shellfish, Soy, and Corn. On top of these eight, they also offer cultural meal options like Kosher and Halal. If you have a food allergy or sensitivity not listed here, go ahead and give Disney Cruise Line a call and see what they can do for you.

4 – The Servers are in the Loop

The Dining Room Server and the Dining Room Assistant Server will become your best buddies! Since Disney Cruise Line offers rotational dining, you will have the same servers follow you from one restaurant to the next for dinner. Anyone with a food allergy knows this is incredibly awesome because you don’t have to go through the same spiel each time you dine. They know… the Chef knows… and your stomach can rest at ease! The servers would tell Mike right away what he can and cannot have, including substitutions however needed so he could have a good, filling dinner. If there is ever a situation or question that arises and the servers don’t know the answer, the Chef will happily come to your table to speak with you.

5 – Quick Service vs. Table Service

So, the awesome Servers we mentioned above are assigned to you for dinner each night in rotational dining. This means breakfast and lunch are slightly different. If you plan to eat at one of the ship’s quick-service restaurants (buffet style), you’ll want to ask one of the Cast Members if you can speak with a Chef. Many times, they will take an order down for you and make you something much like they would at a table-service restaurant. This is because as you likely know, cross-contamination is an issue at buffet-style locations, particularly if you have an allergy. If you have a sensitivity, you’ll likely be fine to browse and pick out what you know you can eat. With an allergy, be on the safe side at a quick-service location and order your food with the Chef or Cast Member available.


6 – Port Eating

This is always interesting! The only place Mike felt comfortable enough to eat off the ship, was at Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island. The night before we docked at Castaway Cay, our Server asked Mike what he would like for lunch the next day while on the island. The food on the island is amazing, but again, it’s a buffet. The fact that the server wanted to already plan for Mike’s lunch surprised us immensely! When we arrived to eat on the island, Mike told a Cast Member he has an allergy and they got his plate right away. We even saw our Server on the island, and he came by to double-check that Mike was taken care of. Amazing, amazing service! You may be braver than we are about trying other port dining options – but our rule of thumb is typically if it isn’t Disney, let’s not push it! Mike happily ate on the ship and had his fill.

7 – Desserts

This is what Disney is all about right?! The table-service restaurants had excellent dessert options for allergy-friendly guests. Mike could typically pick from two or three items. Even better, whenever he wanted, he could ask for a Mickey’s Ice Cream Bar which they provided gluten-free. We will say, we were disappointed with the quick-service dessert options as there seemed to be very few selections for allergy guests. We also wanted to try the Vanellope’s Sweets and Treats Shop on the Disney Dream (which you pay for), but they didn’t offer anything allergy-friendly. Fill up on your desserts while at dinner!

Credit: Disney/Jimmy DeFlippo

8 – Lounge Beverages

If you want an allergy-friendly adult beverage from one of the many lounges, do your research in advance as to which liquors, beers and wines fit into your allergy. Since Mike drinks rarely, we really didn’t have a good idea of what to ask for at the lounges. The servers did their best to be helpful and there were a few beverages he enjoyed (like the Skinny Margarita)! Once you find a drink that works for you, we recommend returning to that same lounge so the same bartender can fix up another drink without having to go through all the questions.

9 – Room Service Rocked!

Sometimes, eating in the room is just FUN, especially if it’s a late-night snack! Room Service is included in your dining package (minus the gratuity), so give them a call whenever you’d like. Keep in mind, the morning you leave the ship, room service is not offered, and the breakfast is served super early. Want to know our trick? We ordered allergy-friendly muffins and Danish at night and put them in our fridge to enjoy in the morning. This way Mike got his fill and we didn’t have to wake up with the breakfast crowds or think twice about his allergy.

We highly recommend the Disney Cruise Line to anyone that may have a food allergy or sensitivity. The whole experience will put your mind at ease and fill your belly with all sorts of safe, yet incredible food. Happy Cruising!

For a no obligation, FREE Quote on a Disney vacation package, please contact our travel partner Magical Vacation Planner at 407-442-0227 (407-442-0215 for Spanish). You can also request a FREE quote online by Clicking HERE.


About Chad & Cindy Nykamp

After years of multiple Walt Disney World vacations, Cindy and Chad's dream of living in Orlando came true in 2010. After friends and family made them their go-to-people for Walt Disney World advice, Cindy and Chad launched in August 2015 to share their knowledge and love of Disney. Chad and Cindy have been Disney World Annual Passholders for years, DVC members, together have raced more than 70 runDisney races, and particularly love cruising on the Disney Cruise Line. Chad and Cindy also regularly represent at Walt Disney World media events. While attending these events, they get an insiders view of all the new things that have come to Walt Disney World. These experiences have helped them gain knowledge and expertise they happily pass on to their followers. They still can't believe how lucky they are to have such an amazing opportunity and will continue to share Disney with anyone who will listen!