Disney Cruise LineNews

NEWS: Disney Cruise Line Introduces Pixar Day at Sea on Select Disney Fantasy Sailings in 2023

Disney Cruise Line has announced an all-new themed cruise where guests can see their favorite toys, monsters, and heroes during the all-new Pixar Day at Sea aboard special sailings on the Disney Fantasy in early 2023. Learn more below.


Featuring one-of-a-kind experiences, this day-long celebration on select seven-night voyages will bring to life the beloved Pixar tales of “Toy Story,” “Monsters, Inc.,” “The Incredibles,” “Finding Nemo” and more exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests. Themed dining, character encounters, dance parties, and a theatrical musical experience await families on this fun-filled day at sea that culminates with a deck party of incredible proportions.

A Pixar film festival, exclusive merchandise, and photo opportunities will also be available as part of the new celebration. Other details and highlights include:

Character Encounters

  • From morning until night, guests will dance, play and interact with their favorite Pixar pals, including Woody, Buzz Lightyear and Bo Peep from “Toy Story”; Mike, Sulley and Boo from “Monsters, Inc.”; Joy and Sadness from “Inside Out”; Dug and Russell from “Up”; and everyone’s favorite supers – Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl and Frozone from “The Incredibles.”

Immersive Entertainment

  • A new nighttime spectacular will call upon Disney Cruise Line guests to help the Incredibles save the day.
  • A first-of-its-kind theatrical experience will bring to life the beloved story of Miguel and his family from “Coco” through live music and puppetry.
  • Families will be able to join their favorite characters from the beloved Pixar films for a dance party bash.
Credit: Disney

Dining Filled with Character

  • A new, interactive character dining experience hosted by Sheriff Woody, Jesse, and Bullseye will kick-start the day with sing-a-longs, cowboy serenades and all the country breakfast fixins.
  • Families will enjoy a Pixar-themed dinner with dishes inspired by the Pixar Animation Studios’ California locale.
  • Guests will immerse themselves in undersea magic while dining in Animator’s Palate with visits from some of their favorite “Finding Nemo” friends, including interactive conversations with Crush.

Pixar Day at Sea will be included on nine select Disney Fantasy cruises from January through March 2023. Departing from Port Canaveral, Florida, the Disney Fantasy will sail to several guest-favorite destinations in the eastern and western Caribbean. Eastern Caribbean itineraries feature stops in ports such as Tortola, St. Thomas and San Juan, Puerto Rico, while western Caribbean sailings visit Cozumel, Mexico; Grand Cayman; and Falmouth, Jamaica. Every cruise includes a visit to Disney’s private island oasis, Castaway Cay.

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500 or contact a travel agent.

RELATED ARTICLE: First Timer Disney Cruise Line Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

by Mike and Jamie Sylvester

The phrase “first-timer” can be daunting! You may be new to the Disney Cruise Line (DCL) scene, while it seems like everyone else is already a pro. No worries first-timers (aka Future Pros!) – we have you covered. Before you go boarding the ship with what feels like a “First-Timer” sticker stuck on your forehead, here are a few mistakes we don’t want to happen to you, and how to avoid them.

Editor’s Note: Disney Cruise Line has resumed cruising with new guidelines in place. Click here to learn more about the return to sailing on Disney Cruise Line, including the new health and safety requirements in place for guests.


1 – Not Reading DCL Blogs, Articles, and Books

You’ve seen the Disney Cruise Line (DCL) magic unfold in the commercials. You’ve received the Disney emails with special cruise photos and events. You feel like as a first-time DCL Cruiser, you’ve got the gist, right?! Wrong! You’re pouring a lot of time, effort, and money into this cruise, so be sure to get the most out of it! Read as much cruise information as possible from dining tips to port excursions and everything in between. Check out our Disney Cruise Line channel, create a must-do list with the family, and check out reviews of everything possible. The more you can learn, the more confident you’ll be when stepping aboard the massive Disney ship. You’re doing this right now, so keep up the good work!

2 – Not Reviewing New Health and Safety Protocols, Requirements, and Operational Changes for Your Upcoming Cruise

Let’s face it, cruising in the near future will be a different experience than the cruising we’ve known in the past before the pandemic crippled the cruise industry and shut it down for over fifteen months. While cruising has resumed, things are different. New rules are in place and you need to be prepared to show proper documentation whether it be testing results or vaccination status, or both. We are firm believers in setting proper expectations. The more you know about how things will occur, what new guidelines will be in place, the better you can go with the flow, do what you need to do, so you can focus on your fabulous cruise vacation. We truly believe that a Disney cruise can still be a magical experience, but know that it will be different. Disney Cruise Line has got all of the information in one easy place so you can review new safety protocols and operational changes so you can be ready for your upcoming trip. Click here to learn about what to expect—including experience updates and details about Disney’s multi-layered approach to health and safety.

3 – Forgetting Proper Documents and Online Check-In

It can be overwhelming, but as soon as you book your DCL cruise, Disney will let you know what documentation is necessary for your voyage, including the new documents we mentioned above. We also highly recommend a Passport, so you’ll want to get on that right away with your local post office. More checking of the boxes is needed when doing the online check-in. First-time DCL Cruisers can check-in online 75 days before the cruise date. We can’t stress enough the importance of doing this! This will be the time you confirm documentation, special allergy requests when to board the ship, dining time selections, and more. By tackling the not-so-fun documentation necessities asap, you’ll alleviate any day of cruise stress.

4 – Thinking It’s Ok to Not Book Onboard Specials

Surely, Senses Spa and Salon will have a time slot once you get on board for that ideal massage, right? Well, we’re sorry to report that this isn’t always the case! Onboard specials such as Senses Spa and Salon, fine dining at Palo or Remy, and Beverage Tasting Seminars are just a few of the many reservations you can (and should) make well before you set sail. The more times you sail with the DCL, the earlier you can book these experiences. First-timers, however, can book 75 days prior to the sail date. You’ll be disappointed when you get on the ship to find out they are booked up for your desired activity.

5 – Booking Port Excursion with Someone Other Than Disney

While Disney’s Port Excursions (aka Port Adventures) may be available at a higher price tag then some of the local businesses, we’d highly suggest this isn’t a place to pinch pennies. By booking your Port Excursions through the DCL, you’ll have the relief of knowing you are guaranteed to make it back to the ship before departure, even if something such as a transportation issues goes wrong while you’re at port. As long as you’re with a Disney Port Adventure, you will be taken care of. We can’t say this for the other excursions. Plus, Disney has their name attached to the excursions, making guests confident they know they are paying for the best of the best. If safety warnings (such as theft, etc.) are an issue at your Port of Call, this is another reason to stick with Disney to be on the safe side.


6 – Forgetting to Pre-Book Character Meet and Greets

Editor’s Note: For the foreseeable future, characters will greet guests from a distance. Pre-booking for character meet and greets has been temporarily suspended. 

First-time DCL cruisers may not be aware that some of the character meet and greets require pre-booking a time slot. There is no charge for character meet and greets, but some of the extra exciting ones (such as several Disney Princesses!) are available only to guests that have pre-booked the experience. Be sure to understand which character meet and greets are available and which ones will require a pre-booking. Thankfully, not all characters are on a pre-booking schedule, so there are spontaneous character meet and greets you can look forward to!

7 – Purchasing the Photography Package on the Ship

Plan ahead and purchase the Photography Package at least 2 days prior to your sail date. By purchasing the photography package in advance, you’ll save roughly 15% of what you would be spending on the ship. Photography Packages are a great way to snap as many photos as you want and save them for years to come as a perfect family souvenir!

8 – Failing to Plan for Castaway Cay Correctly

Are you taking one of the DCL voyages that has Castaway Cay as a Port of Call? Lucky you! This is Disney’s privately-owned island… and yes, it’s AMAZING! You may be expecting to step foot into the sand and sunbathe all day, but it really is best to have a game plan for Castaway Cay. As soon as the ship docks and you are clear to disembark, you’ll want to be there, ready to go. Being one of the first off the ship will allow you to pick a great spot on the beach and tackle the slides and snorkeling without the crowds. Make a basic schedule for what you plan to do that day. Just remember, this sliver of paradise is supposed to be a place for relaxing, so don’t over schedule. Lastly, be sure that while you’re making your packing list for the cruise, that you include a packing list for your Castaway Cay bag. Sunscreen, goggles, sand toys, medicines, etc. are easy to pack in a light bag. No need to overpack, however, as the ship is right there for all your needs! Click here for everything you need to know about Castaway Cay.

9 – Ignoring the Navigator App

The last thing you likely want in your hand while on a cruise is a phone! If you’re anything like us, you just want to put the phone down and pick up a Bahama Mama Cocktail! No worries, you can still do this, but we’d also recommend picking up the phone on occasion to take advantage of the free, DCL Navigator App. The app offers a schedule of the many upcoming activities available throughout the ship. It also has a text option with those on board since your phone will likely be on airplane mode. Go ahead and download the app now, but be aware that it doesn’t have much functionality until you are on the cruise.

10 – Not Booking a Future Cruise Before You Disembark

Just wait! When your DCL cruise starts coming to an end, chances are you’ll already be planning your next voyage on the big blue! Take some time to think about it, but if you book your next DCL cruise while on your current cruise, you’ll score major discounts. Chat with Guest Services to see what is available. You’ll need to be ready to make a deposit, but chances are this deposit is refundable. Go ahead and book while onboard! If you decide once you have your feet on the ground that it isn’t right for you, you can always cancel in the allotted time frame for a refund.

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.


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 DisneyLists.com 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 DisneyLists.com 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!
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