One of my favourite reasons to cruise is to enjoy the wonderful food and drink found on board. And again, with Disney Wish, Disney have taken things up a notch with the overall food and beverage experience on board. It’s clear, when designing Wish, they’ve used Disney Imagineering to evolve and elevate the whole experience on board. And it shows throughout the ship – I was blown away by the overall experience.
Disney pioneered quite a unique concept on their cruise ships back in 1998 with Disney Magic – Rotational Dining. With this, guests move through a series of themed restaurants on board, but your wait staff move with you so you get a continuous, personalised service throughout a cruise. This is very clever and on Disney Wish they have continued this tradition.
There are three main dining restaurants on Disney Wish – Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure, Worlds of Marvel and 1923.
Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure
You are cordially invited to Anna and Kristoff’s engagement part in Arendelle. Of the three restaurants, this was the most party-like, where you meet all your favourite Frozen characters throughout the course of the meal, and you are treated to renditions of all the Frozen songs (and some with some pretty good twists too). You can get a sneak peack of some of the highlights of the show below.
As you enjoy your meal, you’ll get to meet the various characters up close. The highlight has to be Olaf who sits on a trolley and interacts with you as he wanders around the room. While the focus is on the entertainment, this is not at the cost of the quality of food, which all has a Norwegian twist or inspiration – it was exceptional.
Worlds of Marvel
Like the first, this restaurant is very experiential – and really there is nothing quite like it at sea. As you are seated you are invited to take an interactive journey with some of your favourite marvel characters (from the MCU Movies and TV Shows). The narrative is focussed on TV screens, but with some interactive elements found on the tables. We had a lot of fun through the course of the meal. Again, you can get a sneak peak of the show below.
Again, this doesn’t come at the cost of the quality of food either, the meal we had was really delicious – and the cocktails are really good. But in honesty, most of your attention is drawn to the screens and story. The event finishes off with a visit by some of the marvel characters. It’s quite a clever concept as it can be updated quite easily so I can easily see some new storylines coming in the future.
One thing to note is that all the rotational dining venues have their own signature cocktails which builds on the theme of the venue. Here I had the Wakanda Tasting Lab. You are served three cocktails designed by Wakanda Design Group mixologists, using ingredients cultivated on Mount Bashenga.(and features Starr Rum 7 Yrs, Vusa Vodka, Bayab Gin). I really enjoyed it.
This is arguably the most upscale of the three and probably my favourite – I could actually dine here every night of a cruise, with plenty to choose from and I would be very happy.
Here you are thrown back to 1923 when The Walt Disney Company was founded with art deco inspired interiors that pays homage to the golden age of animation. The two dining spaces, named after Roy and Walt Disney, features over 1,000 drawings, props and other easter eggs that span all the way from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs all the way to Frozen 2. It’s such a lovely space to dine in. There is no entertainment here, and for me the food was the spotlight of the experience, with a menu that is inspired from Worldly cuisine including Asia, Europe and South America.
Buffet’s on cruise ships can really vary, but honestly I feel Marceline Market may be the best buffet/marketplace style experience I’ve had on a ship the size of Wish. This space is named after Walt Disney’s childhood hometown in Missouri, Marceline Market and features over 10 food areas. It is large and you could always find a seat pretty easily, with a coffee shop at the front and oodles of space dedicated to food as you work your way aft.
There was honestly so much food it was hard to know where to start, from a huge selection of grilled food, to international cuisine such as curries and other foods, kid-friendly foods such as burgers and the like. There was even a giant fresh seafood selection serving things like fresh king crab, oysters and all sorts of seafood.
I’m also increasingly loving the trend for pre-prepared food like salads, small tapas style plates and cheese boards. And again, there was so much of this on offer. I was very happy, particularly at lunch when I want something unfussy.
On top of this, around the pool deck you’ll find a whole other section of grab and go food including burgers, pizza, tacos (yum!) and other things which are kid-friendly. The scale of casual options really was quite impressive.
Just outside of Marceline Market, you’ll also find Joyful Sweets – a (for fee) dessert shop inspired by Inside Out. Here you can find fresh gelato, fun cupcakes and candy-filled “Memory Orbs’. Definitely worth a visit if you havea sweet tooth!
In terms of specialties on board, click here to head to the adults section of this review.
Lounge spaces and bars
There are a lot of bars and lounges found on Disney Wish. As I have highlighted before, many of these are bars that adjoin larger spaces which acts as an extension of the Grand Hall, and a great place to grab a coffee in the day or something else in the evening. They are cute bars that work really well with the overall design and layout of the ship.
Let’s start with one of the most popular lounges on board, The Bayou. Situated near the Walt Disney Theatre, this open space is flanked by high-end shops and is themed by Princess Tiana from the Princess and the Frog. Flowers adorn the ceiling and you can often expect trivia and live music throughout the day. There is also a bespoke menu you can indulge in, though the bartenders are very talented so can pretty much make any drink you want. We found ourselves hanging out here a lot and is a great space to catch-up with friends after a day of exploration.
One of my favourite bars on board has to be Nightingale’s. This is an intimate space just off of the Grand Hall with a whimsical yet contemporary vibe. Cleverly this space can be opened up to form an extension of the Grand Hall (and so you don’t miss out on the various goings-on there), but more often than not, this can be closed off to be a cool piano bar (not dissimilar to Keys on Disney Magic and other ships). This is a place to be seen, where you take-in live music and enjoy on one of the theatrical cocktails.
The menu in Nightingale’s features a variety of fun cocktails drawn from Disney stories, and focussing on various elements, including smoke, ice and air. Not only are they fun, but they are delicious too. Perfect for a pre-dinner drink or a late night indulgence.
For something a little more casual, there is the ever-popular Keg & Compass pub, which is inspired by the exploration of the sea and features several craft beers. There is also the many bars around the pool spaces and then the Triton Lounge, which is used for activities including Karaoke. Not that you have to go to a bar, as we found there were plenty of servers on hand to get you a drink at all the major spaces on the ship.
Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge
We cannot talk about bars and lounges on board without mentioning the Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge. Situated off the side of The Bayou, you will notice a little door which truly takes you into a Galaxy far far away. This is more than just a lounge, this space is an experience (and for that reason you need to book a slot when on board).
When you arrive, you are asked to press the big green button which opens the main door into a Cantina space that could easily be from any of the Star Wars planets. This is truly a Star Wars fan’s heaven – with seating and features taken straight from the franchise. Quirky liquids sit in bottles on the shelves and bubbles are pumped through mysterious liquids along the back of the room. It’s a very alien space. The only thing missing for me would have been a shifty alien or two hanging out in the corner or at the bar, or a couple of stormtroopers coming into the bar.
At the back of the bar is a large starport which shows galactic scenes and planets. Every few minutes the bar will jump into hyperspace and you will find yourself in a new solar system. And not only that, I lost track of the easter eggs that appear out of the starport, including all the famous ships from the Star Wars Franchise – it’s pretty incredible. One cool little nod was The Halcyon ship, which is the setting for the new Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Hotel at Disney World. Take a look below at some of the worlds we visited on our adventure.
And then of course there’s the drinks. Again, this is all an experience, not just a drink and all are served in cool, quirky and alien ways. Whether that’s a bubble of smoke popping on your drink or ‘wine’ being served in an alien decanter. All the drinks are named after different planets and people in Star Wars and evoke elements of the stories.
The Kaiburr Crystal drink is perhaps of the most note. At $5,000 it’s one of the most pricey cocktails at sea, but from what we gather it’s more than just a cocktail – it’s an experience in itself. The drink itself is served in a camtono (Star Wars Canister) that opens to reveal multiple shot glasses. We understand from Theme park journalist Arthur Levine that:
The galactic beverage is primarily made with Camus cognac. It also includes the Japanese citrus fruit, yuzu, as well as kumquat. Apparently, ritzy cocktails can never have enough cognac, because the Kaiburr Crystal also features Grand Marnier Quintessence, which is considerably pricier than Camus cognac. Speaking of pricey, the bartenders add shots of ultra-expensive Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 23 Year bourbon and Taylor’s Fladgate Kingsman Edition Very Old Tawny Port.
As I said, this is not just a drink (though it does sound delicious), but an experience. Guests ordering this cocktail will get a bottle of Skywalker Wineyards wine delivered to the room, but a trip to the exclusive Skywalker Vineyards at the Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, Califormia. There is also a further rumour that there may be a character moment that accompanies the cocktail involving stormtroopers but no one has confirmed this yet. It’s all very mysterious!
For me, food & drink goes hand-in-hand with the experience I want when cruising and in that regard Disney Wish absolutely blew me away in every respect. I would go back on Disney Wish for the food alone.
So, where would you start with the food on board Disney Wish? Let me know in the comments and on social media.
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