If you have never considered a Disney Cruise, now is the time! If you have any doubts, check out my top 18 reasons to cruise with Disney and you are sure to change your mind.
1. Disney Cruise Line is the top rated and award winning cruise line in the World
2. Staterooms on average are 20% larger than other cruise lines
3. Disney is the only cruise line who does fireworks at sea
4. Main Dining features Disney’s innovative Rotational Dining system which lets you “rotate” to one of 3 distinctly themed restaurants each night, for your main dining experience your servers follow you from venue to venue. No other Cruise line does this and you never have to wait to be seated or for another family to finish eating
5. Disney Cruise Line ships include state-of-the art theatre spaces that showcase live shows and first-run films during your cruise
6. Disney has award winning Broadway-caliber, Disney-themed live shows for the entire family that you simply won’t find anywhere else
7. There is no extra charges for a soda or ice cream – Many cruise lines charge extra for these features
8. All port and fuel charges are included in the price – no secret charges down the road
9. Disney has their own private island, Disney’s Castaway Cay where they provide food and adventures for everybody for free. No extra charge!
10. All Disney Cruise Line shows are appropriate for the whole family, even for the adults
11. Disney is the only cruise line who has a water-coaster at sea, the “AquaDuck” and all the pools on board are fresh water… No salt water here!
13. Room service is completely free
14. The Disney Cruise Line has created fun and adventures for all ages, including adults!
15. All Kids activities on the ship are included. No other cruise line comes close to the array of activities and the caliber of youth counselors
17. There is not a casino on board and there is only one area on the ship where smoking is allowed
18. There are several adult-only areas including a swimming pool, jacuzzis, sun decks, and lounges. Special adult-only shows are offered every night. Don’t worry! They are still clean and to “Disney” standards
– Cody Woodbrey
For the first time this summer, on select sailing on both the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder sailings Alaska and Europe, Disney will bring the land of “Frozen” to life. For one day of the sailing, the ship will be transformed into the land of “Frozen”. Guests will be able to immerse themselves in a new deck party, a three-song stage show production number, character meet and greets with some of your favorite “Frozen characters, new ashore adventures and much more.
Here are some of the all-new happenings for these select cruises:
- Memorable moments with Anna, Elsa, and for the first time in forever sing-along, with appearances from Kristoff and Olaf
- “Anna’s Chase for the Chocolate” a scavenger hunt with a special surprise for finishing the game… I think the surprise might have something to do with chocolate!
- “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” activity with kids learn now to use their magical powers to make snow and ice like Queen Elsa
- “The Maypole Swirl and Twirl” for guests wanting to learn traditional Scandinavian dances, all while spinning and braiding giant ribbons
- “Frozen” themed dining experience, the evenings dinner menu includes traditional Nordic fare and special dishes inspired by the film
- “Freezing the Night Away with Anna, Elsa and Friends,” an all new family-friendly interactive deck party featuring Princess Anna, Queen Elsa, Kristoff and everyone’s favorite snowman, Olaf
With the Disney Magic sailing to Norway, guests will be able to have an even more immersive experiences. “Frozen” will make its debut in an all new production “Disney Dreams… An Enchanted Classic”. In this production, Princess Anna, Queen Elsa and Olaf along with your beloved Disney characters will teach an young girl the power of her dreams.
This is not all for guests sailing to Norway! Guests will also have the opportunity to experience all-new port adventures that bring the story of Arendelle to life. One of the signature adventure ashore in Ålesund, Norway, will immerse guests in the charm of Norway with the help with Anna and Elsa themselves.
The summer “Frozen” fun doesn’t stop there but expands to all Disney Cruise ships; Disney Wonder, Disney Magic, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. Olaf with his warm hugs, will join the sisters from Arendelle in an all-new meet and greet experience. On the first night of the cruise, guests will be given a personal navigator with information where they can get tickets to participate in the meet and greet. You must have a ticket in order to participate, so get your ticket as soon as you can.
Cruises that port at Disney’s private Island, Castaway Cay, will also enjoy a new addition the island, Olaf’s Summertime Freeze bar. Specialty non-alcoholic frozen drinks will be served and is located near Pelican Point Tram stop by the Disney Castaway Cay Family Beach.
I’m not sure about you, but I am pretty excited about all the new “Frozen” happenings this summer. If you were thinking about taking a cruise, this might be the perfect time to go! For even more information or to book a Disney Cruise, please contact me today!
– Cody Woodbrey
- Maiden Voyage: July 30, 1998 – 4 Night Bahamian Cruise
- Passenger Capacity: 2,400
- Gross Tonnage: 84,000 Tons
- Length: 964 ft, Beam: 106 ft, Draft: 25.3 ft
- Speed: Cruising Speed 21.5 Knots – Max Speed 24 Knots
- Crew: 950 Cast Members on board at all times
- Godmother of the ship is Patricia Disney, Former wife of Roy E. Disney
- Goofy is painting the back of the ship – Each ship has a different character
- The Magic is longer than Main Street U.S.A at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World
- There are 877 Staterooms – Inside: 256, Oceanview: 259 and Verandah 362
- The ship horn whistles “When You Wish Upon a Star”
- Lobby Statue is Helmsman Mickey Mouse
- On an average 7-Night cruise, over 71,500 eggs and are consumed
- The ship can make 1,200 tons of fresh water from seawater each day
- The ship has 11 decks
- One anchor alone weighs 28,200 pounds
- On arrival day, cast members will transport approximately 10,000 suitcases
- The Disney Magic was built in two halves about 100 miles apart
- The Magic was the first cruise ship to ever have split bathrooms for guests
- The Disney Magic was just recently renovated in October of 2013. Some of the new highlights include; The AquaDunk water slide, new Brazilian-themed restaurant, a new kid’s club, new splash zone water play areas and new adult nightclubs.
- Wood is used throughout the whole ship, which is rare for newer ships
- On average there are over 86 nationalities of cast members
- 70% of staterooms have a view of the Ocean and 60% of them have a private verandah
- All pools are filled with freshwater and are heated to 75 Degrees
- The Walt Disney Theatre can seat 977 guests and expands three decks
– Cody Woodbrey
- Maiden Voyage: March 31, 2012
- Passenger Capacity: 4,000
- Gross Tonnage: 130,000 Tons
- Length: 1,115 ft, Beam: 136 ft, Draft: 26 ft
- Cruising Speed: 23.5 Knots
- Crew: 1,450 Cast Members on board at all times
- Ship Cost: $900 Million
- Dumbo & Timothy are located on the stern of the ship, weighing over 2,300 pounds. Dumbo is just over eight feet tall and has a wingspan of seven feet. Timothy is a little smaller with the height of 2’6″.
- It took 747 days or 17,928 hours to build the Disney Fantasy
- Godmother of the Fantasy is Mariah Carey
- Mademoiselle Minnie Mouse is the featured statue in the main atrium. She is dressed in vintage fashion with a parasol and streamer luggage at her side.
- Ship Builder was Meyer Werft (Papenburg, Germany)
- There are 1,250 Staterooms – Inside: 150, Oceanview: 199 and Verandah 901
- The ship horn whistles 7 different musical tunes; “When you Wish Upon a Star”, “makes no difference who you are”, “Yo Ho”, “It’s a Small World”, “Be Our Guest”, “Hi Diddle Dee Dee” and “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes.”
- There are over 5,336 beds on board
- In 1 month, over 15,776 cans of Coca-Cola will be consumed
The Fantasy’s Art Nouveau-inspired chandelier cascades downward from a massive, illuminated stained-glass flourish on the ceiling in vibrant hues of greens and blues. The chandelier itself is more than 10 feet in diameter, a one-of-a-kind work of art evoking a peacock in stained glass and more than 60,000 clear Swarovski crystal beads.
- The adult nightlife district Europa features five clubs and lounges that treat the senses to a taste of Ireland, England, France and Italy plus stunning skylines and signature cocktails inspired by Russia, Greece, Hungary and Spain.
- Muppet Pepe the King of Prawn is the star of the ship’s new Midship Detective Agency game, and has his very own stateroom. Located down the hall from the Oceaneers lab, the door to stateroom 5148 ½ is decked out with Pepe’s activity schedule, photos of his Muppet friends and notes from guests.
- Staterooms are 25% larger than the current industry average
- The AquaDuck is raised so to create more space on the upper-deck to party and relax.
- The Aqualab is the newest addition to the Disney Cruise Line. This 1,800-square-foot get wet area on Deck 12 is filled with pop jets, geysers and bubblers.
- Disney is the only Cruise Line that shows first run movies
- Each of the main restaurants on board can hold up to 696 guests; Enchanted Garden – Deck 2, Animator’s Palate – Deck 3 and Royal Palace – Deck 3
- Disney was the first cruise line to be granted special permission from the U.S. Coast Guard to have their lifeboats painted yellow, instead of the traditional orange. Disney made this request in order to keep the color theming of the ship consistent.
– Cody Woodbrey
Castaway Cay is Disney’s 1,000-acre private island in paradise. You will find many activities for the whole family to enjoy, such as swimming, snorkeling boating, parasailing and of course sunbathing.
Along the shoreline at Castaway Cay’s Family Beach you will find several activities for everyone to enjoy. Some of the activities you will find here will be swimming; snorkeling, kayaking, volleyball, or relaxing under the sun. The Games Pavilion is another great place for family members to have fun. The pavilion provides great games such as table tennis, foosball, billiards, chess and basketball.
One of the reasons why my family love snorkeling at Castaway Cay is all the fun things you get so see. While snorkeling you will find treasures like: hidden Mickeys, sunken ships, old submarines, and of course you will see some amazing tropical fish. Tip: Each one of the big treasures are marked by a buoy you can either bring your own snorkel gear or you can rent them at the beach rental shack ($29.00 per person). You can also rent inner tubes here ($10.00 per day).
Pelican Plunge is a must do for your visit to Castaway Cay. This 2,400 square-food floating platform sits a short swimming distance from the beach. Here you find two fun and exciting slides, a giant bucket that dumps hundreds of gallons below and water cannons for shooting targets a short distance away.
Castaway Cay also has some great port adventures you can book such as, stingray interactions, parasailing, fishing, glass-bottom boat tours or even jet skiing. Some of my guests’ favorites are the stingray interactions and parasailing.
Like on the ship, the food here is completely complimentary. Cookie’s BBQ is a great buffet to get food at the family beach area. Some of the foods you will find here are barbeque, burgers, fresh salads, island spiced rotisserie chicken, grilled fish, flat breads, ice cream and soda.
For those adults who want to get away from the family beach, they can head over to Serenity Bay Beach. This beach is the adult only area on the island. Here adults can relax enjoy the cool breeze of the ocean without large crowds and noises. The food here is bit nicer than that of the family beach eating areas.
Beach Cabanas – If you want a little extra piece of paradise, you can rent out 1 of 20 premium rental cabanas. These cabanas proved you private and luxury retreat. The cabanas are furnished with cushioned chairs, luxuries chaise lounges, stylish side tables and a dining table, refrigerator, lockable storage unit and your own fresh water shower. The Cabanas are located just off the Castaway Family Beach and on Serenity bay.
There you have it, Disney’s little piece of Paradise!
If you are planning on taking a Disney Cruise in the future, please contact me for more information and deals.
– Cody Woodbrey
There are several ways in which to get the most out of your “meet and greet” with your favorite Disney Characters. As a performer at Walt Disney World, I can tell you that I’ve seen and experienced it all – the good, the bad, and everything in between. I have therefore compiled some tips and information for you in order to help make this experience the best for your family. This blog post is created to help you better your experience and maximize your “meet and greet” time with the characters.
Lesson 1: Be Prepared
There are a couple of things you can do to be prepared before you ever meet the character.
1. Have your autograph books and cameras ready. This will give you more time to play and interact with the characters versus trying to get your book out or camera ready. This also helps the line go quicker.
2. Take off jackets, bags and/or ponchos. Doing this makes for better-looking pictures. Waiting until you get up to the character takes away from your time to interact with them.
3. Put down any food or drinks. The characters will not take pictures with them in the picture.
Lesson 2: The Approach
When you approach the Disney character, don’t shove your book into their hands.
1. They want to say hi first with a hug or a high five. They want to know you are there for more than just a signature.
2. Make sure the character sees you approaching. They don’t have the best eyesight, and at times they don’t even realize there is a young child by their legs.
3. Please do not jump up on them.
4. Be careful when touching their heads – it’s actually preferred that you don’t touch their heads at all.
5. Everyone must be wearing shoes unless they are being held.
6. They cannot hold your baby.
7. Don’t be rough with the characters. They can be hurt!
Lesson 3: Helping Unsure Kids
I’ve seen hundreds of families that wait in long lines to see the characters only to get up to them and find that their child no longer wants to see them or is crying. These tips will help you get those pictures without the big hassle or need for convincing.
1. Let them watch the character interact with the other families and talk to them about all the fun the other families are having.
2. Holding the child or getting down to the child’s level helps the child feel safe and protected.
3. Hold the child’s hand while walking up to the character.
4. Ask someone to take the picture for you so you can stay with your child. I usually ask the family behind me to do it just in case there isn’t someone at the front of the line to do it. Always check the photo before moving on, as not everyone knows how to use a camera correctly.
5. When taking a picture with your child, put them on the outside shoulder away from the character. By doing this you will help keep them from looking at the camera instead of at the character and/or help them stop crying.
6. If the opposite shoulder strategy doesn’t work, take several steps in front of the character, get their attention to look at the camera, and take the picture. This helps because the child is far enough away that they feel a bit safer and you still get a picture with the character.
Lesson 4: Writing Material for Autographs
By having the right kind of writing utensils it will help you get the best signature possible.
1. Even before you hand the character the autograph books, make sure you use the words “Please” and “Thank You”. These words are often forgotten, but greatly appreciated!
1 – 2-inch pens are hard for anyone to write with, and with a paw it is even harder.
2. Light ink pens or coloring utensils make it hard for the characters to see what they are signing. Use dark ink or colors for signing. When the character can see what they are signing you will get a great signature.
3. Larger-than-life pens are also not the easiest to write with for the characters. The thickness of the pen does make it a bit hard to get a good grip for a great signature.
4. Disney characters’ favorite type of writing utensil is a regular-sized SHARPIE. The inks are thick and they are extremely easy to hold.
5. Characters love it when you use different colors – For example: Tigger loves using Orange colors, whereas The Green Army Man loves using Green to write.
6. The characters also love writing with the fun different Disney pens. They love tickling your faces with the ones with the fuzz on the ends or twirling the character on the end of the pen. They especially love pens with themselves on them.
7. 2-inch size papers or loose papers without something hard behind them are hard to sign on. If you are going to have the papers loose, then use a small clip board. Doing this will help you get the best quality of signatures possible.
Lesson 5: What Characters Can Write On
Disney characters love to sign their name on things, but there are a few things they cannot sign.
1. They cannot sign currency, checks, receipts, other important documents, or things with inappropriate materials on them.
2. They can sign shirts, hats, toys, blankets, and things like that
3. They can’t sign anything while it is being worn. You can take the item off only if it doesn’t reveal skin or undergarments.
4. They can sign the cast of a broken arm or leg – this is the only exception to the previous rule. (Signing casts at the Walt Disney World parks is allowed but NOT at Disneyland parks)
Lesson 6: Creating a Little Bit of Extra Magic
1. The characters love holding, signing, and playing with things that have them on it. Buzz Lightyear loves pretending to fly with his action figure… Or should I say, “Falling with style.”
2. They love giving hugs and high fives
3. Be creative with your pictures. Don’t just stand there; strike a pose! They take thousands of pictures a day with guests posing the same way and they are eager to do something different. Go with the flow – If they want you to pose a certain way, do it. They do some great poses. You can even ask them, “What pose should we make today?” and they will respond with some great ideas. If you have some ideas, they will also join in, as long as it is appropriate.
4. Use more than just your phone camera – you will get better pictures using a real camera.
5. Take a “Selfie” with the characters.
6. Share with the characters why you love them and are there to see them.
Lesson 7: Leaving
When you leave, make sure you thank the Disney characters and the character attendants for letting you come and see them. It’s not easy standing out in the heat all day, but it’s worth it when they feel appreciated and loved. Give last minute high fives and hugs!
If you are planning a trip to one of Disney’s theme parks or a Disney Cruise, please contact me for more information.
– Cody Woodbrey
There are several great places on the island to take pictures. These are some of the guests favorite places to take pictures.
1. With the ship behind you from different places on the island
2. In front of Mt. Rushmore – The Characters usually do meet n’ greets here
3. Building a sand castle and playing in the sand
4. Relaxing on a beach chair in the water at Serenity bay
5. Playing in the water and going down the slide at Pelicans Plunge
6. While doing the different activities on the beach, biking, swimming, relaxing, snorkeling, kayaking and eating
7. With the Disney Characters dressed up in their beach wear
8. With the hidden characters in the snorkeling bay (You will need a water proof camera)
9. Relaxing and lying in the hammocks
10. With the flora, fauna, and various airplanes around the island
Credit for the photos by J. Shuping, S. Caramico, C. Woodbrey & T. Woodbrey
If you are planning on taking a Disney Cruise in the future, please contact me for more information and deals.
– Cody Woodbrey
There are literally hundreds of photo opportunities while cruising with Disney. Here you will find the top 25 ideas and places guests like to take pictures while cruising. These do not include the top places to take pictures on Disney’s private island, Disney’s Castaway Cay nor on port adventures. Comment below, if you have other places you like to take pictures while cruising with Disney!
1. In the port terminal before you board the ship
2. By the main statue in the Atrium
3. Of the Lobby Chandelier
4. While sitting in one of the large port holes around the ship
5. Of the stateroom door and Stateroom
6. In the different restaurants – Animator’s Palate is the top restaurant to take pictures of
7. With your servers, room host and other cast members
8. While playing the various games onboard
9. By the Walt Disney Theatre picture, right before the entrance of the theatre
10. In front of the big red stacks with the Disney Cruise Line logo – Try taking daytime and nighttime pictures
11. While playing and relaxing around the pool areas
12. Of the dinner menus and food – Great way to keep track of what you ate and what you liked during your cruise
13. With Captain Mickey
14. While on board the ship at the different ports of call
15. At the different deck parties and activities
16. While enjoying Pirate Night
17. Of all the kids areas: Andy’s Room, Oceaneers Club, the Vibe and so on
18. With Disney’s VIP Characters dressed in their different outfits – Outfits change nightly
19. With the main theme backdrops for each night – they change nightly
20. While exploring the ship
21. Of all the different towel creations
22. Of all the different clubs on board
23. With the Golden Mickey’s statue
24. By the ship when it’s docked
25. By the “All aboard”, “Welcome Home” & “We’ll See You Real Soon” signs
– Cody Woodbrey
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My name is Cody Woodbrey and I specialize in planning Disney vacations and as someone who has worked years in the parks, I provide the insider’s touch that few travel consultants can offer.
Since my first trip to Disneyland when I was four years old, my passion for this company and what it offers to families has grown exponentially. I find myself wanting to share that passion, as well as my experience and knowledge with others so they in turn may grow to love what this company has to offer.
When I travel to Disney destinations, I cringe when I see families struggle to enjoy themselves because they are stuck in line, or are just not aware of the amenities and services that Disney provides. As someone who has worked on, and lived near the Walt Disney World property, has experienced Disneyland more times than I can remember, and has cruised multiple times on the Disney Cruise Line, I can help guests and their families plan a vacation that is built around their dreams and is specific to them. In the words of Walt Disney, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
My goal is to provide guests with the most current information, and best advice to make sure they spend their time exactly how they would like to. My services are ABSOULTELY FREE to those who book with me.
This blog is an extension of those services. With advice on all things Disney travel. I am excited to share my love and passion of all things Disney Travel with you.
Your Disney Travel Expert,