Disney cruises are ideal for families with kids of all ages. They offer various activities and amenities that will keep everyone entertained. This article will look at the best Disney cruise ship for kids and the exciting features available to them on board.

Which Disney cruise ship is best for kids?

There are now five Disney Cruise ships: the Disney Dream, the Disney Fantasy, the Disney Wonder, the Disney Magic, and the Disney Wish. Even though it’s a close call, Disney Wish ranks as the best Disney cruise ship for kids due to its extensive kids’ programs, exclusive features, and impressive amenities.

Disney Wish

Disney Wish | Image © Disney

Why is Disney Wish the best Disney cruise ship?

All five Disney cruise ships have similar Youth Clubs, amenities, and experiences, yet some unique features and differences set them apart.

The Youth Clubs are found on all five Disney cruise ships and provide innovative programs with Disney-trained counselors. They include Oceaneer Club/Lab, Edge, Vibe, and “it’s a small world” nurseries- all geared to kids of a specific age range.

Disney’s newest cruise ship in its fleet, the Disney Wish, benefits from a few additional exclusive features for kids that the other ships don’t have. These include Fairytale Hall, Imagineering Lab, AquaMouse water ride, and a state-of-the-art Marvel Super Hero Academy. Disney Wish has the edge for families because it has the most offerings for kids of any ship. 

Additionally, the Disney Wish has the newest staterooms, pools, and other amenities, which both kids and adults will appreciate. Disney Wish also travels to Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island oasis and a favorite spot for kids.

For these reasons, we think Disney Wish is the best Disney cruise ship for kids.

Are other Disney cruise ships good for kids?

Disney Wish may be the best Disney cruise ship for kids, but the other four are not far behind. They are all fantastic choices, so your kids will have a blast on any Disney cruise vacation!

Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy 

The Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy are newer ships with more bells and whistles than Disney Magic and Disney Wonder. They have more dining options, more pools, and larger staterooms.  It’s also worth noting that both are almost the same size as the Disney Wish and hold up to around 4000 passengers.

The AquaDuck is a waterslide exclusive to Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy cruise ships. It is one of the most popular attractions on the ship, especially with kids. AquaDuck is a great way to cool off on a hot day at sea.

If you’re looking for a luxurious and exciting Disney Cruise experience, either of these ships would be an excellent choice for families with kids.

Disney Magic and Disney Wonder

The Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder are smaller ships that offer a more intimate cruise experience. These ships don’t have as many dining and entertainment options as the Disney Dream and the Fantasy, but they make up for it with charm and atmosphere.

If you’re looking for a more relaxed Disney Cruise, either of these ships would be a great choice!

Which of these four options is the best Disney Cruise ship for kids? The answer will depend on your needs. If you prefer a luxurious experience, consider the Disney Dream or Fantasy. If you prefer a more intimate experience, choose Disney Wonder or Disney Magic.

Again, we think Disney Wish has the edge, but you and your kids will have a fantastic time on any Disney ship you choose!

If you have questions about choosing the best Disney cruise ship or wonder how much a Disney cruise will cost, it’s time to contact The Vacationeer. They can provide up to $1,000 in FREE Disney onboard credit, Disney’s best available pricing on some of the industry’s top cruise ships, and expert planning advice and assistance.

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What are Disney Youth Clubs on Disney cruises?

Disney’s cruise ships offer five main themed play areas for kids. These Disney “Youth Clubs” are located on all five Disney vessels and offer a variety of social, entertainment, and educational value for children to enjoy while at sea on their Disney cruise.

Parents can rest easy knowing that their children are under the care and supervision of trained and compassionate Disney Cast Members. Meanwhile, the parents can enjoy some quiet time to themselves or go out for dinner, cocktails, to a nightclub, or take a dip in the adults-only Quiet Cove Pool.

Here is a breakdown of the five main types of Disney Youth Clubs on Disney cruise ships.

1.  “it’s a small world” nursery!

DCL it's a small world nursery

Image © Disney

Ships:

Disney Magic
Disney Wonder
Disney Dream
Disney Fantasy
Disney Wish

Ages:

Six Months – 3 Years

Cost:

$4.50 per half hour for the first child

$4.00 per half hour for each additional child

What is “it’s a small world” nursery on Disney cruise ships?

The “it’s a small world” nursery is a themed childcare center on Disney cruise ships that provides a fun environment for kids six months to 3 years old. Here, they can play games, watch movies, make crafts, or take a nap while parents have some grown-up time.

Why is “it’s a small world” nursery good for children?

The “it’s a small world” nursery is a facility aboard the Disney Wish cruise ship designed to provide an engaging and enjoyable environment for your infant or toddler. The nursery features murals inspired by classic Disneyland attractions, characters from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and interactive elements to help young children adjust to their new surroundings. The décor is also inspired by the Seven Seaways flume from the original “it’s a small world” attraction, with various shades of blue flooring to represent the different waterways.

Kids love it because they can romp, rest, and participate in activities that vary depending on their mood. Programs like movie time, storytime, and arts and crafts will keep them engaged and smiling.

What are the hours of operation for “it’s a small world” nursery? 

The nursery is open during the ship’s daily operating hours, which may vary, so check the Disney Cruise Line Navigator mobile app while on board.

Every morning between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m., parents can join their toddlers in the nursery. If your child is nervous, this is an excellent way to introduce them to their new surroundings. Parents can also peek into the main play area through a window to check on their child.

There is an open house on Embarkation Day where you can browse the facilities and ask questions if you aren’t sure if it’s right for your kids.

How Much Does “it’s a small world” nursery cost?

The Disney Cruise Line nursery service “it’s a small world” has limited space and requires reservations. The nursery charges $4.50 per half hour for the first child and $4.00 per half hour for each additional child in the family.

If a reservation is canceled less than four hours before the start time, you will forfeit half the cost of care. The nursery is open during specific hours on Embarkation Day and throughout the cruise. Reservations can be made up to 75 days ahead or earlier for Castaway Club Guests.

How do you prepare for “it’s a small world” nursery?

Parents dropping off their children at the “it’s a small world” nursery on Disney cruise ships can bring the following items: baby food, formula or milk and bottles, diapers or pull-ups, extra clothing, a baby blanket, and a pacifier. Trained counselors will be on hand to feed or change your child. You can rest assured that your little one will be well-cared for while you enjoy some time to yourselves on the cruise.

2.  The Oceaneer Club

DCL Oceaneer Club

Image © Disney

Ships:

Disney Magic
Disney Wonder
Disney Dream
Disney Fantasy
Disney Wish

Ages:

3 – 12 years old

Cost:

Free

What is the Oceaneer Club on Disney cruise ships?

The Oceaneer Club on Disney Cruise Ships is a place for children aged 3-12 to have fun and interact with each other and Disney characters. At this activity center, kids can explore different themed lands and participate in activities that are sure to delight them.

The Club offers a variety of activities, including performances by Disney characters, storytelling sessions, play areas, dress-up opportunities, and interactive games. There is also a seating area for arts and crafts and ongoing Disney movies playing throughout the day.

On select days, children can enjoy lunch and dinner at the Club, which is especially convenient for parents who want some time to themselves. The Dine and Play program is also available for parents attending the second dinner seating. This program allows children to get their meals earlier and then be escorted by counselors to the youth clubs so that adults can enjoy their dinner more leisurely. To participate in the Dine and Play program, inform your server upon arrival at your dining destination.

In the Oceaneer Club on Disney Cruise ships, siblings and friends can play together without restriction. Children must be 3-12 years old and toilet-trained to be eligible to attend.

Children can move between the Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab with ease, and counselors will assist them in guiding them from one activity to the next. Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab are connected, so your child can enjoy all they offer.

Why do kids love the Oceaneer Club on Disney cruise ships?

The Oceaneer Club is a special place on Disney cruise ships where kids can explore, play, and have fun. It’s a great place for kids to meet new friends, and there are always plenty of activities to keep them busy. The staff is also very friendly and always willing to help out if needed. Overall, the Oceaneer Club is a terrific place for kids to enjoy themselves on a cruise.

What are Oceaneer Club’s hours of operation?

In most cases, Oceaneer Club and Lab operating hours are 9:00 a.m. to midnight, or 1:00 a.m., except on Embarkation Day. However, these hours can vary, so you should consult your cruise itinerary or app for specific details. Fewer activities are scheduled when the ship is in port, and hours may be shorter.

How much does Oceaneer Club cost?

There is no additional charge for the Oceaneer Club.

3.  Disney’s Oceaneer Lab

DCL Oceaneer Lab

Image © Disney

Ships:

Disney Magic
Disney Wonder
Disney Dream
Disney Fantasy

Disney Wish has an
Imagineering Lab

Ages:

3 – 12 years old

Cost:

Free

What is the Oceaneer Lab on Disney cruise ships?

The Oceaneer Lab is a place where children can play and learn through themed activities and games. They can explore different areas, interact with toys and other children, and have a lot of fun. The Oceaneer Lab is available on four Disney Cruise Line ships (the Disney Wish has an Imagineering Lab).

On the Disney Dream, Fantasy and Magic, the Lab has a seafaring theme with a pirate twist. On the Wonder, young voyagers blast off into a futuristic setting starring Buzz Lightyear. In either case, your little ones will participate in magical, memorable guided experiences, with unstructured free time to explore and make new friends.

The Oceaneer Lab has a dining area at Disney where children can enjoy their meals. During mealtimes, activities will be available for children who do not wish to dine with others.

The Oceaneer Lab is a space designed for kids aged 3-12. They can play together without restriction, must meet the age requirement, and be fully toilet trained to attend during regular hours. Adults 18 years or older are not permitted in the secured Youth Activity spaces but can visit during the Youth Activities Open House.

The Oceaneer Lab and Oceaneer Club are connected, and children can move between the two areas. Youth Activities counselors will be on hand to help direct or escort your child as needed.

Why do kids love Oceaneer Lab?

There are many reasons why kids love Oceaneer Lab on Disney cruise ships. First, it is a fun and interactive space that allows them to explore and learn about the world around them. Second, the staff is always friendly and welcoming, making it easy for kids to make new friends and feel comfortable. Third, there are always exciting activities and events at Oceaneer Lab, making it a fun place to spend time during a cruise.

What are Oceaneer Lab’s hours of operation?

In most cases, Oceaneer Club and Lab operating hours are 9:00 a.m. to midnight, or 1:00 a.m., except on Embarkation Day. However, these hours can vary, so you should consult your cruise itinerary for specific details. Fewer activities are scheduled when the ship is in port, and hours may be shorter.

How much does Oceaneer Lab cost?

This is no additional charge for the Oceaneer Lab.

4.  The Edge

DCL Edge

Image © Disney

Ships:

Disney Magic
Disney Wonder
Disney Dream
Disney Fantasy
Disney Wish

Ages:

11 – 14 years old

Cost:

Free

What is Edge on Disney cruise ships?

Edge is an activity center just for cruising tweens to watch movies, play games, enjoy arts and crafts, and interact with other cruiser kids their age.

The Edge activity club on Disney cruise ships offers a variety of daily activities, including scavenger hunts, role-playing games, and trivia contests. The club is designed to inspire creativity, teamwork, and bonding. Activities may vary based on the ship and sailing but may include improv comedy, movie trivia, and DJ lessons.

The Edge is great for kids to have fun and meet new friends!

Why do tweens love Edge?

The Edge offers tweens from 11 to 14 their own lounge area where they can connect with other tweens from different parts of the world. The facility is equipped with high-tech entertainment, including video games, flat-screen TVs, and computers, and features daily guided activities. The interactive play space will become your tween’s favorite onboard destination!

What are Edge’s hours of operation?

Though operating hours may vary, Edge is open daily, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. Check the Disney Cruise Line Navigator mobile app once you’re onboard your Disney cruise ship for exact hours.

How much does Edge cost?

There is no extra charge for Edge.

5.  Vibe

DCL Vibe

Image © Disney

Ships:

Disney Magic
Disney Wonder
Disney Dream
Disney Fantasy
Disney Wish

Ages:

14 – 17 years old

Cost:

Free

What is Vibe on Disney cruise ships?

Vibe is a club with activities for teens ages 14-17. Teens can hang out, watch TV, listen to music, play games, and more with other cruisers in this space. There are tons of fun things to get psyched about at Vibe, such as dance parties, karaoke, and just chilling out. Vibe is sure to become your teen’s favorite spot onboard!

Though Vibe is designated as a teen hangout, it is chaperoned by some of the coolest counselors at sea in a way that makes teens feel comfortable and unrestricted. Among the nonalcoholic beverages available at Vibe are fruit smoothies and coffee.

Vibe on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy

The Vibe Teen Lounge on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy is great for teens to hang out and meet new friends. With its hip urban look and feel, multiple areas, secret entrance, and outdoor deck space,

Vibe is the perfect place for teens to relax and have fun. The high-tech media room is great for teens to watch movies or play video games, while the separate stage area is perfect for talent shows, dance competitions, and karaoke contests. An outdoor sundeck is a great place for teens to work on their tan and enjoy some fun activities like ping-pong, foosball, and board games.

To ensure that Vibe remains a teen-only space, teens must present a special coded Key to the World card to access the lounge.

Vibe on the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder

The Vibe Teen Lounge on the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder provides teens with a place to socialize and have fun. The open-plan lounge features stylish industrial elements combined with music, gaming, and the latest trends on the ship’s iconic red Forward Funnel. Several flat-screen TVs, video games, board games, tablets, and more are available at the lounge, where teens can play the latest tunes, play games, and socialize with kids of their own age.

Vibe Teen Lounge features a wide LCD screen with surround sound for gamers and movie lovers. This is sure to be a highlight of your teen’s cruise!

Why do teens love Vibe on Disney cruises?

Vibe on Disney Cruise ships is exciting and fun. Teens have a range of activities to choose from each day, designed to encourage active participation and teamwork. These interactive games are a great way for teens to get to know one another. Some of the activities may include Teen Download, Vibe Movie Makers, Gotcha, and The Wild Side. Bahamas-bound cruises also offer The Hideout, a teen-only clubhouse on the beach, and The Wild Side, an excursion specially designed for teens on Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.

What are Vibe’s hours of operation?

Vibe is typically open for teens from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. or 2:00 a.m. Pretty late!

How much does Vibe cost?

Vibe is free (included in a Disney Cruise).

Planning a Disney Cruise for your kids, tweens, and teens?  Contact the Disney Cruise experts at The Vacationeer!  Not only will they plan everything for you, but they’ll even provide a generous onboard credit you can use to enjoy a premium date night dinner while the kids are having fun in the kids clubs.

Click HERE for a free price quote on your Disney Cruise.  There’s never any obligation to book, and The Vacationeer‘s planning services are free of charge!

New Features for Kids on Disney Wish

The following are a few of the new Disney Wish exclusives for kids.

AquaMouse

The AquaMouse is a new water slide-type attraction on Disney Wish. The 760-foot slide takes guests on a journey through the world of Mickey Mouse shorts, with lighting, special effects, and more surprises along the way. The two-minute-long ride is twice as long as the AquaDuck, making it a must-do for any Disney fan.

DCL Aqua Mouse

The Aqua Mouse attraction on Disney Wish (Concept Art) | Image © Disney

The entire family pool district is themed to Mickey and friends, with six pools staggered among the tiered decks. A Toy Story-themed district is also available for families with toddlers and young children, as well as a wading pool, splash zone, family waterslide, and smoothie bar.

Marvel Super Hero Academy

Using the help of real-life heroes like Spider-Man, Black Panther, Ant-Man, and the Wasp, young “recruits” are trained to become the next generation of Super-Heroes at Disney Wish’s version of Marvel Super Hero Academy. Power sets featuring Marvel heroes such as Iron Man and Captain Marvel are available for kids to choose from, and their choices will become nanotech forms around mannequins in real-time.

After completing their mission training, kids can take on the role of their favorite Marvel hero in an all-new virtual reality experience. Using state-of-the-art technology, they’ll be able to fly, swing, and run through New York City as Spider-Man, race through Wakanda as Black Panther, or shrink down to the size of an ant and explore the microscopic world as Ant-Man.

No matter which hero they choose, they’ll have a blast using their powers to save the day!

DCL Marvel Super Hero Academy

Marvel Super Hero Academy on Disney Wish (Concept Art) | Image © Disney

Fairytale Hall

Fairytale Hall is where kids can join their favorite Disney Princesses and Frozen Queens to express their creativity. Rapunzel’s Art Studio is where kids can express themselves through art, Belle’s Library is where kids can read stories and act them out, and Anna and Elsa’s Sommerhus is where kids can test their newfound icy powers. Fairytale Hall is the perfect place for kids to have fun and be creative

Imagineering Lab

The Walt Disney Imagineering Lab on Disney Wish is where kids can learn all about what it takes to be an Imagineer. They will get to do hands-on activities and experiments, and they may even get to meet Sorcerer Mickey himself. One of the most incredible things that Imagineers get to do is design roller coasters, and at the Ride Studio, kids can create their own coaster and then ride it virtually.

Mickey and Minnie Captain’s Deck

The Mickey and Minnie Captain’s Deck is another new experience on Disney Wish.  As part of Minnie’s Captain Academy, kids take on a series of high-energy, educational challenges. The park features a nautical-themed playground with all kinds of sensory-style games and activities, as well as Captain Minnie inspecting their progress and officially announcing them as honorary captains.

Star Wars: Cargo Bay 

Star Wars: Cargo Bay is a place where kids can help take care of creatures from a galaxy far, far away. Creatures like Loth-cat, porg, and worrt are being taken to Batuu, and they require assistance during the trip. Can you help them?

Augmented reality-enabled datapads will be used by kids to learn about animals.

Why Do Kids Love Disney Cruises?

Disney cruise ships are truly magical places. From the moment you step on board, Disney will transport you and your kids to a world of wonder.

The ships are full of amazing details, from the grand atrium to the beautiful staterooms. And kids will love exploring all the different areas of the ship, including the pools, restaurants, and theaters. Plus, the Disney cruise itineraries are a mix of excitement and relaxation.

Disney cruises sail to some of the most popular vacation destinations in the world. Whether you’re sailing to the Bahamas, Europe, or Alaska, your kids will be amazed by all there is to see and do. And with so many different activities and excursions to choose from, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

One of the best things about Disney cruises is the chance to meet all of your favorite Disney Characters. Whether it’s Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, or Goofy, your kids will love seeing their favorites up close. And they’ll also enjoy meeting new friends, like Chip and Dale, along the way.

Disney cruises offer some of the best entertainment at sea. From Broadway-caliber shows to fun-filled deck parties, there’s always something kid-friendly to see and do. And your kids will love spending time in the Youth Clubs, where they can participate in activities, crafts, and games.

Summary: Best Disney Cruise Ship for Kids

So, which is the best Disney cruise ship for kids?

They each have their own unique features and amenities that will make your family vacation unforgettable.

If you’re looking for an extra special experience for your family, we think Disney Wish is the best option – with its amazing Youth Clubs and brand new and exciting features like AquaMouse, Fairytale Hall, Imagineering Lab, Star Wars: Cargo Bay, Micky and Minnie’s Captain Deck, and Marvel Super Hero Academy. However, all of Disney’s ships are fantastic for kids and sure to provide memories that will last a lifetime.

But no matter which of the Disney ships you choose, you can be sure that your children will have a good time swimming in the pools, eating at delicious restaurants, and meeting their favorite characters. They really are among the best cruise ships for kids in the entire cruise industry, and Disney has some of the best cruises for families.  More and more cruise lines are upping their offerings for children, but there’s no beating Disney. They’re the best!

Have a magical Disney cruise with your kids!

Do you have questions? Are you ready to book your Disney Cruise? The Vacationeer can help!

If you need help planning and booking your magical Disney Cruise Line vacation, please contact our friends at The Vacationeer. Their services are always helpful and free of charge! Click HERE for a free, no-obligation price quote.

We hope our Best Disney Cruise Ship for Kids article will help you prepare for your magical vacation at sea. Happy sailing!