Disney Dream Primer for Repeat Disney Cruisers


Since we know many of you have cruised on the Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder, we thought that one of the first things you would be interested in is knowing what some of the differences are between the Dream and the ships that you are familiar with. So Deb Wills and I put our heads together and came up with some things that we thought you might want to know.

These are not really in any particular order, though I have tried to group them logically.

It’s all so BIG!
One of the first things you’ll notice is that it all seems much bigger. And of course it IS a lot bigger. To me it felt like the distance between the aft stairwell and the mid-ship stairwell was at least as far as between the aft and forward stairwells on the Magic.
Dining rooms are larger.
The elevators are larger.


There are more decks, so the locations of things like the pools, beverage station, and sports deck are 2-3 decks higher than before.
The Walt Disney Theater is larger, and has a balcony level. It can be accessed from either decks 3 or 4.
There are more retail shops, and the shops are larger, though the duty free shop which sells alcohol has been moved to the retail area.
“You can’t get there from here.”
You’ll have to learn your way around – some things are very familiar, but some things are very different. I found it frustrating sometimes.
Palo and Remy are on deck 12, but you can’t get to them from deck 12. The easiest way is to go to the aft elevator/stairwell on just about any other deck, and then go up to deck 12.
If you’re on deck 11, then your access to the aft elevator/stairwell is through Cabanas – which turns Cabanas into a passageway. I found this quite maddening and very poorly designed – I don’t want to go through a restaurant to get to the stairs!
The staterooms are actually a little SMALLER on the Dream – 10-20 square feet generally. We thought they were just a little narrower.
The door lock mechanism is different – rather than sliding your Key to the World card you just wave it in front of the sensor and the door unlocks.
TAKE NOTICE OF THIS TIP! To turn the lights on in your room you must put a room key in the slot that’s just inside the door, and leave it there while you are in the room. If you remove the key the lights inside the bathroom(s) immediately go off – I did that to Deb accidentally one time. There is a grace period for the rest of the room lights, but we didn’t test it – it’s at least 30 seconds, though. It’s an energy-saving feature, so that’s a good thing, but if you don’t know about it, you could be sitting in the dark! We’d been told about it when we checked in for the cruise, and our stateroom hostess also made sure to tell us about it when she came to our room that first day.


The TV is a flat screen, which is nice since it takes up less room. It has a menu system when you first turn it on, with categories like information and movies. Honestly, I never did figure out how to operate it.
The pull-down bed was larger than I expected, and not as close to the ceiling. We didn’t use it, but there are stars on the ceiling above it.


The bed does not separate into two beds like it does on the Magic and Wonder. But the bed has been raised and there’s room to store suitcases under it now – that was very nice.
There are two clotheslines in the tub area.
Shows and Entertainment
Disney’s Believe is an all-new show, featuring lots of great Disney music and some really fun dance numbers. I loved the Mary Poppins scene.


Golden Mickeys has some new scenes and includes characters from more recent movies, like Rapunzel, UP and Princess and the Frog.


There are two different on deck shows on Pirate Night – an early more family-oriented show, Mickey’s Pirates in the Caribbean, and a later show which follows the fireworks: Club Pirate. The latter features Jack Sparrow.
The fireworks show, Buccaneer Blast, takes place more towards the middle of the ship than behind it, which offers good viewing from a lot more locations. Those in cabins on the starboard side of the ship should be able to see it from their rooms.


The District, the adult entertainment area, has many more options, like Pink, the champagne bar, and Skyline, which showcases different cities around the world.



The AquaDuck is the new 765 foot long water coaster. It’s accessed from deck 12 midship. We’ll have a lot more information on this!


Goofy’s Sports Deck has a miniature golf course.
The family pool and kids’ pools are in the same area, not separated like they are on the Magic and Wonder.
The kid’s splash area, Nemo’s Reef, is in a shaded area to protect the little ones from the sun.


Enchanted Art – this was one of my favorites. There are 22 pictures around the ship which look like any of the other artwork, but when people stop to look at it, it comes to life.

The two new restaurants are Royal Palace on deck 3, and Enchanted Garden on deck 2. They are both just beautiful. Enchanted Garden looks like an outdoor garden on a sunny day during the day, while at night the light changes from sunset to starlight.


I really loved Royal Palace, with its elegant crystal chandeliers, marble columns, and brocade-covered chairs.


Animator’s Palate has been completely updated with all new technology allowing diners to interact with characters from Finding Nemo. I thought it was a lot of fun.


Cabanas takes the place of Topsiders/Beach Blanket Buffet. It’s not a traditional buffet – instead there are different “food pods”, making it more like a food court with selections like salads, sandwiches, pizza, pasta, hot entrees and dessert.


The quick service locations are very much like those on the Magic and Wonder, though with different names. Same types of food, though – pizza, burgers, and salads and sandwiches. There’s a dedicated “Eye-Scream” place now. There’s also Frozone Treats, a smoothie bar, though there is a charge for smoothies.
There are two 24-hour beverage stations on deck 11 aft, one on the port side and one on the starboard side.


Shutters is very different. We’ll have a lot more details on it, but in a nutshell they have really changed the way that photos are organized, and assign guests a folder in the library where they can store their photos. They use facial recognition technology to help identify the photos.
Senses Spa
The spa area is 16,000 square feet. There are many more treatment rooms.
There is a barber shop for the men, or those who prefer a barber shop to a standard salon.
The new Smile Spa offers a dedicated area for teeth whitening treatments.
There’s a hamam – a Turkish bath, featuring dry heat.


The Chill spa offers spa services to teens and tweens.
There is a “scrub bar” where guests can have a custom scrub made up for them with their choice of ingredients.


Embarkation and debarkation procedures are the same, though of course with more guests you can expect they might take longer.
Finding your way around is a little harder – the signs identify locations by deck, but do not specify forward/aft/midship.
Some of the public restrooms have the paper towel dispensers under the lights, which makes them hard to find.

I hope this has been helpful. If you have other questions or if you’ve been on the Dream and have some tips of your own please let us know – you can either comment on this blog or send email to: [email protected].

AllEars was invited media and guests of the Disney Cruise Line on the Christening Cruise.

Trending Now

Laura Gilbreath is a native of San Diego, CA. She has been making the trek up Interstate 5 to Disneyland since she was a small child and terrified of talking tikis and hitchhiking ghosts. She and her husband Lee enjoy trips to Disneyland and Walt Disney World, as well as sailings on the Disney Cruise Line.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

21 Replies to “Disney Dream Primer for Repeat Disney Cruisers”

  1. Just want to mention that the suite and concierge doors on the Dream are NOT magnetic and cannot be decorated with magnets. 🙁

  2. Thanks so much for all the info. More here then other sites! Going on our first DC in 4-2012 on the Dream. So excited! Taking my parents for their 50th ann. along with my hubby and teen boys!Any ideas about anniversary decorations on a cruise. This is a surprise! SHHHH!!!!! Bringing wine onboard is ok? Thanks

    Laura replies: Thank you – glad you are finding our coverage informative – hope you have a wonderful cruise!

    Yes, bringing wine on board is ok.

    As far as decorations go…the stateroom doors (including bathroom doors) are magnetic, so you can print your own decorations on the magnetic “paper” you can get for inkjet printers. If you purchase a decoration package through DCL, their decorations
    have hangers that can attach to the ventilation screens that are near the desk and above the curtain separator – if you look at this page you’ll see a cabin that was decorated with the Bon Voyage package:

    There are clips (shaped like seahorses) outside each stateroom, some people hang a bag or a small organizer from that.

    Make sure that you tell the cruise line (or your travel agent) that you are celebrating an anniversary so that it gets noted on your reservation. Also make sure that your head server and server in the dining room know about it – they should ask you which night you want a special cake brought to your table.

  3. You mentioned “Finding your way around is a little harder – the signs identify locations by deck, but do not specify forward/aft/midship.”

    If you look down, there are maps of the world in the carpet, if you’re heading ‘north’ you’re going forward. If you’re heading ‘south’ you’re going aft. East and West – Port and Starboard. You’re on your own finding midship though.

    Laura replies: Those are good points, but what I was referring to was the signs don’t tell you that, for example, Remy is on Deck 12 AFT, or that the Walt Disney Theater is Deck 3 FORWARD. It’s a big ship – to get around you need to know what deck something is on and its relative position – especially if you’re midship, so you know whether to go forward or aft.

  4. Just booked a 5 night cruise on the Dream for June 2012 and was excited to see all your tips. Having cruised several times on the Wonder and the Magic I’m sure that this will be different, but I really can’t wait to experience it for myself! Thanks again for all your info!

    Laura replies: With all the ship has to offer, I think you’ll really enjoy the 5 night cruise! Two nights was definitely too short for us, and I don’t think three would be enough, either – though of course any nights are better than no nights! 🙂

  5. Please, Please, Please post more information on Shutters Photo Gallery. I love buying the photos taken on the ship. I set sail on the Dream in May and all additional information would be great.

    Laura replies: That’s one of the things we are working on, and will definitely get that information up on a web page.

  6. Have expressed concern to Disney about the non-splitting beds, emphasizing that not all Disney’s guests are couples or families. Of course, most of them are or are at least perceived to be, so I don’t really think they’ll do anything. But be sure to send in those concerns!!!

  7. There may yet be hope! Assuming there is a small amount of space in which to split the beds.

    The Fantasy is still a year away; it could be fitted with splitting beds IF enough people complain directly to DCL. I believe the address is [email protected]

    And of course it would be possible to refit the Dream with splitting beds during drydock in a couple years. It wouldn’t be cheap, but possible.

  8. I am so excited! My now fiance and I will be on the Dream for our Honeymoon in October! It is also our first Disney cruise!!! We are getting married at the Grand Floridian the day before we get on the boat!!! Even though we are first-timers to Disney cruises, this guide gave us some good tips and info (and made us even more excited). Thanks so so much!

  9. Where is the best location to enjoy the pirate deck party so that our 8 yr old daughter can actually see? Thanks! Kelly

    Laura replies: Hi Kelly. I’d go up to deck 12 (that’s where we watched it from) and try to get along the railing. Though they project everything onto the big screen, so as long as she can see that she’ll be able to see most of it.

  10. Unfortunately I will never get my husband on the Fantasy or Dream so I was so looking forward to traveling with my Very Best Friend Forever on the Fantasy. However since I have read that the main bed does not split, that really hurts me to the core. She and I are best friends but I am also married for almost 42 years. I don’t think it is right that we flip a coin to see who sleeps in the nice bed and the other one gets the couch or the high bed. I hope they make some major changes or I will not be sailing on the Dream or the Fantasy.

  11. The beds that don’t split are a deal breaker for me I am so glad I read this before I plopped down my non-refundable deposit for the Fantasy maiden voyage. Thanks so much for the information, Laura.

  12. So if two best friends are traveling together one gets to sleep in the nice comfy bed and the other has to choose the couch or the high bed???? That is not right.

    Laura replies: Unfortunately, yes. I think they will get a lot of guest complaints about that.

  13. Thanks for the info. I will be celebrating my 60 birthday in Sept. on the Disney Dream . I can’t wait sounds like so much fun. This will be my third cruise.

    Laura replies: What a wonderful birthday gift! Have a great trip.

  14. Thanks so much for the great details. I’ve been on the Wonder and am looking forward to the Disney Dream. I am alittle concerned that it will be too big but it’s Disney so I’m sure I’ll adjust.

  15. I love all the details and little things you told us that are different for those of us familiar with Disney Cruise Line already know.

    Can’t wait to hear and see more.

  16. Perfect! I think I’ll print this out and take it with me next week. I don’t expect to see everything….good excuse to go back another time! Thanks to the All Ears team for your great updates and photos.

  17. thanks for your comments on the Dream. I agree with all of them. Especially having to walk through Cabanas to get to the pool area from the aft.

    Since we push our son in a wheelchair, we were very frustrated with some aspects of the Dream. We don’t think it is as accessible as the Magic and Wonder. The doors on the pool deck are very hard to open.

    On the other hand, we LOVED the improvements made to the accessible stateroom!