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Photos & Video: New Disney Wish Cruise Ship

Ahead of Disney Cruise Line’s grand reveal of the new Disney Wish ship, which begins sailing in Summer 2022, the company has shared new concept photos and behind the scenes video of the development of the fifth ship in the fleet. We’ll share that here, along with some quick commentary.

The design of the Disney Wish centers around the motif of “enchantment.” This is the architectural and thematic foundation of the ship’s design, weaving imagination, emotion, and adventure into the ship. This fairly nebulous term provides latitude for a wide range of stories to be represented on board. Judging by the video, those will include Disney Animation, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars. It’s presumably similar to how the motifs for nighttime spectaculars in the parks provide a loose, all-encompassing framework for a variety of intellectual properties.

“Enchantment is about unlocking the wonder in everything we do and experience,” said Laura Cabo of Walt Disney Imagineering. “For the Disney Wish, we are creating a signature design language that exudes this emotional magic like only Disney can, by infusing every inch of this enchanted ship with more Disney stories and characters than ever before. The Disney Wish will be a place where families really do get to wish upon a star.”

Enchantment is the special ingredient that brings the worlds of Disney films to such rich and vibrant life. Translating this concept into a design theme provides an unparalleled platform to infuse Disney storytelling into the cruise experience, giving the Disney Wish a completely new look and feel.

Inspired by Disney fairytales, Walt Disney Imagineering has captured what they call the “essence of enchantment” through three design lenses, using:

  • Fairytale castles, emulating the classic storybook charm at the core of many enchanted tales
  • Forests and animals, bringing to life fascinating natural worlds and the animals that inhabit them
  • Spirit of the sea, embodying the magic and mystery of the watery world below

The Disney Wish will continue the Disney Cruise Line tradition of incorporating an elegant, classical exterior design that pays tribute to the golden age of cruising, in the emblematic colors of Mickey Mouse.

A hallmark of Disney Cruise Line is the adornment of two character art pieces on the hull of each ship. For the Disney Wish, artwork on the bow will be an intricate scrollwork pattern reminiscent of the classic ocean liners of the 1930s, and will feature Captain Minnie Mouse for the first time.

The stern of the Disney Wish will display a custom sculpture of Rapunzel from Tangled. Suspended by her golden tresses, this artistic princess will be “decorating” the exterior of the ship with her trusty paintbrush and the help of her chameleon pal, Pascal.

To take it one step further into enchantment, Imagineers have added curvature to the deck edge along both sides of the Disney Wish, creating a sense of motion and fluidity both inside and out.

The Grand Hall will be a bright, airy, and elegant space that welcomes guests as they first step on board. The heart of the Disney Wish, this atrium is designed with Gothic, Baroque, and French Rococo influences imbued in the columns, carvings, trimmings, and adornments.

The Grand Hall will be Disney Cruise Line’s “Castle on the Seas,” with glittering trails of pixie dust on three-story columns, leading to the shimmering chandelier above. The chandelier is inspired by Cinderella’s transformation into a princess, which Disney calls “the manifestation of wishes come true – a swirling spiral of crystal gems punctuated with light, its crown jewel a wondrous wishing star.”

At the base of a grand staircase, beneath the glow of the wishing star, will stand Cinderella. This princess’ story is the epitome of magic transforming wishes into dreams and dreams into reality, and is a pillar of the Walt Disney Company’s historic legacy.

The beautiful bronze statue of Cinderella is one of many tributes to the fairytale in the Grand Hall’s design. Others include railings that glisten, stained glass in her signature colors, rich carpeting embellished with icons from the film, plus nods to her carriage and glass slipper in the metalwork and light fixtures.

The Grand Hall will be the gateway to everything on board the Disney Wish: fairytale worlds, heroic challenges, epicurean indulgences, thrilling adventures, galactic encounters, peaceful escapes, and much more.

The Disney Wish is the first of three new Disney Cruise Line ships to be built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany through 2025. All three ships will be powered by liquefied natural gas and, at approximately 144,000 gross tons, will be slightly larger than the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.

Here’s a behind the scenes video about designing the Dish Wish:

It’s great as a hype video, and certainly has me more excited for the Disney Wish. (Probably in large part because I’m beyond ready to cruise again, in general, honestly.)

It’s cool to see the Wish’s atrium rendered in Imagineering’s Dish, too. Behind the scenes stuff like that is always fun.

As for new details and info, there’s not a ton here, which makes sense given that the grand reveal is only a week away. I did notice there were several props from the live-action Beauty and the Beast that are also found at the new-ish Enchanted Rose Lounge in the Grand Floridian at Walt Disney World.

This makes me wonder whether Enchanted Rose is also a concept for the Wish. Even though it’s been open at Walt Disney World for over a year now, it’s even possible that Enchanted Rose was developed first for the Wish. It wouldn’t be the first time something like that has happened.

Ultimately, not a ton of commentary beyond that. Fans might poke fun at the motifs Disney likes to use for these all-encompassing projects, but that’s the nature of the beast. Star Wars, Marvel, Disney Animation, Pixar, etc. are all very disparate properties, yet they all need to be present aboard a new DCL ship. There’s simply no other option–that’s what guests expect. Also expected is that quintessential Disney storytelling, which is what leads to efforts to weave everything together like this. I’ll be very interested to see how that’s executed beyond the atrium!

Planning to set sail aboard one of the DCL ships? Read our comprehensive Disney Cruise Line Guide to prepare for your voyage, plus plan entertainment, activities & excursions, and learn what to expect from your Disney cruise! For personalized planning & recommendations, click here to get a cruise quote from a no-fee Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. They can find you all of the current discounts, and help you plan the details of your cruise!


Does this have you more excited for the Disney Wish? Looking forward to the big reveal of the ship? Do you plan on booking a cruise aboard this ship, or are you awaiting more details? Excited by the range of IPs that will be featured on the Disney Wish, or would you prefer more ‘classic Disney’ properties and characters? Do you agree or disagree with our advice and assessment? Any questions? Hearing feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!

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