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Disney Cruise Line Ship Differences

Frequently I get asked what the differences are in the Disney ships. There are quite a few but today I\’m going to focus on a few differences in the Dream Class ships and the Classic ships.

Disney currently has four ships in its fleet with plans to add two new (and yet unnamed) ships in 2021 and 2023. The current fleet is composed of the two Classic ships–the Disney Wonder and the Disney Magic–and the Dream Class ships–the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy.

The Disney Wonder is the sister ship to the Disney Magic, the first of Disney\’s ships and are fairly similar. The Dream and the Fantasy are also sister ships meaning there are a lot of similarities between those two.

Disney fleet with the two new ships on the left, the Dream Class in the middle, and the Classic ships on the far right. Photo Credit: Disney Parks Blog

The most obvious difference is the size. Overall, the Wonder and Magic are smaller ships with 11 decks, about 875 cabins and a guest capacity of 2400 guests while the Dream class ships each have 14 decks with 1250 cabins and a guest capacity of 4000!

The Classic ships are 964 feet long (Magic is 984 feet) and 106 feet wide; the Dream class are 1,114 feet long and 121 feet wide.  In gross tonnage, the Classic ships are about 85,00 gross tons while the Dream class ships are nearly 130,000 gross tons making the Dream class ships a good deal larger!

The layout of the pool deck is pretty different between the two classes. On the Classic ships, the two pools are divided by a funnel. This means the larger pool (Goofy\’s Pool) and Funnel Vision is completely separate from the smaller Mickey\’s Pool and the splash areas. On the Dream Class ships, the pool area is one large area! There are positives and negatives to both, in my opinion, but it definitely has a different feel!

Photo Credit: Disney Cruise Line

All four ships have the lovely Palo Restaurant, an adults-only upcharge restaurant with an Italian feel, but only the Dream Class ships have the even more upscale Remy and the Meridian bar that is located between Palo and Remy. Remy is another fabulous adults-only location that specializes in French food. Both restaurants have spectacular food and superior service though!

A beautiful table with a view on the Disney Dream Photo Credit: Disney Cruise Line

Fabulous Virtual Portholes Photo Credit: Disney Cruise Line

In regards to cabins, there are some differences as well. Overall, the staterooms on the Magic and Wonder are larger than the comparable staterooms on the Dream and Fantasy. For example, inside cabins on the Magic range from 184 sq feet to 214 square feet while on the Dream, the inside cabins are 169 sq feet to 204 square feet.

However, the Dream class inside cabins have something neither the Wonder nor the Magic have–virtual portholes! While these inside cabins have no outside view, they have a round screen above the bed that shows live feed from cameras mounted outside the ship in an area close to the location of your cabin! Additionally, a little Disney magic floats by in your screen from time to time; maybe you\’ll see Tinkerbell  or Scuttle and Flounder (from Ariel) float by or even Peach (from Finding Nemo)–or any number of other characters! This adds such a unique feel to the inside cabins.

The entertainment options vary as well. The Dream class ships each have a 9-hole miniature golf course, the Midship Detective Agency game, and the Aqua Duck. Although the Magic has added the Aqua Dunk, the Classic ships do not have mini golf or the technology for the enchanted art needed in the Midship Detective Agency game.

Satellite Falls

One other big difference is in the location and size of the adults-only pool areas. The Dream class ships have multiple areas to include Satellite Falls and Quiet Cove pool located on two different decks. The Classic ships only have the Quiet Cove pool.

If you like to sail concierge level, you\’ll also find some differences. The Dream Class ships have a lovely dedicated area with their own concierge lounge and staffed by concierge hosts/hostesses. While the Magic just added a concierge lounge, the concierge level cabins are not separated and are sprinkled throughout deck 8. The lounge isn\’t located near the concierge cabins either. They still have concierge hosts/hostesses but they float around a bit rather than being in a dedicated location.

While there are differences, there are many similarities, too. Most Disney Cruise Line guests have a favorite ship, and often prefer one ship or one class over another! What you will find on every Disney ship are Disney\’s top-notch service, beautifully designed ships, well-thought out cabins and great entertainment for every age! The best way to see the differences is to experience all four ships!

Susan Burks is a Disney travel planner at WishdrawalsTravel, a military wife, and a homeschooling mom to a 

robot-programming, space-loving 11 year old!  

She and her family love visiting Disney World and taking Disney cruises. With six Disney cruises under her belt, she is now preparing to embark on a seventh Disney Cruise–this time to Norway–and planning her next Disney World visit, too!

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