Erin is a mom of two and has been with Today’s Mama for ten years. She is charged with finding and sharing all of the wonderful things the web has to offer. She is particularly fond of food, photography, printables, and funny things. She writes about losing weight in her Healthy Living for Mom series, and is chronicling her attempt to master her DSLR camera with her series, Big Girl Camera.

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Disney Wonder Review: Activities and Entertainment

My trip to the Mexican Rivera on the Disney Wonder was outstanding. In my last Disney Wonder review, I wrote about the whole family appeal of a Disney Cruise —I covered amenities, kid-focused areas, and port adventures. I wanted to review and share what we experienced in terms of activities and entertainment in a separate post, because GOOD GRACIOUS, there was a lot happening on that boat.

Events and Parties

Our Disney cruise kicked off in a big way—with the “Adventures Away” deck party. Families tentatively gathered poolside as our ship began leaving the port of Los Angeles. As a Disney Cruise first timer, I didn’t really know what to expect…we had been traveling all day and to be honest, I was running a bit low on pep.

Disney Cruise staff began weaving through the crowd handing out streamers, music began to play and dancers took the stage. What followed was the epitome of Disney—a wildly entertaining and surprisingly informative show that served to shift the crowd from weary travelers to excited vacationers.

Disney Cruise Review: Disney Wonder

Party time!

Our first day in Cabo San Lucas was capped by a pirate-themed evening. As we readied for dinner, I stumbled upon Captain Jack Sparrow getting his photo taken with fellow cruisers and this guy was good—the costume, the mannerisms, everything was spot on and he was popular.

At dinner our menu was pirate themed, our servers where in their best pirate gear, and a Mickey Mouse bandana was ready at every seat.

We ate early so we had a bit of time before the Pirates in the Caribbean Deck Party started (my daughter may or may not have attended the party in her PJ’s). This party was a BLAST and I can’t say enough about how much fun the performers were. There was singing, dancing, and of course appearances from the Disney characters. Unfortunately, Captain Hook crashed the party. But after a show-stopping entrance and rescue by Mickey Mouse, the party ended with fireworks.

But it wasn’t really the end. For crying out loud, it was only 10:45 P.M.

Following the deck party, a huge pool-side buffet was unveiled (fajitas, nachos, giant turkey legs and a sweet feast) and then you could take your pick of movies. You could enjoy Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl on the poolside movie screen or you could head to the theater inside to see Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

I KNOW! It blew my mind too.

That night the towel creature was Jack the Monkey, complete with chocolate eye-patch.

And if pirates aren’t your thing, Real Steel was showing in the other theater on the ship.

That was just one night of the cruise. The whole trip was this way…layer upon layer of fun and entertainment.


In addition to theme parks and a cruise line, Disney also dabbles in movie making. Naturally, the cruise offers many ways to enjoy many of their films.

On the pool deck, Goofy’s Pool features a giant screen and movies are played a few times each day. Some of the films that played on this trip included: The Lion King, The Emperor’s New Groove (we enjoyed this while we ate lunch), Mary Poppins, Up, Enchanted (love that movie), and more.

Disney Wonder Cruise Review on

Zac on screen, poolside.

The ship includes the Buena Vista Theater, a real life stadium seating movie theater that operated throughout the cruise. Family friendly movies all day (we saw The Little Mermaid and Snow White) and films for the grown ups at night—The Help, Fright Night, and Real Steel to name a few.

The TV in our stateroom also had fantastic movie options for film buffs of all ages including: Thor, Prince of Persia, Fast Five, Green Lantern, Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows Part 2, Tangled, and others. There were also channels available featuring cartoons like Duck Tails (WOO-OO, come on you know you thought it) and Chip & Dale’s Rescue Rangers.

Now maybe you’re scratching your head that thinking, “WOW. Erin is an olympic-level couch potato”, I’m not, but I appreciated that at any point in the day, we could take a break and get out of the sun for a little down time. I also appreciated that my husband and I could watch a movie in our room after the little ones went to bed…and that room service was happy to deliver chocolate chip cookies.

Disney Wonder Theater Productions

The Disney Wonder features a gorgeous live production theatre, the Walt Disney Theatre, and each night you can enjoy a new live show.

My girl and I saw Toy Story The Musical and it was probably my favorite part of the cruise. (It doesn’t hurt that my girl regularly shouts “to infinity and beyond” and has pretty intense plans to be a Space Ranger when she grows up.) Toy Story The Musical is a Disney Cruise exclusive and was created with Toy Story writer, John Lasseter. The production was so fantastic that at the end, I had kind of forgotten that I was on a cruise ship (seriously).

I loved that the show was an hour-long. It kept the attention of even the littlest in attendance.

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Waiting for Toy Story The Musical to begin.

Disney Wonder Characters

You can expect to see a parade of Disney characters on a Disney Cruise. The daily schedule includes the time and local of all of the characters so it is easy to chase down your favorite for a photo op.

The cruise includes a character breakfast and two princess gatherings. My girl spied the first one happening on her way to the Oceaneer Club and was so enthralled that I made a point to find out when we could join the second gathering.

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My girl’s hand KILLS me in this photo.

Character appearances are well organized and there is usually a professional staff photographer present. There is no pressure to buy and the staff makes sure that you get photos with your own camera too. The professional photographer took the one above of Belle and my girl.

Disney Cruise: For the Whole Family

I know, I’m hitting the fun for the whole family pretty hard, but really, there is so much to do for every age group. Games of Capture the Flag were organized for tweens, Karaoke for teens, and my husband even enjoyed a Martini tasting. Between dance parties, bingo, scavenger hunts, trivia games, and everything I’ve written about above, I’m confident that anyone would thoroughly enjoy a Disney Cruise.

As we disembarked the Disney Wonder, my girl turned, waved and hollered, “Goodbye, boat! I love you!”

That about sums it up.


The fine folks at Disney Cruise Lines sent my family on this trip to review the cruise experience. My opinions are my own and I am happy to share them, because DANG, this trip was awesome. You should go. We loved the Disney Wonder!

More Disney Cruise Reviews

Disney Magic Cruise 

Disney Fantasy Cruise

Castaway Cay – Disney’s Private Island

Disney Cruise Reviews

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  4. Lynn Smith 11/18/2011 at 8:10 pm

    Fabulous article with great photos. “To infinity and beyond!”