Travel: 15 Things to Do on a Disney Cruise With Kids

I was invited to the 2017 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. I paid a conference fee to attend and received discounted & complimentary items from Walt Disney World and their sponsors. All opinions are my own. #DisneySMMC

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My kids can’t stop talking about how much fun we had on our 3 day Disney Wonder cruise! I thought I’d share our 15 must do things with kids on a Disney cruise. It was tough to stop at just 15, but these were the highlights of our trip. From pirate night to Disney fish extenders, we had an amazing time. I’ve cruised with several different cruise lines before and Disney truly does it best. Disney just released their 2018 Summer cruise itineraries, now is a great time to book!

1. Eat all the ice cream! Eye Scream, affectionately named after Mike from Monster’s, Inc., offers a selection of all you can eat soft served ice cream. Tip: Pack your own ice cream toppings and sprinkles, along with disposable bowls. 

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2. Order warm cookies & milk from room service. Room service is complimentary, you’ll just a few dollars for the tip. My kids loved our pre-bedtime tradition on our Disney Cruise! Tip: Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bars are also available, but not on the menu! 

3. Participate in a fish extender group. Fish extender groups are non-Disney organized groups that exchange small gifts during the cruise. You can find a group within your specific cruise’s non-formal Facebook group, started by your fellow cruisers. Our beautiful fish extender (something with pouches to hold the gifts that you can hang off of the fish hook outside your cabin) came from Etsy Shop, Sweet Buttercup Road

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4. Catch a show (or two). You won’t want to miss the onboard nightly shows, especially Frozen, A Musical Spectacular on the Disney Wonder. We can’t wait to see the new Beaty and the Beast show on the Disney Wonder, which will premier November 2017. Tip: Candy will be available to purchase at the theater, but you can bring your own!  

5. Decorate your door with magnets. As you walk through the halls of the ship, you’ll notice that the majority of the doors are decked out in Disney themed magnets. You can create your own magnets or order online. Our snorkel Mickey magnets came from Gulf Breeze Productions and I just love how they turned out! 

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6. Schedule a princess makeover at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique onboard! On pirate night, children can receive a full pirate makeover at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. Tip: Schedule the appointment on the formal night (or optional formal night for shorter cruises). 

7. Spend some time in the Oceaneer Club. Parents can hang out with their kids during open house hours, which is a good portion of the first day and sprinkled throughout the cruise. You won’t want to miss seeing Andy’s Room, complete with a Slinky Dog slide, on the Disney Wonder. There are so many fun activities, you’ll want to check your Navigator for specific times once on board. My 6 year old enjoyed throwing boomerangs with Miles from Tomorrowland! Disney Cruises also offer nurseries for the little ones and clubs for the teens and tweens. 

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8. Don’t miss Animator’s Palate! On a Disney Cruise, you will rotate through the restaurants. They were all amazing, but Animator’s Palate was our favorite. You will have the opportunity to draw your own character and watch them come alive through Disney magic on longer cruises. Tip: Arrive early to have plenty of time to work on your drawing! 

9. Meet the characters! If you plan on heading to the parks before or after your cruise, avoid the lines there and meet the characters onboard. The lines are typically much shorter and there are even a few meet and greets, like with Anna and Elsa, that you can schedule ahead of time. My kids loved the onboard and Castaway Cay character interaction! Tip: Bring a pillowcase or something for the characters to sign! 

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10. Catch a movie! The Buena Vista Theater offers show times throughout the day, which the perfect activity for an at sea day. Along with Disney classics, they also show newly released films. My family loved being able to see Moana onboard. Tip: Bring your own candy for the movie! 

11. Cool off on the water slides! If you are sailing on the Disney Dream or Disney Fantasy, you’ll be able to enjoy the AquaDuck, a water-gushing acrylic tube that takes you all over the ship. The Disney Magic has a smaller version called the AquaDunk. We enjoyed the Twist ‘n’ Spout Slide on the Disney Wonder. 

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12. Wear your swimsuit as you board the ship. You won’t have access to your luggage or room right away on embarkation day, so make sure to pack a small carry on with swimming gear. You’ll be able to enjoy the pool, splash pad areas and slides as soon as you get on the ship! 

13. Pack your pirate gear. We ordered matching shirts from Etsy Shop Born Fabulous and they were perfect for pirate night! You’ll receive a pirate bandana onboard or you can bring your own hat or pirate ears. Don’t miss the pirate party, complete with fireworks, that night! Tip: Bring your own glow sticks for the pirate party!

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14. Have a tea party. Book tea time for your little princess or prince on a Disney Cruise. The Royal Court Tea Party is high up on our to do list the next time we cruise! Tip: Bring autograph books or something for the characters to sign!

15. Explore the ship! There are so many fun Disney details that are unique to each ship, we had fun just walking around the Disney Wonder. 

Check out our cruise video recap:

You might also enjoy these Disney related posts:

Disney World Vacation Trips from a Dad

20 Dad Tips for Disney World 

Disney Countdown Ideas

12 Fun Ways to Countdown to Disney


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I'm Vanessa and it's my mission in life to spread my love of hot glue guns and glitter to others. I suffer from craft ADHD, regularly working on at least 10 projects at the same time and my craft room looks like a tornado hit it. My first craft book, Party in a Jar, was published in 2014. I look forward to crafting with you!

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