Disney Wonder is sailing into Australian shores for the first time – and it has cruisers clamouring to nab a booking.

Whether you’re hoping to take a walk down memory lane with your favourite childhood Disney characters, or you’re looking for a family-friendly cruise that caters to all ages, there’s bound to be something for everyone when Disney brings its famous charm Down Under for the first time with the enchanting Disney Magic at the Sea.

With bookings opening Thursday, September 28, Disney celebrated what will undoubtedly be a sold-out booking by bringing their trademark enchantment and magic with a Disney Magic at Sea VIP event at the Sydney Opera House on Tuesday night.

Among the bedazzled mouse-eared crowd included famous faces such as former WAG Kyly Clarke, model Samantha Harris, and comedian Tanya Hennessy, with an energetic special performance by singer Rikki Lee giving guests a taste of what to expect on board as she belted out a slew of iconic Disney tunes, including ‘Let It Go’ from Disney’s 2018 blockbuster Frozen.

Ricki-Lee Coulter
Singer Ricki-Lee Coulter wowed the crowd with a rendition of ‘Let It Go’ from Disney’s ‘Frozen’.

Disney Cruise Line director Jimmy Lynett – who met his wife on a Disney cruise many years ago – also revealed what we can expect on the upcoming cruises, including award-winning entertainment, festive deck parties, spectacular themed events, and world-class immersive dining experiences.

“All ships have got incredible entertainment where you can meet Minnie, Mickey, and all your favourite characters,” Lynett told Cruise Passenger.

“Disney Wonder is designed for family fun with dedicated spaces for both adults and kids, plus, you’ll be able to see first-run movies, making us the only line to do so.”

Cruise Director Jimmy
Disney Cruise Line director Jimmy Lynett says the cruises are “designed for family fun”.

Given that this is Disney’s first time sailing to our shores, the news has garnered an enormous amount of interest and bookings are expected to sell out within just 24 hours, with Flight Centre reportedly already locking in more than 30,000 expressions of interest for the highly-anticipated expedition.

Thomas Mazloum, President of Disney Signature Experiences, told attendees of Tuesday’s event that he had high expectations for the new venture.

“We always dream about new ways of introducing Disney around the world…as we were going through our plans of how to deploy these ships, we were really looking all around the world, and I hands down have to tell you everyone within our organisation said it’s got to be Australia and New Zealand,” he said.

Adding to the allure of the excitement of Wonder heading Down Under is the cruise line’s reasonable price packages, which are predicted to be a large factor in luring first-time cruisers, along with the brand’s recognised global identity.

Thomas Mazloum, President of Disney Signature Experiences, has high expectations for Disney Cruise Line’s first adventure Down Under.

“The people that come on are predominantly people that have never cruised before. So we are attracting people like no other cruise line, because so many people tell us the only reason they came on a cruise was because of the Disney product, so what that means is we’re attracting a lot of people that never even considered a cruise before,” Mazloum added.

The inaugural sailing of this limited season departs October 28, 2023, with sailings aboard the 2,400-passenger Wonder ranging from two to six nights and departing from four home ports: Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, as well as Auckland.

Two-night packages from Sydney to Melbourne start at around $738 per person – though Disney’s Magic at Sea does price more expensively when compared to the similarly family-oriented Carnival Splendor six-day Melbourne Cup cruise from Sydney, which comes in at a far more affordable $629 per person.

For a more luxurious room aboard Disney’s Magic at Sea, the prices range all the way up to $2,855 for a six-night cruise from Sydney to Noumea in an inside twin share cabin.

Tiana’s Place is inspired by Princess Tiana from the Disney animated feature, ‘The Princess and the Frog.’ (Credit: Matt Stroshane)

As for what we can expect from the cruise ship’s famous culinary adventures, guests will have the chance to partake in one-of-a-kind rotational dining, where you’ll “rotate” to a different dining location boasting a unique menu each day of your cruise, accompanied by servers who know your every taste. Among some of the other dining options include Tiana’s Place, where guests can meet Princess Tiana herself and enjoy a taste of New Orleans cooking, and Animator’s Palate – an interactive dining experience that celebrates Disney animation.

Children have endless activities to keep them entertained, including a Frozen adventure in Disney’s Oceaneer Club, along with a multi-level replica of Andy’s Room from Toy Story and a place to summon their inner superhero at the Marvel Super Hero Academy.

Marvel Super Hero Academy - Captain America
Young guests get a special visit from Captain America while training at the Marvel Super Hero Academy in Disney-s Oceaneer Club. (Credit: Matt Stroshane)

While you’d be forgiven for thinking the cruise caters predominantly to kids, it also boasts an array of adults-only activities including Quiet Cove pool, fine dining at Palo, and the rejuvenating Senses Spa & Salon – in case you need some time out from the little ones.

Disney Cruise Line’s Magic at Sea cruises will sail from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Auckland between October 2023 to February 2024, with bookings open from 8 am AEST / 11 am NZDT on Thursday, September 29, 2022. They’re bound to sell out fast, so get in quick.

For more information, head to the Disney Cruise Line’s website.