Disney Cruise Lines has announced it will be sailing in Australian and New Zealand waters next year – sparking a fascinating fight for the young cruiser.

The big question will be:  who will your kids prefer in local waters: Disney, Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars from Disney, big ship rides from Royal Caribbean or “fun ships” from Carnival Cruise Lines?

The special sailings aboard the Disney Wonder, an 11-deck ship with a big choice in dining and themes, range from two to six nights and will depart from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, Australia, as well as Auckland, New Zealand. 

Disney Cruise Line, launched in 1998, claims to provide a  setting where families can reconnect, adults can recharge and children can experience all Disney has to offer.  The line has five ships – the  Disney Wonder, Disney Wish, Disney Magic, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy – and two more ships planned. 

“We are so excited to bring the magic of a Disney cruise vacation close to home for guests in  Australia and New Zealand,” said Josh D’Amaro, Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. “On these limited-time sailings, the ship is the destination, and our amazing Disney Cruise  Line crew can’t wait to welcome guests on board as they are immersed in their favourite stories from  Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars.” 

The inaugural sailings depart October 28, 2023 from Sydney. Bookings open  to the general public from Thursday September 29, 2022 at 8am AEST / 11 am NZDT. 

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Exclusively on the Disney Wonder, young guests prepare a special coronation for the royal sisters of Arendelle, and then receive a truly royal welcome themselves as Anna and Elsa make a surprise visit in the Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)

While on board, Disney Cruise Line guests will be immersed in the magic of Disney with  unforgettable character encounters with favourite Disney friends including Captain Mickey Mouse,  Captain Minnie Mouse, Goofy and Pluto, and spectacular entertainment including original Broadway quality shows. 

Guests will also enjoy incredible dining experiences with imaginative restaurants including 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 will have their own “Frozen” adventures 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. Adults even have their own exclusive spaces to rest and relax, including the adults-only Quiet Cove pool, sophisticated dining at Palo and the rejuvenating Senses Spa & Salon. 

All sailings will include health and safety measures considering up-to-date guidance from public  health authorities in Australia and New Zealand and medical experts. Disney Cruise Line’s current health and safety protocols are outlined on disneycruise.com.