Discover a fun world by exploring the Disney Dream kids activities on a ship designed for families with kids of all ages. With its renowned Disney-themed entertainment and top-notch service, the Disney Dream provides a variety of fun activities for its young passengers. From the exhilarating AquaDuck water slide to interactive play areas like Disney's Oceaneer Lab and character meet-and-greets, there's no shortage of excitement. Kids can also enjoy scavenger hunts, dance parties, and youth clubs, ensuring a memorable and enjoyable experience for children of all ages on their sea voyage.
I want to share with you what you can expect as I share our very own experiences from our family with four kids. Renowned for its unparalleled family-friendly atmosphere, the Disney Dream ship offers a treasure trove amazing fun. From exciting water slides to enchanting character experiences, the Disney Dream is the perfect setting for an unforgettable family vacation.
Disney Dream Overview
The Disney Cruise Line ships stand out in the world of cruising. Known for exceptional customer service and meticulous attention to detail, it's an ideal choice for families, much like its peers, Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruises. Although it's a premium experience, the myriad of offerings on specifically the Disney Dream make it well worth it. If you want to check out some of the upcoming itineraries, check out this page that lists where the Disney Dream is now as well as in the next two years.
Free Activities with Kids
Sail Away Party
The adventure on the Disney Dream kicks off on embarkation day with the exhilarating Sail Away party, a high-energy event featuring lively performances and a festive countdown as the ship departs. On deck, families gather to dance and celebrate, with kids and adults alike enjoying live entertainment and the chance to dance alongside beloved Disney characters onstage. This vibrant celebration sets the tone for an unforgettable journey, marking the beginning of a sea of magical experiences. Sometimes, the cast members (e.g., the ship crew) will do a little train dance with the kids. Mickey and Minnie definitely make an appearance on stage.
Personal Take: Make sure that you get there early to get a spot near the stage or at the balcony level so your kids will be able to see the stage.
The AquaDuck on the Disney Dream is a standout attraction, offering a unique water coaster experience at sea. This exhilarating ride, stretching 765 feet in length, winds around the ship's upper decks, providing breathtaking ocean views. Riders embark on a thrilling journey in a two-person raft, navigating through twists and turns, and even soaring through a transparent acrylic tube that extends over the edge of the ship.
With its gentle drops and curves, the AquaDuck is suitable for both adults and children, although there is a 42-inch height requirement to ensure safety. The excitement peaks as the raft glides out 13 feet off the ship's side, hovering 150 feet above the ocean's surface. The queue for the AquaDuck can attract quite a crowd, especially on sunny days, but the experience is well worth the wait. This unique water ride is a highlight for many aboard the Disney Dream, adding an extra splash of adventure to the cruising experience.
Person Take: Our kids absolutely loved this. The lines were long during sail days, but much shorter earlier in the morning or late in the evening. I would recommend planning the time accordingly.
The Disney Dream offers an enchanting character experience that is a must for any Disney fan, although be prepared for lines. It's wise to arrive early, as popular characters attract a crowd and there are often line enders who indicate when the queue will close.
To capture these special moments, bring along an autograph book and a pen, or for something unique, a fabric pen and a pillowcase for characters to sign. While some character meet-and-greet spots are equipped with professional photographers, others are not. However, these photographers are usually happy to use your camera for a personal snapshot. To efficiently plan your day and meet your favorite Disney characters, make use of the Personal Navigator. It provides a schedule of appearances each morning, helping you prioritize which lines to join for a memorable encounter with beloved Disney personalities.
Personal Take: The character meet lines do take up a lot of time, so make sure you pick and choose which ones you go to so you can spend more time exploring the ship.
Pirate Night is a spectacular themed event that immerses guests in a world of swashbuckling fun and adventure. The night comes alive with a variety of pirate-themed activities, engaging both kids and adults in an unforgettable experience. A highlight of the evening is the live band that plays rousing pirate tunes, setting the mood for a night of high-seas excitement.
As the evening culminates, guests are treated to a dazzling fireworks display, a rare sight at sea and a signature Disney touch. To get the best view of these spectacular fireworks, it's advisable to stand on the starboard side of the ship.
This vibrant celebration, complete with entertainment, music, and pyrotechnics, makes Pirate Night on the Disney Dream a memorable experience for all who partake.
Personal Take: If you do decide to do Pirate's League, make sure you plan the makeover the evening of Pirate Night so you can go to dinner and fireworks dressed in full as a pirate. Also, Jack Sparrow always shows up for a photo op, so make sure you get a photo! We missed it.
Kids' Club: Nursery, Oceaneer's Club, Edge, Vibe
The Disney Dream offers an exceptional array of Kids' Clubs, catering to various age groups, ensuring that children of all ages have a memorable and engaging experience. For the youngest cruisers, ages 6 months to 3 years, there's the "It's a Small World Nursery," a safe and nurturing environment where toddlers can play under the careful supervision of experienced staff. "Disney's Oceaneer Club" and "Disney's Oceaneer Lab" are designed for children aged 3 to 12 years, offering a wonderland of interactive activities, games, and themed play areas inspired by Disney stories and characters. Within these clubs, kids can partake in hands-on experiments, arts and crafts, and even meet some of their favorite Disney characters.
Teens aren't left out either; "Edge," for those aged 11 to 14, provides a cool lounge where tweens can hang out, play games, and participate in special activities. For older teens, aged 14 to 17, "Vibe" offers a trendy space to socialize, watch movies, or enjoy a variety of teen-focused activities. Each club is meticulously designed to cater to the interests and developmental stages of its age group, making the Disney Dream an ideal place for kids to explore, learn, and make new friends while on their cruise adventure.
Personal Take: Our kids absolutely loved the Oceaneer's Club because they were able to see characters, do art, and have fun with other kids. It also gave my husband and I time to explore the Disney Dream together.
Pools and Hot Tubs
The ship's pool deck features areas for all ages, from the bustling Mickey's Pool with its spiral slide to the tranquil Quiet Cove for adults. Donald's Pool provides a great spot for family fun, with a giant LED screen enhancing the experience. All the pools can be found here, including information on Nemo's Reef which is a splash area for little toddlers.
Personal Take: We loved watching movies in the pool on the Disney Dream!
Guests are treated to shows that are a true highlight of the cruising experience. These spectacular performances, held in the lavish Walt Disney Theatre, showcase Disney's knack for storytelling and stagecraft. Current shows can be found here for the Disney Dream.
Each show is a visual feast, featuring stunning costumes, elaborate sets, and state-of-the-art lighting and sound. Guests can enjoy a variety of shows, including adaptations of classic Disney tales and original productions exclusive to the Disney Cruise Line. The performances often include beloved Disney songs and characters, bringing the magic of Disney to life in an intimate, sea-going setting. For many passengers, these shows are a not-to-be-missed part of the Disney Dream experience, offering family-friendly entertainment each evening of the cruise.
Personal Take: We saw Beauty and the Beast. I've seen it on actual Broadway prior, and I can say it is just as great on the ship!
Royal Princess Gathering
The Royal Princess Gathering on the Disney Dream is a dream-come-true event for those who adore Disney's princesses. This enchanting experience allows guests to meet and interact with a selection of beloved Disney princesses in a single, regal setting.
Although this magical opportunity is free, it is immensely popular, leading to limited availability. To ensure a spot at this coveted event, working with a travel agent can be incredibly beneficial.
They can assist in navigating the booking process and securing a time slot that fits seamlessly into your cruise itinerary. Due to the high demand, it's essential to book as early as possible, as spaces fill up quickly. The Royal Princess Gathering is a not-to-be-missed experience for fans of Disney's royal characters, offering a special moment of magic that will be cherished long after the cruise has ended.
Personal Take: Our travel agent took care of the booking for us, but we wished that we had planned the princess gathering on a different day so the girls didn't have a princess makeover before pirate night.
Watching movies on the Disney Dream offers a unique cinematic experience, blending the magic of Disney with the thrill of cruising. While some might hesitate to spend precious vacation time in a theater, the Disney Dream provides a compelling reason to do so: the opportunity to watch the latest Disney releases at sea, often concurrently with their theatrical release. These screenings, offered free of charge to all passengers, take place in the ship's state-of-the-art theater, providing a full cinematic experience. For those looking to enhance their movie-watching, popcorn and drinks are available for purchase, adding to the ambiance of a night at the movies. This feature is especially appealing for families looking to enjoy the latest Disney blockbusters together. It's a perfect way to relax and unwind after a day full of activities, offering entertainment that's both convenient and captivating.
Personal Take: When the kids were all under 7, I would not recommend this. However, I would recommend it if you have a mix between 6 and 12 due to their attention spans.
Sports Deck and Promenade
On Deck 13, families can engage in sports or play mini-golf in Goofy's quirky style. For a more relaxed pace, the promenade on Deck 4 offers a nostalgic setting with wooden loungers and shuffleboard.
Personal Take: We didn't spend a lot of time here because we had only 4 days to explore.
Rotational Dining Entertainment
Dinner is not just about the food, but also about the entertainment, thanks to its unique rotational dining system. This system allows guests to rotate among three distinctly themed restaurants, each offering a different dining experience and atmosphere. At Animator's Palate, diners are treated to a show where the walls come alive with colors and characters, creating an interactive animation experience that delights both young and old. Enchanted Garden offers a more serene experience, with a décor that transforms from day to night, but doesn't feature a show akin to Animator's Palate.
Royal Palace, the third option, provides an elegant dining setting inspired by Disney classics, though it also doesn't host a specific show during mealtime. While not every restaurant features a performance, the unique themes and settings of each provide their own form of entertainment. This rotational dining ensures that each meal on the Disney Dream is a special event, adding an extra layer of excitement to the cruise experience.
The Disney Dream offers a delightful Frozen experience that captivates fans of Elsa and Anna, bringing the beloved story to life at sea. Guests have the chance to immerse themselves in the world of Arendelle through a special meet-and-greet session with Elsa and Anna. This magical encounter allows children and adults alike to interact with their favorite characters, take photos, and even share a warm hug. The Frozen experience often includes a live performance featuring songs from the movie, allowing guests to sing along with Elsa and Anna. These moments are beautifully crafted, complete with stunning costumes and enchanting backdrops, making you feel as if you've stepped right into the movie. Additionally, the ship's décor and activities during this experience are themed around the icy world of Frozen, enhancing the overall atmosphere. This exclusive Frozen experience on the Disney Dream is a cherished highlight for many, creating unforgettable memories with the beloved sisters from Arendelle. (Checkout our Disney Wish review for more details on how this cruise ship has a whole dining service with Elsa and Anna front and center with Olaf!)
Paid Activities with Kids
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique - Princess Makeover
The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique aboard the Disney Dream offers a whimsical experience, where children are transformed into princesses or captains. The makeover includes a simple yet elegant hair styling, typically a bun or half bun adorned with a crown and a sprinkle of glitter for that extra sparkle.
To make the most of this experience without overspending, consider purchasing costumes online beforehand and bringing them along. The true value lies in the magical transformation process. Securing an appointment can be challenging due to high demand, so advance planning is essential. For an added touch of enchantment, schedule the makeover just before the Royal Princess Gathering event, creating a perfectly timed, memorable experience for your little ones.
Personal Take: Girls absolutely loved this!
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique - Pirate's League Makeover
On select nights, the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique aboard the Disney Dream undergoes a swashbuckling transformation, offering pirate makeovers for young adventurers in the Pirates League. This special experience aligns with the ship's Pirate Night, allowing children to fully immerse themselves in the theme. Kids can choose from a variety of pirate styles, complete with temporary tattoos, eye patches, and bandanas, turning them into fearsome pirates of the high seas. The makeover also includes hair styling and makeup to match their pirate persona. The boutique's transformation into a pirate haven adds to the excitement, setting the stage for an evening of buccaneer fun. It's a popular attraction, so booking in advance is recommended to ensure your little pirates can join in on the adventure.
Personal Take: My son was delirious and tired (ready for a nap) so he was half asleep during the makeover, but I would do it again in a heart beat. He's 9 now, and at the time he was 6. So if you want this memory, that's how much time you have until they say no 🙂
Fish extenders on the Disney Dream represent a unique and unofficial tradition among passengers, enhancing the sense of community and fun during the cruise. These are small, multi-pocketed fabric hangings that guests place outside their staterooms, on the "fish-shaped" hooks used for delivering messages. While not officially sanctioned by Disney, this passenger-initiated activity involves exchanging small gifts and surprises with other participants.
To take part, cruisers often join groups on Facebook where they can connect with others on the same voyage and organize their fish extender exchanges. These groups provide a platform for coordinating gift exchanges, sharing ideas, and fostering a sense of camaraderie among travelers. Participating in the fish extender activity adds an extra layer of enjoyment to the Disney Dream experience, allowing guests to create lasting memories and friendships during their sea adventure.
Personal Take: This takes a lot of planning, takes up a lot of luggage space, but the kids faces are priceless when they see their loot.
Is Disney Dream Kid Friendly?
Absolutely! The Disney Dream excels in catering to children of all ages. With characters popping up everywhere, dedicated kids' spas, and special amenities for the youngest cruisers, it's a child's paradise. Parents can rest easy knowing that their little ones are not just entertained but also cared for, with facilities like the Small World Nursery and Pixie Hollow play area.
A Disney Cruise LIne Vacation is more than just a cruise; it's a world of fantasy and fun rolled into one giant floating playground. From water slides and dance floors to board games and dance parties, it offers something for everyone in the family.
Disney Dream ensures that every moment is filled with magic and joy, making it the perfect place for creating new memories with your favorite characters and new friends. So, step aboard and let your Disney dream vacation begin!