Are you planning a Disney Cruise and wondering what there is to do on the cruise ship? These are our favorite Disney Dream activities to enjoy during a Disney Cruise vacation with your family.
Disney prioritizes family time, and just like at the Walt Disney World theme parks, they tailor the activities on the Disney Cruise line ships for families.
We recently sailed on our second Disney cruise ship and had an opportunity to explore more of the Disney cruise activities than our first trip.
There are 5 Disney Cruise ships. They are the Disney Wonder, Disney Fantasy, Disney Magic, and the newest ship the Disney Wish.
Disney has announced three new ships coming by 2025. The Disney Treasure will begin sailing in 2024.
It is important to keep in mind you may not do everything. Depending on how long you are sailing, we did a 3 night cruise, you may not have the chance to experience all the activities.
Whether you decide to do all the Disney cruise ship activities or only a few, you and your family will never run out of family fun activities on the Disney Dream.
The ship was made for families and we loved all the moments to create amazing family memories.
Honestly, the most challenging part of planning what to do on the Disney Dream, was organizing everyone’s plans.
Everyone had things they wanted to do and we planned our vacation to have a good balance of family time and kids time.
This is our list for some of the best things to do on the Disney Dream cruise, that we loved, and we think your family will love during your vacation too!
Disney Dream Activities with Kids You Won’t Want to Miss
Midship Detective Agency
One of my favorite things to do on the Disney Dream is to play the onboard scavenger hunt: Midship Detective Agency.
This is a free activity that you can do as a family.
You can sign up for this at one of the two headquarters located on Deck 2 and Deck 5. The deck 5 location is close to the Oceaneer Club and deck 2 is located near the Enchanted Garden restaurant.
We decided to pick one case to solve as a family. I find it easier if you work together to solve a case instead of each having your own.
There are a few different cases to solve and you can do more than one during your cruise.
The options we had were The Muppets themed Case of the Stolen Show and the Villains themed The Case of the Missing Puppies and The Case of the Plundered Paintings.
We did the Villains puppies case.
Your family will get a special card that activates the clues as well as the clue map and suspect list.
This self-guided tour will have you walking all over the ship and finding paintings that hold the clues to your case.
This activity is why a Disney Cruise is for Kids! It is so interactive, kids of all ages enjoy it, and you can play as a family.
Midship Detective is always at the top of our list for things to do on the Disney Cruise.
Vanellope’s Sweets and Treats
Vanellope’s is not only themed adorably to Wreck-It-Ralph, it is also super tasty!!
We always stop at Vanellope’s for a sweet extra during our Disney Cruise.
It is not included in your cruise price, but the prices are not outrageous. We could get treats for all of us for under $20.00.
They have gelato, ice cream, cookies, and more options to satisfy any sweet tooth.
There are also two ice cream options that you can share.
The family challenge cup has lots of scoops of ice cream and a souvenir trophy to bring home. There is also a smaller challenge that is Vanellope’s car.
We have attempted both options and never finished!! It is a great way to have a family fun challenge on the cruise! You can also bring home the dish as a souvenir.
Disney Dream Pool Areas
There are a few different pool areas on the ship. They are the quiet cove pool for guests 18+. Mickey’s Pool that has a water slide and is great for the whole family. Donald’s Pool which is another family friendly pool.
There is also the Funnel Puddle which is a wading pool for young children. There is also a hot tub for adults and kids.
The Aqua Duck water slide winds around the ship and through tunnels. It is a fun way to cool off on a hot day. Children must be 42 inches or taller to ride.
Nemo Reef is a splash pad area for children 3 and under. It is themed to Finding Nemo and is a cute area on the ship. Swim diapers required.
This is the perfect slide for children ages 4-14. This slide twist around and the kids loved it! Children must be between 38 and 64 inches to slide.
One of the things to do on a Disney cruise that may be overlooked is to watch movies on the deck. Funnel Vision on Deck 12 is where you will find the pools and a classic Disney movie throughout the day.
Families can grab a few chairs and sit and watch their favorite movies on the open sea. We watched Hercules on our recent visit and it was fun to watch it.
New Releases on the Ship
In the Buena Vista Theatre guests can watch the latest new releases and first-run movies, included with your cruise.
On our recent cruise Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Frozen II, and The Call of the Wild were playing. These run at different times throughout the day.
Dining on the Disney Dream
Dining may not seem like an activity but to some it is the best part of the cruise!
The Disney Dream has quick service options, table service options, and up-graded dining experiences.
The quick service options are buffet style. They include Cabanas, Flo’s Cafe, Vanellope’s Sweets and Treats, Eye Scream, and Frozone Treats.
The sit down options, which are included with your cruise and is where you will dine nightly, are Animator’s Palate, Enchanted Garden, and Royal Palace.
You will be reserved at each of these restaurants for a dinner during the duration of your cruise.
Keep in mind you can visit Enchanted Garden for lunch if you would like to skip the buffets.
If you are looking for an upscale experience guests can make reservations for the adults only Palo or Remy.
There is also a character dining experience for kids ages 3-12 at the Royal Palace called the Royal Court Royal Tea Party.
All of these dining experiences require reservations and cost extra.
Kids Only Clubs
The Disney Cruise activities that my kids absolutely loved were the activities at the kids club.
This is a kids only area that has many different activities for your kids to enjoy.
There are a few different Kids Club options depending on the age of your kids.
They are the Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab(ages 3-12), Edge (ages 11-14), and Vibe (ages 14-17).
There is also small world nursery for children under 3 years of age at an additional cost.
Learn more about the kids clubs in this article, Everything Parents Should Know About the Disney Kids Clubs.
Live Show at Walt Disney Theatre
On a Disney Cruise they offer nightly live shows at the Walt Disney Theatre. These are Broadway style shows that are impressive.
During the Disney Dream 3 night cruise, we saw The Golden Mickey’s, Beauty and the Beast, and Disney’s Believe.
The shows run twice each night. An early show and a later show. The shows depend on your dining time and give everyone onboard an opportunity to see them.
If you can’t make the show live but still want to watch, all shows are on the TV in your stateroom.
This is great if you are traveling with a young child or just want to call it a night.
My favorite is Beauty and the Beast. It is an incredible show. The cast is amazing and the costume design is fantastic.
My husband and I got to get a behind the scenes look at the show and cast, and were so impressed with the attention to details.
Meet Disney Characters During Your Disney Cruise
Meeting characters at Disney is one of the fun parts about being on a Disney Cruise.
You can meet some of your favorite characters on the ship and at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. We love meeting the characters!
Some of the character meet and greets can be booked ahead of time. Once you have made your reservation you will sign in and book the character meetings. Sign in here.
Pirate Night is a really fun and exciting evening celebration on the Disney Dream. Your stateroom host will leave Pirate Night bandanas for you to wear during the festivities.
Many guests will go all out and dress up for this event but it is also okay to do nothing at all. We wore pirate shirts on our cruise and it was fine.
During the night there is a special Pirate Night show, fireworks, and buffet. This is late at night and the fireworks are weather permitting.
Sail Away Party/See Ya Real Soon
These events are to welcome guests onto the ship as well as say until next time at the close of your Disney Cruise.
There is singing and dancing and characters involved in these exciting family fun shows.
Castaway Cay is Disney’s private island. There is so much to see and do on Castaway Cay.
I share our experience in this article, 7 Castaway Cay Tips for Your Visit. It will help you plan your day and decide what you want to do during your visit.
On the island you can meet characters, enjoy a lunch buffet, snorkel, ride bikes, and enjoy a family fun beach with a water slide.
You can also check your kids into the kids club on the island, Scuttle’s Cove, and spend time at Serenity-the adults only beach.
Guests can also run the Castaway Cay 5K. This is open to all ages and can be done at your own leisure during your day on the island.
Soft Serve at Eye Scream
One of the best perks on the Disney Dream is unlimited soft serve ice cream from Eye Scream. The kids really took advantage of this and it was fun to have a little extra treat during our Disney Cruise.
They also have unlimited soft serve on Castaway Cay. I loved the banana and strawberry swirl. It was delicious!
In the District Lounge there are areas that cater to families at certain times of day. Here you can play trivia, create crafts, or sing to your favorite Disney songs. They even have BINGO and dance parties to spend time together as a family on the Disney Dream.
Goofy Golf is a mini-golf course that we played multiple times during our Disney cruise. It’s included with your cruise and you can visit any time the deck is open to play.
Goofy’s Sports Deck
Goofy’s Sports deck has a basketball court that my boys really enjoyed this year. It is completely fenced in so you don’t need to worry about any basketballs going overboard, and wasn’t really busy during the day, allowing the boys to play as much as they wanted.
There is also a golf and sports simulator that you need to make reservations for before you arrive on the ship. You can do this by signing into your reservations. If you didn’t do this before you arrive, visit guests services for more information.
Royal Court Royal Tea
Royal Court Royal Tea is an exclusive character dining experience that is not included in your cruise price. Guests will enjoy a tea party with some of their favorite Disney princesses. More details can be found here.
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
Girls and boys can dress up like their favorite princess, prince, or pirate in this add on experience. We explored the boutique and there are many options, for every budget. Reservations are suggested but you can also stop by to check it out. You may even get pixie dusted on your visit!
Wellness on the Disney Dream
The Disney Dream has a fitness center and two spas on board. Sense Spa and Salon is for the adult guests and Chill Spa is for the teens on board the ship.
Guests can also get room service ordered to their room if they want to continue relaxing. Most room service is included with your cruise.
Tips to Maximize Your Time and Activities on the Disney Dream
- Take advantage of the Disney Cruise Line Navigator App. This will be a guide to when and where the activities on the ship are happening.
- Decide what your priorities are. Discuss the activities on the ship with your family before you arrive. Let everyone pick their favorites and make it a point to do those activities. This is especially important on shorter sailing trips.
There are so many Disney Dream activities for you and your family to enjoy. My best tip is to pick the ones that fit your family and enjoy the family time on the Disney Cruise.