The Difference Between Disney Magic and Disney Wonder

Disney cruise ships have the same amenities as other ships, but with a Walt Disney theme.
Disney cruise ships have the same amenities as other ships, but with a Walt Disney theme. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Many families choose to pair a trip to Walt Disney World with a trip on the Disney Cruise Line. Other travelers skip the trip to the Magic Kingdom and enjoy time on one of the cruise line’s ships that offer the same magic and characters as the amusement park. Disney cruises offer trips around the world, including Alaska, the Caribbean, Europe and Canada. Among its ships are the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder. While these ships offer many of the same amenities, differences remain between the two.


The Disney Wonder and the Disney Magic are almost identical. However, one of the biggest differences are the ships’ style and decor. On first look, the bows of the two ships are different. The Disney Magic has Sorcerer Mickey, while the Disney Wonder bow features the icon Steamboat Willie. Another difference comes on the stern. Goofy appears on the Disney Magic, while the Disney Wonder features Donald Duck along with his nephew Huey.


Although close in age, the two ships were not built in the same year. The Disney Magic is the oldest, having gone on its maiden voyage July 30, 1998, out of Port Canaveral, Fla. The Disney Wonder is one year newer, not having made its first trip until August 15, 1999. Both ships have 11 decks and can carry 2,700 passengers in addition to 950 crew and cast members. Because they are termed as “sister ships,” many of their amenities are the same, despite the slight difference in their ages.


The statues that greet guests in the lobby are different in the Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder. The Disney Magic features Helmsman Mickey, made completely out of bronze. A chandelier hangs overhead, and the interior is designed in an Art Deco fashion. This includes murals on the walls and an effort to focus on the first purpose of cruise ships: the link between the United States and Europe. The Disney Wonder features a statue of Ariel from “The Little Mermaid,” also made out of bronze. The interior is more art nouveau, paying homage to the seas with marble, Venetian glass and swirled paint effects on the walls. Paintings and sculptures can be found on every deck, including rare animation cells from Walt Disney films and cartoons.


While the venues on the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder are similar, they do have slightly different offerings. The Disney Magic features Lumiere's while the Disney Wonder offers Triton's. Both are main dining restaurants that offer American and French food. The Vibe on the Disney Magic and Aloft on the Disney Wonder are teen clubs designed for teenagers to hang out with other teens away from their parents. The two nighttime entertainment areas are Beat Street with Rockin' Bar D and Sessions on the Disney Magic, and Route 66 with Wavebands and the Cadillac Lounge on the Disney Wonder. The Rockin' Bar D is a contemporary club inspired by a roadhouse, while Wavebands looks like the inside of a transistor radio. Both are for families and adults. Sessions and the Cadillac Lounge cater to adults after 9 p.m. and feature live music in a nightclub atmosphere.

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