Home Instagram Pinterest Facebook Twitter Google+ RSS Contact
Home

Disney Dream with Babies, Toddlers and Children

Travel Mamas sometimes receives compensation and/or hosted travel and sample products related to blog posts. This story may include affiliate links for which we receive a small commission at no extra cost to consumers.

My biggest (and only) complaint about my family's two-night cruise on Disney's new ship, Dream? There simply was not enough time to experience all this ship has to offer! Disney Dream is forty percent larger than its predecessors, Wonder and Magic. This ship offers the same outstanding customer service and delightful details plus some incredible new frills. My family thoroughly explored Dream's fabulous amenities for families during our preview cruise. Here's what to expect when sailing Disney Dream with babies, toddlers, and children.

Disney Dream Castaway Cay ~ Disney Dream with Babies, Toddlers and Children

Dream docked at Castaway Cay, Disney's private Caribbean island (Photo credit: Disney)

Nemo's Reef for Tots

One of the most spectacular features for babies and toddlers sailing on a Disney Cruise, is their splash areas for children who are not yet potty trained. On most cruises, parents must pack an inflatable baby pool if they want to allow tots to join in any water fun since non-potty-trained children are not allowed in cruise ship pools for sanitary reasons.

On Disney's other ships, Magic and Wonder, the splash area is simply one small round play area with a steady stream of shooting water. Don't get me wrong, my daughter adored this option on our 2007 Disney Mediterranean Cruise when she was a toddler, but Nemo's Reef on Dream blows that out of the water! This splash area, adjacent to the family pools, is resplendent with characters from Finding Nemo which spray, sprinkle, and mist water for giggling children. There is also a small stingray-shaped waterslide, perfect for the preschooler set.

Nemo's Reef Disney Dream ~ Disney Dream with Babies, Toddlers and Children

Just one section of Nemo's Reef (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Family Pools on Disney Dream

My kindergartner, Karissa, had a grand ol' time swimming about in Donald’s Pool for families and Mickey’s Pool for smaller sailors. She was quite heartbroken to discover Dream’s AquaDuck water coaster has a 48-inch height requirement. Instead, younger kids can take a spin on a winding yellow waterslide and have almost as much fun.

Disney Dream Waterslide for Children ~ Disney Dream with Babies, Toddlers and Children

Dream's family pools and waterslides (Photo credit: Disney)

It's a Small World Nursery for Babies and Toddlers

This darling nursery for ages three months to three years is painted in the fanciful style of the Disney ride for which it is named. Babies and toddlers enjoy crafts, toys, books and games at tables just their size. he back of the nursery is a serene space for nap time filled with numerous cribs. They even have several strollers on-hand for babies and toddlers who need a little ride to induce sleep.

Plans are in the works to install a one-way window to allow parents to peek at little ones without disturbing their play. This was a handy tool on our first Disney Cruise on Magic when my husband and I would drop off a crying toddler and return five minutes later to find our daughter happily at play.

Trying to decide whether to place your newly potty-trained child in the nursery or the camps for older kids? While officially children should be at least three to participate in Oceaneer Club or Oceaneer Lab, younger children who are potty trained are welcomed on a case-by-case basis. Oceaneer children are expected to find and use the restrooms on their own, without reminders from counselors. While children are given freedom to explore these play areas on their own terms, it proved to be too much independence for our not-yet-three-year-old boy, Leo. After one accident, we placed our son in the more attentive care of the It's a Small World Nursery.

There is an additional $6 per hour charge for children in the nursery. Space may be limited, especially during peak times like spring break and summer. Reservations can be made online before cruising.

It's a Small World Nursery ~ Disney Dream with Babies, Toddlers and Children

My son having a ball in the It's a Small World Nursery (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Oceaneer Club & Oceaneer Lab for Children

You might have a hard time convincing your children to depart the Oceaneer camps, which are designed for children ages three to ten. The Oceaneer areas are joined, allowing kids to wander between the two choosing which space and activities appeal to them most. Both feature a Magic PlayFloor, where kids’ movements control the action. For example, children can step into the futuristic world of Tron for a team-based game or pretend to fly over the streets of London like Peter Pan.

Magic Play Floor Disney Dream Oceaneer Lab ~ Disney Dream with Babies, Toddlers and Children

Kids having a stomping good time with the Magic PlayFloor in the Oceaneer Lab

Oceaneer Club is geared toward the younger children within this age group, with themed play areas like Andy's Room from Toy Story, Pixie Hollow from Tinkerbell, the Explorer Pod a la Finding Nemo, and Monster's Academy for fans of Monsters, Inc.

Play in the Oceaneer Lab is focused on exploration, where children can create their own computer-animated characters in the Animator's Studio or record pop songs in the Song Studio (with the help of a counselor).

For those traveling with older kids, there is also a club for tweens, Edge, and one for teens, Vibe.

Andy's Room in Oceaneer Lab on Disney Dream ~ Disney Dream with Babies, Toddlers and Children

My daughter playing in Andy's Room in the Oceaneer Club (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Family-Friendly Dining on Dream

As on the other Disney ships, evening meals are eaten in three rotation restaurants on Dream. Dining in rotation means you keep your same tablemates and waitstaff, but eat in a different restaurant each evening.

Animator's Palate differs on Dream from the restaurant of the same name on Disney's older ships. Dream's version features video screens with characters from Finding Nemo that come to life when the sea turtle, Crush talks to diners.

Enchanted Garden is a whimsical restaurant filled with colorful flowers and vine-shaped trellises at the center of which is sweet tiered fountain topped with a Cupid Mickey Mouse.

The Royal Palace is the most elegant of the rotation restaurants, designed to make guests feel like royalty as they are immersed in lavish surroundings inspired by Disney princess movies.

Enchanted Garden on Disney Dream ~ Disney Dream with Babies, Toddlers and Children

Enchanted Garden (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

For a casual breakfast, lunch, and dinner option there is the beach-themed Cabanas food court, a buffet of sorts with an overwhelming variety of offerings to meet the needs of even the pickiest child (or adult). I love how they cater to cruisers from around the world with breakfasts of bagels and lox, miso soup, eggs and bacon, musli, and more.

Snackers will be satisfied with additional options available poolside like sandwich wraps, chicken tenders, fresh fruit, and frozen smoothies. And what kid doesn't love free-flowing soft-serve ice cream?

Disney Dream Cabanas Sand Castle Art ~ Disney Dream with Babies, Toddlers and Children

Sand castle art depicting the different Disney theme parks adorns the walls of Cabanas (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Family-Friendly Staterooms

Disney Cruise Line staterooms are designed to be family-friendly with larger floorplans than most cruise lines, a privacy curtain between the children's area and the parents' bed, and two separated sinks to make getting ready for the day a breeze. Plus, bathtubs are featured in all rooms (a rarity on cruise ships), making it easy to bathe babies, toddlers, and other little ones while at sea.

My daughter gleefully climbed into her top bunk in our stateroom both nights. For you nervous mamas like me, her bed was secured with a safety railing and we received a removable safety railing for my son's lower bunk. Karissa adored sleeping beneath a painted nighttime sky dotted with stars – just another delightful Disney detail!

Inside staterooms on Dream are outfitted with Magic Portholes, which show live video views outside the ship. Plus, Disney characters like Dumbo or Nemo sometimes float past the portholes to surprise guests.

Disney Dream Deluxe Family Stateroom with Balcony ~ Disney Dream with Babies, Toddlers and Children

Our Deluxe Family Stateroom with Balcony, all turned down for the evening (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Other Special Disney Touches

Disney character meet-and-greets, Broadway-caliber live shows, first-run Disney movies in the ship's movie theatre, and fireworks at sea add to the magic of a Disney Cruise. But what really makes a Disney cruise special is over-the-top attention to detail and incredible customer service. Every effort is made to ensure that all guests are entertained and cared for, from babies and toddlers, to children, tweens, teens, and adults.

Mickey Mouse shaped ketchup and ranch dressing on Disney Dream ~ Disney Dream with Babies, Toddlers and Children

When I requested sides of ranch and ketchup to accompany my son's chicken at dinner, our server created Mickey Mouse artwork from the condiments! (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Disney Dream Itineraries & Beyond

Disney Dream offers three, four, and five night cruises to The Bahamas, with a day or two spent at Disney's private island, Castaway Cay. If you plan to sail on Dream (and you should!), I'd go for the longest cruise you can afford. I felt an incredible sense of “hurry up and have fun” on this two-night cruise.

This short taste has me absolutely longing for another Disney Cruise! How about you? Read more about Disney Cruise Line and check pricing now.

Would you like to sail Disney dream? Share your thoughts in the comments!

A Note from The Travel Mama: Disney provided my airfare, my family's two-night media cruise, and some other expenses related to the Disney Dream Christening Cruise. I was singing the praises of Disney Cruise Line long before I was a travel writer!

All photos by Colleen Lanin unless otherwise noted.

Get 20% off The Travel Mamas' Guide

About Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama

Colleen Lanin is the founder/editor-in-chief of TravelMamas.com. As the author of her book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents not only how to survive a trip with children, but also how to love exploring the world with their offspring. Her stories have appeared online and in print for such outlets as the "Today" show, NBCNews.com, Parenting Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, Expedia, San Diego Family Magazine, and more. Colleen gives tips on television, radio, and as a public speaker. She has a master’s degree in business administration with a background in marketing. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

Comments

  1. Incredible! This cruise ship is all anyone could dream of. It sounds like Disney has once again done its homework to make sure all the little problems involved with sailing are taken care of, even baths for little kids and cleanliness at the pool areas.

  2. It looks and sounds amazing! I’d love to go on a Disney cruise with my toddler!

    I love the ketchup Mickey! 😉

  3. You did a great job outlining the highlights for Disney Dream’s youngest guests!

  4. Ellen & Melissa – I hope you will get a chance to experience a Disney Cruise sometime firsthand. It’s such a fabulous vacation option, no matter your age!

  5. Kara – Thanks so much! 🙂

  6. My family and I just returned from a 4 night cruise on the Dream. It was absolutely wonderful! I was thoroughly impressed. Like you we couldn’t squeeze it all in but we look forward to doing it again. Would also love to check out the Fantasy when it’s ready!

  7. In case you have a little one who would love to take a spin on the AquaDuck, Disney has changed the height requirement on the water coaster from 48 to 42 inches!

  8. Going on a disney cruise! It just so happens we are going on the Dream! Awesome job with the details. Liked the way they were in a different setup than most websites i’ve seen… anyways, CAN’T WAIT!!!!!!!!!

  9. Connor – I hope you have a WONDERFUL time on your Disney Dream cruise!

  10. Joe Robba says:

    Hey Colleen,
    Not sure if you’d be able to answer this or not, but we are headed on a cruise in a few months (St. John, Tortola, and St. Thomas), on the Fantasy and we’ll be bringing our then 20 month old son and 4 year old daughter. Can you recommend any excursions that he could be included on? Thanks!

Trackbacks

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Colleen Lanin, Jen, Megryansmom, Viajando c/Pimpolhos, Viajando c/Pimpolhos and others. Viajando c/Pimpolhos said: Imaginem isso por aqui, q legal! RT @TravelMamas Disney's New Ship Is a Dream f/ Babies, Toddlers & Children http://tinyurl.com/4872vkx […]

  2. […] Travel Mamas – Disney’s New Ship is a Dream for Babies, Toddlers and Children […]

  3. […] to be a pirate like Captain Hook, or having a stomping good time on the MagicPlayfloor aboard Disney’s new ship, Dream. Tweens ages 11 to 13 can sing Karaoke and embark on scavenger hunts in Edge, a club created just […]

Speak Your Mind

*