What it’s like to sail on the Disney Magic?
The Disney Magic was built in 1998 and was refurbished in 2018. The Disney Magic can hold a little over 2700 guests and has 950 crew onboard. The Disney Magic has 11 public decks, 3 main restaurants, 1 specialty restaurant and 2 pools.
Disney cruising is different from any other cruise line that we have experienced. Everything is done the Disney way and we loved that. We loved all the subtle Disney decor and the main dining room food is the best we have ever had on any cruise ship. We would like to sail on a larger Disney ship to see the differences. The Magic is nice but it seems like there are more things to do on the larger ships. If you are choosing a Disney cruise, we definitely recommend finding an itinerary that includes Castaway Cay. Castaway is a beautiful location and Disney has done a fantastic job at creating the ultimate paradise.
Stand Out Things on the Disney Magic
Disney Magic Playlist (click on playlist arrow in top right corner)
Our Review – All Things Good & Bad
Ship Design/Decor –
The decor on the Disney Magic is classic elegance, with a touch of Disney class. The Disney decor is very subtle and beautiful. We loved the design of the ship. It felt like stepping into the cruising of yesteryear but with everything updated and pristine. The Magic did undergo a dry dock in 2018 so things were still fresh from that update. One thing we did notice was the midship area was always crowded. The kids club areas are all located mid-ship so this added to the chaos as well. If you are looking to avoid the crowds, head to the aft or forward elevators. We rarely experienced any wait.
One thing we really enjoyed on the Magic was the adults-only After Hours area. In in the After Hours area you will find O’Gills, Keys and Fathoms. These are great lounges with some great entertainment at night. We definitely recommend stopping at Keys and listening to the piano player. It was a nice treat in the evening.
- Rotational Dining & Seating Times – this is something unique to a Disney cruise. Your dining room is assigned to you each night and is printed on the bottom of your Key to the World Card (cabin key). Rotational dining is neat because it allows you to try every restaurant on board and your dining staff travels with you to each restaurant. You are also assigned a dining time (early or late). We had late seating because Disney advises parents of small children to eat during the early seating and because of this, it is usually the first seating to fill up when registering for your cruise. (If you want to change your dining time, we recommend talking to the restaurant manager on the first day of your cruise)
- Lumiere’s (complimentary B, L, D) – breakfast here was great and service was very fast. A great place to grab breakfast before a busy port day. Dinner food was great. Some of the best main dining room food we have had at sea (if not the best). The one downside to Lumiere’s for us was the noise. The dining room is a very large hall type setting and it was loud. It reminded me of sitting in the quick service area of the All-Star Resorts at Walt Disney World. We have never experienced a dining room this loud on a ship.
- Animator’s Palette (complimentary D) – this is the one restaurant we were excited to see because we had read/heard about the show that goes on while you are eating. We did have Animator’s palette on our schedule twice so we decided to take one of those meals and splurge on the specialty restaurant Palo (review down below). We did not realize that our second meal was during our special Marvel Day at Sea day so we ended up missing out on the Animator’s Palette show. They had a special menu for Marvel Day and it was excellent but we wish we would have experienced the whole traditional show.
- Rapunzel’s Royal Table (complimentary D) – we were pleasantly surprised that this was our favorite dinner of the week. Rapunzel’s Royal Table is a full dinner theater show, complete with singing and characters. We typically do not like these types of dinners because we like to talk to each other more. However, this was the best dining experience. First the food was wonderful. The menu was inspired by Rapunzel and everything was so tasty. We compared the food in the restaurants to suite level restaurants on other lines (Haven, Yacht Club, etc). We loved the show and we even found the restaurant to be quieter than Lumiere’s. The character interaction with guests is fun and this dinner changed our minds on dinner theater experiences.
- Palo (specialty dinner) – best specialty dining we have had at sea. We recommend coming in hungry because the courses never seem to end (and you are going to want to make it to the end for dessert). We recommend checking out Palo if you are looking for a very romantic evening. If you time it right, you can even have a spectacular sunset while you are eating. We loved it!
Disney is known for entertainment and the stage shows are good. We did feel like we had seen better shows at the Disney Parks but the shows were better than most traditional cruise ship entertainment. The one stand out for entertainment was the deck parties. The deck parties are not just groups of people dancing around, these are choreographed parties complete with video elements, characters and even fireworks. Our favorite night of the cruise was Pirate Night. Such a fun evening with a not to be missed fireworks finale.
Castaway Cay –
Castaway Cay is Disney’s private cruise line island and it is amazing. The island has been transformed into a tropical paradise. We absolutely loved everything here. Some stand out areas were:
- Snorkeling – the BEST snorkeling we have seen at a private destination. The snorkeling area is huge and there are all kinds of hidden secrets on the ocean floor. You could easily spend hours swimming around the entire area and still not see everything. Tip – Ask the lifeguards for help and try to find Mickey.
- Rent a bike – there is a really nice bike path that will take you down a hidden runway, all the way to a secret observation tower (ok, it’s not so secret but it’s really cool).
- Serenity Bay – this is the adults-only area at Castaway and it is beautiful. The water is crystal clear and a great place to hang out in the water. There is also plenty of complimentary loungers there for you to enjoy. They also have a bar and a complimentary lunch buffet so you don’t have to go all the way back to the ship to grab a bite to eat.