Disney Wonder brings a night of magic to Sydney Harbour

Disney Wonder brings a night of magic to Sydney Harbour

The arrival of Disney Wonder was celebrated with the appropriate level of magic on Friday afternoon on Sydney Harbour.

Hundreds of invited guests boarded the boat at White Bay Cruise Terminal for the short trip under the Syndey Harbour Bridge to Circular Quay.

Guests entertained a special performance of Disney Dreams – An Enchanted Classic, a Broadway style stage production featuring all of the biggest names in Disney’s fairytale back catalogue.

The arrival of Disney Wonder brings the Disney experience closer to Australia and New Zealand’s shores than ever before. People can jump onboard for their taste of Disney magic rather than making their way to theme parks overseas.

For Sharon Siskie, the Senior Vice President and General Manager of Disney Cruise Line, that’s exactly why the decision was made to bring the ship downunder.

“There’s a lot of love of Disney in Australia and New Zealand. There’s a very high affinity towards our brand products are characters and franchises. So for us, we thought about the fact our parks get visitation from Australia, but it’s not quite so easy to visit, as often as some of these guests would like. So we thought about this idea of Could you take the ship there?

“And we invested more in the experiences making it what we’re calling magic at sea. Adding more characters more experiences, make the ship the destination, and bring it to Australia and New Zealand,” Siskie told Travel Weekly.

“We thought wouldn’t that be so much fun for us and for the Australian guests then to be able to have a chance to have this Disney Experience right at their back door, making it so easy for them to come on and for their families to have the experience.”

The reaction of the adults onboard (me included) proved that the attraction of Disney isn’t limited to children, and that too is something the cruise line had in mind when designing the experience.

When we think about how we design our ships, we think about it with the entire family in mind. And so we think about what is it that the families want to do together as a family?

“And then of course, what is it that the kids want to go off and do on their own, and, and when they are off having that great time, it frees up the parents so that they can have a great time too.

“We coined a phrase to ourselves, it’s time together time apart. It allows the families to engage and have a wonderful time together as a family and make those kind of memories that they can talk about for years.

Travel Weekly editor Dan Lake with the one person more goofy than him.

“The whole idea of the way we design the experience is with everybody in the party in mind. For example our Broadway style shows and our dining experiences that are very themed. Those are the kinds of things that families love to do together, and have those kinds of experiences together,” she said.

“But, I think what you’re hitting on is also sometimes as adults, they just want to act like kids too. And that’s okay, too. And so then they go to the deck parties and the fireworks and they enjoy all those kinds of things, too. So it’s the whole idea of just how do you really design around the entire family and what everybody would enjoy and in ways that they can engage with our characters and our experiences.”

Sales of the Disney cruise experience were so strong from the beginning, that the company almost instantly confirmed sailings for the 24/25 summer, too.

Following the show, guests experienced dinner at the Animator’s Palate. The highlight of the dinner being the coming to life of drawings made by dinner guests on their placemats. I won’t spoil the surprise for any potential travellers, but this feature is certainly worth experiencing.

The evening ended with a special farewell from all of Disney’s biggest stars. Donald, Daffy, Goofy, Pluto, Mickey and Minnie. Plus, all of its iconic princesses.

Details of when Disney Wonder will be in port in Sydney can be found in Travel Weekly’s Cruise Diary.

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