After spending six weeks in dry dock, the Disney Magic cruise ship emerged with fresh coats of paint and a wealth of new features, from updated restaurants to an all-new thrilling water slide to an incredibly immersive kids’ area.
I spent two nights aboard the Disney Magic during its first public voyage after returning to the United States from receiving upgrades in Spain.
Immediately on board, it was clear Disney needed a bit more time. They had already cancelled the planned 5-night cruise that was meant to follow the dry dock time, citing poor weather conditions as the culprit for not being ready. Within minutes of being aboard this brief familiarization trip, the captain came over the speakers and noted they were still “sprinkling pixie dust” to finish it all off. Fortunately, for the most part, the updates were complete and nearly everything new was fantastic. Cruise passengers traveling today are in for a treat as the Disney Magic has been fully updated and continues to receive updates since this story was originally posted.
I’ve already written extensively about some of the Magic’s best new features:
- AquaDunk water slide
- AquaLab water play area
- Oceaneer Club with Marvel’s Avengers Academy
- Updated restaurants including Animator’s Palate’s new show “Drawn to Magic”
- Upgraded state rooms
- After Hours adult clubs
Click those links to read more about those excellent upgrades, including plenty of videos and photos from each.
It all began on October 25, 2013 with the first Sail Away Party debuting the ship’s new features, leaving from the port of Miami. While Miami’s beaches create a great view from on board, the city’s port isn’t the greatest, lacking the magical touches that Port Canaveral boasts.
The party itself is much shorter aboard the Magic than on the Dream and Fantasy, with fewer songs to kick off the voyage. Instead, the focus is where it should be, out at sea.
Re-imagined Disney Magic Sail Away party with Mickey Mouse
In an attempt to make the Disney Magic’s interior look more like the newer Dream and Fantasy ships, Disney altered its main atrium to feature just one grand staircase instead of two, accenting the whole area with character-filled gold trim and an ornate new chandelier overhead. It’s all quite lovely but nowhere near as immense and jaw-dropping as those on the newer ships, left feeling a little boxy in comparison.
Disney Magic updated atrium‘
Moreover, the Miami port does the ship no favors by not offering access into the atrium from land but instead having guests step foot on board next to elevators nearby. That atrium entrance moment at Port Canaveral provides a big wow factor that’s sorely missed in Miami.
Nearby, the gold treatment continues into the shops, which greatly resemble that of the Dream and Fantasy but much smaller. It’s a trend that continues throughout the updated Disney Magic, as there are many similarities to the newer ships but on a smaller scale.
Sadly, no Disney character artwork has been added to the glass elevators on board, leaving bizarre murals that must have been painted many years ago judging from their style.
Walking around the top two decks of the re-imagined Disney Magic is fresh and new, particularly the kids’ pools, including the AquaLab, and the AquaDunk water slide.
Pirates in the Caribbean party & Fireworks
The top decks are also home to the once-per-cruise Pirates in the Caribbean party, which covers up the main pools to allow guests to pile in to witness pirate-themed activities, shows, and fireworks.
The largely new Senses spa continues in the trend of Disney’s new pampering locations. It’s enlarged from the previous spa aboard the Disney Magic, taking up some of the former deck area to provide new amenities. It smells fantastic inside and provides plenty of opportunities for the best relaxation from the moment guests step inside.
An elaborate new layout offers guests a chance to get manicures, pedicures, and teeth whitening and the ship’s barber shop even provides massages during haircuts.
Massage treatment rooms are adorned with green, blue, and orange tiles with a variety of treatments, even including acupuncture.
The Rainforest uses an entirely different approach than on the Dream and Fantasy, offering guests a variety of scrubs and washes to cleanse themselves while enjoying different showers and saunas. Sadly there are no views of the ocean from within this area.
Those expecting ocean views while relaxing inside the Senses Spa will have to book a Couple’s Villa, providing a private hot tub and lounge area for an entire day.
The Disney Magic advertises the addition of a Chill Spa just for teens, but those who have seen the similarly named offering on the Dream and Fantasy will be disappointed to discover that the area on the Magic is merely one single massage treatment room.
Tucked away in the back of the spa is the ship’s fitness center, accessible to all guests at any time.
It’s a Small World Nursery
Borrowed from the Dream and Fantasy, the nursery on the Disney Magic has received the “it’s a small world” treatment, largely mirroring the layout and artwork found on the newer ships. It’s a great place for parents to safely leave their youngest children for a few hours to enjoy some alone time.
Video: It’s a Small World Nursery tour on the Disney Magic
Family entertainment can be found throughout the cruise in the newly-updated D Lounge, featuring a look inspired by that of the Dream and Fantasy. Open comfortable seating surrounds a main stage area that’s often home to a variety of activities and games.
Overall, the re-imagining of the Disney Magic is successful. Highly-anticipated additions like the AquaDunk water slide and Oceaneer Club with Marvel’s Avengers Academy do not disappoint at all. The updated restaurants all serve fantastic food with new entertainment added.
Disney’s service is second to none and there is always entertainment to be found on board. Compared to the larger ships in the Disney fleet, a couple key reasons to cruise on the Disney Magic include Marvel Day at Sea, Rapunzel Royal Table, and some wonderful Broadway productions. Check out our Disney Cruise overview page for a full comparison between the Disney fleet of ships.
We love Disney Cruise Line for the relaxed, laid-back feel it has for a Disney vacation, and we’re sure you will, too. Click here for a no-obligation Disney Cruise Line vacation quote from Academy Travel. Have you ever been on an adults-only Disney cruise vacation? Share your experiences with us!