Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship, the Disney Wish, is getting ready to set sail summer 2022. From the moment the first guests book their cruise to the last guest debarking the ship to go back home, those who sail on the Disney Wish will have a host of new technology, most of which is all interactive and will continue to elevate the onboard experience. I got a behind-the-scenes look at some of the technology and secrets coming to the Disney Wish with Walt Disney Imagineering.
Disney Uncharted Adventure
The Disney Wish experience actually starts at home with the new interactive game Disney Uncharted Adventure. The game uses the Play Disney Parks app to virtually transform any smart device into an enchanted spyglass that can be used around the ship to complete tasks with favorite Disney characters. Leading up to embarkation day, the app will reveal a special greeting from Captain Minnie Mouse and Mickey Mouse, who will explain the game and highlight the role of the stars in seafaring. The two hosts will also explain the “wishing star” and how it will light the way for the Disney Wish.
Once on board the Disney Wish, guests can use their spyglass to reveal augmented reality stars and constellations that are actually in the shape of characters from Disney and Pixar movies. Each character will take families on an adventure to help Mickey and Minnie Mouse get back portions of the wishing star that has shattered across fairytale lands.
“While guests will need a mobile device to play, this isn’t a traditional mobile gaming experience,” said Davey Feder, software product manager, Walt Disney Imagineering . “This is a heads-up, active experience that can be played with family and friends. The magic will happen all around the ship. The spyglass is not where the adventure takes place — it’s just the tool that brings the ship to life, opening portals into new worlds and allowing guests to interact with them.”
Disney Uncharted Adventure is one of Disney Cruise Line’s most flexible, replayable and customizable on-board games to date. Every time a guest opens their smartphone they are in charge of their own adventure, and can choose when and how to play. Players are not locked into playing every quest to achieve the end goal at the finale event on board. If players do choose to play over and over, they can uncover new surprises and rewards.
I got the chance to play one of the games coming to Disney Uncharted Adventure, which is themed after Disney’s Princess and the Frog. During the game I partnered with Princess Tiana to make a pot of gumbo using simple motions like shaking my phone to add in just the right amount of hot sauce. One point that Feder made during the test game was Imagineering noticed other test players would shake their phone slightly instead of using a tipping motion to shake out the virtual hot sauce. Because of that the team needed to be sure that everything was programmed correctly to ensure when families play on board that both motions are accepted by the Play Disney Parks app.
Another technological feat on board the Disney Wish is the first onboard attraction at sea. Danny Handke, senior creative director of Walt Disney Imagineering said, “For the Disney Wish, we wanted to continue that tradition of innovation in a big way. With AquaMouse, we’re combining theme park thrills, iconic Disney animation and the magic of ocean cruising to create a one-of-a-kind water attraction unlike anything we’ve done before.”
When guests step into their raft they will be surrounded by the animated world of Mickey Mouse and his friends in the style of “The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts. The attraction will have show scenes, lighting and special effects and plenty of water surprises. The attraction is 760 feet long and is suspended above the upper decks of the Disney Wish.
AquaMouse will feature two excursions, both of which start off at Mickey and Minnie’s onboard excursion company, Port Misadventures. During Scuba Scramble guests will join Mickey and Minnie on an adventure to Mermaid Lagoon, and on Swiss Meltdown, guests will go sledding down melting snow. If the animation style and music sound familiar in Swiss Meltdown it’s because it’s heavily inspired by the Mickey Mouse short Yodelberg. The Disney Cruise Line team brought in composer Christopher Willis to adapt his score from the show for the attraction.
While riding guests will see Mickey and Minnie in oversized virtual portholes, each of which Imagineering had seven seconds to get a vital story point across to riders. Each time a Disney character splashes around in the water guests riding will also get wet thanks to the over 60 water effects that are in sync with the onscreen show.
As the attraction gets near the end riders will take a loop over the edge of the ship, which is an engineering marvel in itself. The ride culminates with a splashdown for a view of Mickey and Minnie in a physical set above the water who are giving riders a farewell message that will change depending on the version of the AqauMouse that was presented.
After I experienced a portion of Scuba Scramble, the technology behind the first attraction at sea is incredible. AquaMouse has major re-rideability as guests will want to search for hidden Easter eggs and be sure to ride both versions of the attraction while onboard.
Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge
One of the most anticipated areas on the Disney Wish is Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge. The highly themed space will be family-friendly during the day, but when night falls on the ship adults will find a Star Wars-themed retreat just for them. Hyperspace Lounge isn’t themed after one specific Star Wars story, but a celebration of many stories. The lounge does take inspiration from Dryden Vos’ lavish star cruiser from Solo: A Star Wars Story.
As guests enter the lounge they will need to press a button and the door to the lounge will woosh open with the famous Star Wars door sound. After taking a seat at the bar or table guests will notice the lounge jump into hyperspace to travel from planet to planet to see locations like Tatooine, Mustafar, Coruscant and Batuu through a virtual window into a galaxy far, far away.
The lounge will use surround sound audio to allow those inside to be fully immersed in the experience. For instance, guests may see a space race of the Ace Squadron from the animated series Star Wars Resistance and hear the ships whizzing by. In a corner of the bar there will be a holotube that will show off holographic models of nearby ships like the Millennium Falcon or the Halcyon from the upcoming Walt Disney World Star Wars experience, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser.
Worlds of Marvel
Worlds of Marvel is the technology-based restaurant onboard the Disney Wish. The restaurant brings together stories of the Worldwide Engineering Brigade from Avengers Campus, Pym Tech from the Ant-Man movies, Wakanda from Black Panther, and Stark Industries from the Avengers movies into one cohesive storyline with dozens of Easter eggs to find.
When dining here guests will take part in “Avengers: Quantum Encounter,” which Imagineering is calling Disney Cruise Line’s most ambitious dining experience ever. “We’re doing something that’s never been done before in a restaurant, developing an exclusive Avengers adventure that will immerse our guests in the action through sophisticated technology and innovative storytelling,” said Handke.
Inside the 700 seat restaurant diners will be surrounded by 100 high-definition monitors. As dinner begins Ant-Man and The Wasp show up for a special presentation of super hero tech, like Captain America’s vibranium shield, Iron Man’s arc reactor and Ant-Man’s Pym Particles. Then the dynamic duo will invite everyone for a hands-on demonstration of the latest Pym technology, a Quantum Core, which will be located in the middle of each table. With the push of a button on the Quantum Core diners will be able to shrink and grow targets around the ship, like an oversized piece of luggage in someone’s stateroom, as seen virtually through one of the many screens in the restaurant.
With anything Marvel the antics go awry, and the infamous Marvel villain, Ultron, shows up trying to get their hands on the new quantum technology. With the help of Captain America, Captain Marvel and dinner guests, Ant-Man and The Wasp will set out to defeat Ultron and regain control of the super hero symposium.
Disney’s Oceaneer Club
Disney’s Oceaneer Club is a space for children ages three to 12, where they can encounter favorite Disney characters, play games, build a superhero suit and even learn what it takes to be a Walt Disney Imagineer. The space is divided into three themed areas, Marvel Super Hero Academy, Fairytale Hall and the Walt Disney Imagineering Lab.
Marvel Super Hero Academy is the Avengers headquarters onboard the Disney Wish. Kids will be able to train with the likes of Spider-Man, Black Panther, Ant-Man and The Wasp. This training is meant to tie into the story being told inside Worlds of Marvel, so when kids dine inside the restaurant they are able to teach their parents about the latest Pym Tech innovations. While inside Avengers Headquarters kids can also build a virtual super hero suit and can test it at Avengers: Mission Training. The gesture-based technology game will allow kids to put their skills and new suit to the test as they battle bad guys.
Fairytale Hall has three separate activity rooms based on the Disney films Tangled, Beauty and the Beast, and Frozen. Here children can find another gesture-based game inside Anna and Elsa’s Sommerhus. The games include snowball fights with the friendly trolls and hunting for Snowgies from the animated short Frozen Fever. Each of the games will be hosted by Olaf.
One of the most impressive areas in the Oceaneer Club will be the Walt Disney Imagineering Lab, a first-of-its-kind space onboard a Disney Cruise Line ship. Here, kids will learn the secrets of what it really takes to be an Imagineer through hands-on activities like designing and virtually riding their own rollercoaster. Each of the newly designed coasters will be along the lines of Disney’s most beloved coasters, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Space Mountain or Matterhorn Bobsleds. After designing their coaster, kids can get into a virtual reality enabled capsule to ride their creation.
When the Disney Wish sets sail June 9, 2022 remember the teams at Walt Disney Imagineering who made the ship the technological marvel that it truly is.