If I Were Upon the Sea…

This post is part of the
Disney at Night series

It always seems twice as hard to get back to the “real world” after spending time on a Disney cruise – no one to make your bed for you, no unending supply of chicken fingers, ice cream and soda, and no world class entertainment to keep me busy after the sun goes down. In between trips, as I’m decompressing from a long day at work, I often think about what I would be doing if I were upon the sea…

Sunset aboard a cruise (Disney Fan in Colorado for Mouse on the Mind)
The fun begins when the sun goes down

Walt Disney Theater (Disney Fan in Colorado for Mouse on the Mind)
Ready to watch a show

Watching a show at the Walt Disney Theatre
On all four Disney ships, the Walt Disney Theatre is where you go to see Broadway-style shows, family-friendly variety acts and occasionally a first-run movie (they played The Avengers on our cruise in June). I have huge respect for the actors and actresses that perform on the ships. Not only are they providing top-notch entertainment, but they’re doing it all while dealing with the movement of the ship, which has to be an interesting experience! I’ve seen the shows on both the Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder several times, but there’s still nothing like watching Disney Dreams as the ship steams toward its next port of call.

Joining in on a little friendly family competition
There are a lot of fun family activities to participate in, either before or after dinner, and one of my family’s favorites is to join in one of the family game shows. Whether you want to show off your Disney knowledge answering trivia during “Mickey Mania” (it’s insane-ia!), test how well you know your family members at “So You Think You Know Your Family?”  or just sit back and watch the fun, the nightly game shows are a great way to spend time with the entire family.

Experiencing the fireworks at sea
Fireworks are usually pretty neat. Fireworks at a Disney park are amazing. Fireworks on a ship in the middle of the ocean with nothing else around are downright spectacular. ‘Nuff said.

Posing for a family picture
Similar to PhotoPass at the Disney Parks, the cruise ships have dedicated photographers that are always around to capture a special memory. You’ll often see them roaming around the ship during the day, but at night, before and after each dinner seating, you’ll find them set up in the atrium for special photo opportunities. Whether you want a picture with your favorite characters or want a formal family portrait to celebrate the one night you’re able to get your son to wear something other than a t-shirt and jeans, you’ll be sure to capture some great memories!

Formal Night on the Disney Wonder (Disney Fan in Colorado for Mouse on the Mind)
Formal Night photo op

Spending time away from the kids
Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids and love spending time with them, but with the fantastic kids’ clubs onboard, a Disney cruise is one of the few places where I can spend some kid-free time with my husband and not feel guilty!

After 9pm, a section of each of the ships turns into the adults-only entertainment district, where anyone over 18 can try a new cocktail at a “tasting,” boogie down to some great music, watch a “no kids allowed” variety show or just sit and have a quiet conversation with your other half. If you can make it, I highly recommend attending “Pub Night” held on the last night of most cruises – this is a hilarious skit where you’ll learn what the Activities staff would be doing “If they were NOT upon the sea.”

Now that you know Holly’s five favorite nighttime Disney cruise activities, tell us yours!


Holly is the ultimate Disney fanatic, owning DVC points at both the Grand Californian and Aulani. And though she considers Disneyland her home park, she makes plenty of trips aboard Disney cruise ships as well as to Walt Disney World. Holly lives in Colorado with her two kids and husband, and she works as a product marketing manager for a software company. She blogs as Disney Fan in Colorado and tweets @DisFanInCO

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