AOL Travel

Best Disney Cruise Live Shows

AOL PICK from our Editors
Disney Cruise Line has offerings for all ages, day and night, including karaoke and game shows geared specifically to families. Where the Disney star shines the brightest is in original theater productions. These 45-minute, Broadway-style musicals take place in beautiful theaters and involve a cast of dozens, extravagant sets and costumes, high-tech special effects and the bonus of Disney animation and character appearances on stage. For those who want to get closer to their favorite Disney characters, there are many opportunities to interact with characters both on the ship and at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. The entertainment roster also has comedians (including some shows just for adults) and many opportunities to hear live music, from solo acts to bands.

“Disney’s Believe” (Dream) and “Disney Wishes” (Fantasy)

Ships: Dream, Fantasy
These shows were created for the ships and feature both classic Disney tunes and new original songs. “Dreams” tells the story of a young girl and her workaholic dad reconnecting, while “Wishes” is a tale of teenagers discovering adulthood. Both have emotional bits that will be appreciated by parents and kids alike, plus amazing special effects.

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“Disney’s Aladdin -- A Musical Spectacular”

Ships: Fantasy
First introduced at Disneyland, this lively musical comedy based on the animated movie “Aladdin” has colorful scenes of Agrabah, flying carpets, plenty of familiar songs and, of course, a fast-talking genie. The actors who play the genie are allowed to improvise, including on current events and shipboard happenings, and a lot of laughs ensue.

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“The Golden Mickeys”

Ships: Dream, Wonder
: This show highlights the history of animation as created by Walt Disney and is a must for Disney fans. The show combines song and dance numbers with animated film, video, special effects and appearances by favorite Disney characters. It’s a nostalgia fest.

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“Toy Story -- The Musical” (Wonder), “Twice Charmed: An Original Twist on the Cinderella Story” (Magic)

Ships: Magic, Wonder
These shows bring Disney and Pixar characters to life. You meet Woody and his toy pals -- the toy soldiers do a particularly good dance number -- in the musical version of “Toy Story,” while “Twice Charmed” imagines what would have happened to Snow White and her prince if the evil stepsisters had a fairy godfather.

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Character Appearances

Ships: Dream, Fantasy, Magic, Wonder
Just like in the Disney parks, live characters are onboard the ships for appearances and photo/autograph sessions. The look on a kid’s face when she sees her favorite character is priceless. The kids might meet Mickey and Minnie, Donald Duck, Chip and Dale, the Disney princesses (Cinderella, Snow, et al.), Prince Charming, Captain Hook and Captain America, among others. Other characters pop up in other ways. For instance, the Muppets appear in an animated adventure game on Disney Fantasy. On Dream and Fantasy, kids can also have real conversations with popular characters who appear on large video screens, including Crush from “Finding Nemo,” thanks to behind-the-scenes wizardry.

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