The Disney Wonder returned from her extensive dry dock in 2016 with revitalized youth spaces for children ages 3-12 to explore. The Oceaneer Lab and Oceaneer Club were completely renovated to bring the youth activities venues more in line with the fleet. Along with the renovation, the Lab and Club now feature the open walkway allowing children to move securely between the two when both the Oceaneer Lab and Oceaneer Club (hereafter referred to as the “CLAB” when referencing both sides) are in secured programing.
The Oceaneer Lab renovations were based on a nautical theme full of high-tech gear to bring out the explorer in each child. The space is practically identical to the sister lab on the Disney Magic; the only major difference is some technical upgrades which allow for more floor space especially in the wheelhouse area. Looking back a few years to the promo hype for the Magic’s re-imagination, Imagineer Joe Lanzisero described the Oceaneer Lab as a “mashup of Jules Vern and Pirates of the Caribbean”. If you recall, in March, we ventured over to Typhoon Lagoon to experience the new Miss Adventure Falls family raft ride which featured a misadventure of Mary Oceaneer. Shortly after publishing that article, Imagineer Danny Hanke let us know the characters were adapted from the Oceaneer Lab on the Magic & Wonder.
The check-in area opens into a wide open space for group actives such as GAGA Ball and Pluto’s Pajama Party. The space features a large HDTV (not pictured – see video) on the back wall.
The starboard side features tables and stools for group led youth actives such as Anyone Can Cook and a kid favorite Stitch’s Space Goo.
My favorite area in the Oceaneer Lab is the Wheelhouse, not because of the Wii or Xbox, but for the sailing simulators where you can take the helm of a Disney Cruise ship and maneuver the ship in various scenarios such as docking at Castaway Cay or sailing from Port Canaveral. Personally, I think during open hours these stations should be reserved for adults only. (I’m kidding, please do not leave an angry comment.)
There is also a craft room and animation room with a light table for tracing and coloring your favorite Disney characters.
The Society of Explorers & Adventures logo is featured in various locations around the Oceaneer Lab. It could almost be its own version of a hidden Mickey challenge.
The Oceaneer Club transformed into a magical library where oversized books serve as doorways into four unique spaces. There is a room for those who like Frozen inspired fun, super heroes, larger than life toys, and a club fit for a mouse!
The Oceaneer Club features the same compartmental concept found across the fleet and the same layout as the Disney Magic, just with different theming.
Frozen Adventures: Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post
Club Disney Junior
Marvel’s Super Hero Academy
Training ground for future super heroes, the Marvel Super Hero Academy is the latest S.H.I.E.L.D. training center at sea.
The table features the academy crest and the lockers assigned to specific Avengers.
Marvel fans of all ages will have fun exploring this space and all its little details. I was told this was a relic, originally planned for the floor at the entrance to DCL’s Terminal at Port Canaveral.
I later discovered this was a message along the lines of the statement Thor had on his door in Darryl’s house. Loosely translated – it reads, “KEEP OUT, Scott. Sincerely, DCL PR.”
Opposite the display case, there is an academy training zone with a second HDTV mounted above five iPads loaded with Marvel apps.
A newspaper clipping from the Daily Bugle announces the opening of the academy. The opening date lines up with the re-imagination of the Wonder, but the picture is from the Disney Magic’s Avengers Academy shot by Disney photographer Matt Stroshane. Maybe someone on the ship can quickly print out a new one with a proper photo and give the credit to Peter Parker; they should have extra paper and toner since they are not using that to print full navigators every day.
The Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab flank the atrium lobby on deck 5. The entrance to the Oceaneer Lab remains in the midship elevator lobby. The Oceaneer Club entrance has been relocated from the corner of the atrium lobby to the starboard hallway just down from the Buena Vista Theatre. Additionally, the hallway between the Club & Lab is now open for children move back and forth between the two spaces. The walkway connects from Club Disney Junior to the open side of the Lab.
There are times during the voyage other than embarkation day, that the one of the spaces may have an open house. When this occurs, children are moved securely to the other space to maintain the secured programing while the other space is open for all passengers with or without children to experience the space. Check your personal navigator for these times. If I may offer one suggestion, it may be a good idea to coordinate CLAB time with your child in the event their favorite side will be off limits to them if they are checked in and one side has open house time, especially if you are planning an event such as mixology or a spa treatment.
If your child enjoys the space on the Magic, they will feel right at home on the Wonder as the design plans from the Magic were dusted off and updated for the remodel of the Disney Wonder.
Have you had a chance to experience the new youth activities spaces on the Wonder? We’d love to hear your thought on the reinvigorated space.