The “Evolution” of Disney Cruise Line Nightlife

| September 17, 2012

Burned out from the the grind of life in the IT world, plus summer in Florida characterized by busy theme parks, “surface of the sun” hot weather, and daily rainstorms, I was in desperate need of a vacation. So, when I had the opportunity to jump on a FL resident rate on the August 24th 5-night sailing on the beautiful Disney Dream, I jumped on it. One of the biggest challenges Disney Cruise Line (DCL) faces is overcoming the stereotype that a Disney cruise is just for kids. Continue after the break for a rundown of my experience with adult nightlife on board the Disney Dream.

 

This was my 6th Disney cruise, with previous sailings on the Wonder, Dream, and Magic preceding this cruise.  Make no mistake, I fully intended to have a drink in my hand at all times and really relax, not having to worry about, well, anything! I love to dance (despite my husband’s disdain for my fist pumping) so I really focused on the Evolution dance club on board. Details about the club can be found all over the internet, but seeing it in person really is spectacular. The lighted dance floor, which changes in patterns to the music, combined with a fantastic light show and sound system really make this a fantastic all around experience.

Disney clearly put the money into their premium club, but now they have to fill it up with patrons. On my previous cruises on the Wonder and Magic, there were theme nights each night of the cruise. They had a 70s night, 80s night, and country night. All 3 involved entertainment staff keeping the party going and some sort of additional entertainment being taught to the guests who were most enthusiastic on the dance floor. On one cruise on the Wonder, there was a boys vs girls lip sync content(Girls Just wanna Have Fun vs Shot Through the Heart) on the 80s night and a YMCA Village People routine on the 70s night. The entertainment went until around 12:30 if memory serves, at which point the DJ would keep the theme night going unless requests really stacked up for a change in genre.

Fast forward to March 2011, my first cruise on the Dream, and I was quite disappointed in the nightlife on board at Evolution. Theme nights were gone and the only entertainment was the Evolution dancers doing a routine, then the club would essentially empty out.

I was worried the same experience would happen this time, but I was in for a wonderful surprise! Not only have they brought back a version of theme nights, they have jumped on the opportunity to use the name of the beloved closed 70s and 80s club 8-Trax from Pleasure Island! THIS I had to check out!

I was greeted outside Evolution with a couple cast members dressed for the part!

 

I entered to find something I didn’t expect:

 

A PACKED dance floor! There wasn’t even enough room for me to get out there and do the Electric Slide!

It seems as though they brought back the YMCA aspect from the 70s nights aboard the Wonder as well.

The music stayed true to the 70s and 80s format and I was pleased to see all age ranges on the dance floor. Unfortunately, not long after the YMCA was done, the Evolution dancers came out to perform to a top 40s hit and immediately following, the format changed entirely to top 40s as the older crowd waned from the dance floor and eventually left the club. But, for the 25 or so minutes the theme night stayed intact, everyone, from 21 to 60+ was having a good time!

It seems DCL has listened to some feedback from guests and are heading in the right direction, offering something not just for adults, but something for every age range of adults as well. I wrote them an email with my feedback as well with hopes they continue in that direction.

If you’re planning a Disney cruise and wondering what the nightlife is like on board, specifically if you like to dance, know that Disney seems to be working towards making sure there’s something for you, whether you like country (there was also a country night), 70s and 80s, or Top 40s/dance.

My next cruise, assuming no more unscheduled ones, will be August 4th 2013 and I look forward to seeing the progress they’ve made. What have your nightlife experiences been on DCL? Sound off below!


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Category: Disney Cruise Line

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  • Thommy Sandvick

    For clarification, the club did not completely die after the older crowd left the club. Quite the opposite, the younger crowd kept the party going until at least 1am which is quite good for a Disney cruise. However, I feel they could better utilize the theme nights at least for a longer duration and THEN switch to modern music if requests warrant it.

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