Disney Cruise Line’s first ship, Disney Magic, will relaunch later this year with new spaces, reimagined areas and exciting additions for the whole family, including a new twist on the popular AquaDuck slide.
“Storytelling is at the heart of everything we do,” says Joe Lanzisero, senior creative vice president for Walt Disney Imagineering. “Walt Disney was a master storyteller and knew how to engage people’s emotions into stories. Our job is to take what we learned from Walt and apply it to the experiences on board our ships.”
Here are some highlights of new “magic” in store for guests aboard the Disney Magic after the “reimagineering” of the ship that takes place during dry dock Sept. 7 to Oct. 10, 2013 in Cadiz, Spain:
A Grand First Impression
When guests board the Disney Magic, they enter the grand atrium lobby that is redesigned to be “elegant art deco, inspired by elements of the sea,” according to Lanzisero. “Filmmaking is the history of our company and in film the ‘establishing shot’ sets the scene,” he said. “This is the same with the atrium, as we begin telling our story.”
The three-deck lobby features hand-tufted, custom-made carpet of coral, blue and aquamarine seashell-inspired designs. The art deco atrium chandelier is inspired by rays of the sun as they glisten of the surface of the ocean. Opulent furnishings, a grand piano and giant portholes recall the days of early 20th century ocean liners. The lobby’s centerpiece is a cold-cast bronze statue of “Helmsman Mickey,” ever-smiling and keeping watch as guests stroll past. The famed statue, which has stood in the atrium since the ship was launched, will receive a special makeover bringing new luster to its golden hue.
Disney, Disney-Pixar & Marvel Characters Join the Fun
Disney’s Oceaneer Club, open to 3- to 12-year-old children, is a completely re-imagined area that transports children to the realms of brave super heroes, adventuresome toys, fanciful fairies and Mickey Mouse’s club for creativity and fun.
With Marvel now a part of the Walt Disney Company family, this will mark the first time the Super Hero icons of Marvel have been introduced on a Disney Cruise Line ship. Marvel and Walt Disney Imagineers have created a new space for children to enter into the Marvel Universe.
Marvel’s The Avengers will make their presence known in an epic way aboard the Disney Magic, with Marvel’s Avengers Academy calling Disney’s Oceaneer Club its new seaward home. Young crime-fighters will be transported to a high-tech command post used by The Avengers for special missions and operations training.
Throughout the base, displays featuring some of the equipment that helps to make The Avengers the earth’s mightiest heroes – Iron Man’s suit of armor, Captain America’s shield and Thor’s hammer — inspire super hero “recruits” through their academy missions. Avengers Academy is a multi-day, immersive entertainment experience where children interact with Marvel characters and unleash their inner super heroes.
Adjacent to Marvel’s Avengers Academy is Andy’s Room, where stars of the Disney-Pixar “Toy Story” trilogy come to life in a multi-level space. Stocked with all of Andy’s favorite toys, the room features a larger-than-life Mr. Potato Head, a giant version of the lovable piggy bank, Hamm, and a Slinky Dog slide.
Next door is Pixie Hollow, the enchanted land of Tinker Bell and her fairy friends. In this magical forest setting, Tinker Bell’s teapot house serves as a costume closet and children can make crafts while sitting on stools shaped like mushrooms and acorns.
In Disney’s Oceaneer Club guests will find the Mickey Mouse Club, another new children’s area. Inside a room splashed with Mickey’s signature colors of red, yellow and black, kids can create crafts and play games on ear-shaped tables. The club also features Goofy Gears, an oversized activity where kids play with wacky, magnetic spinning gears.
Disney’s Oceaneer Lab takes 3-to-12-year-old children on a journey of discovery, exploration and adventures. At this new pirate-themed area, children are encouraged to create, play and explore. An animator’s studio, a pirate workshop and lab lets kids get hands-on to create experiments and art projects, and Navigator Simulators let young buccaneers steer a ship through the mysterious waters of The Caribbean.
For the youngest cruisers — ages three months to three years — is the new It’s a Small World Nursery. Inspired by the style of Disney Legend Mary Blair, this whimsical world is a place of age-specific fun and discovery, with trained counselors.
The upper ship decks of the Disney Magic have been redesigned for plenty of splashtacular fun, with waterful adventures that include a three-story water slide for thrill-seekers and a Huey, Dewey and Louie-themed toddler splash zone for smaller ducklings.
Water thrills are found on the AquaDunk, a new three-story body slide that begins with a surprise launch. Riders step inside a translucent tube and await the near-vertical drop that takes place when the floor beneath them opens like a trap door. The drop sends guests on an exhilarating, swift and splashy ride in a translucent tube that extends 20 feet over the side of the ship. Guests taller than 48 inches can enjoy the AquaDunk.
AquaLab is an interactive water playground open to kids ages 3 and up. Families can frolic among pop jets, geysers and bubblers in this fun 1,800-square-foot space, while the Twist n’ Spout water slide gets them drenched with more than 250 feet of sliding fun of loops and turns. Twist n’ Spout is for guests between 38 and 64 inches tall.
Tots up to age 3 can play in the new Nephews’ Splash Zone, a splash-a-second area dedicated to interactive fun and starring Donald Duck’s mischievous nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie. The area features water play with pop jets, squirting figures of Donald Duck’s nephews and plenty of high seas hijinks.
Disney Dining With an Extra Dash of Pixie Dust
New restaurants and technology are on the menu for the restaurants aboard Disney Magic. Animator’s Palate, one of the most popular restaurants on the Disney ships, is updated with all-new, animation-adorned walls and larger high-definition flat-screens to provide the best views of the animation magic that takes place all around.
A heaping helping of entertainment is served up during the brand-new “Drawn to Magic” experience at Animator’s Palate. Throughout this take on Disney Cruise Line’s much beloved classic dinner celebration, the restaurant’s black and white “blank canvas” explodes into full color as Disney characters, such as Rapunzel from “Tangled” and Remy from “Ratatouille,” come to life right before guests’ eyes.
The vibrancy of Rio de Janeiro creates an energetic atmosphere in Carioca’s, a new restaurant named after Donald Duck’s parrot pal in “The Three Caballeros,” Jose Carioca. Festooned with lighted lanterns, the restaurant is designed to be “fun by day, elegant by night,” said Lanzisero. During the day, there’s a festival theme and, when night falls, the atmosphere transforms into an after-hours scene of Rio de Janiero, with city-side windows softly illuminated and lanterns flickering overhead. Carioca’s replaces Parrot Cay restaurant, currently on the Disney Magic.
Another new restaurant to the Disney Magic is Cabanas, a casual dining experience with food and beverage stations during daytime hours and a table-service restaurant during dinner. The Australian setting of the Disney-Pixar animated “Finding Nemo” inspires the décor with hints of the film’s fishy and feathered friends throughout the restaurant. Cabanas, which replaces the current Topsider Buffet, also is expanding. More inside space is being added, increasing the total square-footage of air-conditioned area by nearly 3,400 square feet to more than 9,460 square feet and a total of 455 seats.
The Fun’s Just Begun When Nighttime Comes
After a day of frolicking on the decks and out and about the ship, Disney Magic offers big city-style fun in After Hours, the nighttime adult entertainment district. An all-new lineup of clubs includes venues for dancing, comedy, music and variety shows. After Hours replaces Beat Street, currently on the Disney Magic.
Fathoms night club is a celebration of the sea that utilizes special effects, lighting and sound to create different atmospheres from early evening to night. “The ocean can sometimes be very calm and sometimes have some big excitement,” Lanzisero said. “That’s what we wanted to create with Fathoms.”
For guests seeking a more low-key nighttime experience, there is Keys piano bar and lounge. Whether guests want to relax with a cocktail and the soft sounds of a piano or “wind down” after an evening of dancing and revelry, Keys provides a refined retreat.
Pub days of olde are recalled in O’Gills, an Irish pub and sports bar designed with traditional decor. Live televised athletic events are on tap for sports lovers.
Open Up, and Say “Spa”
For the ultimate in relaxation and pampering, the enhanced Senses Spa & Salon offers many indulgences. Redesigned with a sleek and contemporary style, this haven of personal harmony provides an unmatched ocean-view environment. The size of the spa is being expanded by 725 square feet, to a total size of nearly 11,500 square feet.
A new Smile Spa offers teeth whitening services, a new barbershop offers services for the gentlemen and the new Chill Spa provides treatments especially for teens 13 to 17 years of age.
Family Fun in the D Lounge
Another reimagined area, D Lounge, offers a variety of family-friendly games, shows, dances and activities designed for all ages. Families can enjoy entertainment, game shows and activities together in D Lounge which replaces Studio Sea, currently on the Disney Magic.
Putting more “room” in staterooms
Disney Cruise Line knows that traveling families always need more space, so features are included in each room to provide more usable space. Bed frames are elevated to provide storage space underneath. The bathrooms include the split-bath feature that Disney introduced to the cruise industry — providing even greater convenience to guests.
By Banks Lee, Orlando Attractions Magazine
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