Disney Dream launches with fanfare and flair

Fireworks light the sky over the Disney Dream Jan. 19 as the newest Disney Cruise Line ship is christened in a gala ceremony held at Port Canaveral. Walt Disney Company president and CEO Bob Iger and Walt Disney Parks & Resorts chairman Tom Staggs joined a host of Disney characters to officially christen the 130,000-ton ship. Photo by Disney/David Roark

By Matt Roseboom

Those of you familiar with Disney theme parks wouldn’t expect their cruise line to launch their third ship with just a boring speech and a small bottle of champagne. The grandest of expectations were met recently during the christening of the Disney Dream with characters, celebrities, singers, dancers, fireworks and a 16-foot-tall champagne bottle.

A helicopter hoisted a huge bottle full of “dreams” across the bow of the ship during a christening ceremony on Jan. 19 at Port Canaveral, officially welcoming the new 4,000-passenger Disney Dream.

Academy and Grammy award winner Jennifer Hudson performed at the ceremony, along with Disney characters and dancers. Hudson is the Godmother of the Disney Dream – a fitting choice, as she got her start as a singer aboard the Disney Wonder cruise ship in 2003.

Some 3,000 people were gathered for the christening ceremony including celebrities, media and members of the public. The ceremony concluded with the bottle smash and fireworks shot from the portside ship.

Besides being a bigger version of Disney’s other two ships – Wonder and Magic – the Dream features a number of innovations including art that comes alive, a full-blown shipboard fireworks show, interactive video floors and gigantic video game screens.

Other new features include:

– Video “portholes” that provide inside staterooms with an ocean view. The screens allow guests to see a real-time view outside the ship. High-definition cameras placed on the exterior of the ship feed live video to each Magical Porthole. As guests observe the views, they may glimpse animated characters such as Peach the starfish from “Finding Nemo,” the flying balloon house from “UP” or even Mickey Mouse going by the “window”.

– Aquaduck is a cruise first: a shipboard water coaster featuring twists, turns, drops, uphill acceleration and river rapids. Spanning four decks in height, AquaDuck utilizes high-powered water jets that push riders upward and forward — and at one jaw-dropping point – takes guests 12 feet over the side of the ship in a translucent “swing out” loop allowing them to look down on the ocean 150 feet below.

– An updated restaurant from Disney’s other two ships, Animator’s Palate seemingly becomes immersed in an undersea environment. Crush, the surfer-dude sea turtle from “Finding Nemo,” makes a special appearance, swimming around the restaurant and engaging in live impromptu interactions with diners.

– Remy, Disney Cruise Line’s first premier dining option, made its debut on the Dream. The French-inspired, gourmet restaurant offers a sophisticated new dining concept exclusively for adults.

– In addition to the many expected children’s areas and activities, adults can escape into The District, a nighttime entertainment area with five unique venues. There’s also Senses Spa & Salon, which offers 17 private treatment rooms, spa villas and Rainforest, a special section offering steam, heat and hydrotherapy.

In 2011, the Disney Dream will sail three, four and five night itineraries to the Bahamas and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. The Dream will be followed by a new sister ship, Disney Fantasy, in 2012.

Disney Dream coverage on Orlando Attractions Magazine – The Show:

Follow us on the Disney Dream and Allure of the Seas this week

Cruise News Weekly staff will be boarding the two newest cruise ships in the water this week and you can follow along on our social media sites.

We’ll be boarding the brand new Disney Dream on Wednesday, Jan. 19 for a two night preview. And starting Sunday, Jan. 16, we’ll be on Royal Caribbean’s brand new Allure of the Seas for a week cruise. The Allure trip will also include a concert by top recording artist Taylor Swift on Friday, Jan, 21.

We’ll be posting live photos, information and videos (Internet connection willing) right from the ships as we check them out. Look for a full review of the Disney Dream and a follow-up story to our Review of the Allure of the Seas in the coming weeks.

Here’s where you can find our updates.
Twitter: Twitter.com/cruiseguide
Facebook: Facebook.com/cruisenews

In addition to our coverage of the Dream, you can watch the christening event live on Disney Cruise Line’s Facebook page.

Disney’s newest cruise ship arrives at Port Canaveral with fireworks

Photos and video by Joe Moschinger

The newest Disney Cruise Line ship, the Disney Dream, sailed into her homeport of Port Canaveral this morning after a 16-night trans-Atlantic voyage from Germany, where it has been under construction for nearly two years. Beginning with a maiden voyage on Jan. 26, the Disney Dream will sail three-, four- and five-night cruises to the Bahamas, calling Port Canaveral home. Continue reading “Disney’s newest cruise ship arrives at Port Canaveral with fireworks”

Show Time aboard Disney Dream

Entertainment options aboard the new, 14-deck, 4,000-passenger Disney Dream will feature everything from a mermaid soaring over the stage in a stunning aerial ballet to pirates rappelling from atop the ship’s funnel during a swashbuckling adventure. The ship’s maiden voyage, from Port Canaveral to the Bahamas, is scheduled for January 26, 2011. Image courtesy Disney

By Michael Coleman

Who else would you expect to raise the entertainment bar for a family at sea?

When the 4,000-passenger Disney Dream debuts in January, 2011 the iconic company will also roll out what officials dub “the most elaborate original musicals presented at sea’’ plus over-the-top deck parties and, bursting above it all, the largest fireworks spectacular aboard a cruise ship.

Every night will be show time in the Walt Disney Theatre, an elegant, 1,340-seat entertainment palace that is at once classic and ultra-modern. Spanning three decks with orchestra and balcony seating, the theater is resplendent with art deco styling recalling luxurious show places of a bygone time. At the same time, it is equipped with theatrical technology that makes it one of the most advanced venues on land or sea, allowing producers to bring original productions and Disney stories to life.

Three onboard production shows are planned.

Headlining the musical repertoire is “Disney’s Believe,” an original stage spectacular premiering aboard the ship. Combining a heartfelt story with a captivating musical score, the lavish production tells the story of a workaholic father who, through the power of Disney magic, reconnects with his daughter and learns a valuable lesson about what is important in life. More than 20 of Disney’s most beloved characters take the stage including Cinderella, Peter Pan, Mary Poppins and Belle from “Beauty and The Beast.”

“The Golden Mickeys,” an award-style show celebrating the musical heritage of Disney animated films, is a Disney Cruise Line guest favorite. On the Disney Dream, the show gets an extra sprinkle of glitz and glamour with new production numbers including an aerial ballet featuring Ariel from “The Little Mermaid” and a romantic duet performed by Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, lead characters of Disney’s newest animated feature, “Tangled.”

The malevolent world of the Disney villains takes a comical spin in “Villains Tonight!,” the first full-scale musical production dedicated to the Disney villains. The show is a fun-filled musical comedy starring Hades (“Hercules”), who embarks on a quest filled with wacky antics and amusing musical numbers to bring evil back into the Underworld. “Villains Tonight!” features a “Who’s Who” of Disney “baddies,” including Ursula (“The Little Mermaid”), the Evil Queen (“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”), Captain Hook (“Peter Pan”) and Scar (“The Lion King”).

Meanwhile, the vessel transforms into a pirate ship with two new events brimming with buccaneer fun and a new fireworks spectacular.

Look for “Mickey’s Pirate in the Caribbean’’ a family-friendly interactive show featuring famous Disney characters. Then, a special appearance by Captain Jack Sparrow, from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films, kicks off “Club Pirate’’, a high-tech, open-air dance party on the upper decks of the ship

The only cruise line in the world offering fireworks at sea, look also for “Buccaneer Blast’’, a pyrotechnic spectacular choreographed to a dramatic score featuring songs from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, Peter Pan and the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at the Disney theme parks.

On the web: http://disneycruise.disney.go.com

Details on Disney Dream’s sports and water decks

This fanciful water-play area will feature pop jets, bubblers and lovable underwater friends from the Disney-Pixar film, “Finding Nemo.” Shaded for protection from the sun and featuring a soft wet deck surface, the 1,500-square-foot Nemo’s Reef is a place for children to cool off and play among colorful, interactive figures.

An elaborately themed interactive sports deck, whimsical water play area, and relaxing poolside oasis for adults join the first-ever shipboard water coaster — AquaDuck — to provide fun in the sun for guests sailing on the newest Disney Cruise Line ship, the Disney Dream, when it launches early next year.

Goofy’s Sports Deck
On Goofy’s Sports Deck, the magic tees off on deck 13 with Goofy’s Golf — a miniature golf course where “lessons” featuring Goofy and his son, Max, lead guests through nine themed holes of wacky fun. Each hole offers special golf instructions — with a goofy twist.

Lessons include:
– “Handling a dog leg” — Guests avoid a fire hydrant and use Pluto’s dog bone to guide them to the hole.
– “Stuck in the rough” — Goofy shows golfers how to avoid the tall turf and steer clear of a lawn mower.
– “Reading the green” — Stacks of books and a large magnifying glass are obstacles to circumvent on this undulating green.
– “Attacking the green” — Yo ho, yo ho! Golfers and landlubbers take a swashbuckling approach to sinking their putt on this pirate-themed hole.

Guests can choose to use the Goofy or Max tee on each hole, offering twice the fun. Quirky golf clubs, some crooked and bent, will challenge golfers to stay on course. Goofy and Max may even swing by to interact with guests and offer some tips on club selection, stance or just goofing around.

Also on Goofy’s Sports Deck, two digital sports simulators provide a variety of virtual game experiences such as soccer, tennis, basketball, golf and more. With the simulators, guests can kick, swing and throw, participating in favorite high-action sports without the hassle of chasing the ball.

Max’s Courts are two mini-sized sports courts for little ones to enjoy soccer, basketball or group play. There’s full-court basketball that may also be transformed into a mini soccer pitch or volleyball court, plus table tennis and foosball tables. A walking track rings Goofy’s Sports Deck.

Nemo’s Reef
Little ones discover oceans of fun at this fanciful water-play area overflowing with pop jets, bubblers and lovable underwater friends like Nemo, Dory, Marlin and other favorites from the Disney-Pixar film, “Finding Nemo.”

Shaded for protection from the sun and featuring a soft wet-deck surface, the 1,500-square-foot Nemo’s Reef is a place for children to cool off and play among colorful, interactive figures that move and spray water. Children will splash alongside Nemo swimming in a sea anemone, glide down a pint-sized water slide shaped like Mr. Ray and frolic near Pearl the octopus who “inks” herself with a mist of water. Kids can even get soaked in a water curtain that undulates back and forth like the EAC (East Australian Current).

Nemo’s Reef is surrounded by a glass enclosure, with a main guest entrance and a wheelchair-accessible entrance.

Quiet Cove Pool and Cove Bar
Reserved exclusively for guests 18 and older, the Quiet Cove Pool and Cove Bar is a retreat for adults to sunbathe and swim, indulge in a cool drink or enjoy a relaxing dip in a nearby hot tub overlooking the ocean.

One of three fresh-water pools on the Disney Dream, Quiet Cove Pool features varying depths for taking a dip, sunbathing in comfort and enjoying a poolside cocktail. A series of connected circular pools includes a four-foot-deep plunge pool and a six-inch-deep sunbathing pool with built-in loungers and a mister. Guests also can splash up to Cove Bar, which is part of the pool.

Nearby, on the sides of deck 11, guests can soak in a whirlpool hot tub while overlooking the ocean. Four “infinity” whirlpool hot tubs — two for families and two just for adults — provide spectacular views of the ocean beyond.

AquaDuck and More
The Disney Dream will feature the world’s first shipboard water coaster — AquaDuck — which will sweep guests away on an exhilarating high-speed flume ride featuring twists, turns, drops, uphill acceleration and river rapids — all while traversing the upper decks of the ship.

Donald Pool is the place for families to gather and enjoy all of the activities up on deck. Overlooking Donald Pool is the giant Funnel Vision LED screen — more than 30 feet wide and 18 feet high — showing Disney films and other live broadcast events. A retractable floor extends over the pool, providing an ideal dance floor for deck parties.

Continuing a favorite feature of the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, the Disney Dream will also have a Mickey Pool for children. The shape of Mickey Pool resembles the beloved Disney character, and an oversized version of Mickey’s hand supports a yellow winding slide that splashes down near the pool.

As an added convenience for parents with children of different ages, Donald Pool, Mickey Pool and Nemo’s Reef are all located within the same vicinity, on deck 11 between the forward and aft funnel.

Over-the-edge water coaster, virtual portholes and more announced for Disney Dream

dream duck

When the Disney Dream launches in early 2011, she’ll feature a number of firsts at sea:
– A water coaster that sends guests racing above the upper decks of the ship.
– An animated turtle that engages children in conversation about life in the ocean.
– A lounge where the sun sets over the skyline of a different world-famous city each night.
– A virtual porthole for inside staterooms.

“For more than a decade, passengers have filled their passports with memories sailing around the world with Disney Cruise Line,” said Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Jay Rasulo. “With the Disney Dream joining our fleet, we’ll be able to take families to even more places they never imagined they could visit — in true Disney style.”

AquaDuck Water Coaster

Disney Cruise Line debuts a cruise-industry first: a shipboard water coaster called, what else, AquaDuck. Guests aboard the Disney Dream will get swept away on an exhilarating high-speed flume ride featuring twists, turns, drops, uphill acceleration and river rapids — all while traversing the upper decks of the ship.

– AquaDuck stretches 765 feet in length — more than two and a half times the length of a football field — and spans four decks in height.

– Guests slide 13 feet over the side of the ship in a translucent “swing out” loop allowing them to look down on the ocean 150 feet below.

– Guests experience coaster-like thrills as high-powered water jets push them upwards and forwards at 20 feet per second.

– AquaDuck continues through the forward funnel, encounters a 335 foot stretch of river rapids and splashes down to an end on Deck 12.

A Virtual Porthole for Inside Staterooms

Disney Cruise Line introduces a stateroom innovation with all inside staterooms on the Disney Dream featuring a virtual porthole that provides guests with a real-time view outside the ship. High-definition cameras placed on the exterior of the ship will feed the live video.

As guests observe the impressive outside views, they may glimpse a magical surprise: animated characters such as Peach the starfish from the Disney-Pixar hit film “Finding Nemo,” or Mickey Mouse may pop by the porthole.

A Magical Oasis for Children

The celebration of children’s creativity rises to a new level on the Disney Dream with nearly an entire deck of youth spaces designed to inspire, entertain and unlock the imagination of children. There are two main spaces for children ages three to 10:

At Disney’s Oceaneer Club, children can:

– Play among larger-than-life characters from Disney-Pixar’s “Toy Story” in Andy’s Room.

– Explore the Laugh Floor with lovable monsters Mike and Sully from “Monsters, Inc.”

– Dive under the sea with Nemo and friends or visit Tinker Bell’s fairy forest.

At Disney’s Oceaneer Lab, children feel as though they are embarking on a great seafaring adventure in a room filled with maps, maritime instruments and swashbuckling artifacts. Here, children can try their hand at animation, become a pop star or navigate ships through digital seas.

Both venues offer magical interactions with the animated characters such as Crush, the sea turtle from the Disney-Pixar motion picture “Finding Nemo” and Stitch, the mischievous alien from “Lilo and Stitch.” The characters chat, play and joke with children in live, unrehearsed conversations from their digital undersea and intergalactic environments via 103-inch plasma screens.

Chill-Out Zones for Tweens and Teens

Located inside the forward funnel is Edge — the lounge just for tweens (ages 11 to 13). This tween pad is filled with a multitude of hi-tech entertainment including the ability to create and star in photo postcards and video karaoke using green-screen technology.

Teens have their own exclusive club aboard the Disney Dream with Vibe — a trendy and inviting indoor/outdoor space created especially for guests ages 14 to 17. A “teen-only” swipe card provides access to the nearly 9,000-square-foot club.

Teens can create and edit videos, play computer games, access the onboard social media application or try their hand at spinning and mixing dance tracks. Teens have their own private outdoor deck area with chaise lounges for sunbathing, two wading pools, misters and pop jets for cooling off, and deck games such as ping-pong and foosball.

Personal Touches with Rotational Dining

Disney Cruise Line continues its innovative rotational dining concept onboard the Disney Dream with elaborately themed restaurants and distinctly Disney touches. Throughout the cruise, guests “rotate” through three different restaurants for dinner — with their servers accompanying them. The rotational dining restaurants include:

Animator’s Palate, a signature Disney Cruise Line restaurant that brings the magic of Disney animation into the dining room for a unique experience.

Royal Palace, an elegant restaurant inspired by the classic Disney films “Cinderella,” “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Sleeping Beauty.”

Enchanted Garden, a whimsical, casual restaurant inspired by the gardens of Versailles and featuring a dining environment that magically transforms from day to night.

Just for Adults

On the Disney Dream, while children are having the time of their lives in the elaborately themed youth areas, adults can look forward to indulgences and relaxation with exclusive areas and offerings designed exclusively for them.

– Adults can escape into The District, a nighttime entertainment area on the Disney Dream with five unique venues. This playground for grownups features sophisticated lounges, each with its own unique design, look, feel, and palate-pleasing delights.

– Senses Spa & Salon offers adult tranquility with 17 private treatment rooms, lavish spa villas with indoor treatment rooms and private outdoor verandahs, and Rainforest, a special section of the spa offering the benefits of steam, heat and hydrotherapy to relax the mind and body.

– At Palo, every seat offers beautiful ocean vistas while a pianist softly serenades guests in an intimate restaurant setting.

The Disney Dream is scheduled to depart on its maiden voyage Jan. 26, 2011, and will sail alternating three- and four-night cruises to the Bahamas and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. During summer months, the ship will alternate four- and five-night itineraries with two stops at Castaway Cay. Guests can book their Disney Dream cruise beginning Nov. 9, 2009.

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888/DCL-2500 or contact their travel agent.