“As Walt [Disney] said, ‘Our parks will never be completed as long as there’s imagination left in the world,” said Walt Disney World President George Kalogridis.
The same goes for Disney Cruise Line. After being named the No. 1 large cruise ship by “Condé Nast Traveler,” DCL’s first ship, the Disney Magic, isn’t stopping there. The ship is getting a stem-to-stern makeover and adding new adventure spaces for families, from a new lobby to the addition of Marvel characters for the first time.
Joe Lanzisero, senior creative vice president for Walt Disney Imagineering, said, “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.”
The Disney Magic will relaunch in the fall with even more magic — some of which is inspired by DCL’s newer vessels, the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.
Here are some highlights for the reimagined ship:
Grand Atrium Lobby
The lobby’s décor will be redone in art deco and inspired by the sea. Changes include new coral, blue and aquamarine carpet and new chandelier and furnishings. The cold-cast bronze statue of “Helmsman Mickey” will remain but will receive a makeover of its own to bring out its golden hues.
New Characters in Children’s Areas
Disney’s Oceaneer Club for children ages 3 to 12 will be reimagined to include Marvel superheroes, Toy Story characters, Tinker Bell and other fairies, and Mickey Mouse and friends.
The addition of the Marvel’s Avengers Academy marks the first appearance of Marvel characters on a Disney ship. In this high-tech command post, children will embark on special missions and operations training. Displays feature Iron Man’s suit of armor, Captain America’s shield and Thor’s hammer.
Adjacent will be the two-story Andy’s Room, featuring favorite characters from Disney-Pixar’s “Toy Story,” including Mr. Potato Head, Hamm and Slinky Dog.
Next door is Pixie Hollow, where children will be able to try on costumes or make crafts.
Also at the club will be Mickey Mouse Club decorated in Mickey’s signature colors of red, yellow and black. Children will be able to make crafts, play games and tinker with gears on Goofy Gears.
A new hub for the littlest pirates will be at Disney’s Oceaneer Lab, which will feature an animator’s studio, a pirate workshop and lab where kids get create experiments and art projects, and steer a ship through the Caribbean at navigator simulators.
The new It’s a Small World Nursery for the littlest cruisers is inspired by the style of Disney legend Mary Blair and offers age-appropriate fun and toys, and trained counselors.
Reimagined Upper Decks
The upper ship decks will soon include more water play areas, slides, interactive elements and more shade.
Perhaps the most thrilling addition will be the AquaDunk, pictured above, a three-story body slide that releases the rider straight down as a trap door releases under their feet. The slide extends 20 feet out over the ship’s side and is for riders taller than 48 inches.
The new 1,800-square-foot AquaLab is an interactive water playground for ages 3 and older that includes pop jets, geysers and bubblers. The Twist n’ Spout water slide for riders 38 to 64 inches tall has more than 250 feet of sliding fun of loops and turns.
Young children up to age 3 can play in the new Nephews’ Splash Zone featuring Donald Duck’s nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie.
Animator’s Palate will be updated to include new animation-adorned walls and larger high-definition flat-screens. The restaurant will also feature an update to the “Drawn to Magic” experience, as well as add an experience that has been a guest favorite on the Disney Dream and Fantasy, the “Animation Magic” dinner show, where guests can draw characters that come to life on screen.
The new Carioca’s restaurant replaces Parrot Cay and is inspired by Rio de Janeiro and named after Donald Duck’s parrot pal in “The Three Caballeros,” Jose Carioca. During the day, there’s a festival theme, and at night, the atmosphere transforms into an after-hours scene of Rio de Janiero.
The new Cabanas casual dining restaurant replaces Topsider Buffet. The new theme will be “Finding Nemo,” and area will be expanded by 3,400 square feet.
The popular adult-only restaurant Palo will get stylish fixtures, glass artwork, new stone floors, and new Venetian red-and-white-striped poles.
Beat Street will be replaced by After Hours, the nighttime adult entertainment district. The new lineup of clubs includes venues for dancing, comedy, music and variety shows. Fathoms nightclub is a celebration of the sea that utilizes special effects, lighting and sound to create different atmospheres from early evening to night. For guests seeking a more low-key nighttime experience, there is Keys piano bar and lounge. O’Gills is an Irish pub and sports bar designed with traditional decor. Sports fans don’t have to miss out on live televised athletic events here.
Senses Spa & Salon will be redesigned with a sleek, contemporary style and will increase in size by 725 square feet. A new Smile Spa will offer teeth-whitening services, a new barbershop will offer services for men, and the new Chill Spa will provide treatments for teens ages 13 to 17.
Replacing Studio Sea, D Lounge will offer a variety of family-friendly games, shows, dances and activities for all ages. Here, families can enjoy entertainment, game shows and activities together.
Bed frames in the staterooms will be elevated to provide storage space underneath.
For more information or to make a reservation, go to www.disneycruise.com or call 888-325-2500.