The Disney Magic will be getting new waterslides, a new nightlife hub, a Marvel Comics-themed area and more updates as it heads for a six-week dry dock overhaul this September.
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The work will be done at the Navanthia shipyard in Cadiz, Spain and then the Magic will make its way back to Florida in the fall, first sailing out of PortMiami and then migrating to Port Canaveral beginning in January 2014.
The most noticeable change for the ship, which was built in 1998 and hasn't been in for a dry dock for five years is the addition of two new waterslides and a revamp of the forward pool area.
Playing off the name AquaDuck, the popular, round-the-ship waterslide that appears on both the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, the smaller Disney Magic offers up the AquaDunk, a thrill-seeker's waterslide that will drop riders out of a bomb-bay door into a translucscent tube that begins 35 above the pool deck and twists around 20 feet over the side of ship before coming in for a landing.
"We don't want to do the same things on all the ships," said Imagineer Peter Ricci, who is working on the ship's planned water features. "We want different expereinces."
The AquaDunk is aimed toward older riders, with a projected ride-height limit of 48 inches, although that may shift smaller, said Ricci.
The second waterslide is aimed toward families. The Twist n' Spout is a 250-foot-long slide that goes through four twists as it wends its way down from roughly three decks up from the pool deck. The ride-height limit on this will be 38 inches.
Some early reaction online to the new waterslides had some worrying the classic lines of the Art Deco, classic-era inspired design of the Magic would be hurt by the features. Ricci counters that there's been a lot of thought put into the color scheme and angles of the slides when the final product will be produced.
"At the end of the day, it will blend in well," Ricci said. "It's not like we just slapped a slide on the side of the ship."
The current pool deck that features a Mickey Mouse shaped pool will be totally revamped. So while the Mickey pool will be gone, a new AquaLab pool and play area will return. The AquaLab, first introduced aboard the Disney Fantasy is themed around Donald's nephews -- Huey, Dewey and Louie -- and features dumping water buckets, sprayers and other interactive water features.
For the smallest children, ages 0-3, the Nemo's Reef feature will be replaced with the Nephews' Splash Zone.
Children will also be getting a taste of the Marvel Comics universe as Marvel's Avengers Academy will debut in the shops Oceaneer Club. Tied to Disney's upcoming animated show on the Disney XD network, the feature is a multi-day experience in which children ages 3-12 can interact with characters like Iron Man, Captain America and Thor while taking on crime-fighting duties of their own.
Also in the Oceaneer Club will be an updated Andy's Room from "Toy Story," Pixie Hollow and Mickey Mouse Club. The latter hasn't been on any DCL ship before and pulls from the popular show on Disney Jr.
Elsewhere on the ship will be an updated design to the atrium and enhancements to the staterooms, which will be getting elevated bed frames to allow for more storage and split-bath design.
One thing not coming to the Disney Magic is the Midship Detective Agency, the interactive, shipwide games that are popular on the Dream and Fantasy.
Something that is getting a complete overhaul is the ship's nightlife. Currently called Beat Street and featuring Diversions, Rockin' Bar D and Sessions, the new nightlife options will be called After Hours.
After Hours’ new venues will be Fathoms nightclub, which will transform its look and feel with lighting and special effects as the evening moves into night, Keys piano bar and O'Gills, an Irish pub that proved popular on the Disney Fantasy.
While there will be no brand new dining venue on the level of Remy’s, two existing dining venues will be getting makeovers. Carioca's, named for Donald's parrot pal in the film "The Three Caballeros," will be a Brazilian-themed restaurant that replaces Parrot Cay. It will transition from a daytime festival atmosphere to an elegant nighttime experience. The Topsider Buffet will be replaced by the Finding Nemo-themed Australian Cabanas, the casual dining experience is also featued on the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream.
Both Palo's and the Animator's Palate remain, and the Palate will be receiving an interactive overhaul to introudce the popular Animation Magic dinner show featured on the Disney Fantasy in which diners draw a simple two-dimensional character that is then transformed into animation on screen during dinner.
"Storytelling is at the heart of everything we do," said 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 experience on board our ships."