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  • Writer's pictureJason Leppert

Disney Magic Scheduled for Extensive Redesign

Never one to rest on its creative laurels, the Disney Cruise Line is set to “plus” the shipboard experience once again on its very first cruise ship – the Disney Magic with a dry-dock refitting in September 2013. Taking design cues from her youngest fleet-mates – the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy – the 1998-launched Disney Magic will inherit many of the line’s most recent favorites as well as sport entirely new features (fully illustrated below – click on images to enlarge).

The Opening Scene

“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.” Said storytelling begins onboard at the redesigned art deco atrium.

Further opening up the space with the removal of one of the mirrored staircases, the new asymmetrical layout will still spotlight the signature bronze “Helmsman Mickey” statue, polished with a fresh luster and now offset among the new carpeting below and chandelier above. Lanzisero describes the updated atrium look as “elegant art deco, inspired by elements of the sea.”


The Atrium (Copyright © Disney Cruise Line)

Inspired Favorites

The most dramatic enhancement will be the exterior addition of the AquaDunk (rendered in the header above and below) – a brand new water slide and thrilling variant of the popular AquaDuck on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. Contrasting the raft ride that doubles back around those ships more leisurely, the AquaDunk will be a three-deck body slide with a near vertical drop that launches riders into a translucent helix stretching 20-feet over the side of the ship.


AquaDunk (Copyright © Disney Cruise Line)

The poolside AquaLab, first introduced on the Disney Fantasy, will also be coming aboard with the conversion of the existing Mickey’s Pool to include new interactive pop jets, geysers and bubblers. Also, the current kiddie slide will be replaced with the higher and longer Twist ‘n’ Spout with over 250-feet of run and three helixes.


AquaLab and Twist ‘n’ Spout Water Slide (Copyright © Disney Cruise Line)

The Disney Fantasy will share her once-exclusive “Animation Magic” dinner show with the Disney Magic at the redesigned Animator’s Palate restaurant. Here diners will draw their own character before being treated to dessert and the sights of their creation magically animated alongside legendary Disney characters. The addition of Remy from Ratatouille and Rapunzel from Tangled, plus new larger high-def displays, will enhance the classic black-and-white to color extravaganza of “Drawn to Magic.”


Animator’s Palate (Copyright © Disney Cruise Line)

The existing Topsider Buffet will be transformed into Cabanas with an Australian theme inspired by the film Finding Nemo that is sure to feature a flock of seagulls. A welcome improvement here will be the expansion of the indoor dining space with an additional 3,400 square feet, bringing the total to 9,460 square feet with 455 seats.


Cabanas (Copyright © Disney Cruise Line)

Andy’s Room, a kid favorite from the two newest ships, will comprise a new play structure made to look like an oversized bed with a life-sized Mr. Potato Head, Hamm piggy bank and Slinky Dog slide, and Pixie Hollow will similarly make its way onboard with costumes for dressing up like Tinker Bell’s fairy friends in a fanciful forest.


Andy’s Room (Copyright © Disney Cruise Line)

The popular Irish pub from the Disney Fantasy, O’Gills, will establish itself as a new adults-only offering on the Disney Magic as well and will no doubt serve up its famous house Irish cream liqueur. The space will also doubles as a sports bar with a live televised feed of athletic events.


O’Gills (Copyright © Disney Cruise Line)

Also from the new ships for both kids and adults, Studio Sea will be repurposed into D Lounge, multi-use entertainment venue and host to family-friendly games, shows, dances and activities.


D Lounge (Copyright © Disney Cruise Line)

Entirely New Features

Not everything new to the Disney Magic will be a carryover from the rest of the fleet. For instance, she will be the first Disney ship to feature famed comic book heroes onboard. Disney’s Oceaneer Club will house Marvel’s Avengers Academy. Here, “young crime-fighters will be transported to a high-tech command post used by The Avengers for special missions and operations training,” according to the cruise line. Displays include Iron Man’s suit, Captain America’s shield and Thor’s hammer.


Marvel’s Avengers Academy (Copyright © Disney Cruise Line)

The Mickey Mouse Club also joins the ship, internationally inspired by “a new series of two-dimensional short cartoons that places the world’s most famous mouse in contemporary settings like Paris, New York, Tokyo and Venice,” says the cruise line. “The new cartoons, which borrow from the style of Mickey Mouse’s character in the 1930s, will air on The Disney Channel and Disney.com.”


Mickey Mouse Club (Copyright © Disney Cruise Line)

Tots may be too young to enjoy the new AquaLab and AquaDunk, but they will get their own new Nephews’ Splash Zone, formerly Mickey’s Splash Zone, described as “a splash-a-second space dedicated to interactive fun and starring Donald Duck’s mischievous nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie. The area features all sorts of water play with pop jets, squirting figures of Donald Duck’s nephews and plenty of high seas hijinks they’ve created for ‘Unca Donald.’”

Parrot Cay will give way to the new Carioca’s, a restaurant inspired by Brazil and named after Donald Duck’s parrot friend in The Three Caballeros. Disney explains, “during the day, buffet meals feature a festival theme before night falls and the atmosphere transforms into an after-hours scene of Rio de Janiero, with city-side windows softly illuminated and lanterns flickering overhead. A scenery scrim is drawn to conceal the buffet and kitchen areas for dinner service, providing a more elegant dining locale.”


Carioca’s (Copyright © Disney Cruise Line)

The adults-only area of the ship will be rethemed from Beat Street to After Hours, with the included Diversions becoming O’Gills as described above. Other clubs to see changes are Rockin’ Bar and Sessions which will become Fathoms and Keys respectively. Fathoms will be “a celebration of the sea” with special effects, lighting and sound that transform the environment throughout the evenings, and Keys will be a piano lounge with a relaxed vibe.


Fathoms (Copyright © Disney Cruise Line)

Further Enhancements

With the existing pirate theme of Disney’s Oceaneer Club being retooled, Disney’s Oceaneer Lab will take over the reigns with a new buccaneer workshop and animator’s studio for kids including Navigator Simulators for practicing maritime maneuvers. For the even younger, Flounder’s Reef Nursery will be rethemed into It’s a Small World Nursery as also found on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.


Disney’s Oceaneer Lab (Copyright © Disney Cruise Line)

As for dining, the cruise line touts that Palo will be getting “a makeover with stylish wood fixtures, glass artwork panels, new stone floors, decorative lighting and hand-tufted carpet. Red and white striped poles reminiscent of those found throughout the canals in Venice are a design feature. A rich interior color palette – inspired by Venetian artwork – complements gourmet dishes that please guests’ palates.”


Palo (Copyright © Disney Cruise Line)

Another area onboard to receive improvements is Senses Spa & Salon. The cruise line expresses, “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.”


Senses Spa & Salon (Copyright © Disney Cruise Line)

Lastly, staterooms onboard are slated to be redesigned with new nautical decor and better use of space with raised beds for improved storage. The updated Disney Magic will reemerge with sailings starting on October 20, 2013 from Miami, Florida.

To further explore what’s in store for the Disney Magic, check out the great video below and visit Disney Cruise Line‘s website here.


(Copyright © Disney Cruise Line)

What do you think about these new features? Join the Popular Cruising community and share your thoughts in the comments section below…

HEADER IMAGE SOURCE: DISNEY CRUISE LINE

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