On Oct. 25, the Disney Magic once again set sail for a two-day Bahamian cruise to show off her new features. The newly re-imagined Disney Magic hosted its first call in Miami, the first time the Disney Cruise Line (DCL) ship has sailed from the Florida port.
Disney Magic kicks off her fall sailing season following a six-week makeover, the most extensive dry dock in DCL history. The Disney Parks Blog posted a first look at changes that provides the first ship in the DCL fleet with its new look and feel.
DCL Captain Robert Olmer and the Magic’s officers invited local port officials and community leaders aboard the Disney Magic for the event, which included a plaque exchange. A maritime tradition, the ceremony marks relationship between the ship and the destination in honor of her first call. The Disney Magic now sails out of Port Miami for on DCL’s popular four- and five-night Western Caribbean and Bahamian itineraries.
We are very excited to bring the newly reimagined Disney Magic to Miami for the very first time,” said Disney Cruise Line Captain Olmer in a media statement. “Our guests have told us they want more opportunities to sail to Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, and to the Caribbean and Bahamas from Florida, and many families find Miami a convenient homeport.
More than 3,000 Imagineers, crew members, and construction workers contributed to the re-imagined Disney Magic, which has received several new features and entertainment elements. Refreshed public areas include redesigned public areas, re-conceptualized spaces for children and adults, changes in the dining experiences, and more effective designs for staterooms.
We have always been committed to reinvesting in our fleet and continuously making shipboard enhancements that elevate the guest experience,” says Karl Holz, president of Disney Cruise Line. “What we’ve done with the Disney Magic is yet another step forward in our commitment to delivering the absolute best family vacations at sea.
Disney Magic debuts AquaDunk and Marvel’s Avengers Academy
Among the ships highlights changes are new water features. The Disney’s iconic Mickey Pool is gone. But the AquaDunk, near the forward funnel, has been added. The waterslide offers DCL guests over 48” tall some “splashtastic” fun. Inspired by the AquaDuck version found on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, this three-story body slide features a translucent tube and extends 20 feet over the side of the ship.
Disney Magic also offers AquaLab, the 1,800-square-foot interactive water playground for ages 3 and above. The area includes the 2500-foot Twist ‘n Spout water slide as well as pop jets, geysers and bubblers. Water play features are also part of the Nephews’ Splash Zone, for toddlers up to age 3 and which is themed to Donald Duck’s young nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie.
Marvel’s Avengers Academy at Disney’s Oceaneer Lab (for children ages 3-12) where “young crime-fighters” can join the superheroes for special missions and training. In addition to being an entertainment experience that offers guests the chance to interact with Marvel characters, the club displays Iron Man’s suit of armor, Captain America’s shield and Thor’s hammer.
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.
Disney Magic was scheduled to debut her new look with and Oct. 20 five-day cruise, but weather conditions in dry dock and during the transatlantic sailing delayed the completion of the renovations. DCL then cancelled its first trip of the fall sailing season.
The Disney Magic has undergone a number of other changes, and to dramatic effect. The grand atrium lobby has been redesigned to evoke an Art Deco motif inspired by the sea. The three-deck lobby an Art Deco chandelier, a grand piano and the returning “Helmsman Mickey” bronze statue.
A more detailed look at the new Disney Magic follows.
Disney Magic updates its Oceaneer youth areas
In keeping with the addition of Marvel’s Avengers Academy, the rest of Disney’s Oceaneer Club has been re-imagined as a place that takes children so some of their favorite fantastical worlds. The club includes the following spaces, which also offered themed activities:
- Andy’s Room, a two-story play area focused on the characters of Disney-Pixar “Toy Story” trilogy;
- Pixie Hollow, where DCL guests can see the magical forest world of Tinker Bell and her fairy friends; and the
- Mickey Mouse Club, a room designed to invoke the mouse that started it all and includes screenings of the new Mickey Mouse cartoons and as well as games.
Disney’s Oceaneer Lab, a related area on the Disney Magic and also appropriate for the same age group focuses on adventure, exploration and creativity. The pirate-themed area, with its nautical theming, offers games, video walls and digital stations. The lab includes animator’s studio and a pirate workshop and lab for hands-on science experiments and art projects. The lab also features Navigator Simulators, an experience where young guests can “captain a ship through the mysterious waters of the Caribbean.”
As with all DCL ships, there’s even an area for the youngest guests, infants and toddles aged three months to three years. It’s a Small World Nursery, inspired by the artistic flair of Disney Legend Mary Blair, offers a play area with hands-on elements – including books, crafts and games – in addition to the colorful artwork and murals. Trained counselors are part of the nursery, and a one-way window enables parents to check in on their children without disrupting the fun.
Disney Magic includes grown-up fun with Senses Spa and After Hours
Disney Magic has also re-conceived areas focused on grown-up fun for both day and night.
Daytime indulgence is available at Senses Spa & Salon. Senses been expanded on the Disney Magic by 725 square feet, bringing its footprint to a total of almost 11,500 square feet. Senses has also undergone its own makeover, now offering a sleek and contemporary look that keeps its signature ocean-view environment. The location offers several new services: Smile Spa for teeth whitening, a gentleman’s barbershop, and the specialty Chill Spa for teens 13 to 17 years old.
The ship’s nighttime entertainment district, formerly known as Beat Street, is now collectively known as After Hours. The district keeps a variety of venues with options to enjoy music, dancing, comedy and variety shows. DCL guests can soak in the lively atmosphere of Fathoms nightclub, themed to the sea with the help of special effects; relax with a drink at Keys piano bar and lounge; or enjoy televised sports events in O’Gill’s Pub.
New experiences add spice to Disney dining aboard DCL’s Magic
Dining on the Disney Magic promises some new tastes and experiences, as the re-imagined ship takes advantage of new technology and theming. There area also two new restaurants: Carioca’s and Cabanas.
Rio de Janeiro is the cultural inspiration for Carioca’s, named after “The Three Caballeros” parrot Jose. The restaurant offers two distinct atmospheres, with the help of its featured lanterns. Carioca’s will be “fun by day, elegant by night,” notes Lanzisero.
During the day, there’s a festival theme and, when night falls, the atmosphere transforms into an after-hours scene of Rio de Janeiro, with softly illuminated lanterns flickering overhead. Dining experiences enhance the distinction, with a buffet during the day and table-service dining at night.
The new “Finding Nemo”-inspired Cabanas offers a similar transformation. The casual dining experience will offer food and beverage stations during the day and table service for dinner.
Carioca’s has replaced the Disney Magic’s Parrot Cay restaurant, while Cabanas has replaced Topsider Buffet in a redesign that adds more indoor space.
The Animator’s Palate boasts new animation-adorned walls and larger high-definition flat-screens to showcase its artwork. “Drawn to Magic,” the restaurant’s dinner animation show, has been updated. Guests see the evolution of animation from pencil test to storytelling with a focus on the hero’s journey through a focus on Disney and Pixar animation.
The adult-oriented Palo restaurant also gets a makeover, with new stone floors, glass artwork and new fixtures. The restaurant’s use of red-and-white striped poles evokes the Venetian canals.
Disney Magic refreshes public spaces and staterooms
As with all its design elements, Disney Magic has kept the needs of family travelers in mind for the general public spaces and private living quarters.
For instance, the family-friendly D Lounge has been introduced to replace Studio Sea. The area is appropriate for DCL guests of all ages and offers activities, shows, and entertainment designed for families to enjoy together. The focus is on active fun at D Lounge.
Disney Cruise Line also knows that traveling families need more space, so its statements have been redesigned to offer more features usable space. Staterooms now have elevated bed frames for beneath-the-bed storage, and bathrooms now use a split-bath design. The bathrooms include the split-bath feature
To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit Disney Cruise Line, call 888-325-2500 or contact a travel agent that specializes in Disney Travel.