On October 29, 2009, Disney Cruise Line announced additional information about the newest Disney cruise ship, the Disney Dream. Considerably larger than the Disney Magic and Wonder, the Disney Dream has a few surprises in store. A few of our observations:
The Disney Dream deck plan follows the changes made last month to the Disney Magic and Wonder, with subcategories for each stateroom type.
- Almost all of the staterooms are located up high on the ship. The Magic and Wonder each have 3 full decks of staterooms above the main areas of the ship, where there veranda rooms are located. The Disney Dream has 5 full decks of staterooms up high, with a part of a 6th deck featuring the suites. The other thing you notice is that the inside staterooms are just about gone, there are very few left on board. Only 150 inside staterooms on board, compared to 1,100 outside staterooms.
- The staterooms are smaller. While at first look, the appear to be similar, the staterooms on the Disney Dream are smaller, though it appears Disney has done a better job of space use, with storage under the beds, etc.
One note, the new stateroom sized exclude the balcony in their measurements, while the Magic/Wonder staterooms sizes have the veranda included. The actual difference in size of the staterooms is probably closer to 15 – 20SF smaller, rather than the 50SF shows in the list above.
- Category 4 staterooms are now 256 SF compared to 304 SF
- Category 5/6 staterooms are now 203 SF compared to 268 SF
- Category 9/10 staterooms are now 204 SF compared to 214 SF
- Category 11 stateroom sare now 169 SF compared to 184 SF
- New Category 8, Deluxe Oceanview Family Staterooms. Before, with a family of 5, the only option was to book a category 4 stateroom with veranda, or do 2 connecting rooms. On the Disney Dream, there is a new category type, the family oceanview stateroom. A 241 SF room with a window, this room is similar in size to the category 4, but lacks the veranda. A great option for a family of 5 who wants to save a bit of money. One note on the rooms, there are only 108 category 8s onboard, divided into four categories. These should be popular, and should book up quickly.
- New virtual portholes. In the inside staterooms, Disney will install virtual portholes, so even though you will have an inside room, your room will be equipped with a virtual window, featuring the passing ocean, islands and beaches, complete with visits from Disney characters who may “wash up” onto your window. This should be a blast for kids of all ages, though we are hoping there is an off switch.
- Concierge Suites. Disney Cruise has moved all of their suites to a concierge level on deck 11 and 12 separate from the other staterooms. On those decks will be the Category R and T suites (the Royal 2 bedroom and 1 bedroom suites) along with some Category V staterooms, which will be similar staterooms to the category 4 family staterooms, they will be slightly larger and include the concierge service. What is concierge service you might ask? It will include access to the concierge lounge on deck 12, which will be stocked 24/7 with food and drinks, and will offer concierge guests a place to relax and watch the new or surf the internet away from the general public. Concierge guests will also have access to the concierge team to help with shore excursions, dining or spa reservations or anything else they can think up. There is also a private concierge sun deck on deck 13, with deck chairs, misters to keep cool and a full choice of drinks and food available.
Not much has changed on the Disney Dream when it comes to restaurants, just the themes changes.
- Three main rotation restaurants. Animator’s Palette stays, with its changing decor throughout the evening. The Royal Palace is the new “fancy” restaurant located just off the lobby, replacing Lumiere’s/Triton’s, and will be themed after the classic Disney princess movies. The third restaurant will be the Enchanted Garden, replacing Parrot Cay. The Enchanted Garden will feature a special transformation throughout the evening, from a daytime garden scene to a tranquil nighttime sunset and starry sky.
- Palo remains pretty much unchanged, but now has the addition of Meridian, a Palo only bar and waiting area for pre and post drinks.
- The casual dining stays about the same. Cabanas will be the new buffet replacing Topsiders and Beach Blanket. Cabanas will be more of a food court atmosphere, rather than a buffet line. Inspired by California beaches with uniquely Disney touches, Cabanas offers indoor and outdoor dining on Deck 11 aft with incredible ocean views. Across the beach-themed dining room, tables are sheltered under palm trees and beach umbrellas. Surf boards, sun umbrellas, kites, teak Adirondack chairs and clam shell table tops add to the sunny seaside décor. In addition, many of the Pixar characters will be involved, including the Finding Nemo Sea Gulls. Cabanas will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner each day. For dining, Cabanas will be table service, but a bit more casual than the three main dining areas.
- Pool side dining gets a needed change. Flo’s Cafe, Doc’s Grill, Luigi’s Pizza and Fillmore’s Favorites will be poolside options featuring character from Pixar’s Cars. EyeScream and Frozone’s Treats will feature characters from Pixar’s Monsters Inc and The Incredibles. The Cove bar remains the same, with an adult only area for relaxing.
Our take is that Disney has done a great job of making the dining more of a theme park experience, with characters from movies used as a central theme. Gone are the days of a restaurant with horrible floral fabric everywhere and a buffet in the middle, replaced with more of an experience in dining, whether that is at dinner, or getting your ice cream from a monster.
From the information released, it appears not much will change when it comes to the public areas. The fantastic Kids club will remain about the same, with the addition of more Disney characters in the kids spaces. The main changes are in the amenities available to all guests on board.
- AquaDuck. Most of the announcement was spent on the AquaDuck, the first water roller coaster at sea. I didn’t realize there was race to see who was first. This is a full size water ride for kids of all ages. This is a 765 foot long ride water ride, with a loop that extends out over the ocean, 150 feet above the water. It also has a height requirement of 48 inches, so this is not an option for small kids, though the Mickey slide will still be available.
- Walt Disney Theater. Not much of a change there, but there will now be balcony seating, so it has gotten quite a bit larger. The other change is the Buena Vista Theater (movie theater) will also be 2 stories, and will be able to hold live stage shows. Another option for live theater on board.
- Vibe. Now removed from the Stack, the Teen Club has been given it’s own area, replacing the staff pool on the bow of the ship. Located on deck 5, Vibe will feature a large indoor area with games, music, giant TVs and all sorts of teen fun. Also, there is now a large outside area which will have wading pools, deck chairs, outdoor games, etc. Sounds like a place teens will like to go now.
- Edge. The new Tween Club is located in the stack for kids age 11 – 13 only. Not only will it have great ocean views from the stack, the windows will be one way, so guests outside will not be able to see in. Plus, the AquaDuck will run through the Edge.
- Sports deck? Currently, on the deck plans and models we have seen, there is not a sports deck. Will there be one?
From first glance, the Disney Dream seems to be fantastic, making changes where needed, but keeping the same look and feel of the popular Disney Wonder and Magic. Will we see changes made to the older ships to match the newer ships, such as the addition of the virtual portholes and the Enchanted Garden replacing Parrot Cay? Hopefully. Many things have been left blank or unannounced at this time concerning the ship. There should be a few more surprises by Disney made public before the ship launches in 2011.
Disney Dream Schedule
Currently, the Disney Dream is set to sail 3, 4 and 5 night cruises out of Port Canaveral, FL. The inaugural cruise will be January 26, 2011, a 4 night Bahamanian Cruise. The Dream will sail 3 and 4 night cruises alternating in the Spring, Fall and Winter, with 5 night cruises sailing from May 29, 2011 until August 16, 2011.
Booking for the Disney Dream starts on November 9, 2009. For more information on booking the Disney Dream, please contact our sponsor Mouseketrips. If you happen to be a Castaway Gold or Platinum member, you can book starting on November 2, 2009.