By Tim Enstice
In advance of its first official cruise on March 31, yesterday the brand new Disney Fantasy embarked on an exclusive preview cruise to showcase all of the new features and amenities that families will experience throughout their vacation. From the AquaLab to the Disney Wishes stage show to the Bibbidi Boppidi Boutique, among many other additions, the Disney Fantasy is an entirely new vacation experience that builds upon the success of its sister ship, the Disney Dream.
This morning, just after the Fantasy pulled into harbor at Castaway Cay — a private island in the Bahamas for the exclusive enjoyment of Disney cruise guests — Orbitz was fortunate to attend a fascinating panel discussion with the ship’s creative team. Karl Holtz, president of Disney Cruise Line and New Vacation Operations, led the conversation by touching on all topics from concept to completion of this spectacular vessel. Perhaps the most important element of all is the wonderful service provided by nearly 1,500 crewmembers.
Mr. Holtz was joined by Bruce Vaughn, chief creative executive at Walt Disney Imagineering, who explained the ship’s “balance between elegance and whimsy” to combine beautiful design elements with playful technology and interactive experiences. Joe Lanzisero, senior vice president at Walt Disney Imagineering, added that the technical wizardry of the Animation Magic show at Animator’s Palate is a singular experience that allows families to create animation — and see their art in motion — like never before.
Also participating on the panel was Kevin Eld, vice president of Walt Disney Imagineering creative entertainment, who shared a number of stunning details about the live shows happening nightly in the Walt Disney Theatre, a 1,340-seat “entertainment palace that spans three decks with orchestra and balcony seating.”
For example, each cast member performs in all five musicals, including “Disney Wishes,” “Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular,” “Disney’s Believe,” the “Fantasy Come True” welcome show and the “Unforgettable Journey” farewell show. That means each cast member has to memorize the scripts, songs and choreography for five different shows! No surprise considering that many Disney performers have gone on to perform in major Broadway productions.
More updates to come from this exclusive preview sailing of the Disney Fantasy, so please visit the Orbitz Blog frequently through this week…