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Thread: Disney Dream features high-tech gaming

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    From the Orlando Sentinel

    Remember when youth counselors used to have kids sit in a circle and listen to a book? Well that's probably not the option the kids will choose on the new 4,000-passenger Disney Dream.

    The ship, Disney Cruise Line's first new-build in more than a decade, has something so much more fun -- a Magic PlayFloor that combines storytelling with high tech, interactive gaming, in a cruise industry first.

    We're talking a giant grid, 28 HD panels surrounded by 16 LED sensors, embedded in the floor where your foot movements control the action.

    A prediction here: parents will wish this particular offering -- located in the Oceaneers Lab and Oceaneers Club children's program areas -- was not kids-only.

    Some of the games are designed to be highly interactive, like video games where kids control the animation they're seeing. Others are slightly less so - "jumping rope" over an image projected on the floor, for instance.

    At first glance, the room-size floor looks like something you'd see at a disco - only this is not about simple lights and projections, it's about kids interacting with some of their favorite Disney characters via video screens.

    One example starts with a youth counselor telling the story of "Peter Pan." During the story, the kids are able to see images of Peter and Tinker Bell move around the floor panels. The fun escalates as the kids are invited to literally join the story, taking off with the Lost Boys in a game of Follow the Leader.

    Or Goofy will make an appearance, directing the kids to jump over animation of squirting water in a virtual game of jump rope that little kids are sure to love.

    But that's the easy stuff. The floor has been created to appeal to kids ages 3 to 10, and for the older group there are more advanced video challenges for 16 players or teams.

    The Disney Dream debuts in late January.
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