PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Disney's next cruise ship, the Disney Fantasy, will boast a number of new features including an elaborate new dinner show, executives revealed today in a private briefing for a small group of journalists.
"We don't like to repeat ourselves," Disney executive Joe Lanzisero noted during the briefing, which took place on the line's three-month-old Disney Dream. "We have a very loyal fan base, and we want to give (them) a reason to experience both ships."
Scheduled to debut in March 2012, the 2,500-passenger Disney Fantasy is a sister ship to the Dream that is identical in size and general layout. But Lanzisero says the two vessels will be far from carbon copies of each other.
To be called "Animation Magic," the new dinner show will take place in the Animator's Palate restaurant on the Disney Fantasy and star an animated Mickey Mouse. The new show will be in addition to the Finding Nemo-themed experience involving a talking Crush that fills the Animator's Palate restaurant on the Disney Dream.
Animator's Palate restaurants are a staple of all three Disney ships currently at sea. As on the Disney Dream, the Animator's Palate on the new Disney Fantasy will have an animation theme (pillars fashioned like huge pencils and brushes, character sketches on the walls) and involve the participation of diners.
Lanzisero offered writers attending today's briefing a sneak peek of the new Animator's Palate show as they sat in the Disney Dream's version of the restaurant. The experience begins with diners being invited to draw a character on the placemat at their dinner spot that later will be incorporated into the animated film projected on the eatery's walls.
"There's nothing more exciting than the first time you see your animation on the screen," said Lanzisero, a top executive at Disney's design division, Walt Disney Imagineering, who got his start in animation. Lanzisero is overseeing the creative development of the Disney Fantasy.
The new show centers around a Sorcerer-themed Mickey who appears on the walls of the restaurant just before dinner is served. Transforming static, black-and-white drawings of Mickeys around the room into colorful, animated Mickeys, the Sorcerer Mickey introduces a montage of food-themed moments from Disney and Pixar films. The montage is set to the song "Be Our Guest" from the movie Beauty and the Beast.
After the montage, diners have a few minutes to complete their placemat drawings, which then are whisked away behind the scenes. During dinner, the walls of the room are filled with classic Disney and Pixar characters celebrating over meals, and then after dinner Sorcerer Mickey returns for a finale that incorporates the passenger drawings.
During the demonstration of the dinner show, which was done in a sped-up form without a meal being served, the drawings of the journalists and Disney executives in attendance could be seen dancing across the walls of the room with Disney characters such as Jiminy Cricket.
As the show ends, credits roll on screen showing the names of the "guest animator" diners whose work was just shown.
The new dinner show is one of about half a dozen new elements for the Disney Fantasy revealed today. Executives also showed off plans for a nighttime entertainment district on the ship that varies markedly from the one of the Disney Dream, and the line also plans a new show for the ship's main theater that has an Aladdin theme. Disney's Aladdin -- A Musical Spectacular, it'll be called.
Also new will be a salon called Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique where children can receive princess and pirate makeovers (hair, nails and makeup) and purchase Princess costumes complete with crown, wand and shoes. Among the packages available will be "Captain Mickey Mouse" and "Princess Minnie Mouse" makeovers plus special Under the Sea packages. Prices for the packages have yet to be set, but executives say they'll be roughly the same as at similar salons at Disney parks on land.
Lanzisero also announced that the atrium of the ship will feature a cast bronze statue of "Mademoiselle Minnie Mouse." In a Disney tradition, each of its ship has a single main character in its atrium that serves as a focal point for Disney fans.
The Disney Fantasy's maiden voyage is scheduled for March 31, 2012, out of Port Canaveral. The ship will sail seven-night Caribbean itineraries, alternating between an Eastern Caribbean route (with stops in St. Maarten and St. Thomas) and a Western Caribbean route (Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel). Special Eastern Caribbean sailings in November and December 2012 will stop in St. Thomas and San Juan, Puerto Rico. All the itineraries will include a stop at Disney's private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay.
[ATTACH]8410.vB[/ATTACH]source: USA Today