The new Disney Fantasy joins a sisterhood of Disney Cruise Line ships celebrating the golden age of ocean liners. Like the Disney Magic, the Disney Wonder and the Disney Dream before her, the Disney Fantasy blends the elegant grace of early 20th century transatlantic ocean liners with contemporary design to create a stylish and spectacular cruise ship.
“The 1930s time of travel was the most romantic, so that is where we started with our design,” said Bruce Vaughn, chief creative executive for Walt Disney Imagineering. “We want our guests to get excited just seeing the ship – evoking a beautiful, classic 1930s ocean liner.”
Distinguished by gracefully sweeping lines and meticulous details, the Disney Fantasy, like her fleet siblings, celebrates sea travel with unmistakable Disney touches.
The ship’s exterior color scheme matches the iconic Mickey Mouse with a black hull, bold red funnels and vivid yellow striping and lifeboats. Small touches, such as silhouettes of Disney characters scrolled into the cruise line’s signature yellow filigree ornamentation that stretches from bow to stern, are subtle reminders that this is one of the most magical ships at sea.
Carrying the modern classic design inside, the elegant interior décor on the Disney Fantasy is influenced by the Art Nouveau style – but with what Vaughn calls “a dash of Disney whimsy.”
“At our heart, we are storytellers,” he said. “We take families on vacation and immerse them in stories. We want to transport them out of everyday reality to a different reality.”
For guests sailing on the Disney Fantasy, that “different reality” begins in the three-deck atrium lobby. Reminiscent of splendid ocean liners from the 1920s and 1930s, the stylish sophistication of the atrium is highlighted by a sweeping grand staircase, oversized portholes and three-story columns.
The entire three-deck expanse is graced with flowing Art Nouveau-inspired details. The stunning fluted columns “bloom” into golden-petal capitals. Balustrades overlooking the lobby are laced with whimsical golden designs. There are patterns in hues of vibrant blue, green, pink and gold. From the ceiling hangs a cascading chandelier, grand-yet-delicate, that flows downward from a massive stained-glass flourish on the ceiling in peacock hues of greens and blues. An exquisite marble and stone inlay floor and the rich carpeting underfoot continue the effect.
Opulent furnishings complement the atrium design, with a grand piano providing atmosphere.
Original art work in bronze, bas relief and tile mosaics add elegance.
Blending with the ethereal effects – sometimes in ways so seamless that their discovery is reserved for the very “keen eye” – are those dashes of Disney whimsy. Decorative bronze friezes featuring Disney characters line the balconies, and a keen eye may notice Disney characters in the balustrade rising up the grand staircase. Panoramic elevator columns that face into the atrium feature elaborate metalwork crafted in an Art Nouveau pattern with a hint of a familiar Mickey Mouse outline.
One touch of “Disney whimsy” truly stands out. As with each Disney Cruise Line ship that launched before it, the Disney Fantasy has an atrium lobby statue celebrating a classic Disney character. The pièce de résistance of the Disney Fantasy lobby is Mademoiselle Minnie Mouse, cast in bronze and dressed in vintage fashion with a parasol and steamer luggage at her side – “a big photo op,” Vaughn says.
Vaughn says the Disney Fantasy was designed so that “it reveals itself gradually.” Around the atrium lobby and throughout the Disney Fantasy, there’s an innovative example of that in Enchanted Art, which magically comes alive as guests pause to admire individual art pieces.
For instance, a piece of art that appears to be an animation cel from the Disney classic film “Bambi” springs to life as Bambi’s friends Thumper and Flower scamper and a butterfly flits through the scene. Another piece, featuring a vintage photo of Walt Disney at his drawing board, creates a magical moment for guests as the character Walt is creating becomes animated.
Enchanted Art looks like other hanging art pieces around the ship but is actually a framed LCD screen with technology that recognizes a guest is present. As a guest stops to view a piece of Enchanted Art, several seconds of animation in the picture are activated. Guests may see new and different animation as they come back and visit the Enchanted Art another time.
The gradual reveal uncovers something else about Disney Fantasy, Vaughn says. “Complementing its classic elegance, this is one of the most innovative, modern ships at sea.”