Just last week, Disney Cruise Line hosted a press gathering to preview the new Disney Fantasy at Meyer Werft, the shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. Preparing for its launch on March 31, 2012, the ship's main structure is fully assembled and the interior is about 70% complete with many of its spaces well under way to becoming finished venues onboard this magical vessel. From repeated and expanded to entirely new spaces, the Fantasy builds upon the success of its sister, the Disney Dream.
Much has already been written about the Disney Fantasy, so this time the photos and captions will primarily tell the story. (All composite images below depict the ship still under construction and are not 100% architecturally accurate. The images are thus not entirely indicative of what the final product will look like. All concept art included in the composites are copyright Disney Cruise Line.)
The first scene to be presented to guests as they embark the ship is the beautiful art nouveau atrium, set apart from the art deco design on the Dream, as seen in this construction photo/concept art blend. What's more, the atrium has been expanded as a gathering place by relocating some offices that had been here on the Dream.
The Royal Court, one of the rotational dining rooms onboard, exudes elegance and chromatic purity. A more raised central ceiling and the prominence of wallpaper over painted panels set the venue apart from its counterpart on the Dream. The two specialty restaurants, Remy and Palo – now with enlarged banquettes – along with Cabanas, Enchanted Garden and Animator's Palate also make their way onboard from the Dream, but this time Animator's Palate will feature an addtional dinner show where characters you draw come to life alongside famous Disney characters up on the restaurant's multitude of screens.
When it comes to entertainment, Disney does not slouch, and this is apparent given that the Walt Disney Theatre is easily the most completed venue onboard the ship to date and is already being programed for its repertoire of shows including Aladdin - A Musical Spectacular. Columns have been narrowed slightly to improve sightlines since the Dream, and the room is filled with all the latest show technology.
Additonal entertainment includes a new adventure game debuting on the Fantasy. Utilizing the ship's signature Enchanted Art, interactive art displays, this scavenger hunt features The Muppets in "The Case of the Stolen Show." Disney has pulled out all the stops, adding several new features beyond those on the Dream, to ensure that there are plenty of unique experiences to entertain the guests during the longer 7-night voyages on the Fantasy.
Such additional features include the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique retail space exclusive to the Fantasy. Here girls can be treated to makeover experiences to become princesses themselves, and boys, on pirate night, can be made into swashbuckling adventurers. The space, outfitted for conferences on the Dream, is given that extra Disney magic here for the kids.
Of course, the other extensive kids facilities found on the Dream are onboard the Fantasy as well including an enlarged nursery this time around, and the shipyard is well under way with the installation of its plethora of props and interactive elements.
The adults are definitely not left out as they have their own dedicated district onboard the ship called Europa. This adults-only section of the ship has been expanded since the Dream by being pushed out into areas once allocated as outdoor spaces. The venues in this district, aside from the returning Skyline bar, are entirely new from the Dream and include La Piazza, an Italian-inspired carousel bar at the epicenter of Europa. This adults area of the ship is the farthest from completion, but composite images help paint the picture.
Also new to the Fanatsy is Ooh La La, Europa's colorful cocktail lounge themed to a French boudoir. Similar to Pink on Dream, this bar has swapped sides of the ship onboard the Fantasy.
Europa's sports bar has switched sides of the ship from the Dream as well and is called O'Gill's here. This Irish pub features dark woods and turf green wall accents.
The adult area onboard is rounded out with The Tube, Europa's British subway-inspired nightclub. The venue will include genuine British telephone booths brought onboard and feature a Union Jack decorated ceiling.
At first glance, the upper deck of the Fantasy appears unchanged from the Dream. For instance, the main pool area complete with the famous AquaDuck water coaster and deck party stages returns. However, many of the most significant additions exclusive to the Fantasy are found right here on these top decks, not the least of which is the expanded sports court at Goofy's Sports Deck.
The AquaDuck's creation via aquatic experimentation backstory with Donald's silly nephews, Huey, Dewey and Luey, is further told thanks to the new AquaLab, the interactive water play area located immediately adjacent to the water coaster. The Waves bar on the Dream makes way to this new deck zone by relocating as a service bar off to the side. Instead of drinks flowing, this area features flowing water via jets and geysers and invites guests to try and seal the holes in the leaky walls. (An interesting side note is that the ship's block including this area – one of the giant portions of the ship built prior to final assembly – was already constructed when Disney decided to add this feature to the ship, thus necessitating a shipboard remodel on the fly as construction proceeded forward on the rest of the vessel.)
The main pool deck and upper adults-only deck is visually and functionally tied together with the deck in between by including new abundant shade structures and a relaxing family wading pool. Following the Fantasy's penchant for including new water features, this wading pool includes a playful sort of water bubble in the center of the pool that is filled with fog – once the water is penetrated, the fog will temporarily escape until the water seals it off again.
The remaining adults-only deck on the very forward top of the ship showcases what has to be one of the most clever cruise ship features to date. Satellite Falls manages to both accentuate and disguise one of the ship's bulbous television receivers by including it as an architectural element in the design of a new relaxation pool. The satellite crowns the reclining pool and creates a raised skirt in which a curtain of water will fall and encapsulate the recliners in the center of it.
During the press tour of the Disney Fantasy, it quickly became clear just how special this ship is likely to become with its many great features encored from the Dream and so many others introduced specific to it. Surely, 7-day voyages will be filled with plenty of entertainment and activities for all onboard, kids and adults alike.
To view additional photos from the ship, head on over to my Disney Fantasy Shipyard Visit message board by clicking here.
(All photos and composite images included in the article are copyright 2012 - Jason Leppert