|By Paul Motter
The one thing you can count on from Disney is consistency. Everything the Disney "Imagineers" create is planned to the tiniest detail and once they make up their minds they rarely deviate from the script.
So it is only logical that the two new Disney ships, Disney Dream, inaugurated last January, 2011, and Disney Fantasy, set to debut in March 2012, will have the same approach to décor as the first two Disney ships; Magic (1999) and Wonder (2000).
Disney Magic features an Art Deco theme while her sister ship, Disney Wonder, is decked out in Art Nouveau. So it will be with Disney Dream - already sporting an Art Deco theme - while her forthcoming sister ship, Disney Fantasy, will be done in Art Nouveau.
Disney Cruise Lines strives to recreate the décor of the grand era of ocean liners on its ships - so they are historically correct to select Art Deco as the initial theme. In fact, the most famous ocean liner ever, Cunard's Queen Mary, is often cited in the "dictionary definition" of Art Deco. Art Nouveau is not as commonly associated with ship décor, but it is certainly a popular theme that lends itself to the grand rooms one finds on cruise ships.
Art Nouveau typically celebrates the intricacy of true nature - such as the arc and parabolic patterns common to leaves, feathers and seashells. The colors are natural; azure sky, leafy green and walnut brown. The era (roughly 1880 to 1915) preceded the Art Deco movement (1920-1939).
Art Deco took Art Nouveau to the next level by modernizing the same decorative design with newer industrial materials such as chrome, glass, brass and steel. Beyond the Queen Mary (built in 1934), another classic example of Art Deco is the Chrysler building in New York City.
So, while the Disney Fantasy will have an almost identical floor plan to Disney Dream, the interior décor will be different but as equally inviting as her sister Disney Fantasy. The main atrium on Disney Dream, where passengers get their first impression of the ship, features Master Donald Duck surrounded by ornate Art Deco styling. The same room on Fantasy will have more a subtle Art Nouveau motif with a peacock inspired chandelier and a bronze statue of Mademoiselle Minnie Mouse in a similarly flowing gown.
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While the Walt Disney movie theater and the Buena Vista showroom will have the same size and location, the colors and patterns will be entirely different. The live musical production show will be also entirely new. Instead of "Believe in Magic" as the main live show, Disney Fantasy will have a production of "Aladdin," a musical with yet another whimsical genie. The live production show techniques on Disney ships are comparable to Broadway shows, for which Disney is already famous. The special effects in Aladdin will include a "flying magic carpet."
A significant improvement on Fantasy over sister ship Dream will be a more interactive dinner theater experience in the famous "Animator's Palate" dining room. The actual show, to be called "Animation Magic," has dinner guests making drawings of Disney characters which are collected before dinner. Later in the meal Mickey himself (rather than Crush the Turtle, the room's ambassador on Disney Dream) will visit each table through virtual windows and show the guests' own drawings turned into Disney animation. At the end of the meal each table will receive a document to authenticate the animator's expertise.
Another area of Fantasy to receive a new concept is the adult entertainment district to be called "Europa." On Dream this adult area, called "The District," features five different themed lounges including a champagne bar called "Pinks" and the "Evolution Bar" as the main dance and music venue. For the most part, the lounges are styled on "Americana."
Disney Fantasy will have a similar tableau of intertwined nightspots but with different names and a European theme. The main lounge with a stage for games and activities and open to all ages during the day will be La Piazza featuring an Italian theme. O'Gills will be the sports bar with an Irish Pub atmosphere. The champagne bar will be called "Ooh La La," to celebrate the true variety of French bubbly. The main dance club, called "The Tube," will boast a London subway (aka "the Underground") theme.
The only lounge with the same name on both Disney ships will be the "top of the world view" room called "Skyline." It will present views of a different famous city skyline at sunset each night of the cruise through "virtual windows" utilizing video technology. The cities on view will be Paris, London, Barcelona, Athens and St. Petersburg.
Look for Disney Fantasy to debut in March of 2012. Cruises are already on sale at the Disney Cruise Line Web site.