Today Disney.com launches the all-new Secrets to a Dream Cruise Vacation Sweepstakes, which sounds pretty exciting and has us positively itching to get out of the office. One grand prize winner will receive a four-night Disney Cruise Line vacation for four aboard the soon-to-be enhanced Disney Dream. Included as part of this vacation are Broadway-style shows, a day on Disney’s private island paradise Castaway Cay, unique dining experiences that you won’t find anywhere else, and so much more. This really is a dream vacation, even more so because the Disney Dream is being outfitted with some amazing new experiences and layer upon layer of fresh Disney magic.
In fact, we wanted to get to the bottom of these enhancements, so we reached out to a pair of Imagineers. We first talked to Danielle Duffy, an Interior Designer for Walt Disney Imagineering in Florida and Daniel Handke, a Creative Designer Lead for Walt Disney Imagineering, specializing in concept and show design. We chatted about the scope of the new additions, how they can complete it in such a short amount of time, new characters and interactive spaces that are being brought to the Disney Dream and how these cruises aren’t just for little kids.
Here are some things we learned while chatting with them about the even-dreamier Disney Dream.
Exciting New Experiences Await
The Disney Dream launched in 2010 and this is a major overhaul, transforming spaces throughout the Disney Cruise Line vessel As Duffy told us, “From new splash pools on the upper decks, to small changes to enhance guest flow, there was a wide range of scope that we reviewed and built upon.”
And They Are Accomplished In a Very Tight Time Window
When the ship goes into drydock, it only has about three weeks for all of these new modifications. That’s a dizzying amount of work for such a condensed amount of time. “The ship is surveyed so precisely that the spaces come together like a puzzle,” Duffy explained. “It’s incredible to watch … not to mention there are approximately 20 days to get it done!”
The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is coming to the Disney Dream
If you don’t know what the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is, chances are you aren’t the parent of a young girl who dreams of getting dolled up like her favorite princess or fairy. And if you haven’t experienced it yet (and have booked some time on the Disney Dream), you’ll be exposed to it very soon. “Here kids ages three to 12 can get their own specialized makeover with one of our very own Fairy Godmothers,” Duffy said. “It’s amazing to walk around the ships and see the kids interacting with the princesses and different characters; showing-off their very own princess gowns and glitter!” But there’s more: “Also, a special night on every Disney ship is Pirate Night. During Pirate Night, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique will turn into the Pirate’s League. Here the kids can get decked out in pirate garb and join in during the Pirate Deck Party, where everyone becomes a character in the show!” Count us in!
There’s a New Deck 13 Retreat Designed for Adults
One of the biggest selling points for the redesigned Disney Dream is the fact that there’s a new deck 13 retreat that is designed specifically for adults. “The forward Deck 13 area is a wonderful enhancement for the Disney Dream,” Duffy said. “We will be installing a new water feature, Satellite Falls, with a circular splash pool, benches and a gently falling rain curtain for adults.” But that’s not all! According to Duffy, “We will be upgrading the Concierge Sun Deck Area, with new shaded areas, air flow enhancements and a Jacuzzi. This is going to be a great place for the concierge guests to enjoy.”
Star Wars Seemed Like a Good Fit for the Cruise Ships
Yes, there are some new areas that are designed specifically for adults, but kids are also going to have a total blast on the Disney Dream. The biggest new addition for kids is a Star Wars themed play area. “After we finished Marvel’s Avengers Academy for the Disney Magic, we started brainstorming ideas for the Disney Dream kids spaces,” Handke explained. “The big question: what other stories and environments do we want to immerse our younger guests in? Everyone involved in this project quickly agreed the Star Wars universe, being so rich with story and character, was a no brainer for Disney’s Oceaneer Club. Then we partnered up with Lucasfilm and got to work right away on the design of the space.”
And Yes, the Millennium Falcon Is Super Cool
Adults will probably try to squeeze into the Oceaneer Club, because the Millennium Falcon sounds super cool. Inside Star Wars‘ Millennium Falcon “young fans will appreciate the attention to detail and the Star Wars easter eggs we hid throughout the space,” Handke said. “This will be the very first Disney Cruise Line kids space with animated props too.”
There’s Also a New Disney Infinity Room
If you have a child (of any age, really) chances are that you know about Disney Infinity, the toys-to-life videogame series that has children combining classic Disney characters in a toybox-like environment. On the Disney Dream, there will be a special room devoted to Disney Infinity. “The Disney Infinity kids space is a bright, colorful and sleek room with 10 gaming stations where guests can play the latest edition of Disney Infinity. We will have all the Disney Infinity figures available for you to play with,” Handke said, before adding that: “It’s not all about gaming–there are also youth counselor-hosted programs in the room inspired by Disney Infinity that really bring the idea of building your own toy box to life right before your eyes.”
Disney Infinity Exclusive Content Will Also Be Available
Yes, there will be exclusive Disney Infinity content if you play it on the Disney Dream. Not that anybody is saying what that content is. When asked about the content, Handke said, “We are keeping it a secret for now! But let’s just say if you are a big fan of Disney Infinity and Disney Cruise Line, you won’t be disappointed!”
The Wreck-It Ralph-Inspired Sweet Shop Will Make Your Mouth Water
The thing we’re most excited about, just from preliminary concept art, is the Wreck-It Ralph-inspired sweet shop, Vanellope’s Sweets & Treats. It seems like inspiration struck as soon as the Disney creative team knew a candy store was going onto the Disney Dream. “The moment we found out that we are putting a sweets shop on the Disney Dream we knew it had to be themed as Sugar Rush with Vanellope and King Candy,” Handke explained. “The fun part is adding all the tasty little details and the homages to the film.” We asked for an example and Handke said that: “The menu board looks exactly like the digital leaderboard from the big race.” We want to sign up to lap the sweet shop … several times.
So, get to the site, enter to win, and cross for your fingers for the vacation of a lifetime!
No PurchaseNecessary. Starts 6/17/15 & ends 7/15/15. Must be US resident and not a Minor. Limit one (1) Entry per day, per Member/person. Entry/Rules: http://parks.disney.com/secrets-to-a-dream-cruise-vacation-sweepstakes. Void where prohibited.