Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Disney Magic Before The Dream

We suspected Disney would throw a pretty amazing party as the start of all their inaugural events for the new Disney Dream, and we were right.

Not only did we enjoy a wonderful evening at their Magic Kingdom theme park here in Orlando, but they also provided an excellent presentation into their marketing and creative thinking, and then put it all into practice for us with a superb show on and around Cinderella's Castle.

A group of roughly 2,000 media and media guests were treated to special access to the theme park, starting with a special forum with Disney's top executives and 'Imagineers' detailing a lot of what was in store.

For Disney fans in particular (of which Susan and I are certainly two!), they unveiled a lot of the design process and forthcoming attractions of the major new Fantasyland redevelopment, which is currently under way and will begin to open in late 2012.

There has been a lot of secrecy and rumour over the content of the new 'land' in the park, but we can now say that it will be a truly extensive makeover, more than doubling the size of the existing Fantasyland area and bringing in two major new rides, including a Snow White-themed indoor roller-coaster that will have all-new ride technology for a more dynamic ride experience.

Other highlights include the Voyage of the Little Mermaid ride, a new Dumbo attraction, a Princess meet-and-greet area (replacing the current Snow White ride), a Beast's Castle area (including a major new restaurant) and Belle's Cottage, which will be a fully interactive area with the character from Beauty and The Beast.

More importantly, there were a good few hints about what's in store for us later today with the Disney Dream naming ceremony, and we will shortly be heading off for Port Canaveral for the inauguration itself at 10.40am local time (3.40 in the UK).

With typical Disney efficiency, our luggage will be transported separately from our hotel room here in the Grand Floridian resort so we don't need to carry or tote anything and it should all turn up in our cabin after our arrival.

The naming ceremony (10.40-11/05am) will be followed by a gala lunch onboard - and the chance for our first proper look at the ship.

More importantly, everyone who can't be here can follow the whole thing online, on a special Disney webcast, on this link:

www.disneycruise.com/dream

You can also follow on Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/DisneyCruiseLine - and Twitter - http://twitter.com/DisneyCruise.

Finally, last night concluded with a truly memorable and eye-catching debut of the new 'The Magic, The Memories and You!' show on the Castle, with the Wishes fireworks show (above) immediately afterwards.

This really has to be seen to be believed as it involves state-of-the-art cinema projection on the whole of the Castle and creates an absolutely stunning effect of illusion and creativity.

Now, on to Port Canaveral...!