As pyrotechnics light the sky, the Disney Dream cruise ship makes its first public appearance Oct. 30, 2010 in Papenburg, Germany. Thousands of local residents gathered to see the "float out" ceremony. // © 2010 Kent Phillips
The new 4,000-passenger Disney Dream, which was recently floated out at her shipyard in Germany, brings Disney Cruise Lineís particular form of magic into new places, from stateroom portholes to pictures on the walls.
One prominent feature is the first-ever shipboard water coaster, AquaDuck, a high-speed flume ride that takes amazing twists, turns and drops. The ride starts with a swing out loop over the side of the ship that is bound to produce shrieks as guests find themselves with only clear acrylic between them and the ocean surface 150 feet down. It's a thrilling way to tour the ship's upper decks, as high-powered water jets accelerate guests upward and forward at about 20 feet per second and they zip through a funnel and hit a set of river rapids before splashing down.
Another innovation is the ship's Enchanted Art, where hanging art from photographs to animation cells magically comes alive as guests stop and look at them. If the viewer returns, he or she may see a very different animation of the same piece.
Related to that is an effect that may start a stampede for the small number of inside staterooms. Not only has Disney created Virtual Portholes with a high-definition, real-time view of the outside world, but animated Disney characters, from Mickey to Peach, the Starfish from "Finding Nemo," may also enter the frame. On a more formal basis, the new production show, "Disney Believe," has a new plot, but uses many recognizable characters and undisclosed technology.
In the staterooms, Disney has kept the very popular split bath design that separates the tub and shower area from the toilet, and they have raised the bed levels so suitcases can now be stored underneath, providing even more storage space than before.
The adults-only area has been expanded into The District, with a lounge and a bar area that includes a champagne bar called Pink, which will offer its own champagne. The dance club, Evolution, is evocative of New York with its videos, disc jockeys and comedy performances. Remy, the ship's top-deck French restaurant, is run by two award-winning chefs, and there's a sports bar called 687, plus adult snacks available during the night. In addition to the adult Senses Spa, there is a Chill spa for teens, who also have access to a new feature: a keycard-enabled club called Vibe with a monster plasma television, dance floor and sunning area.