Last week Disney announced that they had commissioned and would be constructing two new ocean liners to it’s already existing fleet of four ocean liners. The small line that started in 1998 with just the Magic, to then have the Wonder arrive the next year, did pretty well. So well in fact, that in 2006 two new liners were announced that would eventually be called the Dream in 2011 and the Fantasy in 2012.
The Dream and Fantasy are longer and taller than the first two. I will call the Magic and Wonder the ‘Magic Class’ and the Dream and Fantasy the ‘Dream Class’ because the Magic and Dream were the first of these two respective lines.
We were told by Iger that these two new vessels would be bigger than the current Dream Class boats. So this has gotten quite a few questions as why Disney would announce so early this enlargement. Since we won’t see number Five until 2021. The reason is rather a simple one. They have to book the shipyards where these vessels will be built, and once they do so, it becomes public knowledge. Now probably the shipyard can hold this information private for about 90 days or something, I personally don’t know, but they would eventually have to announce it, which would mean that this news would get out anyways, so Disney might as well announce it at a moment such as last week’s share holder meeting in Chicago.
These two new vessels are going to be larger than the Dream class as previously stated, but not a lot of information has been given. The reason for this is because, one, things can change from now until the boats actually go under construction, and secondly, Disney itself may not have all the plans finalized. So until they do, most of us will be speculating and dreaming of what is going to be brand new aboard these vessels.
Aboard the Magic and Wonder, there were many fun and simple locations for various activities and other events so that the cruising would be fun. However, when the Dream class premiered, it showcased even more new activities and highlights for guests to enjoy, since the Dream was bigger than the Magic and Wonder. So it stands to reason that if Five & Six as we will call them until official names come. There will be newer enhancements and possibly neat experiences coming aboard. So what will it be?
First of all the name, Disney has chosen for the names of it’s current fleet, Magic, Wonder, Dream and Fantasy. So obviously they will continue to go on with this name scheme, I am so glad that I don’t have to come up with this name, because the best I could possibly think of is Wish, Delight, Spectacle and Enchantment. Though if you add es to Wish it would be Wishes and that may not be a bad thing. However, I am sure that there will be voting and arguments over the name. Back when the Dream and Fantasy were still awaiting construction, my nephew who was considerably young at the time thought the names should be the ‘Jungle’ and ‘Cruise’. Cute, and Disney Jungle does have an interesting ring to it, but alas, perhaps not a good fit. It would give a whole different feel to what they wanted.
Next, when the Dream and Fantasy were introduced, the basic layout of the ship remained the same. The top deck being the pool and sun decks, then lots of stateroom floors, then the loading area or lifeboat level of the ship became the internal activities deck, and finally below that would be lower rooms and finally the tender lobbies at the bottom. The Dream and Fantasy did have staterooms on the pool deck area if you will, and did put a restaurant down in the lower stateroom areas, but for the most part, the design remained relatively the same. When the Dream class was introduced, they expanded these slightly. With the pool deck came the Aqua Duck and Nemo’s Reef. Having Satellite Falls and Aqua Lab introduced to the Fantasy and eventually brought to the Dream. Also came the introduction of the Teen Spa, or the Chill Spa. Goofy’s Sport Deck brought a small Mini Golf Course to the aft of the vessel.
In the internal activities deck, the adult club areas were expanded, the teenage club was brought down to the bow of the vessel, the kids clubs were expanded and the layout of the shopping deck in front of the Walt Disney Theater’s entrance was rearranged. Some other changes was the introduction of a Tweens Club or Edge, Enchanted Windows and Living Artwork on the Fantasy. But for the most part, things relatively remained the same, while newer Pixar characters were introduced to the naming sequence aboard the vessel.
So now down to the real discussion, what will be new aboard Five & Six. Of course I can’t know the answer, because I personally am not at all affiliated with Imagineering, but I can dream and guess what could possibly be happening. Based upon current trends and also from the past. It stands to reason that Disney will keep up the same layout. With expansions of Disney’s Oceaneer Lab and Disney’s Oceaneer Club, possibly incorporating characters that have yet to been released to theaters. Next, I imagine that Vibe and Edge will also increase in size. While the adults only area of the ship, will increase, perhaps from the three clubs on the Magic class to the four of the Dream class to the possible five adult clubs on the Future class, (for lack of a better name). But a safe bet would be on the Pool Deck, since this is a popular area. Disney would expand here, not just in pool size but in activities. Three pools, water splash areas and Water Slides are certainly in the mix. We learned in the last couple of years that the Aqua Duck came out of ideas of having a Lazy River aboard. So we know that a Lazy River is out of the mix. That is disappointing. So you know Disney is going to look to the Beach, Boardwalk, Pools and Water Parks to find inspiration. Other lines have put on Surfing Waves, climbing walls and the like. Disney is probably going to avoid those, just to remain different. They will look for something that can be fun again and again, rather quickly. The Aqua Duck is popular and more importantly you can send lots of people on that throughout the day. Where the other stuff like a Sky Diving Tube might only accommodate a small number of people. So Imagineering will go with something simple and easily accessible. I can see Disney bringing more of a Boardwalk approach to the Pool Deck, perhaps something as simple as a small Carousel/Merry Go Round, to something of Boardwalk Games. Now the problem of course with rides is the logistics. Where a flat ride could easily fit aboard the boat, it would still take up a lot of room and would have to be maintained. For Boardwalk Games, you could think of perhaps doing a small version of Toy Story Mania where instead of a track and cars going through various rooms. The vehicles would be in a fixed location and spin around to different large screen rooms thus allowing guests to shoot in different games. Seeing that the arcade is losing sway with guests, this could be a possibility, but logistics could still be brutal. A real possibility would be water slides, and perhaps a larger splash zone, but I’m not an imagineer, they are the ones that have to deal with that.
Next, we know that the restaurant scene had been remained quite the same on both vessels of the Dream class. With three restaurants in the main dining rotation scheme, an adults only restaurant not on the ticket, a buffet on the stern of the ship, grills that serve Pizza and Hamburgers and other items of the such on the pool Deck, a multitude of bars throughout the vessel and of course a Lounge on the internal deck. So even though I don’t see a change for number of rotational dining restaurants, but there will obviously be some retheming, I do see a sort of quick service or grill added to the internal deck, or the Ice Cream Parlor aboard the Dream, going down to the internal deck on the Future class. Seeing that Disney vessels are starting to venture into places like Alaska and Norway, warm inside activities would be very popular in the future. So more restaurants that aren’t on the rotational down on the lower decks might be more realistically possible.
What could possibly happen, is more options for clubs and hang outs. Though it is certain that there will be still a Vibe, Edge, Oceaneer Lab, Club and Nursery. I could see another club added for the entire family. Or perhaps another adult club that is smoke free. What I think would be cool would be the return of ‘The Adventurer’s Club’ brought to the Internal activities deck aft. Where it would get a great view. Themed it would have charm, and another place for adults to hang out. Yes, I know that they already have the Promenade Lounge, but this would fit with every cruise itinerary, because Cruisers are going on an Adventure, and this club would be free from the club and party scene but be it’s own unique thing. Also with Adventurer’s Club being a Disney Parks Legend, this would have intense popularity.
Well no matter how you slice it, Five & Six are on their way. There will be more thinking and processes added, but for the most part, it is safe to say that we will see alot of familiar things returning that Disney Cruise Line guests already love and adore. Yet, with two new vessels, the Cruise Line will have to change.