Andrew's Birthday, Animator's Palate, Disney Fantasy, August 2013

Andrew's Birthday, Animator's Palate, Disney Fantasy, August 2013

Monday, 2 February 2015

A Perfect Pairing- Disney Cruise Line and Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration!

Now is the perfect time to plan a cruise with Disney, sailing many exciting West Coast itineraries on the second ship in the fleet, the Disney Wonder. What a great time to pair a Disney cruise with a land stay in time to experience the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration which began May 22, 2015.

Disney Enterprises, Inc.

In commemoration of Walt Disney, Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration will prove to be the event of a lifetime with Disney magic sprinkled throughout and unparalleled Disney entertainment at every turn.  Special celebratory decorations will adorn Main Street U.S.A. and Buena Vista Street. Enhanced structures such as Sleeping Beauty Castle, Disneyland Park and Carthay Circle Theatre, Disney California Adventure Park, will sparkle even more for the event. 

The Disneyland Resort will feature new entertainment at both theme parks- Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park. There will be three new nighttime spectacular shows with the best in Disney technology, Disney special effects and imagery. Disney Imagineers are the best at what they do!

Paint the Night is a nighttime parade featuring Mickey Mouse, who heralds the show lighting up the night with help by Tinker Bell's special Pixie Dust, creating a palate of special paint, showcasing special effects like no other. Disney and Pixar characters will be featured on spectacular floats with supporting music all adorned with more than 1.5 million LED lights.

Disney Enterprises, Inc.

Disneyland Forever highlights one of Walt Disney's famous quotes, "Disneyland will never be completed, as long as there is imagination left in the world." This fireworks extravaganza takes place in Disneyland Park where classic Disney stories transport guests into a journey of dreams and adventure. Two special songs, "Live the Magic" and "Kiss Goodnight" written by Disney Legend Richard Sherman will be the theme and closing songs respectively.

Disney Enterprises, Inc.

The World of Color- Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney, will highlight Walt's vision through an emotional musical score with enhanced imagery, water displays, laser shows, live footage and special effects at Disney California Adventure Park.

Disney Enterprises, Inc.

Disney Cruise Line has California Coast itineraries from May right through into October. It's easy to pair a Disneyland Resort stay before or after sailing, given the proximity of Disneyland Resort to one of Disney Cruise Line's ports of departure and arrival. What an exciting vacation that would be!

The cruises to Mexico offer three and five night sailings from San Diego. Seven day Alaskan cruises run from June to August and leave from the port of Vancouver. Special California Coast cruises on the Disney Wonder sail 2-5 night itineraries from Vancouver or San Diego, with stops at Victoria and San Francisco in May and September.

Guests can also pair a Disney Cruise sailing with a land trip through Adventures by Disney on the incredible Southern California tour encompassing Disney Backstage, Hollywood, Disneyland Resort, Disney Imagineering and Burbank Walt Disney Studios Lot.

Are your bags packed yet? Mine are!

Friday, 30 January 2015

Families Enjoy Time Together With Disney Cruise Line

Families sailing Disney Cruise Line have ample opportunities to do things together allowing them to create special memories. After all, Disney Cruise Line is number one for entertainment and Disney Imagineers leave no detail behind, bringing unique experiences to people of all ages and abilities.

All four ships in the Disney Cruise Line fleet provide consistent activities and entertainment. People of all ages and abilities are accommodated where possible and no one is left behind. "When it comes to pleasing everyone, the difference is Disney." (Disney Cruise Line)

Family Lounges

Many lounges offer fun daytime activities for families such as games, music and dancing.

The Disney Magic offers Fathoms which is inspired by the ocean, the Promenade Lounge, a wonderful retreat where families can enjoy a refreshing beverage, snack and can even surf the internet. D Lounge the family entertainment centre loaded with many Hidden Mickeys and offers dancing, family karaoke, game shows and many fun activities. 

On the Disney Wonder families can enjoy fun-filled games, music and activities at WaveBands, as well as relax with refreshments at the Promenade Lounge. More fun awaits on the Disney Wonder at Diversions where families can watch sporting events and enjoy many other activities too. Studio Sea is a family entertainment centre where families can enjoy live entertainment and have the chance to showcase their talent, as it's designed as television studio. Karaoke, game shows and dancing are all the rage at Studio Sea.

The Disney Dream is bursting with fun activities, music, dancing and games at 687, District Lounge, and Evolution. Families can enjoy refreshments and snacks at Bon Voyage and Waves which overlooks the Mickey Pool. Guests sailing the Disney Fantasy also have the opportunity to enjoy refreshments and snacks at Bon Voyage and Waves which overlooks the Mickey Pool as well. The family entertainment centre on both the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy is D Lounge, boasting live entertainment, game shows, karaoke, lots of singing and dancing. Fun to be had for all.

D Lounge (Disney Magic, Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy)

Studio Sea (Disney Wonder)


Pools on the Disney ships are themed according to guest needs. Adults needing solace can easily relax over at the Quiet Cove Pool on all four ships. Families have a variety of water play to indulge in, conveniently located making it easy to supervise as well as interact with their children. Pools, water coasters, slides and body slides are supervised by Lifeguards.

The Disney Magic, recently re-imagined, now includes a thrilling three-storey body slide called the AquaDunk. Nearby, families can enjoy a children's themed splash zone called AquaLab, including the Twist 'n' Spout waterslide and shallow, freshwater pool featuring Huey, Dewey and Louie. Goofy's Pool, is the designated family pool offering two whirlpool spas so that parents can relax while supervising their children, who are within full view and easy reach. Goofy's Pool is adorned to the side by the giant FunnelVision screen which plays Disney movies, sporting events and other fun trivia and games.

Guests sailing the Disney Magic with children under three years of age have the convenient Nephew's Splash Zone, a covered splash deck with fountains, bubblers and pop jets found near AquaLab

AquaDunk (Disney Magic)

The Disney Wonder sports a fun children's pool called Mickey's Pool, which is shallow and offers splash areas for toddlers in Mickey's ears. A fun twisting slide is beside the Mickey Pool which is one deck high.

Mickey's Pool (Disney Wonder)

Goofy's Pool on the Disney Wonder is the family pool, flanked by two whirlpool spas for parents and also has the FunnelVision screen entertaining guests all day long.

The Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy offer the exact same pool  and water entertainment areas. The exciting water coaster called AquaDuck, is 765 feet in length circles primarily the perimeter of the ship and even goes through the forward funnel. Guests ride this in tandem and end off the water coaster in a short length lazy river which serves as an exit area.

Donald's Pool on both the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy is the family pool, located mid-ship and has clear views of the massive FunnelVision playing Disney movies, sporting events, trivia and games throughout the day.

Mickey's Pool on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy is the children's pool and also has a twisting one storey high slide.

The Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy both offer fun for toddlers with Nemo's Reef. Here, toddlers play with water jets, bubblers and fountains in a covered area away from the sun. Fountains, water jets and bubblers can be found for older children over at AquaLab, which is an expansive area offering some seating for parents.

AquaDuck (Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy)

My son and husband arriving in the short length lazy river exit area after riding AquaDuck.

Deck Parties

Disney is number one at entertainment and the fun carries through to the ships. All four ships in the fleet offer the same deck parties with the exception of the Pixar Pals Party which is only offered on the Disney Wonder during the Alaskan itineraries. Embarkation day sees a super charged character party in the open air deck called the Sail-Away Celebration. What a wonderful way to herald a cruise!

Sail-Away Celebration
(photo: Disney Cruise Line)

Pirate Night festivities begin early the day of, with guests excitedly preparing for the night party adorning themselves as pirates. All dining rooms have a special pirate themed menu and entertainment which all lead up to the famous, high energy deck party called Pirates IN the Caribbean. Following that, Disney Cruise Line was first in the cruise industry to offer fireworks at sea, called Buccaneer Blast Fireworks at Sea. At midnight, guests are treated to a bountiful buffet.

Buccaneer Blast Fireworks at Sea
(Photo: Disney Cruise Line)

This summer, on the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder which sail to Europe and Alaska respectively, will see the debut of Frozen Deck Party called Freezing the Night Away With Anna, Elsa and Friends. This deck party will include the characters from the Disney movie Frozen which will revolve around the magical freeze steadily spreading to the upper decks of the ship. Anna, Elsa and Kristoff will lead the party with virtual visits from Sven, Olaf and the trolls. Following that party, dancing will take over the pool deck, followed by Club Frozen offering more dance performances and Frozen specialty drinks.

The 'Til We Meet Again Party is offered on the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder on the last night of sailing, giving everyone a last chance to greet the Disney characters.

The Sea Ya' Real Soon! Party is offered on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, is a last opportunity to greet characters on the last night of sailing. This takes place in the Atrium Lobby.

Fitness and Fun 

Older teens, aged eighteen and up, are welcome to work out with their parents at the Fitness Center, as well, there is a 1/3 mile track on deck 4 on the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder and on deck 13 on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.

The Wide World of Sports Deck on the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder is a huge, open-air area on deck 10 where families can play basketball and soccer. It's a great place to watch the ocean, enjoy the refreshing breezes and take stunning photos. Other decks on these two ships also offer Shuffleboard and Ping Pong.

Wide World of Sports Deck (Disney Magic and Disney Wonder)

On the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy guests enjoy Goofy's Sports Deck, on deck 13 which offers miniature golf courses, a basketball court and virtual sports simulators. As well, guests have access to Foosball and Ping Pong.

Miniature golf (Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy)

More Fun

Families can have even more fun aboard the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy which also feature large, interactive LCD screens called Enchanted Art featuring Disney characters and Disney movie scenes on almost every deck. The Disney Dream features The Midship Detective Agency which is an interactive detective game involving Enchanted Art.

The Disney Fantasy also offers The Midship Detective Agency but also has a third mystery called The Case of the Stolen Show, starring the Muppets. Both interactive detective games on both the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy begin on deck 5, mid-ship at the self-serve kiosks where Detective Badge (game) cards, ship maps and instructions are available. The Detective Badge (game) cards have 2-D barcodes which are read by the camera prompting interaction with the LCD screens. Guests do not have to play continually, they can start the game and stop at their leisure because the Detective Badge cards are coded with a unique number storing all information about the game. Guests may play this game, which is complimentary, as often as they wish.

Enchanted Art LCD Screens (Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy)

All ships have arcades. The Disney Magic and Disney Wonder have the arcade called Quarter Masters on deck 9. The Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy have the arcade called Arr-cade. All arcades feature the latest, most popular video games  and air hockey. There is a fee to play in the arcades.

The Disney Fantasy is the only ship to extend Walt Disney World Resort's ever popular Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, which offers magical makeovers to children by their very own Fairy Godmother-in-training. On Pirate Party Nights, the entire family can have fun while getting ready for the festivities of the evening as the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique transforms into Pirates League.

Bibbidi Bobbid Boutique above and below transformed into Pirates League.
(Disney Fantasy)
(photo: Disney Cruise Line)

Shows and Movies

All four ships in the fleet have the magnificent Walt Disney Theatre, a large scale venue reminiscent of the Golden Age of Hollywood, offering orchestra and balcony seating, yet is a state-of-the-art facility able to showcase the most complex Broadway-style Disney themed shows. First-run and digital 3-D Disney movies are also shown here.
Walt Disney Theatre

The Buena Vista Theatre is a movie theatre available on all four ships. It is lavishly decorated just like the movie palaces of the 1920's and 1930's in Hollywood's Golden Age. It too, is a state-of-the-art facility offering Dolby Surround 7.1, as well as Dolby 3-D movie experience. Guests will see first-run Disney films as well as other popular movies.

Buena Vista Theatre

Character Experiences

All four ships offer extensive daily opportunities to meet and greet the Disney characters, with professional photographers on hand to capture those magical family moments. 

Olaf is all set to cruise on all four ships, joining Anna and Elsa for photos, fun and autographs.

The Princess Autograph Session is available once per cruise where the Disney Princesses appear in the Atrium Lobby for autographs and photos.

The Princess Autograph Session

The Disney Fantasy offers a unique character experience which is perfect for families, with the popular Disney Princesses at the Royal Court dining room, this is called The Royal Court Royal Tea. There is a fee for this experience and it is currently only booked onboard through Guest Services. It is recommended that guests book this experience as soon as possible once onboard the Disney Fantasy, as it is a popular character experience and books quickly.

Royal Court Royal Tea -Royal Court Disney Fantasy
(photo: Disney Cruise Line)

Disney's Castaway Cay

All guests sailing with Disney Cruise Line on most itineraries have the opportunity to experience a day at Disney's Castaway Cay, Disney's private island in the Bahamas. Guests have a choice of indulging on the Family Beach, Serenity Bay (adult only beach), Hide Out (teen activity area) and Scuttle's Cove (children's supervised area which is complimentary). All beaches include the complimentary use of two loungers, two chairs covered by a large beach umbrella. Life vests are available for use and are also complimentary. No need to bring beach towels as they are offered to guests as they disembark the ship. Guests that require wheelchairs have complimentary access to sand wheelchairs allowing them to partake in beach enjoyment with their families.

All guests are treated to a delicious beach BBQ and complimentary non-alcoholic beverages, fresh fruit and ice-cream. The ship docks at port allowing the convenience of going to and from the ship. An open-air Tram picks guests up near the ship or guests can walk to the beach of choice on the paved, scenic pathway. The Tram accommodates wheelchairs, allowing families to traverse the island together.

Many family activities, water activities, character greets/dance parties and events await and most are available for booking through the Disney Cruise Line website 'Planning Center'. As well, guests have the opportunity to rent private beach Cabanas, each offering convenient amenities conducive to relaxation.

Olaf's Summertime Freeze on Castaway Cay will cool many guests with the new addition of Olaf's Summertime Freeze Bar, near the Pelican Point tram stop by the Family Beach.

Families who like to jog together may opt to participate in the Castaway Cay 5K by simply signing up once onboard. The run occurs early in the morning. Age restrictions for children do apply.

Entertainment, stellar service and accommodations as well as delicious food will definitely create the most magical and special memories, leaving families wanting more. That's a guarantee!

My postcard of Disney's Castaway Cay displaying the open-air Tram.

The ship at dock, no tendering required on Disney's Castaway Cay.


Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Float Out Disney Fantasy - Meyer Werft

It was on this day, January 20, 2012, that Meyer Werft Shipbuilder in Papenburg, Germany, transfers the fourth ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet, the Disney Fantasy, to Disney Cruise Line.

The momentous event marked by Meyer Werft lowering their flag, whist the Disney Fantasy ever so majestically raises her flag, signifying the transfer of ownership to Disney Cruise Line.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

ο μ ο ρ φ ι ά : Welcome & About Me

ο μ ο ρ φ ι ά : Welcome & About Me: Here's to the beginning of my new blog! Stay tuned for posts about life in Toronto and all its little pleasures.   A bit about...

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Disney Cruise Line Navigator App and the Onboard Chat

Many guests benefit from the hard copy 'Personal Navigator' which is full of daily news, events and activities, delivered nightly to each stateroom. Now, Disney Cruise Line has added an extra convenience to the Disney Cruise Line Navigator App for mobile devices, delivering the same convenience but with an added benefit called the  'Onboard Chat'. Currently, the Onboard Chat is only available on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.

The Onboard Chat allows guests to communicate with other members of their travel party and new friends who are on the same sailing by using a convenient 'Chat Number'. The Chat Number adds protection and privacy allowing guests the feeling of safety and security. Through this feature guests share a unique identification, not stateroom number as is the situation with the Wave Phones.

Disney Cruise Line has taken extra measures to protect adults and children by using the privacy feature, as well, the primary guest on the reservation has full authority over children aged 13 years and older by activating a PIN. The PIN can be cancelled at any time by the primary guest/parent. Children are protected because the App does not disclose stateroom numbers or personal information. It is the primary guest, however, who must exercise diligence in monitoring texts to ensure personal information and stateroom numbers are not disclosed in the texts between children and their contacts.

Controlling the App for children is easily accessed by tapping on the child's profile icon.

Guests can take further comfort in knowing that contacts and chat history are not saved when the sailing is finished.

To use the Disney Cruise Line Navigator App guests will need and iOS or Android device.
Photo: Disney Cruise Line /Disney Parks Blog Post

Disney Cruise Line's Inaugural Castaway Cay Challenge

Disney Cruise Line guests sailing the Disney Dream this past week, had the opportunity to participate in the ever popular Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend at the Walt Disney World Resort before their 'dreamy' cruise. The event ran for four full days and participation was high featuring over 26,000 runners. Participants, from over sixty countries and from all over the United States ran the route through all four Walt Disney World Resort theme parks, the ESPN Wide World of Sports and through the Walt Disney World Speedway, in Orlando, totalling 26.2 miles.
All photos in this post are courtesy of Disney Cruise Line and Disney Parks Blog Posts.

Over 700 participants then went on to sail on the third ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet, the Disney Dream, where once stopped at Disney's Castaway Cay, those participants ran the Inaugural Castaway Cay Challenge. This 5K event gave runners the opportunity to be surrounded by the lush, exotic surroundings during their run and were presented with a unique Castaway Cay Challenge Medal upon their return.

I have participated in past Castaway Cay 5K's with my son Andrew, and I have to say it was the most positive experience for us both. We sprinted, walked quickly, jogged and ran the course with great ease and security. The paved pathways, lined with lush shrubs and bushes afford me security in containing my son's directionality because they prompted him to move in a forward direction, instead of veering off to the sides. We had pit stops with refreshments along the way which also were of great respite.
I hope runDisney and Disney Cruise Line bring this event back next year during our sailing on the Disney Fantasy.
runDisney featured both these events, where the initial registration took place.