A Wish On The High Seas
By Georgina Cruz
Aladdin had his magic lamp, and soon cruise fans will have a brand-new ship designed to grant their wishes with respect to vacations at sea.
Somewhat bigger than a magic lamp, it is the Disney Wish, a 144,000-ton, 5,458-guest cruise ship being built at the Meyer Werft shipyards in Germany for a 2022 debut from Port Canaveral. But like Aladdin’s treasured, Genie-inhabited device, the Disney Wish’s reason for being, outlined in a virtual reveal of the ship for the press, is enchantment.
“Enchantment is about unlocking the wonder in everything we do and experience,” said Laura Cabo, portfolio creative executive, Walt Disney Imagineering. For this ship, Cabo said, Imagineers are infusing every inch with more Disney stories and characters than ever before. “The Disney Wish will be a place where families really do get to wish upon a star,” she added.
Inspired in nearly a century of Disney fairytales and stories from Pixar to Star Wars and Marvel, Imagineers have captured enchantment elements in the ship’s design through the use of aspects of fairytale castles, which are at the core of enchanted tales; forests and animals embodying the fascination of the natural world; and the spirit of the sea with the magic and mystery of the watery realm below.
Inspired in the elegant ships of the golden age of ocean liners in the 1930s, the Disney Wish will be a vessel with, well, character. The exterior will sport the emblematic colors of Mickey Mouse: red, black and yellow; a sculpture of Captain Minnie Mouse will grace the bow and one of Rapunzel with her golden tresses will adorn the stern. Another exterior feature is a whimsical curvature to the deck edge along both sides of the ship to create a sense of magic and visual movement both inside and out.
The ship’s enchanting Grand Hall, inspired in fairytale castles with Gothic, Baroque and French Rococo influences, will be the place embarking guests are welcomed onboard. Among the appointments of this Atrium space are a grand staircase and three-level columns that sparkle with trails of “pixie dust;” a shimmering chandelier with a swirling spiral of crystal gems and crowned with a wishing star; and a bronze sculpture of Cinderella, one of Disney’s most beloved princesses from the animated classic “Cinderella.” The Atrium will also feature nods to Cinderella in its décor, including railings that glisten with elegant stained glass in her signature colors, rich carpeting embellished with icons from the animated classic, and reminders of her carriage and glass slipper in metalwork and light fixtures.
The Grand Hall will be the gateway to what awaits during the cruise vacation: fulfilling perhaps a wish for a fairytale world, heroic challenges, epicurean delights, thrilling adventures, galactic encounters, peaceful escapes and more.
At dinner time, the ship will feature family rotational dining in three restaurants: Arendelle, themed to “Frozen” (and Elsa and friends perform during dinner); 1923, themed to Hollywood and the golden era of Disney animation; and Worlds of Marvel, themed to Marvel heroes. Two other restaurants will cater to adults: Enchanté, themed to “Beauty & The Beast,” and Palo, an Italian restaurant and steakhouse.
The ship will feature special areas for all ages including children’s and teen’s clubs, swimming pools, an AquaMouse water coaster with Mickey shorts, an infinity pool area for adults, a spa, themed lounges, a theater presenting musicals including “Aladdin,” and two cinemas.
“This ship has everything that families love,” said Bob Chapek, Disney CEO. “The Disney Wish is truly magical.”
Disney Wish will be the fifth ship on the Disney Cruise Line fleet, and the first of three new vessels to be launched through 2025. The three new ships, powered by liquefied natural gas, will be the largest of the fleet. Reservations for the Disney Wish open soon, on May 27, and the ship begins cruises to the Bahamas from Port Canaveral on June 9, 2022. For information, visit www.disneycruise.com.