Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Disney Cruise Line completes improvements to Magic

Disney Cruise Line completes improvements to Magic

By Tom Stieghorst
AquaDunkDisney Cruise Line has returned the Disney Magic to service after a two-week drydock to overhaul the 15-year-old ship. Pools, restaurants, night spots and children’s play areas were updated.

Disney wouldn’t reveal the cost of the improvements, but said it was a substantial amount.

Probably the biggest change was in the pool deck, where a more intimidating water slide called Aqua Dunk was added. The slide requires a climb through a funnel to get to a chamber that connects to a tube looping out over the ship’s side. The floor of the chamber drops away, plunging the rider into a near vertical fall for the first few seconds.

Along with the new slide, Disney shrank the space for Micky’s Pool, giving it over to the Aqua Lab splash area found on the Dream and Fantasy, and the Twist n’ Spout water slide.

The children’s play areas in the Oceaneering Club were also redesigned, with a big two-story slide being the new highlight of Andy’s Room from the “Toy Story” film.

Another change was the elimination of Parrot’s Cay, one of three rotational restaurants unique to Disney ships. Its space has been remade into Carioca, a Brazilian-themed room with colorful contemporary chandeliers and a pan-Latin menu.

The iconic Animator’s Palette restaurant was outfitted with new light, sound and video technology and is playing a new show, “Drawn to Magic,” that is a personal favorite of Disney Cruise Line president Karl Holz.

“It’s a very touching, heartfelt experience that surprised us,” Holz said.

Elsewhere, the adults-only nightclub section of the ship has been renamed After Hours (formerly Beat Street) and given a more contemporary silver-and-black design.

Topsiders Buffet has been renamed Cabanas, and has expanded by 725 square feet so it doesn’t feel so crowded.

In the salon, a two-chair barber shop has been carved out for men’s haircuts and shaves.

Disney Magic, the line’s original ship, will be doing three-, four- and five-day cruises from Miami to the Bahamas and Caribbean through the end of the year, before shifting in January to Port Canaveral for three- and four-day Bahamas cruises, and later moving to the Mediterranean for cruises between Barcelona and Venice.