Since becoming chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts over a year ago, I’ve had many amazing experiences but today may have topped them all – after all, it’s not every day you get to christen a cruise ship.
Today, with an enormous crowd of well-wishers looking on, we welcomed the stunning Disney Dream to the Disney Cruise Line fleet at Port Canaveral in Florida. In a manner befitting a ship of its size and grandeur, we pulled out all of the stops for this maritime tradition with a spectacular show at the Disney Cruise Line Terminal with classic Disney music, dancers, fireworks and, of course, a host of our beloved Disney characters.
Disney president and CEO Bob Iger and Disney’s “dream girl” Jennifer Hudson, the ship’s fairy godmother, were on hand to do the honors and christen the Disney Dream. Jennifer began her phenomenal career on the Disney Wonder back in 2003, so it was only fitting that this award-winning artist be selected as godmother of the Disney Dream.
With the addition of the Disney Dream to the Disney Cruise Line family, we’ll now be able to help more guests create even more unforgettable Disney memories on the high seas. Both the Disney Dream and her sister ship, the Disney Fantasy, coming in 2012, boast a gross tonnage of 130,000 and will be able to carry up to 4,000 passengers. Our two new ships combine the very best in innovation, technology, artistry and the legendary attention to detail that makes a Disney experience so unique.
The christening of the Disney Dream is the culmination of a journey that began years ago. The journey then took us to Germany where the ship was built, across the Atlantic where it was tested and finally to Port Canaveral, where it will live and delight guests of all ages for decades to come. Congratulations to the thousands of Imagineers, craftsmen, designers, artists and crew who have worked so hard to make this Dream a reality.
As importantly, the Disney Dream is yet another great example of what is possible when our people set out with one objective in mind: to create something of the highest quality, something designed to surprise and delight our guests, something special in every sense of the word… in short, something truly Disney.