Disneyland Park, Haunted Mansion Stretch Painting

Starting the Disney Dream Engines

posted on July 30th, 2010 by Christi Erwin Donnan, Manager of Public Affairs, Disney Cruise Line


Starting the Engines on the Disney Dream
A major milestone was achieved for the Disney Dream this week when testing began on the ship’s five engines at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany. Several months ago, the engines were installed on the ship, and this week the team at the yard started the engines for the first time!

Talk about powerful … The five engines combined have a total output of 103,000 horsepower, which will give the ship a top speed of 23.5 knots.
Starting the Engines on the Disney Dream
At 128,000-tons and 14-decks tall, the magnificent Disney Dream continues to take shape. This initial test begins several months of engine testing, which will continue through the ship’s sea trials. With just 180 days until the maiden voyage on January 26, 2011, the excitement of each milestone continues to build as we approach the Disney Dream becoming a reality.

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Disney Cruise Line Gives Back to Port Communities in Europe

posted on July 9th, 2010 by Christi Erwin Donnan, Manager of Public Affairs, Disney Cruise Line


At Disney Cruise Line, we take great pride in giving back to the port communities we call home, whether in Port Canaveral, The Bahamas and Caribbean or half-way across the world in Europe. The opportunity for our cast and crew members to volunteer their time to worthwhile causes is an important part of the Disney Cruise Line culture.

In a previous post, I mentioned one of the volunteer activities in which some 300 guests and crew members had the opportunity to paint a large mural that was donated to a hospital in Barcelona. However, this hasn’t been the only outreach effort our Disney VoluntEARS have participated in during our second cruise season in Europe. In fact, they have been quite busy over the last few months! And as our cruise season in Europe has progressed, so have the efforts of our Disney VoluntEARS.

Since departing Florida in April, Crew members from the Disney Magic have joined cast members from local Disney offices in Europe to accompany beloved Disney characters, in visiting deserving children in port communities spanning the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. Disney VoluntEARS delivered toys and smiles to over 1,000 children at hospitals and care facilities in 17 individual ports of call, across nine different countries, personally contributing more than 800 hours of volunteer service to benefit these local communities.

Disney Cruise Line Gives Back to Port Communities in Europe

In Warnemunde, Germany, Captain Mickey and several of his pals posed for a photo during a visit to a school in the city that is known as the gateway to Berlin. Crew members were joined by representatives from the team working to construct our newest ship, the Disney Dream, in nearby Papenburg, to take part in the visit.

From playing a game of “hot potato” with Pluto to swinging on swings with Captain Mickey Mouse himself, it was an experience that the children will not soon forget … and neither will our Disney VoluntEARS.

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Disney Magic Inaugural Call Ceremonies in Northern Europe

posted on June 25th, 2010 by Christi Erwin Donnan, Manager of Public Affairs, Disney Cruise Line


The Disney Magic cruise ship completed her first Northern European itinerary this week, making seven inaugural calls on ports in England, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Russia, Finland and Sweden. With seven new ports came the opportunity for us to share in the time-honored maritime tradition of Plaque and Key ceremonies.

So you might ask, what’s a Plaque and Key ceremony? During our inaugural calls, this is when the Captain and shipboard officers host port officials and community leaders onboard to exchange maritime plaques during an official welcome reception.

Captain John Barwis, along with Captain Mickey Mouse, did just that, beginning in Dover with the Chairman of the Port of Dover, Roger Mountford. Each plaque is particularly unique and serves to commemorate the date of the first call for a ship. Disney Cruise Line has its own ornately designed plaque, like the one you see in this photo.
Disney Magic Inaugural Call Ceremonies
Sometimes, rather than an actual plaque, a port will give an item that is representative of the region, like a book about the city or a replica of a local landmark. For example, in Copenhagen, Denmark, port officials presented Captain John with a small replica of the Little Mermaid statue. This city is known for the famed Little Mermaid statue, which was very fitting given the Disney connection to the story. Recently the Little Mermaid statue was re-located from Copenhagen harbor to the World Expo in Shanghai where it is currently on loan until November.
Disney Magic Inaugural Call Ceremonies
Here are a few more of the plaques the Disney Magic received last week during her inaugural Northern European itinerary.
Disney Magic Inaugural Call Ceremonies

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Announcing: The Newest Captain Aboard Disney Cruise Line

posted on June 8th, 2010 by Christi Erwin Donnan, Manager of Public Affairs, Disney Cruise Line


Captain Marco Nogara
It’s my pleasure to introduce the newest Captain aboard Disney Cruise Line – Marco Nogara!

As we continue to grow the Disney Cruise Line business, more ships, mean more Captains and Marco joins an elite line-up at Disney Cruise Line, as our sixth Captain.

A native of Venice, Italy, Marco fell in love with the sea early on and now enjoys an extensive 24-year career in the maritime industry commanding cruise ships worldwide from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean. His most recent post was aboard Carnival cruise ships, where he served as Captain for 12 years. Marco also has experience in the ship-building process, which is certain to come in handy for Disney’s two new ships that are currently under construction, the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.

Over the next few months, Marco will become familiar with the shipboard and shoreside operations at Disney and will eventually find his new home aboard one of the Disney ships as Master in December. Be sure to say hello to Captain Marco when you see him out on the high seas!

Here are a few of Captain Marco’s Disney favorites…

  • Disney character: Donald Duck
  • Disney movie: “Toy Story”
  • Disney attraction: Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Disney theme park: Epcot
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New Disney Dream Construction Video

posted on June 3rd, 2010 by Christi Erwin Donnan, Manager of Public Affairs, Disney Cruise Line


On Tuesday, the final block of the Disney Dream was put into place at the Meyer Werft shipyard, marking a major milestone in construction, and rounding out the 80 total blocks that make up the ship. It is impressive to witness the ship taking shape, but did you ever wonder how it happens?

In the most simplistic terms, the process of building the Disney Dream is similar to playing with building blocks. Pre-fabricated complete hull sections are joined in block units and are then brought together to form the ship.

Sounds simple, right? Well, check out this video and hear from some of the experts at Disney Cruise Line and Meyer Werft on how the Disney Dream is really coming together.

With the steel construction process complete, efforts now shift to connecting maintenance systems and further building out the interior of the ship. Each day the Disney Dream gets closer and closer to its Maiden Voyage and a reality that I can’t wait to experience!

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New Construction Photos of the Disney Dream Bow

posted on May 14th, 2010 by Christi Erwin Donnan, Manager of Public Affairs, Disney Cruise Line


Quite astonishing in size, yet very recognizable is the bow of the Disney Dream cruise ship, pictured here in its unfinished state in the shipyard. Soon this section will be lowered into place in the building dock where construction continues, on track for the January 26, 2011, Maiden Voyage.

Disney Dream Bow

Similar to the Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder, the intricate scrollwork pattern is reminiscent of the classic ocean liners of the 1930s. Look closer and you’ll recognize our signature Mickey Medallion, front and center, which adds just the right amount of Disney whimsy to the design.

Disney Dream Bow

A little bit of trivia…The scrollwork was actually the first piece of steel cut by the Meyer Werft team when construction officially began on the Disney Dream over a year ago.

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Disney Cruise Line: PaintFest at Sea

posted on May 5th, 2010 by Christi Erwin Donnan, Manager of Public Affairs, Disney Cruise Line


Cast and crew members working at Disney Cruise Line are always looking for ways to give back, not only by volunteering their own time for community service projects, but through inspiring others to do the same. Disney VoluntEARS, along with the Foundation for Hospital Art, did just that during the Disney Magic’s venture across the Atlantic Ocean last week, as our second season of Mediterranean cruises began. Some 300 guests sailing aboard the ship had a unique opportunity to participate along-side crew members at the first-ever “PaintFest At Sea.” Collectively guests and crew members gave nearly 700 hours of their time to hand paint a pre-drawn Disney character mural for donating to the children’s area of the Vall d’Hebron hospital in Barcelona.
Disney Cruise Line: PaintFest at Sea
Designed by Don “Ducky” Williams, the mural itself was quite impressive, comprised of 60 pre-drawn and color-coded individual canvases that together measured 12 feet high and 20 feet long. Once the ship arrived in Barcelona Disney characters and VoluntEARS visited the hospital to deliver the mural, leaving the amazing art work to be shared by many children and parents who come to Vall d’Hebron.

Check out this video of the “PaintFest At Sea” and the delivery of the mural to the hospital.

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Disney Cruise Line’s First Mediterranean Sailing of 2010

posted on April 29th, 2010 by Christi Erwin Donnan, Manager of Public Affairs, Disney Cruise Line


Disney Cruise Line's First Mediterranean Sailing of 2010

What do a camel and a Disney cruise ship have in common? Kind of a strange thought, right? Well, this was the sight this week when the Disney Magic called on the port of Tunis, Tunisia, for the first time as part of the first 11-night Mediterranean cruise of the season. The inaugural festivities included the traditional maritime plaque and key exchange where Captain Thord Haugen and the ship’s officers hosted port officials and communities leaders onboard the ship.

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New Disney Dream Cruise Ship Image

posted on April 23rd, 2010 by Christi Erwin Donnan, Manager of Public Affairs, Disney Cruise Line


Hi, I’m Christi, manager of public affairs at Disney Cruise Line, and I’m very excited to be the newest Disney Parks Blog author. Together with my colleague Jonathan Frontado, we hope to share even more stories about Disney Cruise Line with you.

If you’re like most of the people I talk to, you want to know how the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy are progressing. I recently had the opportunity to visit the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, where the new Disney ships are being constructed, and I can tell you that it’s an amazing place. The shipyard welcomes 300,000 tourists each year. Visitors learn about shipbuilding and even see ships, like the Disney Dream, being built.
Disney Dream
I hope you enjoy my posts as I provide an insider’s view on some of the construction milestones. For instance, check out the latest photo of the stern of the Disney Dream with its elaborate scrollwork. While remarkable in its unfinished phase, soon Sorcerer Mickey will add a bit of Disney magic to complete this signature feature.
Disney Dream
Look for more updates on the construction of the ships as well as details on how Disney Cruise Line is giving back to port communities and how we are committed to implementing green initiatives aboard.

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