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Exploring Tortola with Disney Cruise Line

posted on October 27th, 2015 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Manager, Port Adventures Research & Development

Starting in late December, Tortola in the British Virgin Islands will be a new destination for cruisers on select Disney Fantasy and Disney Magic seven-night Eastern Caribbean voyages from Port Canaveral.


Whether your family is looking to swim with dolphins, explore centuries-old ruins, revel in the natural beauty of Sage Mountain National Park, or simply relax, Tortola is filled with fun for everyone. Port Adventures offer a variety of ways for you to enjoy tranquil beaches, stunning scenery and authentic Caribbean fare. Here are a few of my top picks for family-friendly excursions in Tortola …


Rib Boat Adventure – A high-speed cruise takes you across the Sir Francis Drake Channel for an up-close view of the island’s picturesque beaches, cliffs, caves, wildlife, historical shipwrecks and magnificent villas. Along the way, your captain will give great local insights, share rich British Virgin Islands pirate stories and slow down the boat for superb photo opportunities. This adventure includes one hour of free time on a beautiful sandy beach, making it the perfect mix of exhilaration and relaxation!


North Shore and Pussers Island Tour – A great overview of Tortola’s island paradise, this Port Adventure includes countless scenic vistas, stunning photo stops and a chance to relax waterside or shop for souvenirs. You’ll travel across mountain tops, through tiny hamlets and quaint coastal fishing villages, and along the island’s north shore. Highlights include stops at Mountain View – the entrance to Sage Mountain National Park – and Pusser’s Landing – an iconic shopping and dining destination. You won’t want to miss your chance to taste the famous Pusser’s Rum!


Tour to Virgin Gorda – One of the area’s must-see sights, The Baths, is a magnificent beach area with sea caves on the island of Virgin Gorda. Here you’ll discover awe-inspiring boulders, secluded beaches, hidden caves, and spectacular grottoes formed by volcanic activity and flooded with seawater. Your adventure begins with a scenic cruise to Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda, followed by a journey through twisting roads and up to the stunning overlook of Savannah Bay. Once you arrive to The Baths National Park, your next few hours can be spent swimming in pristine turquoise waters or basking in the sun on the sandy beach of Devil’s Bay.

We’re developing additional Port Adventures for this gorgeous destination, so stay tuned for more suggestions. Remember, when the ship’s in port, venture ashore!

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7 Things to Look for When You See ‘Tangled: The Musical’

posted on October 23rd, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line

Over the past several months, we’ve give you an all-access pass to the making of “Tangled: The Musical,” with behind-the-scenes looks into the creation of music, costumes, sets, choreography and puppetry. There is so much to look forward to when the show debuts aboard the Disney Magic, so we’ve rounded up our top seven details to look (and listen!) for when you see it for the first time:


  1. Bavarian inspiration: Everything from set designs to costumes to choreography was inspired in some way by the sights, sounds and heritage of early German culture.
  2. Flowers: Rapunzel’s story begins with a magical flower, but many more have been “planted” in the show’s design. Look for more than 200 physical flowers—plus dozens of others that have been drawn, painted, carved and sewn—in scenic elements, costumes and even Rapunzel’s hair!
  3. Immersive moments: The creative team designed the show to totally immerse you in the story as characters interact with the audience; scenes spill over the stage and lanterns float overhead.


  1. The guitar: Legendary composer Alan Menken’s score was inspired by folk rock music, so listen closely to hear undertones of the guitar thread throughout the show. You may even see a character strumming away!
  2. Glowing scenic elements: A magical flower, Rapunzel’s hair, floating lanterns, burning candles and glowing murals … There are definitely a lot of bright spots to see in this show!


  1. Organic choreography: Choreographer Connor Gallagher developed each dance number to feel natural and folksy, focusing on loose movements, lower centers of gravity and personal touches by each character.
  2. Nods to the movie: Of course, this is still the story of Rapunzel’s grand adventure, so you’ll see and hear many of your favorite characters, scenes, songs and quotes.
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First Look at Disney Infinity Fun Coming to the Disney Dream

posted on October 22nd, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line

Soon your kids will be able to immerse themselves in Disney Infinity gameplay aboard the Disney Dream. The new Toy Box-themed space in Disney’s Oceaneer Club premieres next week and brings this awesome virtual experience to life in a whole new way.

Our entertainment team is developing some cool activities that involve real-life gameplay to complement the fun children have in the Disney Infinity world. One I’m most excited to see in action lets kids transform into some of their favorite Disney characters like Olaf, Donald Duck and Maleficent. While standing on a life-sized Disney Infinity base, they’ll control the actions of the character that appears on a giant video screen display and compete in special challenges in the Toy Box.

Another experience gives children the chance to test their archery skills with some help from Merida and other great archers. Kids can also join youth counselors in group activities like building a racetrack around the room and learning how to draw Disney Infinity characters.

As part of the new high-tech gaming experience on the Disney Dream, Disney Infinity created virtual toys and environments exclusive to Disney Cruise Line. Friends like Mickey in a race-car-style cruise ship and Chip and Dale in sailor attire act as sidekicks to the characters in the Toy Box Mode, where kids can also virtually play in some of their favorite Disney Cruise Line destinations, including our private island, Castaway Cay! After they cruise, you can download this exclusive content, including all custom Toy Boxes your kids created on the Disney Dream, to use with Disney Infinity back at home.

We’re days away from the new spaces on the Disney Dream becoming a reality. What are you most excited to see?

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Six Fun Ways to Surprise Your Kids with a Disney Cruise

posted on October 20th, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line

The holidays will be here before you know it, so I’m sure the topic of gift-giving is already on many of your minds. One of the best parts about giving a gift is watching the recipient open it joyfully. When you surprise your kids with the gift of a Disney cruise, there are many things you can do to make it a memorable family moment. Whether it’s tomorrow or on Christmas morning, here are six fun ways to announce your upcoming Disney Cruise Line voyage…


What are some of the ways you’ve given the gift of a Disney cruise to your family?

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New Snacks With Character Offer Better For You Snack Options at Disney Parks

posted on October 19th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


I’m delighted to share that guests now have new snack options at Disney Parks called Snacks with Character. This Disney-branded line of better-for-you snacks is great for guests looking for dietary alternatives related to food allergies or lifestyle choices. I recently spoke with Patrice Guy, merchandiser with Disney Theme Park Merchandise, about how these items were created.


“We listened to guests who said they wanted options when it comes to snacks at Disney Parks,” explained Patrice. “The Snacks with Character line was developed in collaboration with Merchandise Product Development, Food and Beverage Health and Wellness, Disney Design Group, and various suppliers in this field. We hope guests will enjoy these new tasty treats that are fun to share.”


To create these treats, Disney Theme Park Merchandise teamed up with well-known specialty suppliers such as Ocean Spray, Enjoy Life Foods, Way Better Snacks and WOW Baking Company. Several of the dietary needs addressed in the new assortment products include gluten-free, nut-free, and other allergy-friendly products.


The Snacks with Character line will launch with 11 new items. Look for the snack option from Ocean Spray later this year at Disney Parks.

Guests should look for these select items in merchandise locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, on Disney Cruise Line ships, and at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa.

Select food and beverage locations at Walt Disney World Resort will also carry Snacks with Characters.

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Disney Cruise Line VoluntEARS Lend a Hand to Build a Boardwalk at the Pine Island Conservation Area

posted on October 16th, 2015 by Rebecca Peddie, Manager, Public Affairs

It’s no secret that our cast and crew members are amazing. Not only do they work to create magical moments for our guests each and every day at sea, but they donate thousands of hours of their personal time each year to benefit worthwhile causes in port communities around the world.

This past Saturday is a perfect example. Disney Cruise Line VoluntEARS from the Disney Fantasy – in port for less than a day – gave back to their home port community of Brevard County. On their day off, they picked up hammers and nails to help build an ADA accessible boardwalk that leads to a brand new park pavilion.

The Pine Island Conservation Area boasts nearly 900-acres and is a great place for guests to observe and connect with nature. The new pavilion will provide shade and mosquito protection for park guests year round, even in Florida’s hottest months. Because of the hard work of our VoluntEARS, all guests will now have access to the pavilion and park experiences, ensuring that the conservation area can serve as a place for education for everyone.

Here’s a look at the team in action.

In collaboration with Disney, ESPN and ABC, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) supported this project through the NRPA’s Parks Build Community program, which provided 16 communities with resources to improve local parks, connect kids with nature, help kids and families live healthier, and increase kids’ access to sports. The Pine Island Conservation Area received a $20,000 grant for improvements.

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5 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘Tangled: The Musical’

posted on October 16th, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line

Last week, we tested your “Tangled: The Musical” knowledge, and it looks like you’re just as excited as we are about the first-ever stage adaptation of “Tangled!” Before it debuts aboard the Disney Magic during her November 11 Bahamian cruise, we have a few more secrets to share with you about the musical’s production …

1. Legendary composer Alan Menken and lyricist Glenn Slater have always wanted to write more songs for “Tangled.” Alan and Glenn wished they had written more music for the animated film, so they were thrilled with the opportunity to come back to “Tangled” and write a new opening number, a song for Flynn Rider and lyrics for the festival scene.

2. The mural in Rapunzel’s tower set piece was designed by Claire Keane, who created the original mural design for the “Tangled” film. Claire Keane, daughter of legendary Disney animator Glen Keane, re-imagined her animated mural design into a life-sized painting for the set of “Tangled: The Musical.”


3. Every set piece for “Tangled: The Musical” was sculpted and painted by hand. Rapunzel would approve, don’t you think?

4. Rapunzel’s royal dress that appears in the show’s final scene is made of custom fabric developed especially for this show. Our Tony Award-winning costume designer, Paloma Young, wanted this piece to make a statement like only a Disney princess dress could.


5. Speaking of costume designer Paloma Young … Her ancestors were real-life Bavarian royalty! Paloma is the great-great-granddaughter of Charles Hoegerman of Bavarian nobility. Talk about inspiration!

For more inside looks at the creation of “Tangled: The Musical,” check out our behind-the-scenes series:

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11 Insider Tips for Disney Cruise Line Dining

posted on October 15th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer

We had a recent cruise on the delightful Disney Dream and returned with a new appreciation for the talented Disney Cruise Line chefs – and some of our own tips worth a share for making the most of culinary opportunities on board.


  1. Petites Assiettes de Remy. Petites Assiettes means “small plates,” and this little gem is offered during the early evening hours of the first day of each cruise on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. Sign up as you board for a taste of the haute cuisine and a peek at the stylish Remy dining room. Six dishes in all, each perfectly paired with wine. $50 per person. What an elegant way to start your vacation!
  2. Brunch at Palo or Remy. This is fine dining with exquisite service for a nominal charge. Take your pick: Remy offers an elegant Champagne brunch on sea days and select port days with a six-course, French-inspired repast. In Palo, a gorgeous spread of small bites, from caviar to croissants, starts the meal, followed by made-to-order dishes (freshly made pasta, anyone?).


  1. Speaking of Palo, order the chocolate soufflé for dinner Enough said.
  2. We forget that you can skip the dining rooms and nosh in Pub 687 on Deck 4 on the Disney Dream. Watch the game and indulge in Wagyu beef sliders, tempura shrimp, bangers and mash for a nominal charge.
  3. Dine and Play. Parents, you can check the kids in for evening youth activities without leaving the dinner table. Families can enjoy dinner together, then counselors show up to whisk the kids away while adults finish dinner, take a post-prandial stroll on the deck or dance the night away. Offered for ages three to 12 during the second seating in all main dining rooms.


  1. Pompidou’s Patisseries Dessert Experience. On both the Disney Fantasy and the Disney Dream, this is an indulgent, fun way to wile away an afternoon at Remy. The chefs greet you with stories and a tasting of six to-die-for desserts. $50 and includes a wine, Champagne or cocktail. Calories don’t count on vacation.
  2. We are in awe of the seemingly endless food stations at Cabanas on the Disney Dream. Take a few minutes to walk the entire buffet, and you’ll find all sorts of wonderful tastes not to be overlooked. For instance, for breakfast we discovered build-your-own granola and a surprisingly delicious seaweed and tofu soup. Be adventurous!


  1. The best classic gin martini on board, hands down, at Meridian on Deck 12 on the Disney Dream. A fabulous escape with an outdoor terrace.
  2. More fun with spirits: sign up for a tequila, rum, cognac or Champagne tasting – whatever is being offered. Disney Cruise Line has some serious experts who will teach you how to navigate the world of craft cocktails. We promise you’ll learn something you didn’t already know.
  3. If you’re feeling lazy, order room service. It’s free! And the bacon-lettuce-tomato sandwich is a good bet.
  4. Walk or run the deck! It’s a pleasant way to burn some calories — three laps equals one mile. You could head to the fitness center, but ocean air is a bonus.
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A Grandparents’ Guide to Cruising with Disney in 2016

posted on October 13th, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line

Grandparents often tell us that the best part of a Disney Cruise Line vacation is seeing their grandchildren’s joy throughout the voyage. I recently shared the top five ways to spoil your grandkids on a Disney cruise – things you can do to make any getaway with us extra special.

Today, I have suggestions for specific cruises to take with grandkids for the ultimate grand-travel vacation. All are jam-packed with memorable experiences you can’t get anywhere else. Grandparents, here’s your guide to cruising with us in 2016…


Dream a little bigger aboard the Disney Dream. New experiences are coming to the Disney Dream in late 2015, including super-cool play areas in the kids club, one themed to Star Wars and another to Disney Infinity. Your grandkids may not want to leave once they enter these new worlds of fun, but grandparents can join the play during Open House. Another brand-new space both you and your grandchildren will love is Vanellope’s Sweets and Treats, a shop serving handmade gelato and ice cream, novelty sundaes, and more candy than you can imagine. The made-to-share signature sundaes are a fun way to satisfy the sweet tooth of the young and young at heart.

Disney Fantasy at Sea

Experience the Force in the Western Caribbean. On eight special sailings from January through April, the Force will be strong! For the first time ever, we are offering Star Wars Day at Sea on the Disney Fantasy, perfect for a new out-of-this-galaxy experience with your grandchildren. The day-long celebration features a deck party, meet-and-greets with favorite characters, Star Wars-themed youth activities, unique food and beverage offerings, and special merchandise. There will also be exclusive at-sea screenings of the Star Wars films and the new Disney XD animated series, “Star Wars Rebels.” Have the time of your life with your grandkids, you will.


Explore the magic of Disney on land and sea. Three of our ships will be sailing from Florida in early 2016, giving you the chance to extend precious time with your grandkids through a combined Walt Disney World Resort and Disney Cruise Line vacation. Our home ports in Port Canaveral and Miami are driving distance from Orlando where you can experience Disney’s world-class resorts and four incredible theme parks. Pre- and post-cruise add-on options give you flexibility to enjoy Walt Disney World Resort before or after your magical voyage. A trip to Walt Disney World and a Disney cruise? You’re getting the Best Grandparent of the Year award!


Discover the grandeur and culture of Europe and Alaska. In the summer of 2016, we’re returning to exotic locales around the world and, once again, offering Port Adventures designed to entertain and inspire both children and adults. On the Disney Magic, you’ll have the chance to visit destinations in the Baltic, Norwegian Fjords, Iceland, British Isles, Greek Isles and the Mediterranean. Cruises to Alaska on the Disney Wonder offer family-friendly adventures like whale watching, gold mining, dog sledding and more. There’s no better way to share your love of traveling the world with your grandkids than in true Disney fashion, with an extra dash of pixie dust for both grandchildren and grandparents.


Seek thrills and chills during Halloween on the High Seas. Who says Halloween can only be celebrated on October 31? Weeks before the big day, you’ll enjoy Halloween-themed parties, lively entertainment and elaborate décor onboard all four ships. One of the best celebrations for grandparents and grandkids to enjoy together is Mickey’s Mouse-querade Party, a costume party with Disney friends, games, dancing and lots of candy. Make sure you get into the fun by bringing a costume of your own! For this one, you’ll receive the Coolest Grandparent of the Year award!


Join Santa and his elves on Very Merrytime Cruises. Starting in November, our ships transform with a 24-foot Christmas tree, a life-sized gingerbread house, garlands, poinsettias, shimmering lights and more. Each voyage has festive events like a spectacular tree lighting ceremony, Santa Claus meet-and-greets and a tropical holiday deck party. Especially for grandparents who can’t be with their grandkids on Christmas morning, our holiday cruises are the perfect way to enjoy together the traditions of this special time of year.

Which of our special cruises in 2016 will your grandkids enjoy most?

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QUIZ: How Well Do You Know ‘Tangled: The Musical’?

posted on October 9th, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line

Since April, we shared behind-the-scenes looks at the development of “Tangled: The Musical,” the first-ever stage adaptation of the beloved animated film “Tangled.” Before it premieres aboard the Disney Magic next month, we want to test your knowledge about the show. Only the most dedicated fans will have what it takes to ace this one …


How Well Do You Know ‘Tangled: The Musical’?

Academy Award-winning composer Alan Menken and Grammy Award-winning lyricist Glenn Slater wrote three brand-new songs for “Tangled: The Musical.” Which of these is NOT a description of one of the new songs?
According to set designer Brad Kaye, which of the following was a fun challenge in bringing the world of “Tangled” to the stage?
When designing a rustic new look for Rapunzel, Tony Award-winning costume designer Paloma Young was inspired by _____.
True or False: Michael Curry, the puppet designer for “Tangled: The Musical,” also designed the iconic puppetry for Disney’s “The Lion King” on Broadway.
Choreographer Connor Gallagher was most influenced by the _____ when developing the choreography of “Tangled: The Musical.”

Need help? Check out our behind-the-scenes video series for answers:

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