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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…

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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 …



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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?
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According to set designer Brad Kaye, which of the following was a fun challenge in bringing the world of “Tangled” to the stage?
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When designing a rustic new look for Rapunzel, Tony Award-winning costume designer Paloma Young was inspired by _____.
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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.
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Choreographer Connor Gallagher was most influenced by the _____ when developing the choreography of “Tangled: The Musical.”
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Need help? Check out our behind-the-scenes video series for answers:

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Disney Cruise Line Unveils Ports and Itineraries for Early 2017

posted on October 6th, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Today we revealed that in early 2017 we will return to popular destinations in the Caribbean and Bahamas. Most cruises will feature a stop at Castaway Cay, our private island paradise reserved exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests.

For the first part of the year, we’ll continue sailing from Port Canaveral and Miami, in addition to cruises from San Juan, Puerto Rico and Galveston, Texas. Bookings open to the public on October 8, 2015. Keep reading for more details, and check out the Itineraries and Ports for 2017 page of disneycruise.com.

Port Canaveral

With three Disney ships in port and cruises spanning three, four and seven nights, you have a full menu of options from Port Canaveral in early 2017. The best part? Every sailing includes a day at Castaway Cay!

The Disney Fantasy will continue to sail seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean voyages, while the Disney Dream continues on three- and four-night cruises to Nassau and Castaway Cay. Beginning January 29, the Disney Wonder will alternate similar three- and four-night itineraries.

Miami

To kick off 2017, the Disney Magic continues sailing from Miami with three-, four- and five-night voyages to the Bahamas, plus select five-night Western Caribbean cruises, through March 31.

Again, Castaway Cay awaits guests aboard every one of these Disney Magic sailings! Other Bahamian ports of call include Nassau and Key West, while a stop in Grand Cayman or Cozumel headlines the Western Caribbean itineraries.

San Juan and Galveston

From San Juan, the Disney Magic sets sail on four seven-night cruises to the Southern Caribbean. Departing April 9, 16, 23 and 30, this limited-time engagement includes calls on Barbados, St. Lucia, Martinique, Antigua and St. Kitts.

The Disney Wonder completes a season in Galveston with two seven-night Bahamian voyages to Key West, Castaway Cay and Nassau on January 6 and 13. From there, the ship embarks on a six-night journey to San Juan on January 20 with stops in Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Falmouth, Jamaica.

On January 26, a three-night cruise aboard the Disney Wonder takes guests from San Juan to Port Canaveral, just an hour away from Walt Disney World Resort – the perfect stop for a fairytale land-and-sea adventure.

As always, we’ll keep you posted on the Disney Parks Blog when new itineraries and destinations are unveiled. Stay tuned for more on where we’re headed in 2017!

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Behind the Scenes: Bringing Maximus to Life for ‘Tangled: The Musical’ for Disney Cruise Line

posted on October 1st, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Over the past few months, we’ve taken you behind-the-scenes during the development of “Tangled: The Musical,” premiering aboard the Disney Magic in November. Eagle-eyed viewers may have caught a few glimpses of their favorite palace horse in this series, but today’s video is an in-depth look at how our creative team is bringing Maximus to life for the stage.

Master puppet designer Michael Curry, whose extraordinary creations are featured in Disney’s Tony Award-winning musical “The Lion King” on Broadway, has taken puppetry to a brand-new level with his incredibly lifelike interpretation of the rambunctious Maximus. In the video below, Jeff Conover from Walt Disney Imagineering joins Michael to tell us all about the role puppetry plays in this production.

What do you think—will Maximus be the “mane” attraction of every scene he’s in during “Tangled: The Musical”?

Check out the rest of this video series for more sneak peeks of the show:

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Tips to Add Variety to Mealtime on a Disney Cruise

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


Last week I gave you a look at the many, many dining choices on a Disney cruise. And believe it or not, there are still additional options to satisfy your taste buds! Here are some of my tips to add even more variety to mealtime …

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  1. Opt for dinner at Cabanas or Beach Blanket Buffet.

  2. You know that Cabanas (Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy, Disney Magic) and Beach Blanket Buffet (Disney Wonder) offer buffet-style dining for breakfast and lunch. But what you may not know is that in the evenings, the restaurant transforms into a table-service casual dining experience, where dinner entrees are cooked to order. No reservations are required, making it a convenient option when you aren’t able to make your assigned dinner time in the main dining room.

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  1. Order room service whenever your stomach desires.

  2. Breakfast in bed, afternoon nosh or midnight snack – cravings can be satisfied any time of day with 24-hour complimentary room service. You can feast on fresh, made-to-order food in the comfort of your stateroom around the clock. This convenient service comes in quite handy when your little one is taking a nap during lunchtime or when you can’t pull yourself away from that gorgeous view on your personal verandah.

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  1. Eat a delicious barbeque lunch on Castaway Cay.

  2. The chefs you love onboard also grill up specialties like Cajun mahi-mahi, ribeye steaks and chicken on our private island, Castaway Cay. The “all-you-care-to-eat” island barbecue is offered in three spots under the shade of covered pavilions and umbrellas. Two family-friendly locations are steps from the Family Beach, while adults have a dining area all to themselves at the far end of the island next to Serenity Bay.

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  1. Try the local cuisine out in port.

  2. Exploring a destination is always a great opportunity to try new cuisine and taste the local fare. I know you’ll miss what the Disney chefs are serving, but don’t miss your chance to eat in port. Do some research before your cruise to determine the best spots, or ask around to get suggestions from other Disney cruisers who have been there before. Even better, choose a Port Adventure that includes a lunch of authentic dishes prepared by locals.

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  1. Join the party at a themed buffet for families.

  2. A great party isn’t complete without tasty grub! After our Pirates IN the Caribbean deck party, head over to the pirate buffet for a late-night snack on fiesta favorites like fajitas, tacos, rice and beans. There’s also a huge selection of desserts and a made-to-order crepe station with ice cream. In Alaska, our midday barbecue feast of wild Alaskan salmon and other special seafood dishes celebrates the momentous occasion of sailing through the breathtaking Tracy Arm Fjord.

Any tips to add? In my final post of this series next week, I’ll tell you about dining indulgences onboard just for adults you won’t want to miss!

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A Peek at This Year’s First Halloween on the High Seas Cruise

posted on September 8th, 2015 by Darren McBurney, Cruise Director, Disney Cruise Line


Ready, set, boo!

We’re off on our very first Halloween cruise of the season! It’s day four of Halloween on the High Seas aboard the Disney Fantasy, and it’s no surprise cruisers are having a wickedly good time. It’s always fun to see the creative outfits guests of all ages wear throughout the voyage, especially at yesterday’s costume parties.

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In the afternoon, families joined Disney friends at Mickey’s Mouse-querade Party for dancing, and, of course, lots of candy. Then later that night, adults had their own fun at a costume party just for them. As always, it was highly entertaining and a great way to end the night!

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On the first night of the cruise, we kicked off the fun with an interactive movie experience in the Walt Disney Theatre, A Nightmare Before Christmas—Sing and Scream, inspired by Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. Cruisers watched this classic holiday film like never before with 3-D and 4-D effects. A special sing-along was even part of the action. Plus, at the end of the movie, families were treated to a surprise meet-and-greet with Jack Skellington and Sally.

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We’re only halfway through this cruise, so there’s a lot more fun to come! Halloween on the High Seas began yesterday on the Disney Dream and starts early October on the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder. To see more of the excitement that will take place on all of our Halloween voyages, check out Jonathan’s post, Top Five: Halloween on the High Seas with Disney Cruise Line. We hope to see you onboard!

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Behind the Scenes: Backstage at Rehearsals for ‘Tangled: The Musical’

posted on September 3rd, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


As development is in full swing to produce brand-new music, stunning costumes, storybook sets and more for “Tangled: The Musical,” the incredible Disney Magic cast is putting the finishing touches on the show to get it ready for audiences this November.

We asked two of the key creative players to “take 5” during rehearsals and tell us more about the production. Show director, Gordon Greenberg, and choreographer, Connor Gallagher, told us all about the immersive and interactive environment they’re creating for the stage. Check out the video below for more details and never-before-seen footage from cast rehearsals!

For more inside looks at the development of this production, see the rest of this series:

Can’t get enough “Tangled”? Check out the recently released “Tangled as told by Emoji” video for another cool new way to experience this hair-raising adventure story. Best. Emojis. Ever!

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Disney Cruise Line Kicks off this Summer’s Mediterranean Sailings

posted on August 10th, 2015 by Peter Hofer, Cruise Director, Disney Cruise Line


Greetings from the Disney Magic! Yet again we’re having another fantastic summer in Europe. If you followed along on Cruise Director Brent’s voyage report in June, you know we started out the season in Northern Europe, sailing through the Baltic and, for the first time ever, the Norwegian fjords. Now, we’re kicking off this summer’s cruises in Southern Europe – around the sun-soaked Mediterranean!

Today we arrived in Barcelona, our homeport for the next several weeks as we take Disney cruisers to incredible ports in Spain, Italy and France. It’s my fourth time as Cruise Director during our Mediterranean sailings, and I’m still just as excited as every Disney cruiser joining us! We’ll have the chance to explore famous locales near the coast like Rome, Tuscany, Florence, Pisa, Monte Carlo and more.

If you’re joining us this month, make sure to say hello onboard. Until then, here’s a look at some of our photos from past seasons, giving you a glimpse at what Disney cruisers will experience this summer and next in the Mediterranean …

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Behind the Scenes: Recreating Rapunzel’s World for ‘Tangled: The Musical’ for Disney Cruise Line

posted on July 28th, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


When “Tangled: The Musical” debuts on stage aboard the Disney Magic this November, audiences can expect to be immersed in a vibrant, Bavarian world featuring the storybook locales we know and love from the film.

The show’s set designer, Brad Kaye, is no stranger to the challenge of re-imagining an animated world for the stage; he also developed the scenery for “Disney’s Aladdin—A Musical Spectacular” aboard the Disney Fantasy. In the video below, Brad tells us all about the scenic elements he is designing for this new show . . . including a first look at the forest and Snuggly Duckling scenes!

For more behind-the-scenes videos, see the rest of this series:

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QUIZ: How Well Do You Know the Disney Cruise Line Ships?

posted on July 21st, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


It’s time to see how well you know the Disney Cruise Line fleet – the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy! From stem to stern, there are tons of cool details that make each ship unique. Take the quiz below to test your knowledge …

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How Well Do You Know the Disney Cruise Line Ships?

All of these movies inspired spaces aboard a Disney Cruise Line ship except:
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The anchor on the Disney Magic weighs nearly the same as how many full-grown elephants?
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Combined, the chandeliers on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy have nearly how many Swarovski crystal beads?
A dazzling chandelier glistens overhead in the expansive, three-deck atrium lobby on the Disney Dream. Descending more than 13 feet from the ceiling, and spanning more than 22 feet in width, the illuminated masterpiece sparkles with thousands of hand-crafted crystal beads. Reminiscent of early 20th century transatlantic ocean liners, contemporary design and Art Deco style grace the grand lobby to exude splendor and sophistication throughout. (Kent Phillips, photographer)
Nautical flags on the carpet of the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream spell out what?
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Pepe the King Prawn, the Muppet who stars in the Midship Detective Agency game, has his very own stateroom on the Disney Fantasy. What is his stateroom number?
Pepe the King Prawn and a cast of Muppets make their debut on the Disney Fantasy in “The Case of the Stolen Show,” a new Midship Detective Agency game. In the game, guests help the Muppets find their missing props for a big performance. Guided by a map and a unique game card, guests take an interactive adventure quest around the ship, uncovering clues via more than a dozen pieces of Enchanted Art and physical “evidence,” such as Pepe the King Prawn’s Muppet-sized stateroom door.
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