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How Do We Give Every Disney Dream Guest an Ocean View? It’s Magic!

Starting today, we’re counting down to Wednesday’s maiden voyage of our newest ship, the Disney Dream, with daily previews of some of the great amenities and dazzling innovations that await Disney Cruise Line guests.

First up is a great example of what Walt Disney called “plussing” – taking a great idea and making it better.

When designing the 1,250 staterooms aboard the ship, the creative minds of Walt Disney Imagineering decided early on that every guest should have an ocean view. The challenge was how to do that within the 150 inside staterooms at the center of passenger decks.

The answer was the Magical Porthole, a real-time view outside the ship from four high-definition video cameras that correspond to each stateroom’s location – forward, aft, port or starboard.

The Magical Porthole

As they say on late-night television… But wait, there’s more!

Here’s Imagineer Bob Zalk with the story of how an already terrific idea was plussed into something uniquely Disney by adding an extra dash of pixie dust.

Approximately three dozen animated characters and objects will pass by the Magical Porthole throughout the day. Familiar faces include Peach the starfish from “Finding Nemo,” Dumbo the flying elephant, the floating house from “Up” and even Mickey Mouse.

Come back to the Disney Parks Blog tomorrow for a preview of the unique cocktails and extensive wine lists guests will enjoy in several Disney Dream venues exclusively for adults.


  • The twelfth comment almost answers a questions I have been trying to get answered. The thing I hate about inside cabins in the complete darkness when you try and wake up in the morning. I am wondering if you can set a ‘wake timer’ for the porthole. I wouldn’t want to leave it on all night as the glow would be distracting, so a timer would seem an easy solution.

    Anyone have any experience?

  • I am so bummed that we had to book an oceanview room. My son would have loved to see the characters go by. We need to book an inside room on the Fantasy.

  • We just arrived home from our voyage on the Disney Dream’s Inaugural Cruise. It was amazing. Disney and details are synonymous. We were so impressed with every aspect of this incredible ship. There is something remarkable around every corner. It is so spacious – even the passageways along the perimeter of the ship are enormous and so beautifully decorated. The sail away on January 26th was the most spectacular we have ever seen. There were hundreds of well-wishers gathered along the shoreline waving their Mickey gloves and whatever else they could find to wave. There was a plane flying overhead with a banner announcing the Maiden Voyage and a helicopter crew circling with news cameras undoubtedly aboard. The entire complement of 4,000 passengers seemed to be crowded along the rails on both the 11th and 12th decks. And there was champagne for everyone. What a time everyone had and the only bummer was my video camcorder malfunctioned and all of my footage of the sail-away was no good at all. 🙁

  • WOW!!!!!! seriously, this and talking mickey!!! our disney imagineers are just FABULOUS!!! to be honest, I’d rather have an inside stateroom because of the awesome characters coming to visit me! how neat!

  • Well today the very first public guests board the dream. I bet that terminal will be a buzz very very early. the idea of the port holes with outside view for the inside cabins is one of the best ideas. !!!!!!! Who ever came up with that hit a real winner.
    have a wonderful first voyage DREAM. Be there in spirit but april in body.
    Sail well.

  • I am sooooooooo looking forward to sailing on the DREAM. I have sailed on the WONDER and this year I am sailing on the Magic…so next year, 2012, I will sail on the DREAM.

  • Great idea !

  • awesome….inside room here I come!!!

  • Cant wait to see the Dream on April 3rd. 2011

    See you real soon !!!!

  • The character part reminds me of the “fish” that swim by in the portholes when you’re waiting for “Finding Nemo” the Musical at Animal Kingdom. It’s a great idea for keeping the kids busy waiting since you have to go early to get a good seat most days!

  • This is so awesome! We have a large family so we could only book the oceanview room…I wish you could make Tinkerbell fly by my porthole too! I’m gonna have to try to talk my neighbor across the hallway into letting me in for a minute 🙂
    Only at Disney…

  • Very nice! A Magical Porthole! The imagineers are always thinking of something new and wonderful.

  • oh, this makes me want to go on this ship

  • This is great. We went on the Wonder in May of 2007.. We just booked the Dream for Nov 27th, my grandson’s birthday.. It is going to be a surprise for him..can’t wait!

  • that is such a cool idea,that will make pople who cant afford the higher rooms to want to have these port hole rooms with the animated screen . at least people who cant afford the higher class rooms wont feel like the got ripped off, they will feel like they got something for there money.

  • Really excited about our inside cabin!! So ready to sail on March 3rd!!

  • OMG! What a cool idea! Even without the characters, the view from the camera is awesome. What great minds!!!

  • i have a room with verandah kinda makes me want an inside room , hopefully someone will give us a look at their porthole , i cant wait till march 3rd ,oh and could you please post menu’s for the dream 🙂

  • We just got back on Sunday the 23rd from the Preview Benefit Cruise on the dream. We had a deluxe inside stateroom with the magic porthole. Everyone needs to book a inside cabin at least once. My favorite was the dog from UP floating by. He gets all excited and starts wagging his tail at you. You can even turn the porthole off and on by it’s self too.

  • Wow the Magical Porthole is an amazing idea.
    Thanks Disney.

  • Way too cool! We chose a room with a Verandah. I wonder what they’ll have in our rooms!

  • We are so excited! We just booked our Disney Dream Cruise for October, 2011! Can’t wait!!!! The ship looks amazing!!!!

  • We passed on an outside with porthole to get an inside for the virtual porthole. Our ten year old is really looking forward to July 24th….. Mom and Dad are too. We went to Port Canaveral yesterday to see the Dream leaving on a pre-inaugural shake down cruise. Awesome sight watching that beautiful ship leaving port.

  • This is too cool…makes me want to have an inside room instead of an outside one!!!!!

  • We can’t wait until May four our cruise! The kids are going to love this magical porthole. I won’t stay in a balcony cabin until my kids are older, so this is great!

  • Just another example of why they call the Disney designers “Imagineers.”

  • More magic!

  • Only Disney!!!! That is sooo amazing!!!

  • The magical porthole is awesome!! We hope to do a land and sea on our next vacation!!

  • This is just such a cool idea. I wouldn’t mind having an inside stateroom on this ship!

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