Archive for March, 2012

Disney Fantasy – New Shows

While onboard the Magical Preview Cruise of the Disney Fantasy® last weekend, we had a chance to see the two new production shows that will be performed weekly on the Disney Fantasy.  We also saw Disney’s Believe, which is on the Dream as well.  I skipped Disney’s Believe and opted to get additional questions answered for clients since I’ve already seen this show.

The first show that we saw was Disney’s Wishes.  This story is about three high school seniors who are about to graduate and go to Disneyland one last time as seniors.  One of the kids makes a wish about their future, which takes them all into another world with a variety of musical numbers. I was able to take pictures as they instructed us we could not use video or flash photography only.

Continue reading

Disney Fantasy’s Animation Magic!

Our last night on the Disney Fantasy®, we had a chance to dine in Animator’s Palate.  We were very excited to experience this restaurant.  For those who have cruised on the Disney Dream®, you know that in this restaurant Crush from Finding Nemo entertains the crowd, just like he does at the parks with Turtle Talk with Crush.  Well, the Disney Fantasy had to do something different and this show did not disappoint!

Continue reading

New Water Features on the Disney Fantasy

Some differences between the Disney Dream® and her new sister Disney Fantasy® involve water areas onboard.  New additions include a family wading pool, Satellite Falls and the Aqua Lab.  While I was onboard, I was able to check these areas out and they will certainly be a welcomed addition to the Disney Fantasy.

The family wading pool is on deck 12, above Quiet Cove.  I’m not sure how this is going to work with children above Quiet Cove.  This area was very busy on our sailing, but mostly with sunbathers laying out.  Rarely did I see many people in the wading pool.

Continue reading

Disney Fantasy Review Part One

Last weekend I was lucky enough to go on a Magical Preview Cruise of the Disney Fantasy®.  Over the next few days I will be showing picture and talking about what we found.  Having been on the Disney Fantasy briefly for the Christening and cruising a number of times on the Disney Dream®, I felt very acquainted with the layout of the ship so most of the exploring that I did was to see the changes to the Disney Fantasy.

Continue reading

Onboard Booking on Disney Cruise Line

Recently we have been hearing of changes to the onboard booking offer at Disney Cruise Line.  I had verified that a change took place, but what the new policy was exactly was not clear.  While onboard the Disney Fantasy this weekend, I went straight to the future cruise sales agents and got the scoop.

The onboard booking offer is still a 10% discount off prevailing rates, a stateroom credit based on the itinerary and reduced deposit of only 10%.  The offer is valid only on categories 4 – 11.  It is not valid for concierge categories, two night cruises, restricted categories or Disney Fantasy maiden voyages.  The reservation must be booked and deposit paid while onboard.  These restrictions have not changed.

Here is where the changes are.  Each household can book one date in the future, up to two cabins to receive the onboard booking offer.  In the past you could book the same number of rooms as the number of people in your cabin (if you had four in your room, you could book up to four rooms per date booked in the future).  Additionally, you can only book one future date to receive the onboard booking offer.  If you do want to book more cabins on the one date, you can do so and receive only the onboard credit offer (no discounts).

The only exception to the one date rule is for those booking back to back reservations.  If you want to book back to back, you can book more than one date and receive a discount on both dates.  Now don’t think this is a way around the rule.  If you ever change those reservations to no longer be a back to back reservation, you will lose the onboard offer on the second date.

I understand why there was a rule change.  Too many people were booking too many dates from many other people.  It’s disappointing when changes happen due to others abusing the system.  I just hope this doesn’t backfire though.  Many experienced cruisers like to have a “dummy date” or two available to get a discount on a Disney cruise in the future.  If you go onboard and have a future date that you want to book, you won’t also be able to book a “dummy date” for a future release.  Cruise lines want us to book early to guarantee the lowest prices.  Without having an extra “dummy date” available, I’m afraid people will wait longer to book their cruises until pricing comes down.

On the new form, you will be required to select a sail date, include your email address, category and dining preference.  You’ll also need to check if you want to use a travel agent (and include their name), vacation insurance, transfers and airfare.  Your onboard booking can be combined with Travel On A Dream’s loyalty program so be sure to check the box and add our name to your reservation request.

Port Orleans Riverside

Port Orleans Riverside has been undergoing an extensive renovation, with work expected to end before the end of 2012.  As part of our Authorized Disney Vacation Planner conference, I had a chance to see the renovated rooms.  Now I look forward to sharing them with you!

We first went into the lobby and dining areas.  This has not been changed, but it gave us a chance to look at the area.  The lobby is reminiscent of a boat on the mighty Mississippi.  Continue reading

Art of Animation

Today, I had a chance to tour the Art of Animation resort.  We were told we are the first non-Disney group to tour this resort.  Since it is still under construction, no photos were allowed.  I’ve got to say this is going to be an incredible resort when it is completed by the end of 2012.

We first saw the marquis which is the largest freestanding marquis on Disney property.  For those that have stayed at Pop Century, Animation Hall will have the same layout.  When you walk in the front door, everything starts in black and white and becomes colorful.  On the wall are line drawings from animators, some that have never been seen by anyone other than the animators.  The drawings by the door are more simple line drawings and as you go through the room, the drawings pick up color, the floor becomes colored and the check in pods are a range of colors, becoming more vivid the further into the room that you go.  By the end of the room, before you go into the store or out to either transportation or the Finding Nemo courtyard, the animation drawings are full color.

The shop inside will be much larger than in the other value resorts.  Through the shop you will reach the food court.  This is set up much like in Pop Century but will have four themed dining areas.  The menus will be electronic as well.

Next we went into the courtyard between the two Finding Nemo buildings.  This pool is a zero entry pool and is very large.  There is also a splash zone with Nemo and his dad in the anemone.  All the characters from the show are around the area and even the foliage reminds us of under the sea.  There is also a dry play area on the other side of the splash zone.

The buildings are shaped like Ts and the rooms in this section are all family suites, sleeping up to six.  In the entryway to the building, there is a tile floor with pearlized tiles, giving you the feeling of being “under the sea”.  Into the hallways, the floor changes to carpeting but the theming is still there.

Unique to the suites here is the bed set up.  When you first walk in, you are in a “kitchen table” area.  There is a bathroom with a bathtub to one side.  Around the corner is the living room and kitchenette with refrigerator and microwave.  There is a flat panel TV as well.  Around the corner from the kitchen table is a bedroom with a queen sized bed and flat panel TV.  The bathroom in here has a large walk in shower rather than a bathtub.

Instead of having chairs and a sofa that open up to sleeping for four, these suites have the sofa for two and the kitchen table for two.  Kitchen table?  Yes!  This doubles as a Murphy bed!  Handles on the “wall” pull down while collapsing the table.  This is an easy task and can be done by one person.  Hidden behind the mattress is Nemo!

The theming in the rooms is of the reef, but the bathrooms are all like the sharks’ area in the movie.  The mirrors are even port holes with “Fish are Friends!” noted on the edge.

The insides of the courtyards are all full of color while the outsides have the black and white drawings of the characters.  The ends of some of the buildings even look like large sketch pads.  As you are facing the Finding Nemo courtyard, Cars will be to your right and Lion King to the left.  Further to the left will be the last addition, Little Mermaid, which will not be family suites, but will be standard rooms.

I am excited for this resort to open and hear what our clients think!  Tomorrow, I’ll talk about our tour of the refurbished rooms at Port Orleans Riverside, including the fantastic renovations to Alligator Bayou and the Royal Guest Rooms in Magnolia Bend — complete with pictures!

%d bloggers like this: