Disney Dream Takes To The Water

Filed under: Florida News,Just For Fun,Vacation Tips,Walt Disney World |

The 4,000-passenger Disney Dream has made its public debut as thousands of spectators were on hand to cheer the “Float Out”, despite rain and chill in Papenburg, Germany.

A Float Out is basically when a ship leaves its indoor construction area for outfitting and testing in the open-air. In Northern Germany, the event is somewhat akin to a shuttle launch in Florida. In just under two weeks the Disney Dream will make its first voyage, traveling about 35 miles down the River Ems to the North Sea, where engineers will put the ship through its paces.

With the 128,000-ton Disney Dream the largest ship ever built in Germany, and, given the world-wide allure of Mickey, there was additional attention. By some counts, close to 15,000 people came to witness the Float Out. More than a hundred campers could be seen parked alongside the shipyard, and the festive atmosphere even included a carnival complete with carousel and bratwurst stands.

The crowd watched in awe as the 128,000-ton ship was slowly pulled outdoors by tugs, a process that takes nearly an hour. Many in the crowd carried both umbrellas and plastic Mickey hands provided by the shipyard. Bundled up kids could be seen clutching Mickey dolls and other favorite Disney characters.

They were rewarded for the wait. As always, Disney did things dramatically.

“Presenting the latest jewel in the Disney Cruise Line fleet, the Disney Dream,” said a pre-recorded American-accented announcer when the ship was fully in view. Then there was a recorded sample of the ship’s horn blasting the first few notes of Cinderella’s “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes,” with the full song playing over speakers as fireworks surrounded the ship from both the sky and ground.

With its classic 1930s-inspired pointy bow and deep blue hull topped by white decks and red smokestacks, the ship cuts an elegant figure. A sculpture of Sorcerer Mickey clinging from the stern is a big hint at the fun inside.The ship will debut several unique Disney attractions, including the first water coaster a sea and a brand new show production, Disney Believe.

The Dream is 50% bigger than Disney’s other two ships, Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, and is the line’s first new build in more than 10 years.

“It’s exciting,” Karl Holz, president of Disney Cruise Line, “It’s the first time our guests, our fans, get a chance to see the entire ship.”

Bernard Meyer, managing partner of Meyer Werft, says the event is an “emotional moment” and a source of pride for the shipyard and the thousands who have worked on the ship’s construction.

The concept for the ship started nearly five years ago, Holz says. With the exterior complete, the focus now is final touches inside.

“It’s getting to be ready,” Holz says. “I couldn’t be more pleased.” He says his excitement has been so much his adult daughter asked what was more exciting, her birth or the birth of the ship? “I told her she was, but this was very special,” Holz says.

Bahamas cruises on the Disney Dream launch January 26, 2011 from Port Canaveral and enjoying a cruise for a few days is the perfect way to complement an extended stay in an Orlando vacation home.

Here’s some video of the event:

The Disney Dream™ is the majestic third ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet. Boasting 14 towering decks, a ship length of 1,115 feet and a maximum width of 125 feet, the 128,000-ton vessel includes 1,250 staterooms and has the capacity to comfortably accommodate 4,000 passengers—along with the over 1,458 Crew Members who tend to the needs of every cruise Guest each and every day.

Building on the classic style of the previous 2 ships, the Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder, the Disney Dream is a valiant vessel distinguished for its classic early 20th-century design—which harkens back to the golden age of cruising—and state-of-the-art technology. As can be expected from Disney, the cruise liner was specially designed with families in mind, combining sleek style and convenient facilities with splashes of magic and cruise-industry firsts—like the splashtacular AquaDuck,  the very first water coaster at sea.

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