The pair of 128,000-ton, 2,500-passenger Disney cruise ships will be introduced in 2011 and 2012, respectively, becoming the first new cruise ships to debut from the line since Disney Wonder launched back in 1999. Steel cutting began just last week for the ships, both of which are being built at Germany's Meyer Werft shipyard.
Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy will be considerably larger than the 83,000-ton, 1,760-passenger Disney Magic and Disney Wonder. They'll be two decks higher and will carry 2,500 passengers, double occupancy. However, because Disney's load factor is the highest in the industry at 150 percent (remember: lots of kids), the typical passenger count onboard will be closer to 3,750. Currently, Disney Magic and Disney Wonder can carry a full capacity of 2,400.
Until today, few details have emerged about these new ships. What we do know is that Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy will be similar in theme and ambience to the existing vessels, evoking design of classic, 1930's ocean liners, and featuring multiple places where families can spend time together and apart (adult-only facilities). They'll have the same color palette as Mickey Mouse.
Back to the names -- well, they're not exactly original. After all, Dream and Fantasy are both names of Carnival cruise ships. We were feeling creative, however, and wrote a little fairy tale about the birth of Disney's upcoming vessels. Gather round for the story -- and if you feel inspired, write your own!
--by Dan Askin, Assistant Editor