There's no doubt Disney Cruise Line has a soft spot for Disney Magic, the ship that gave the line a name in the cruise industry. And, as of fall 2013 -- when the ship received its 15th-birthday refurb -- Disney has all the more reason to celebrate.
Like its three fleetmates, Magic sports a nostalgic ocean liner appearance with a navy blue hull and red funnels (customized with Mickeys, of course). While the cabins have been refreshed with new carpet and furnishings, it retains the nautical decor prevalent on all Disney's sister ships. (And, yes, the hidden Mickeys are still there.) But, despite these similarities, post-refurb Magic lives up to its big sister title with a number of company firsts.
Among them are the AquaDunk, a thrilling slide version of the AquaDuck found on Dream and Fantasy; Carioca's, a Brazilian-style main dining room; and Become Iron Man, a virtual game, found in the children's play area, that lets kids interact suit up as Iron Man. Other upgrades include a brand-new look to the kids areas, expanded water play areas (including a toddler splash zone), updated dining areas and re-imagined entertainment areas like the adults-only bar district and spa.
Disney Magic's Art Deco design elements are evident in all of its public spaces, including its newly redesigned atrium. There are a few Disney-themed venues that are appropriately colorful and exuberant, but most of the ship's appeal lies in the fact that it's truly designed for everyone, not just Disney fanatics and kids.
If you're trying to decide between Magic (or its twin sister Wonder) and the cruise line's newest ships, know this: Magic has a more intimate feel than its larger sisters, which makes it easier to get to know your fellow passengers, keep track of family members and have the sense that you've experienced everything the ship has to offer, even on shorter sailings.