“Storytelling is at the heart of everything we do” says Joe Lanzisero, senior creative VP for Walt Disney Imagineering. “Walt Disney was a master storyteller and knew how to engage people’s emotions into stories. Our job is to take what we learned from Walt and apply it to the experiences on board our ships.”
From small children to teens and adults, everyone has a space to have fun in the sun and in the water. The most obvious and appealing additions for the kids are up on the top decks, where the 40ft drop of the spectacular AquaDunk flume ride is truly exhilarating. It’s a three story body slide that begins with a surprise launch – riders step inside a translucent tube and await the near-vertical launch that takes place when the floor beneath them opens like a trap door (yikes). The drop sends you on an exciting ride in a translucent tube that extends 20 feet over the side of the ship (you do need to be taller than 4 feet or 1.2m to go on this ride).
Younger children have the luxury of a completely rebuilt and enhanced interactive water playground – the AquaLab for children 3 and older and there is also a fabulous array of pop-jets, bubblers and geysers in a totally fun setting with Donald Duck’s mischievous nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, there is also a new water slide, Twist ‘n Spout, that takes riders down through three large loops over more than 250ft of vivid yellow flume:-
Inside the ship, additional key improvements include the Disney’s Oceaneer Club (open to 3-12 year old’s) which now has a totally new space for children to enter into the Marvel Universe:-
Marvel’s The Avengers make their presence known with Marvel’s Avengers Academy whereby children can immerse themselves and interact with the super heroes:-
You can actually get to “virtually” wear one of Iron Man’s suits during a simulated training experience on a video screen display. this fully interactive experience is complete with lighting effects, immersing the young heroes in the experience. The training simulation concludes with a fast paced flight test to get kids used to jetting around in the suit!
Adjacent to this is Andy’s Room, a larger than life, multi-level space with a stock of all Andy’s favourite toys for the kids to play on and with:-
The enchanted land of Tinker Bell and her fairy friends comes alive in Pixie Hollow where children can sit on toadstools and play with a variety of computer games or dress up in costume – I have no idea why at the time of the photo there were three fully grown men playing in there:-
In Mickey Mouse Club the room is splashed with Mickey’s signature colours of red, yellow and black, kids can create crafts and play games on ear-shaped tables. The club also features Goofy Gears, an oversized activity where kids play with magnetic spinning gears:-
Then this takes you through to a very large space – Disney’s Oceaneer Lab again for 3-12 year olds. It’s a pirate themed area where kids are encouraged to create, play and explore. an animator’s studio, a pirate workshop and lab lets them get hands-on to create experiments and art projects – you can even cook! Oh to be young again:-
For teenagers there is a cool den for them to hang out in called “Vibe” which gives them their own space to chill, play games and it has it’s own bar…and they can of course make use of the spa and so on – which I will write about separately (as one of my favourite places):-