Disney Cruise Line’s Dream Ship Introduces Virtual Portholes, Interactive Characters, Water Coaster & More

In tandem with the press conference Disney is holding in New York City surrounding the new Disney Dream and its innovations, USA Today has been releasing additional information, photos and (soon) videos of the individual experiences.

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Disney Cruise Line to Share Its Dream Come True on Thursday

Disney Cruise Line has announced it will make further announcements this Thursday at 4:15 PM EST regarding new details surrounding the Disney Dream coming in 2011.

The evolution will be webcasted. Tune your browsers to http://www.disneycruiselineevents.com/disneydream Thursday afternoon to be one of the first to know all the juicy details. Or tune to it right now if you fancy watching Tinker Bell do her impression of a flashlight UFO from a classic episode of The Brady Bunch.

UPDATE: For all our Disney Dream coverage, click here.

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Purchase A Select Adventures by Disney Departure in 2010, Get a Free 3 Night Cruise

BURBANK, Calif., Oct. 26 — Adventures by Disney announced an exciting new offer designed to help parents and children spend more quality time with each other through family vacations. Consumers purchasing select Adventures by Disney vacations between October 26, 2009 and January 15, 2010 will receive a free three-night Disney Cruise to the Bahamas (www.AdventuresbyDisney.com/freecruise).

Realizing vacations are the perfect time to bond as a family, Adventures by Disney developed a unique offer allowing parents and children to embark on two great Disney vacations, providing another opportunity to spend quality time together. Guests traveling to some of Adventures by Disney’s most popular destinations, ranging from Europe, China, Australia, Costa Rica and the American Southwest will receive a second vacation – a three-night Disney Cruise to the Bahamas – free*. Families have the opportunity to book the cruise through 2011.

Just as Disney Cruise Line revolutionized – and in some ways defined – the family cruise vacation, Adventures by Disney is recreating the way families think about vacationing together. Adventures by Disney invites travelers to experience the world with guided group vacations created especially for families. Guests meet local experts, receive VIP treatment, enjoy exclusive experiences and discover incredible adventures – including special thrills just for kids.

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First Look: Construction Photos of Disney Wonder’s Outlook Cafe Exterior

The Outlook Cafe, located above Signals on Deck 9, features floor-to-ceiling observation windowsThe Disney Wonder is currently in drydock getting some much needed TLC around the ship. In addition miscellaneous repairs, the Cadillac Lounge is getting a new stage and the Animator’s Palate received a new floor.

A completely new addition to the ship is theThe Outlook Cafe, located above Signals on Deck 9, features floor-to-ceiling observation windows Outlook Cafe which is being installed in anticipation of the Wonder’s Alaskan voyages in 2011. Located high atop deck 10, the 2,500-square-foot Outlook Cafe is a stylish retreat for guests to relax and enjoy a beverage or cocktail as they peer out through floor-to-ceiling, curved glass windows at breathtaking vistas. The design of Outlook Cafe is sophisticated with contemporary Art Deco inspiration. An elegant spiral staircase connects Outlook Cafe with the existing Cove Cafe one deck below. The 65-seat lounge has a granite-topped cocktail bar with comfortable seating throughout the space, all providing picture-perfect views of the surrounding landscapes.

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First Look: Castaway Cay’s Expansion, Pelican Plunge

Pelican Plunge at Disney Cruise Line's Castaway CayAs part of the announced expansion for Castaway Cay in anticipation of the larger Disney Cruise Line ships bringing more guests each day to Disney’s private little getaway, we are pleased to bring you your first look at Pelican Plunge. At 2,400-square-feet in area, this floating platform boasts two water slides – an enclosed corkscrew slide and a 140-foot-long open slide – that take guests on a twisting ride, ending with a splash into the lagoon. A giant “bucket dump” will soak guests on the platform.

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Activist Group Tests Waters of Cruise Lines; Questions Environmentality of DCL

Friends of the Earth, a grassroots organization that acts on behalf of environmental activists, just published its first ever ‘Cruise Ship Environmental Report Card‘ in which it ranked the top 10 cruise lines in four different areas. Although a bit crude in its attempt to assign grade letters in what it essentially describes as a Pass/Fail system, the bottom line for its review of the Disney Cruise Line’s current two ships is pretty clear: when it comes to sewage treatment, air pollution and availability of said information, DCL earns a straight F, placing it dead last on the list.

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D23 Expo Update: Camera Policies, Celebrities, ABC, DCL, Fine Art and More

– Additional photography/recording restrictions have been laid down. In addition to no photography of the Treasures of the Archives exhibit, all cameras (and perhaps all electronics/bags) must be checked prior to entering the Arena for the Bob Iger presentation, the 2009 Disney Legends Ceremony on Thursday and the Dick Cook presentation on Friday. Additional panels and screenings also specficially prohibit photography. The D23 Expo schedule has been updated to reflect at least some of these changes.

– The Treasures of the Archive Exhibit will have a delayed opening on Thursday only. The exhibit will open at 12 pm, following the Disney Legends Ceremony

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Disney Cruise Line Creating More Magic at Castaway Cay

CELEBRATION, Fla., Aug. 31 — Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island paradise in the tropical waters of the Bahamas, is getting an extra dose of pixie dust. Enhancements will provide guests with more water-based family-fun, additional conveniences and a slice of beachside luxury all designed to complement the idyllic island setting. The additional island amenities are scheduled to be complete by summer 2010, in time for special five-night cruises aboard the Disney Wonder with two stops at Castaway Cay, and the Disney Dream cruise ship which starts sailing in early 2011.

Castaway Cay is consistently rated by Disney Cruise Line guests as their favorite port of call – the ultimate private island escape for adventure, relaxation and quality time with the family.

“The numerous enhancements and additions planned for Castaway Cay will take the already extraordinary guest experiences on our private island to the next level,” said Disney Cruise Line President Karl Holz. “Whether our guests are seeking recreation or leisure – or a combination of both – they will find it at Castaway Cay, all complemented by unparalleled Disney service.”

Walt Disney Imagineers designed Castaway Cay with one-of-a-kind areas and activities for every member of the family, while celebrating the natural beauty of the 1,000-acre island. Among the crystal-clear turquoise waters, powdery white sand beaches, swaying palm trees and lush landscapes, guests soon will find the following transformations.

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Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Dream Celebrates Building Milestone

(L-R): Disney Cruise Line President Karl Holz, Captain Tom Forberg, Donald Duck and Meyer Werft Shipyard Managing Partner Bernard MeyerPAPENBURG, GERMANY (August 26, 2009) – Today, Disney Cruise Line celebrated the keel laying of the Disney Dream, the first of two newly-designed ships destined to expand family cruise options to more people in more places around the world.

“Since our inception, families have come to know and love Disney Cruise Line, and they are looking for additional ways to enjoy all that we have to offer,” Disney Cruise Line President Karl Holz said during the ceremony at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.  “Our fleet expansion will allow us to satisfy demand on both the East and West coasts of the United States while also giving us the flexibility to explore additional global destinations for our Guests.”

The coin placed in the keel of the Disney DreamThe keel laying ceremony is the first time the Disney Dream will begin to take shape after many years of design work.  In the maritime industry, the ceremony marks a momentous occasion when the first block – or section – of the ship is lowered into the building dock and a coin is placed under the keel for good fortune.

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San Diego Still Wonders About Its Future with Disney Cruise Line

A Union-Tribune article talks with San Diego port cruise program director, Rita Vandergaw, who says Los Angeles can have the Wonder for 2 years, but is hopefult that a planned new state-of-the art facility will provide a ‘permanent’ home for Disney Cruise Line beginning in year three. Article here.

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