Beneath a sprinkling of pixie dust, Disney Cruise Line celebrated the keel laying of the Disney Dream yesterday at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. Disney Dream is 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. “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 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.
Doing the honors of placing the coin (and getting a little help from one of our favorite Disney characters) was Captain Tom Forberg, pictured above. With a distinguished maritime career aboard Disney Cruise Line, Forberg was the first crew member hired and the captain who launched the Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder. Recently, Forberg was named as the future Master of the Disney Dream.
The ship will continue to take its form through a block construction process in which pre-fabricated complete hull sections are joined together in block units and are then brought together to form the ship. The Disney Dream will be made up of 80 blocks, with the first block weighing in at approximately 380 tons.
Designing the Disney Dream
The Disney Dream is scheduled to join the current fleet in 2011, followed by Disney’s second new ship, the Disney Fantasy in 2012. Together the two new ocean liners will more than double the capacity of Disney Cruise Line, each having 1,250 staterooms and a tonnage of 128,000. Synonymous with its name, the Disney Dream will evoke the heritage of the company’s ideals in creating enchanting places and stories where families’ vacation dreams come true.
Bringing together innovation in superb shipbuilding and creativity in imaginative storytelling, Disney Cruise Line and Walt Disney Imagineering, along with the Meyer Werft shipyard have created a truly distinctive design. Like the existing ships, these ocean liners were designed to deliver a unique vacation that every member of the family believes was created just for them. Design details will be revealed later this fall.
Both new ocean liners will call Port Canaveral, Florida, their home, where expansion efforts are underway to accommodate the larger ships and additional guests. In addition to an extension of the dock and enlargements to the one-of-a-kind Disney terminal building, a new multi-level parking structure will be built, complementing the design and storytelling elements of the ships. The new enhancements will provide guests an even more seamless transition from land to sea during their vacation experience.
Based in Celebration, Florida, Disney Cruise Line established the family cruise market when it launched its business in 1998. To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can contact their travel agent, visit DisneyCruise.com or call Disney Cruise Line at (888) DCL-2500 or (407) 566-7000.
For a peek at a week-long Caribbean cruise aboard Disney Cruise Line, check out Cruise Diva's Disney Magic Blog.