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Dream Christening Cruise 2011 Archives

January 30, 2011

Disney Dream Christening Cruise Photos - The Adult Areas

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The Disney Dream has a number of areas that are for adults only - or for adults only during the evening hours, at least. I took some photos of those, too, though unfortunately didn't have a chance to enjoy any of them. Next time...

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The Quiet Cove Pool on deck 11 forward is reserved for use exclusively by those 18 or older.

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Adjacent to the pool is the Cove Cafe, also reserved for those 18 and older. There's lots of cozy chairs to sit in, and it serves specialty coffee and tea drinks as well as mixed beverages.

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The Waves bar is located on deck 12 aft. While not in an adult exclusive area, it certainly caters more to adults, serving beer and other adult beverages.

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The District, on deck 4 aft, is certainly the most extensive adult-oriented area on the ship. Almost all of the lounges are for adults only during the evening hours.

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687 gets its name from the Disney Dream's identification number at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany.

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687 is a sports bar and offers family activities during the day but is reserved for adults at night.

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"Pink" was one of my favorite areas. It's really a beautiful lounge.

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Pink serves a pink Tattinger champagne created exclusively for Disney. In addition to champagne cocktails and wine they serve a selection of scotches and cognacs.

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Skyline will make you believe you're looking out over the city skyline of a different city every 15 minutes or so.

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The art around the room also changes to reflect the current city skyline, as does the background music.

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Rio de Janiero is pictured here, there's also New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, and Los Angeles. There are themed drinks for each locale, also.

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Evolution is the adult dance club.

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The decor is inspired by the transformation of a butterfly.


AllEars was invited media and guests of the Disney Cruise Line on the Christening Cruise.



January 27, 2011

Disney Dream Christening Cruise Photos - Around the Ship

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Since many of you seem to want to see more photos of the ship, here's some miscellaneous photos from various areas on-board (and even a couple of exterior shots). I have additional photos from the two shows and the Adult areas that I will post later.

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Play area in the "it's a small world" nursery

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The "Magic Play Floor" in the Oceaneer Club

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Play area in the Oceaneer Lab

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Mosaic near the Guest Services desk

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Gangway on Castaway Cay

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The stern from the dock at Castaway Cay

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Part of the cast of "Believe"

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One of the funnels at night

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Lights on the AquaDuck - it is sometimes open at night.

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Finale of the Buccaneer Blast fireworks show

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Mosaic inside Cabanas

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The ornate women's restroom outside Palo and Remy

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The running track on deck 4 - it is .4 miles around.

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Lounge area on deck 4 above the Atrium.

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Fish sculpture

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The entrance to Animator's Palate

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Dinnerware at Animator's Palate - I loved the palette knife shape for the bread knives.

More photos still to come!

 

AllEars was invited media and guests of the Disney Cruise Line on the Christening Cruise.


Disney Dream - The Wave Phones

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There have been quite a few questions about the Wave phone, like this from Melissa:

Tell us some more about the Wave Phones, are they meant to leave the room and be carried around the ship? How many per stateroom are there?

We're sailing in March with a family of 4 and were planning on bringing walkie-talkies for each of us. Does this effectively replace that need?

So I thought I would try to answer some of those by telling you what I know about them. For one thing, they have been in use aboard the Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder since December.

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1. There are two phones per stateroom. You may rent additional phones but there is a per-day fee for them. They are rechargeable, and plug into a unit on the desk for recharging. You may charge one phone at a time. An instruction manual is included with the phones.

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2. The Wave phones replace the pagers that parents with children in Youth Activities were previously issued. Now parents should carry a Wave phone with them instead, in case they need to be contacted.

3. The phones work aboard ship and on Castaway Cay.

4. If the phones are lost, damaged, or not returned to the stateroom there is a $250 charge per phone that will be charged to the stateroom account. Bear that in mind when deciding who to entrust with one.

5. You may dial Wave phone to Wave phone, Wave phone to stateroom phone, or any shipboard phone to Wave phone. Each Wave phone has a unique number.

6. The Wave phones can send and receive both voice messages and text messages.

7. The Wave phone has calculator, calendar, and stopwatch features. You may also set one-time or recurrent alarms.

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8. You may customize contact lists, caller filtering, audio and display settings, key shortcuts, etc.

9. There are both speakerphone and "mute" modes.

10. The status of the battery charge appears on the display. The battery symbol flashes and a tone sounds when it is almost completely discharged.


Deb Koma's comments on using the Wave phones:

1. I thought they were fairly easy to use. I could figure out the basics even without reading the instructions.

2. The ring was low, but I didn't check to see if you could make it louder. It also vibrated, which is what usually got my attention.

3. I liked that you could not only leave messages, but also send text messages.

4. I made and received calls both within the ship and to and from Castaway Cay, and they seemed to work well.


Deb Wills said that she didn't find them very intuitive, and thought they were a little bit confusing - but also admits she never read the instructions. :-)


Hope that helps answer some of your questions - if you have used them and have any additional information or opinions on them please let us know!



January 26, 2011

Disney Dream Christening Cruise - The Food

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It wouldn't be a cruise without a food blog, right??? :-) Since the cruise was so short, I'm also going to include a couple of meals we had before/after the cruise.

After I arrived Monday night, Deb Wills and I had dinner at Narcoossee's - I'd never been there before. She asked for a window table, which was awesome, because at the end of our dinner we were able to see Wishes from there! Though it was foggy that evening (it had rained heavily earlier in the day) and that obscured the fireworks. Interesting effect, though.

Back to dinner...I started off the the Butternut Squash and Tomato Bisque. It was really good - creamy and nicely flavored. Though if the name hadn't had "tomato" in it I wouldn't have known there were tomatoes in it - I couldn't taste them. Which was fine - it was still a yummy soup.

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Deb had the Caesar Salad - it was a Caesar salad. :-)

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I ordered the Crispy Whole Snapper. Our server Debbie warned us that it was the WHOLE fish - head, tail, fins, bones and all, but I was game to try it anyway. I loved the way it was presented - it looked like it was swimming among some underwater grasses! I had to ask Debbie how to eat it, though - she said to go through the "pockets" that were on the sides. It was a bit of a challenge. It came with a soy-lime vinaigrette, which Debbie said was a little spicy so I asked for it on the side. And I'm glad I did, because it was also full of fresh ginger, which I don't like very much. It was served on a bed of basmati rice and charred green beans with some julienned peppers. The fish was good - nice and moist, but it wasn't great, and it seemed like too much work for too little reward. I wouldn't get it again.

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Deb had the Tanglewood Farms Chicken Breast with green beans, and she enjoyed that.

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Our "dessert" was watching Wishes from our table - that was a sweet treat all by itself!

The next morning Deb and I met Mike Newell (of Mouse World Radio and the WDW Today podcast) for breakfast at The Wave - another restaurant that was new to me! They have been doing a trial run of offering a breakfast buffet (it's currently scheduled through the end of January, but may be extended if guest feedback warrants it) and we all decided to try that. It's $18.49 for adults which includes coffee and juice, so considering the prices on the regular menu, you don't pay much more for the buffet than you would for a regular breakfast. (Kids are $10.99.) It also offers just about everything that is on the breakfast menu anyway, so we could try a lot of different things. One of the things I enjoyed was the sweet potato pancakes. And the cheese grits were also very good. We had a very helpful server and the food was good - I'd definitely do that again.

The Wave Breakfast Buffet at Contemporary

Ok, so *finally* I'm getting to the food on the Disney Dream! :-)

After we boarded we went to Enchanted Garden for lunch. This restaurant is inspired by the gardens of Versailles, and makes it seem like you are attending a (very large) garden party - eating under vine-covered trellises, surrounded by fountains and greenery. The lighting in the ceiling overhead changes from day to night, but since we were only there for lunch we didn't see that. The tables seemed very crowded and close together.

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Lunch was a buffet, with peel-and-eat shrimp and crab legs, salads, fruit, sandwiches, and various hot entrees like chicken, fish, and carved prime rib. Of course we could just help ourselves to the buffet, but we had a hard time getting beverage service - Deb had to flag people down several times (by which point we'd ALL been through the buffet) before someone took our orders. That was disappointing, and VERY atypical.

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Dinner that night was in the Royal Palace restaurant. This was just beautiful - I loved this inlaid marble floor at the entrance.

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It's very elegant with marble columns, crystal chandeliers, and wooden chairs with brocade upholstery. I'd love for this to be my restaurant on a formal night! (Though do they have formal nights on the shorter 3-5 night cruises that the Dream will be making?)

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There were three other lively ladies seated with us - Beryl, Carol, and Dawn, and between us we tried just about everything on the menu. The menu is HERE, if you want to follow along.

I remember what I had, but am not really too sure about anyone else, but I'll offer whatever comments I remember that others made about their dishes.

My appetizer was the Double Baked Spinach Souffle - coated with a three cheese cream. This was pretty rich, but very tasty, and I enjoyed it.

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For the soup/salad course I ordered Belle's French Onion Soup with gruyere cheese crouton. It was hot and cheesy and a good serving size - not too big and not too small.

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DebK and Beryl ordered the Avocado-Citrus Salad with Iceberg and Radicchio leaves and an orange vinaigrette, but were very disappointed in it. Too much iceberg lettuce and very little flavor in the avocado and vinaigrette.

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And the Royal Market Green Salad - cherry tomato, cucumbers, peppered goat cheese, and a raspberry vinaigrette was a nice salad. It seemed as though they should have used this lettuce mix with the Avocado-Citrus salad.

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My entree was the Double Cut Rack of Lamb with a Dijon Crust with fine green beans, gratin potatoes and rosemary jus. I enjoyed this, though the lamb was just a tad tough. The serving size was fine for me, but a bigger eater would've wanted something more.

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DebK tried the Roasted Wild Boar Tenderloin - sweet carrot and onion potato cake with a red currant reduction. Wild boar is something she's had elsewhere, and she said this was good. (It apparently tastes like beef and not chicken. :-) )

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Beryl had one of the signature dishes, Oven-Baked Salmon Royale - Crowned with King Smoked Salmon and horseradish crust accompanied by sauteed swiss chard, truffle-infused cauliflower puree and white wine beurre blanc.

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DebW had the Baked Farm-Raised Organic Chicken Breast filled with escarole, raisins, and pine nuts on wild rice with a red wine reduction.

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For dessert, DebW and I both had one of the no sugar added desserts, Chocolate Ganache served with Breton Sable and mango coulis. I was very impressed with the no sugar added desserts I had on the Disney Magic last year and often chose them over the regular desserts (for some reason the chocolate dessert was often the no sugar added one). This one did not disappoint - it was chocolatey and rich and really good. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it!

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DebK is a creme brulee fan, and really enjoyed her Tahitian vanilla creme brulee. The pink meringue cookie thing really didn't work with it, though.

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Thursday night was dinner at Animator's Palate. Animator's Palate received a major technological upgrade on the Disney Dream, and is much different than it is on the Magic and Wonder.

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I don't really want to spoil the experience for those of you who would like to be surprised, but I think you've probably already heard enough that if I say it's "Disney Dining Meets Turtle Talk with Crush" that won't give away too much. It's definitely a much more interactive experience than ever before. It was a little bit distracting, though - some people might not like that, but I enjoyed it. If you're not at a table along the sides of the room I don't think you'll feel quite as involved, though - so for a change the tables along the perimeter of the room are the desirable ones! I think I like this new version of the restaurant better, but I have to say that I missed seeing the servers become more colorful as the evening went on.

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DebK was dining at Palo, and DebW was hob-nobbing with Bob Iger and Tom Staggs (I'm not kidding, she really was!!!), so they missed dinner. Dawn had a business dinner, so it was just Beryl, Carol and me. So we didn't have quite as many items off the menu as we did the previous night.

The menu is almost exactly the menu I had at Animator's Palate aboard the Disney Magic last year with the exception of dessert. When I looked back at my food blog from that cruise, I see I ordered the same appetizers and entree this time! LOL! Well, I'm consistent. :-)

My appetizer was one of the best things I've ever had on any of my cruises - the Sesame-flavored Rock Shrimp and Caramelized Onion Cheesecake - with Asian barbecue sauce and topped with micro greens. When they bring it out it looks like dessert! It's a very generous serving. I didn't taste the "sesame" flavor in the rock shrimp, but the "cheesecake" is light and flavored with herbs. I enjoyed every bite!

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Beryl tried the Smoked Salmon Tartare - capers, onions, and micro greens topped with American black caviar, seasoned with Celtic salt.

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There were two soups that looked good, and since I hadn't had much for lunch and was hungry I ordered both of them. :-) The Baked Potato and Cheddar Cheese Soup with bacon bits and chives was very good - not as rich and "heavy" as that kind of soup can be. I really enjoyed it.

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But I was disappointed in the Creamy Butternut Squash Soup garnished with chives and drizzled with sour cream. I'd had it on the Magic and liked it, but this was pretty thin and it tasted like squash. (Butternut squash soup NEVER tastes like squash!!!) There were no seasonings that I could taste. I only had a couple of spoonfuls of it.

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Beryl ordered the Curly Endive, Arugula and Watercress Salad - sliced peaches, toasted almonds and tossed with a sherry vinaigrette. She enjoyed this much more than the salad she'd had the night before since it wasn't full of iceberg. She did request more dressing, though.

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My entree was the Black Bean Chipotle Cakes over corn kernels and brown rice topped with tomato-cilantro salsa. It was really good, though not as spicy as I expected with the word "chipotle" in the name. It was also quite filling.

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Carol ordered the Animator's Trio of Veal - Grilled tenderloin, pulled shank and tortellacci pasta with a sun-dried tomato and sage reduction and garnished with a potato crisp. She enjoyed it - she said the pulled veal was especially interesting.

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Beryl tried the Marinated Angus Beef Tenderloin carved to order on wasabi mashed potatoes with bok choy and a tamarind-barbecue reduction. She said the beef was very good.

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The dessert menu was different than on my Med cruise - I think this one had some more appealing selections. I had the Crunchy Walnut Cake - dark chocolate mousse and raspberry coulis. With a name like that I wasn't expecting it to be a chocolate dessert, but it was, and it was quite good.

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Beryl had the Sweet Temptations - trio of Crunchy Walnut Cake, Pineapple Financier and Lemon Mousse.

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Carol had the Chocolate Brownie Cheesecake - with whipped cream and raspberry coulis.

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Our final meal on-board was breakfast back at Animator's Palate on Friday morning. We were the early seating, so breakfast was at 6:45. Yikes. There weren't very many people in the dining room at that hour - none of our table companions were there. I was very disappointed in the restaurant decor - all of the displays were dark when we arrived - not even the "end-of-the-evening" sketches we'd had the night before! Eventually they turned on just the generic "Animator's Palate" logo, though.

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The menu for debarkation day is the same in all of the restaurants - it's a pretty typical breakfast menu. Though one thing I always forget on Disney cruise ships is how they serve the hashed browns - instead of fried potatoes they are deep-fried potato patties.

I wasn't really up for a big breakfast, so I ordered fruit, yogurt, wheat toast, and hot tea. (Which is more than I eat for breakfast at home.) Our server said: "That's all?", so I ordered a side of bacon, too. :-) I should have said a half side - it was a lot of bacon, and I really only wanted a couple of pieces. I had a couple of pastries, too - a chocolate croissant and a yummy twist with some chocolate chips in it.

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I think Deb and Deb both had the Route 66 - scrambled eggs and hash browns with bacon, grilled sausage, or grilled ham.

Friday afternoon after we'd checked in at our resort we went to Downtown Disney for lunch, to the building that houses Pollo Campero, Fresh A-Peel, and, most importantly, DTD BabyCakes NYC.

I went to Pollo Campero and had their 1/4 Citrus Grilled Chicken Meal. There is a choice of sides (with unusual selections like yucca fries and sweet plantains) and I chose the black beans and white rice. It was really good - the chicken was moist and flavorful. It also came with two warm corn tortillas. The price was quite reasonable, too - $6.99.

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DebK and DebW had lunch from Fresh A-Peel instead. DebK had the Savory Chicken Salad Wrap - citrus grilled chicken, with sweet onion, celery hearts, fresh basil, lemon juice, and black pepper for $5.99. It was very good-sized and she enjoyed it.

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DebW had the Citrus-Grilled Chicken Chop Salad - Mixed greens, roasted corn, red peppers, and black beans with pineapple vinaigrette for $6.99. She'd had this before and likes it.

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For dessert we went to the BabyCakes counter (all three are in the same interior space - Pollo Campero and Fresh A-Peel share a checkout area, but you pay at BabyCakes' counter). This is a vegan bakery, so all of their items are dairy free and egg free, but most of them are also gluten free and soy free! You might think they are also taste free but that is completely wrong. Had I not known that everything I tried was "free" of all those things I never would have known. Everything was delicious. They use agave nectar or unrefined sugar as their sweetener. I asked Emily, the manager, what she would recommend for a chocoholic like me, and she suggested the brownie cupcake with vanilla frosting and the chocolate crunch doughnut. They were both terrific, but I think the doughnut was my favorite - it was really more like eating cake. I'd really like to know how they make a yummy frosting without dairy or powdered sugar!

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That night we had dinner at the Turf Club at Saratoga Springs. This was kind of a mixed experience - we didn't have very good service, and while I really enjoyed my dinner, Deb and Deb weren't quite as happy with theirs.

I started with the Tomato Bisque - served with Herbed Goat Cheese. It was very good.

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My entree was the Sustainable Fish, which was snapper, with whole grain rice pilaf, spinach, and Cherry Tomato Buerre Blanc. It was much better than the snapper I had at Narcoossee's earlier in the week and I really enjoyed it.

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Deb and Deb had the Pork Chop - with Three Cheese Casserole and Red Onion Jam. They said the pork was good, but did not care for the casserole, which was pasta shells and cheese.

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Since we still had some BabyCakes goodies back at the room we didn't have dessert.

So there you have it - since it was a short cruise we didn't get the opportunity to have dinner in the Enchanted Garden, but I enjoyed the two restaurants that I did experience. And I was happy to have the opportunity to try several restaurants at WDW that were new to me. The best surprise was BabyCakes - we'll definitely be visiting there again.

 

AllEars was invited media and guests of the Disney Cruise Line on the Christening Cruise.



January 25, 2011

Disney Dream - Senses Spa

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Senses Spa & Salon is located on deck 11 of the Disney Dream, with some additional treatment rooms on deck 12. The 16,000 square foot facility contains a state-of-the-art fitness center, barbershop, hair & nail salon, hot tubs, and sauna, as well as a variety of treatment rooms offering services such as massages, algae wraps and facials.

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Barbershop
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The Smile Spa offers teeth whitening services.
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The 2,500 square foot fitness center includes equipment for cardiovascular workouts and weight training, as well as group classes such as Pilates, yoga, and spinning.
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Chill is the spa facility exclusively for teens ages 13-17, offering spa services designed specifically for them.
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In the Rainforest guests can choose any number of ways to relax and renew.
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Lay back on heated tile beds with a view of the ocean.
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Or soak your cares away in a whirlpool tub.
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Relax in the dry heat of the Turkish hamam.
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Or if you prefer steam, there's also an ocean-view sauna.
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Refresh yourself in one of the four themed showers - each with its own scents and sounds.
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Relax in one of the recliners as you listen to soothing music.
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The beverage station offers cool water and a selection of teas.
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There are two spa villas, where couples can enjoy a private treatment room and an outdoor veranda with its own whirlpool tub and shower.
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One of the villas is accessible.
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Treatment room
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Guests can have a custom scrub made for them, with either a salt or sugar base plus the addition of herbs of their choosing.
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Spa services may be booked in advance, or while on-board the ship. Book early for the best availability - and remember that spa services are most in demand on sea days.

Ahhhhh......

 

AllEars was invited media and guests of the Disney Cruise Line on the Christening Cruise.



January 23, 2011

Disney Dream Christening Cruise Photos - Christening, Embarkation, Stateroom

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A lot of you have said you want to see more photos, so I thought I'd put together a photo blog of the christening ceremony, boarding the ship, and a tour of our stateroom.

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Tinker Bell starts off the Christening Ceremony!
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The huge bottle of dreams that will be used to christen the ship
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This was a great moment - Tom Staggs spoke about the crew members aboard the Dream, and how they will be helping to make guest's dreams come true, and then the crew members came to the side of the ship and cheered and waved flags.
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Tom Staggs and Captain Mickey introduce the Disney Dream's Godmother, Jennifer Hudson.
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A helicopter lifts the bottle of dreams and positions it next to the bow of the ship...
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Jennifer Hudson christens the Disney Dream:
"May God bless this ship and all who sail on her."
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The newly christened Disney Dream
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In the cruise terminal, waiting for our boarding group to be called.
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Plaque on the wall just as we stepped off the gangway and onto the ship.
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"The Disney Dream welcomes the AllEars family!"
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Admiral Donald Duck
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The Atrium is three decks high.
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Looking up at the magnificent, Italian-crafted chandelier
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To really see it, go up to deck 4 or 5.
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Heading to our stateroom - the midship elevator lobby on deck 8.
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Our stateroom!
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Getting ready to open the door for the first time!
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Just hold your Key to the World card in front of the black sensor box.
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Our stateroom!

Here's a stateroom tour, from stepping into the room out to the veranda. We were in a Category 5 - Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Veranda. It was on the starboard side, just a little bit forward of midship.

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Place your key card just inside the door to enable the cabin lights.
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Toilet room to the right.
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Closet with safe to the left.
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Bathtub and shower room to the right.
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Sink and vanity in tub/shower room.
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Other half of closet to the left. (Ladder is for access to the pull-down bed.)
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Queen bed on the right. Pillowtop mattress with a duvet - so comfortable! It was a dream bed.
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Artwork on the wall to the left.
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Sofa on the right - converts to a bed.
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Desk, chair, TV, mirror on the left
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The desk, with ship information, light switches and electrical outlets.
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"Wave Phone" walkie talkies - these can be used aboard ship to communicate with those in your party, or those in other staterooms, if you know their number.
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Veranda on the starboard side.

There's still lots more photos to come! If you have specific things you'd like to see please let us know - use the section below to submit a comment, or send email to allearsnet@yahoo.com.

 

AllEars was invited media and guests of the Disney Cruise Line on the Christening Cruise.



January 22, 2011

Disney Dream - The AquaDuck

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Since many of you seem very interested in the AquaDuck (even my mom's first question to me was: "Did you ride the water coaster?") I thought I'd write about that next.

I was able to ride the AquaDuck three times - and it's a lot of fun. You ride in a raft (which will hold one or two people) through a mostly clear tube on a stream of water. It's 765 feet long and goes down about 46 feet in total. There is a loop that actually goes out over the side of the ship and two little uphill sections. The water flows at a rate of 10,000 gallons/minute.

The ride is shorter than I thought - only about 45 seconds from the time you board the raft until you're getting off in the unloading zone.

Here's a video Lee put together with some AquaDuck footage, including clips from several of my rides:

So how does it work? The access to the stairway is from deck 12 midship, port side,, near the aft funnel. Then you climb about 80 steps (I didn't count them) up to deck 16, which is the loading area. The rafts are carried up to the loading area by a conveyor belt - a cast member pulls off the next available raft and sets it down on the loading belt. You'll be riding an inflatable raft with two seating compartments. If there are two people riding the larger sits in back with the smaller in front. Singles sit in the back. There are handles on both sides to hold onto. When you're ready and the CM gets the ok light on the control panel they push a button and the conveyor belt moves forward, moving the raft into the water tube.

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You're immediately in the loop, moving fast enough that you hardly have time to notice what's going on - especially that you are hanging 12' off the side of the ship and 150' over the water!

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Then you're at the first dip, where you're suddenly propelled up a small hill - you'll get water dumped down your back at this point!

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Then you're in the clear part of the tube on the port side straightaway where you can see all around you, including the deck below - wave to your friends!

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There's a second dip (more water down the back) before you go around the forward funnel.

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You slow down as you travel through the starboard side straightaway, then enter the enclosed tube around the aft funnel.

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Then it's time to come to a stop in the unloading area where a cast member holds onto the raft while you step out to your left and exit down the steps back to deck 12. The cast member takes care of returning the raft back to the loading area.

My observations...it was a lot shorter than I thought it was going to be, based on simulations and test rides I'd seen on the Disney Parks blog - I expected to be on it longer.

The stream of water moves pretty fast in the first half. After you go around the forward funnel it slows down noticeably, and is more of a "lazy river" experience.

I was a little concerned that on the dips I might bottom out or jar my butt or back but that didn't happen at all - I just got water dumped down my back. The water is heated, so it wasn't really unpleasant - just a bit of a surprise the first time. (And yes, I screamed.) You don't get that wet other than that dump down the back - I've gotten a whole lot wetter on Kali Rapids. Someone in the front might not get very wet at all.

I really did not notice that I was hanging out over the side of the ship in that first turn - it all happened so fast.

The raft is very stable - I never felt like it was going to overturn or that I was going to fall out (and even if I did there was no place to fall - you're inside the tube until the very end). In the faster parts (especially the turn) the raft does climb up the side of the tube, but again, it never felt precarious.

They dispatch the rafts about every 30 seconds. The ride takes about 45 seconds from send-off to final splashdown.

I am not claustrophobic, but the tube generally feels "open" because most of it is clear. The only places you can't see out around you are when going around the two funnels and on the two uphill pushes, plus briefly when entering it at the very top. I'd say the tube is approximately four feet in diameter.

There is a height requirement of 48" inches. There is also a minimum weight requirement - I saw one raft get a little bit stuck up near the top because the occupant wasn't heavy enough, but it was only a second or two before she was moving right along.

I have been asked if it is handicap accessible. Unfortunately I forgot to ask that question, but I don't see how it could be - there does not seem to be any access to the loading area other than by those who are ambulatory and can climb the stairs.

The line was pretty short when I was riding it, since the ship was no where near capacity on the Christening Cruise. So my waits were in the 5-10 minute range. I think it's going to be a whole lot longer than that in the future - remember, they only send two rafts per minute. We asked, and at this point there are no plans to implement any kind of Fastpass or reservation system.

Loose items are not permitted, and cast members caution against riding while wearing sunglasses, visors, hats, flip-flops or other items that can come off during the ride. There are lockers on deck 12, just around the corner from the unload area, where these items can be stored temporarily.

I don't know the hours of operation - my observation was that if the pool area was open the AquaDuck was open. If you have better info please let me know.

This is great fun - I didn't see anyone who didn't come off smiling and wanting to ride again. The adults were having at least as much fun as the kids!

If you have additional information on the AquaDuck, or if you have ridden it and would like to share your experience, please use the section below to submit feedback or send a comment.

 

AllEars was invited media and guests of the Disney Cruise Line on the Christening Cruise.



January 21, 2011

Disney Dream Primer for Repeat Disney Cruisers

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Since we know many of you have cruised on the Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder, we thought that one of the first things you would be interested in is knowing what some of the differences are between the Dream and the ships that you are familiar with. So Deb Wills and I put our heads together and came up with some things that we thought you might want to know.

These are not really in any particular order, though I have tried to group them logically.

It's all so BIG!
One of the first things you'll notice is that it all seems much bigger. And of course it IS a lot bigger. To me it felt like the distance between the aft stairwell and the mid-ship stairwell was at least as far as between the aft and forward stairwells on the Magic.
Dining rooms are larger.
The elevators are larger.
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There are more decks, so the locations of things like the pools, beverage station, and sports deck are 2-3 decks higher than before.
The Walt Disney Theater is larger, and has a balcony level. It can be accessed from either decks 3 or 4.
There are more retail shops, and the shops are larger, though the duty free shop which sells alcohol has been moved to the retail area.

"You can't get there from here."

You'll have to learn your way around - some things are very familiar, but some things are very different. I found it frustrating sometimes.
Palo and Remy are on deck 12, but you can't get to them from deck 12. The easiest way is to go to the aft elevator/stairwell on just about any other deck, and then go up to deck 12.
If you're on deck 11, then your access to the aft elevator/stairwell is through Cabanas - which turns Cabanas into a passageway. I found this quite maddening and very poorly designed - I don't want to go through a restaurant to get to the stairs!

Staterooms

The staterooms are actually a little SMALLER on the Dream - 10-20 square feet generally. We thought they were just a little narrower.
The door lock mechanism is different - rather than sliding your Key to the World card you just wave it in front of the sensor and the door unlocks.
TAKE NOTICE OF THIS TIP! To turn the lights on in your room you must put a room key in the slot that's just inside the door, and leave it there while you are in the room. If you remove the key the lights inside the bathroom(s) immediately go off - I did that to Deb accidentally one time. There is a grace period for the rest of the room lights, but we didn't test it - it's at least 30 seconds, though. It's an energy-saving feature, so that's a good thing, but if you don't know about it, you could be sitting in the dark! We'd been told about it when we checked in for the cruise, and our stateroom hostess also made sure to tell us about it when she came to our room that first day.
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The TV is a flat screen, which is nice since it takes up less room. It has a menu system when you first turn it on, with categories like information and movies. Honestly, I never did figure out how to operate it.
The pull-down bed was larger than I expected, and not as close to the ceiling. We didn't use it, but there are stars on the ceiling above it.
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The bed does not separate into two beds like it does on the Magic and Wonder. But the bed has been raised and there's room to store suitcases under it now - that was very nice.
There are two clotheslines in the tub area.

Shows and Entertainment

Disney's Believe is an all-new show, featuring lots of great Disney music and some really fun dance numbers. I loved the Mary Poppins scene.
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Golden Mickeys has some new scenes and includes characters from more recent movies, like Rapunzel, UP and Princess and the Frog.
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There are two different on deck shows on Pirate Night - an early more family-oriented show, Mickey's Pirates in the Caribbean, and a later show which follows the fireworks: Club Pirate. The latter features Jack Sparrow.
The fireworks show, Buccaneer Blast, takes place more towards the middle of the ship than behind it, which offers good viewing from a lot more locations. Those in cabins on the starboard side of the ship should be able to see it from their rooms.
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The District, the adult entertainment area, has many more options, like Pink, the champagne bar, and Skyline, which showcases different cities around the world.

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Recreation
The AquaDuck is the new 765 foot long water coaster. It's accessed from deck 12 midship. We'll have a lot more information on this!
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Goofy's Sports Deck has a miniature golf course.
The family pool and kids' pools are in the same area, not separated like they are on the Magic and Wonder.
The kid's splash area, Nemo's Reef, is in a shaded area to protect the little ones from the sun.
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Enchanted Art - this was one of my favorites. There are 22 pictures around the ship which look like any of the other artwork, but when people stop to look at it, it comes to life.

Dining
The two new restaurants are Royal Palace on deck 3, and Enchanted Garden on deck 2. They are both just beautiful. Enchanted Garden looks like an outdoor garden on a sunny day during the day, while at night the light changes from sunset to starlight.
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I really loved Royal Palace, with its elegant crystal chandeliers, marble columns, and brocade-covered chairs.
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Animator's Palate has been completely updated with all new technology allowing diners to interact with characters from Finding Nemo. I thought it was a lot of fun.
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Cabanas takes the place of Topsiders/Beach Blanket Buffet. It's not a traditional buffet - instead there are different "food pods", making it more like a food court with selections like salads, sandwiches, pizza, pasta, hot entrees and dessert.
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The quick service locations are very much like those on the Magic and Wonder, though with different names. Same types of food, though - pizza, burgers, and salads and sandwiches. There's a dedicated "Eye-Scream" place now. There's also Frozone Treats, a smoothie bar, though there is a charge for smoothies.
There are two 24-hour beverage stations on deck 11 aft, one on the port side and one on the starboard side.
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Shutters is very different. We'll have a lot more details on it, but in a nutshell they have really changed the way that photos are organized, and assign guests a folder in the library where they can store their photos. They use facial recognition technology to help identify the photos.
Senses Spa
The spa area is 16,000 square feet. There are many more treatment rooms.
There is a barber shop for the men, or those who prefer a barber shop to a standard salon.
The new Smile Spa offers a dedicated area for teeth whitening treatments.
There's a hamam - a Turkish bath, featuring dry heat.
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The Chill spa offers spa services to teens and tweens.
There is a "scrub bar" where guests can have a custom scrub made up for them with their choice of ingredients.
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Embarkation and debarkation procedures are the same, though of course with more guests you can expect they might take longer.
Finding your way around is a little harder - the signs identify locations by deck, but do not specify forward/aft/midship.
Some of the public restrooms have the paper towel dispensers under the lights, which makes them hard to find.

I hope this has been helpful. If you have other questions or if you've been on the Dream and have some tips of your own please let us know - you can either comment on this blog or send email to: allearsnet@yahoo.com.

 

AllEars was invited media and guests of the Disney Cruise Line on the Christening Cruise.



January 20, 2011

Disney Dream Christening Cruise - Day 2

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We're on the Dream!!!

The ship is beautiful. It's been an amazing, awesome, and yesterday and today are just totally overwhelming. We've barely touched everything the ship has to offer.

The christening ceremony was spectacular in true Disney fashion - we'll have a video up on youtube after I get home.

Internet service is not very good, so I'm keeping this short. I just got back after riding the AquaDuck three times - it's great fun!

 

AllEars was invited media and guests of the Disney Cruise Line on the Christening Cruise.


January 19, 2011

Disney Dream Christening Cruise - Day 1

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Deb Wills, Deb Koma and I are in Florida, where we have will be sailing on the Christening Cruise of the new Disney Dream ship! We have been invited by Disney attend the media events and go on the cruise. We are so excited!

The actual christening is Wednesday, January 19, and there will be live coverage of it on the Disney Parks Blog (http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/) starting at 10:30 a.m. EST.

We will be on the ship from January 19-21, and will be trying to explore every inch that we possibly can so that we can share it all with you. I am hoping to blog each day, internet connection permitting. But you can bet that we will have tons of photos and answers to your questions once we are on land again. If you have any additional questions, please send them to allearsnet@yahoo.com - we'll have AllEars team members on the first two cruises of the Dream in addition to the Christening Cruise.

Deb Wills and Deb Koma will be sending photos on Twitter, especially on Tuesday while we are still in port. You can follow them:

Deb Wills: @AllEarsDeb
Deb Koma: @dcdeb_allears

It promises to be several exciting days - stay tuned!

Tuesday - some clouds in the morning, but it turned into a beautiful day this afternoon!

From the Polynesian I walked over to the TTC and took the Tronorail to Epcot. I really like the look of the Tronorail from the outside, but it's not so great on the inside - the windows are covered with a heavy screen, so it's a pretty blurry view from inside.

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It was really a beautiful day at Epcot - so much nicer than when I was here in December.

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I felt like saving the world, so I signed up to be an agent for Team Possible. With the help of Kim, Wade, Ron and the gang I foiled nefarious plots in the UK, France, Germany and Japan.

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I've done missions in all of the countries now (America, Italy, Canada, and Morocco apparently don't need saving), and Germany is still my favorite. The zombie villagers and singing beer steins are such a hoot.

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I'd missed Voices of Liberty on my last two trips, but I got to see them today. Love their beautiful voices and harmonies.

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As I was on my way out of the park Stitch was mugging for the cameras.

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We're getting ready for tonight's press event at the Magic Kingdom. Earlier today Disney issued a press release on the new Fantasyland, along with some artist renderings. I expect we'll hear more about that in the Media Briefing tonight. We'll also be seeing the new "The Magic, the Memories and You" castle show. We'll have more on that later.

Ok...we're back from the media event. The castle show was really cool - the projections are pretty awesome, with some great effects. I haven't had time to process too much video yet, but here's some footage of Deb Wills interviewing Eric Jacobson about the Fantasyland expansion.

And here's the world premiere of the new show on the castle: The Magic, the Memories, and You:



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About Dream Christening Cruise 2011

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Salute to All Things Disney but Mostly Disneyland in the Dream Christening Cruise 2011 category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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