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Re-Imagined Magic 2013 Archives

November 5, 2013

Re-Imagined Disney Magic - Dining Part 2

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It was a short two-night cruise and we only had two dinners on board - but they were in both of the "new" restaurants - the updated Animator's Palate and the new Carioca's.

We ate in Animator's Palate the first night. I shared details of the show in Part 1.

Here are some additional photos of the restaurant.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

The artwork in the restaurant now features Pixar characters in addition to classic and contemporary Disney characters.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic
Re-Imagined Disney Magic

The chairs and carpet are new.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic
Re-Imagined Disney Magic

The menu is quite different than the one we experienced on the Magic a little over a year ago. In addition to listing vegetarian and lighter fare, it also highlights gluten free and dairy free options.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

I tried one of the new items - a Tomato Tarte with goat cheese and radish salad. I enjoyed it, it was kind of like a pizza.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Lee had the Black Truffle Pasta Purseittes - pasta filled with truffle-accented cheese served with a champagne sauce. It was quite a generous portion and he liked it.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

The Butternut Squash soup is still on the menu, and Lee tried that and said it was good. It's drizzled with sour cream.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

I tried the Seared Red Snapper with scallops, crushed new potatoes and salsa verde. The fish was nicely cooked, though the salsa could've used a little more of a kick.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Lee ordered the Ginger-Teriyaki dusted Angus Beef Tenderloin, served with wasabi mashed potatoes, bok choy and tamarind-barbecue reduction. It was good, but not the best he's had - he still remembers fondly the tamarind beef from California Grill.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

I couldn't decide on desserts so I ordered two. The Duo Chocolate Cake was one of the no sugar added desserts - layers of brownie and truffle mousse with caramel sauce. The top layer was odd - light, but a kind of grainy texture. The brownie layer was better.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

The White Chocolate Fudge Cheesecake was just ok - I was expecting something a little more chocolatey.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Lee had the Crunchy Walnut Cake. This has been on the menu every time we've eaten at Animator's, but it's been a little different every time. Unfortunately this was not one of the better ones - it's usually more of a chocolate ganache, but this was softer, and "gelatine-y".

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

We had both breakfast and lunch at Cabanas on Saturday. (No photos from breakfast, sorry.) Breakfast was largely the usual fare - scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, waffles, pastries, though there were some more unusual selections also, like grilled tomatoes. They have a very nice Muesli bar with lots of different dried fruits and nuts, though I wish they offered fresh berries. I get oatmeal from a different station and then visit the Muesli bar to liven it up. And I'm not usually a doughnut fan, but they had a small spherical jelly doughnut that was really good!

For lunch they had all kinds of choices - a much better selection that what is available at Lumiere's (and I think the food is better, too). Lots of different hot dishes - fish, chicken, pork, stir fry, side dishes, vegetables - I think there's something to appeal to just about everyone.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic
Re-Imagined Disney Magic

I really like what they've done with Carioca's, the new restaurant that replaced Parrot Cay. It's named after Jose Carioca, from "The Three Caballeros" - I guess it's appropriate that he was a parrot. :-)

Re-Imagined Disney Magic
Re-Imagined Disney Magic

The decor is inspired by festival time in Rio de Janeiro.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

I really enjoyed the colorful lanterns.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

The restaurant seems much brighter and more open.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

The parrot mosaic is still on the wall behind the buffet.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Speaking of the buffet (which is used for breakfast and lunch), at night it's concealed behind this curtain.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

The servers have new costumes:

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

I like the design of the new china.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

The menu is all new with ingredients and dishes inspired by South America and Latin America, like plantains, cassava flour, pork belly, black beans, bananas and pineapple. There were lots of things that looked good - it was hard to decide what to order. For the most part I was very pleased with my selections.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

I started with one of the specialty cocktails - a Caipirosa, which was essentially a more sophisticated sangria made the cabernet sauvignon, blackberries, cranberry juice, lime and "leblon cachaca" (whatever that is!). It was very refreshing.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Lee also ordered one of the specialty drinks, though he didn't realize it was the non-alcoholic one: Panchito with coconut cream, pineapple juice, salted caramel syrup, and lemon juice. The salted caramel syrup gave it a slight butterscotch taste. It was good, but very sweet - he thought it would have been better with some alcohol in it. :-)

Re-Imagined Disney Magic


The bread service was warm banana bread (which most of our table enjoyed) and some seeded rolls, served with a mango mint sauce. Very light on the mint, fortunately.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic
Re-Imagined Disney Magic

For my first course I ordered the Peruvian Causa, which I had first seen on the Disney Parks blog a month or so ago when they did an entry on Carioca's. It's three layers of potatoes: yellow, blue, and white, with olive tomato salsa and huancaina sauce (don't ask me what that is). It was VERY good, though I was surprised that it was served cold. I think it would've been better if it was hot, but I still enjoyed it. It's also very attractive.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Lee had the Empanadas panzudas de carne - an Argentinian beef empanada with chimichurri. He enjoyed that.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

One of our table mates ordered the Ahi Tuna and Avocado Tower with red pepper wasabi, crushed fried plantains, and caviar. Another very attractive dish, and he said it was good.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Another selected the Deep Fried Lobster Croquetas with banana-lentil salad and creamed horseradish. The croqueta was pretty small and there was only one of them. I didn't hear a comment on this one, so I don't know if it was good or not.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

For my second course I tried the Sancocho de Pollo - a spiced chicken and vegetable soup. It was not very spicy, but it was tasty.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Lee ordered Sopa de Frijoles Negros Habanera - Havana-style black bean soup. This doesn't photograph well but it was excellent. (By the way, both of the soups are both gluten-free and dairy-free. The black bean soup is also vegetarian.)

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

I couldn't decide on an entree, so I ordered three. :-) And even with that there were a couple of others I would've liked to try and didn't. First was one of the vegetarian options: Fried Plantain and Malanga Pancakes. It was served over a medley of red and black beans. The pancakes were savory and not sweet - they were just ok. The beans were very good.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

A gluten-free, dairy-free option is the Lobster, Shrimp, and Mahi Mahi Skewers. This was my favorite of the three. It was server over Peruvian quinoa salad with dried mango and pineapple. The quinoa was terrific - the best thing I had all evening. Lee really enjoyed it, too. The lobster, shrimp and mahi mahi were also good.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Another vegetarian selection is Small Corn Tortillas, with Veracruzan refried bean dip, green tomatillo-chile and Salvadoran cabbage slaw. This was very disappointing. For one thing, it was served with flour tortillas and not corn tortillas. I think the idea was to make your own tacos, but the fillings weren't very appealing, and this didn't really feel like an entree.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Lee's entree was interesting - it was called Jose Carioca's, so I guess that makes it the signature entree for the restaurant. Before it was served our server came out and put this at Lee's place setting:

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

The entree includes skewers of grilled Brazilian sausage, adobo chili crusted lamb and beef tenderloin, which are served with Mexican tomato rice, shrimp, chimichurri and lime-garlic orange mojo. As you can see, the skewer stand made for an attractive presentation. Lee said the various meats were just okay - a little dry.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

One of our table mates tried the Slow-Roasted Pork Belly (another one I thought looked good), and he enjoyed it. It was served with crushed sweet potato, creamy grits and collard greens.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

This entree is another one I wanted to try: Grilled Rum-marinated Swordfish with pureed black beans, roasted corn and boniato flakes (gluten-free). It also got a thumbs up.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

The two entrees we didn't try at our table: Grilled Orange and Lemon-Marinated Flank Steak with onion, lime salsa and black bean rice; and Chicken Criollo Salad with roasted cilantro marinate chicken breast, papaya, mango, iceberg, endive, goat cheese and red malanga chips with sherry vinaigrette. Both are gluten-free.

The dessert menu had a lot of interesting choices, though you know me, I'm always looking for a rich chocolate dessert. There was only one option on the menu with chocolate in it, and it was one of the no-sugar added desserts. It was also included as one of the Sweet Temptations and that's what I ordered. It included the no sugar added Torta de Chocolate, a layered cake with apricot puree, the no sugar added strawberry cheesecake, and the De la Costa Cream Cheese Flan with caramel bananas and Pedro Ximenez reduction. They were all ok, but not great.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Lee ordered the best dessert of the evening: Coconut Tres Leches "Three Milk" Cake. It's described as a moist coconut cake soaked in three milks, served with light coconut cream. It was definitely moist and very coconutty, but fortunately it was not overly sweet like "tres leches" desserts often are. It was very good.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

One of our table mates ordered Carioca's Ice Cream Sundae made with dulce de leche ice cream and caramelized apples, with a churro on top. He enjoyed it.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

This is the full-size version of the De la Costa Cream Cheese Flan, which is gluten-free.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

The other dessert option, also gluten-free, is Suspiro Alimenea, a baked lemon cream topped with port wine meringue sprinkled with cinnamon.

We really enjoyed the new Carioca's menu, and thought there were lots of dishes that we would enjoy trying on future cruises.

Our final meal on-board was breakfast in Lumiere's. On the short two-night cruise, instead of going to the restaurant we'd been in for dinner the night before like we usually would, we went to the restaurant we had not yet been in.

It was the usual "Farewell" breakfast menu with pastries, fresh fruit, cereal, and various egg, breakfast meats, and pancake options.

I thought I was getting Eggs for the Road with eggs my way, choice of meat, and hash browns, but my server misunderstood and brought me pancakes instead of meat and hash browns. Scrambled eggs are always a crap shoot on board - I ordered them scrambled dry, but they were a little runny. The mini cinnamon roll I had from the pastry plate was very good, though - I really like those little cinnamon rolls!

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Lee ordered the Chef's Farewell, an open-faced omelet with barbecue chicken, green peppers, onions, and swiss cheese. He's had it before and it's one of his favorites.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic


We enjoyed our meals - and were really glad we were able to try both Animator's Palate and Carioca's. Those two, as well as Cabanas, I think are all improvements over their former occupants.

 


Laura Gilbreath was an invited Media guest aboard the Disney Magic. Her
opinions are her own.

November 4, 2013

Re-Imagined Disney Magic - Dining Part 1

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Since it was a short two-night cruise, we didn't have a lot of meals on board. In this blog I thought I'd share photos of some of the dining locations.

Daisy's De lites replaced Goofy's Galley.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Still the same kinds of foods - sandwiches (including paninis), wraps, salads, and fruit. I especially enjoy the wraps, because the selections change over the cruise. I had a lamb and couscous wrap and a chicken, bacon, and egg wrap which were both very good.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Pete's Boiler Bites replaced Pluto's Dog House. The menu offers burgers (including fish and veggie burgers), bratwurst, chicken tenders, hot dogs, and fries. The toppings bar is outside - I sometimes make myself a salad from the lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and other toppings that are available.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Pinocchio's Pizzeria is essentially unchanged. Lee had a couple of snacks here.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Cabanas - I really enjoyed what they did here. It's got an Australian beachy (think "Finding Nemo") theme.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic
Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Very colorful.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic
Re-Imagined Disney Magic
Re-Imagined Disney Magic

The carpet has patterns inspired by aboriginal designs.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

I think the posts are meant to suggest surfboards, but I'm not sure about that.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

There's beach umbrellas, too.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

One of my favorite things was the seagulls on the ceiling! (Though they weren't saying "Mine, mine, mine!")

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Cabanas has two sides (same food available on both sides). At both entrances there are wooden murals. On the starboard side are Finding Nemo characters from the ocean:

Re-Imagined Disney Magic
Re-Imagined Disney Magic

And on the port side are Finding Nemo characters from the tank.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic
Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Palo received a makeover, including new wood, stone floors, lighting and carpet. The colors are inspired by Venetian artwork.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic
Re-Imagined Disney Magic
Re-Imagined Disney Magic
Re-Imagined Disney Magic
Re-Imagined Disney Magic
Re-Imagined Disney Magic
Re-Imagined Disney Magic


We didn't get to spend any time in Cove Cafe, but it was also redecorated.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic
Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Lumiere's, though it was not necessarily re-imagined, still got some attention - I believe that the carpet and chair upholstery are new.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic
Re-Imagined Disney Magic

I don't remember it having so many blue tones before. It's still quite beautiful.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

In Part 2 I'll have all of the food photos.


Laura Gilbreath was an invited Media guest aboard the Disney Magic. Her
opinions are her own.


October 30, 2013

Re-Imagined Disney Magic - The AquaDunk and AquaLab

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For those who are interested, I thought I would provide some additional details on the AquaDunk and AquaLab aboard the Disney Magic.

The AquaDunk is the new water slide that extends over the side of the ship. It's a body slide - no raft. We thought the AquaDunk was a lot of fun, though a little bit scary the first time. But seeing all of the kids lining up to ride it for the third, fourth, or fifth time is encouraging!

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Guests must be at least 48" tall, and weigh less than 300 pounds. The exact phrasing is: "The slide entry capsule may prohibit Guests of certain body shapes or sizes from riding and may not operate for Guests weighing more than 300 lbs." (Click on the image below for a larger version.)

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

No loose items such as hats, sunglasses, cameras, or shoes allowed - there is a storage area at the bottom for those items. Clothing must not have studs, buckles, zippers or other exposed metal that could damage the slide.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

The entrance is on deck 10 on the port side of the mid-ship funnel. There are 63 steps from the entrance up to the loading area in the stack, which is just behind the ship's horns (nice view from up there!) Because of that, the AquaDunk is closed during times when the ship's horn is sounded.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic
Re-Imagined Disney Magic

But it starts with a near vertical drop - the floor literally drops out from under you. You step into a load capsule (people were calling it a coffin) and lean back, feet crossed, and arms crossed across your chest. The crew member closes the lid (which is clear), and it's almost time. This is another one of Donald's nephews' inventions, so Huey (or maybe it's Dewey or Louie) counts down: "Three, two, one" and whoosh, you drop. Even though the tube is clear and extends over the side I couldn't see anything. The slide itself was fun, and not uncomfortable like Summit Plummet. Be a little careful in the splash zone to avoid getting water up your nose. I saw girls in bikinis come down and there were no wardrobe malfunctions, so it seems safe in that respect.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

I found the anticipation of the drop to be the most intimidating part. The load process and the drop all happen very fast, so as long as you don't psych yourself out while waiting you're fine. Lee is claustrophobic, so he was concerned about the load capsule, but he did ok with it. He said it helps a lot that the lid of the capsule is clear, and the person running it is right there to open it just in case. And, as I said before it's all very quick - there's usually only about 30 seconds between people, and the actual slide part is only about six seconds! You can see Lee's ride in this video - it starts at about 2:04:

The line was never that long when we looked - maybe 20 minutes. We waited about 10 minutes the first time and 15 the second.

The "splashdown zone" is on the port side of deck 10. Unfortunately that takes up about half of the walkway there, so it gets congested, AND it gets very wet. Even though there's a plexiglass wall, some riders still make a big enough splash to rain water down on unsuspecting passersby. I also noticed that the water does not seem to drain that well, and was 1/4"-1/2" deep on deck. I'm sure they will be looking at ways to deal with that.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Another new water feature is the Aqua Lab on deck 9. There's a version of this on the Disney Fantasy, but I think it's been much better integrated into the kids' pool area on the Magic. Again, Donald's nephews have been busy, and Mickey's Pool has been replaced by the Nephews' Pool.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

On the port side of the pool is the Aqua Lab, where there's all kinds of devices that spray or dump water. A really fun place to cool off.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Next to that, in a shaded area, is the Nephews' Splash Zone, intended for use by kids up to the age of three. On the starboard side there's seating for parents to watch their kids.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic
Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Also in this area is another one of the nephews' creations: Twist 'n' Spout. It's an open flume body slide that corkscrews down from the aft funnel, with a splashdown zone on deck 9 (not much of a splash, though).

Re-Imagined Disney Magic
Re-Imagined Disney Magic

The entrance is on deck 10 on the port side of the aft funnel. There are about 40 steps to the top. I though it appropriate that it's a spiral staircase.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

I was surprised that there's no attendant at the top - riders sit at the slide entrance and wait for a green light, then push off and lay on their backs for the trip down. (Though a lot of kids were sliding sitting up - which might be one reason they were slow.)

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Imagineer Joe Lanzisero told us the slide was engineered for adults, too, and for the moment the height maximum (64", I think?) has been removed. We were told that Disney is evaluating this on the first two cruises, and will decide whether to make it permanent or not. I hope they will continue to allow adults because it was a lot of fun. And adults have an advantage because of weight - we slide a lot faster than the kids do, so it's an even better ride for us! The minimum height is 38".

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

I loved this whole area - the nephews' blueprints are placed throughout the various attractions - it's just all so clever and fun!

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

October 29, 2013

Re-Imagined Disney Magic Part 1 - Overview

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Lee and I have just come off a two-day cruise of the Re-Imagined Disney Magic. There have been a lot of changes, so there was a lot to try and cover in just two days!

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Disney Cruise Line considers the Magic their flagship, so rather than simply trying to re-make the Magic into the Dream class of ship, they chose to continue to innovate and bring something special to the Magic. While there are some new elements inspired by the Dream class, they developed new enhancements that are exclusive to the Magic, so the Magic retains its own identity.

I found it interesting that even when there were guest favorites that they really couldn't do because of size or structural reasons (e.g. AquaDuck) they still found ways to bring us something that was at least as much fun, if not more (AquaDunk).

As you may know, the first scheduled cruise of the Disney Magic (which we were supposed to be on) was canceled because it just wasn't ready. Despite that extra five days, there's still things that were unfinished, and there were some problems on board. As we were boarding the captain announced they were still "spreading pixie dust". We noticed a number of finishing touches that weren't done - things like missing blinds, masking tape that hadn't been removed, areas where touch-up paint was still required, faulty lights, missing trim, etc.

I will tell you that I was a little disappointed - from what Disney had said, it sounded like the Magic would be a brand new ship. But we saw a lot of areas that needed significant TLC: rust, damaged railings, and dinged up paint. And all of the carpet - I was very surprised that the carpet in the staterooms, the hallways and many of the stairwells and elevator lobbies had not been replaced.

There were some larger issues, also - a group of staterooms on deck 6 had toilets that didn't flush reliably for most of the cruise, and there were hot/cold water issues. Many of the stateroom TVs didn't work (ours didn't, but it was later fixed), and some staterooms were missing refrigerators and/or safes. In addition to the TV problem we had minor nuisances like a shower drain that was stuck closed, and a verandah door that didn't lock - and the handle pulled right off. Our refrigerator did not fit well into the (new?) cabinet and we had to twist it slightly to open/close its door. We saw a lot more technicians and work crews in the hallways and public areas than we usually do - they usually work at night.

That said, it was still a nice cruise, and these things did not really detract from our experience (though if I'd had a non-working toilet I might not feel that way).

So...

There are many things I could write about and many, many details to share about the Re-Imagined Disney Magic, but for this blog I'm going to focus on an overview of the enhancements and my overall impressions. I promise more detail later. Lee is working on editing some videos that will also provide additional visual detail - if a picture is worth a thousand words, how much more is a video worth? :-)

The first thing Lee and I noticed when we were waiting to board the Magic is a modification to the stern - appropriately called a "duck tail". It's 22' long, and adds stability and buoyancy to the ship to compensate for the additional weight added by features like the AquaDunk and AquaLab.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

And speaking of the AquaDunk and AquaLab - those are terrific new additions. The AquaDunk is a body slide through a tube that extends over the side of the ship. It starts at the top of the forward funnel with a vertical "launch" where the where the floor literally drops out from under you and ends in a splashdown zone on deck 10. The drop may seem a little intimidating, but we didn't think it was that bad and the slide was a lot of fun - but it's over really fast. I'd definitely recommend that you try it once.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Another new water feature is the Aqua Lab on deck 9.` There's a version of this on the Disney Fantasy, but I think it's been much better integrated into the kids' pool area on the Magic, where it replaces the Mickey Pool. There's the Nephews' Pool (about 18" deep) and the Lab itself where there's all kinds of devices that spray or dump water. A really fun place to cool off.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Right next to it in a shaded area is the Nephews' Splash Zone for kids three and under.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

There's also a new water slide: Twist 'n' Spout. This is an open flume slide that corkscrews down from the aft funnel to deck 9. At the moment adults are allowed to ride it also, but that could change - I guess they don't want the adults taking over something that's supposed to belong to the kids? I think this is actually more fun for the adults than the kids because we're heavier and we go faster down the slide!

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

You can see Lee's video of the new water features, including his ride on the AquaDunk, below:

The first new thing that guests wlll experience as they board the ship is the new Atrium Lobby. It seems much more open and bright than before: one of the staircases was removed; the Helmsman Mickey statue was repositioned; and the hanging Chihuly glass chandelier was replaced by a very bright (and much shorter) crystal chandelier. The new carpet is lighter in color which also makes it seem larger. I have a before and after photo below.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic
Re-Imagined Disney Magic
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Re-Imagined Disney Magic

The kids' spaces on deck 5 were all completely re-done. "it's a small world" nursery replaces Flounder's Reef, and it's full of Mary Blair-style artwork - quite precious. And the attendants there could not WAIT to get their hands on some babies - in fact all of the kid counselors we talked to were overjoyed to have children back on board again.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic
Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Oceaneer Lab and Oceaneer Club were completely re-done for the ages 3-12 set. These are so much fun - I think they make most of the adults (including us) want to be kids - or wonder why some of this cool stuff wasn't put into OUR spaces. Oceaneer Lab has a new pirate theme - there are pirate ship navigation simulators in addition to science projects, crafts and other activities.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

We were intrigued by the Interactive Table (we think it needs a better name than that) which uses a very large touch screen table to play a variety of games, from driving contests to hockey, memory games, and puzzles. There were more than 15 different games.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

In the Oceaneer Club is the new activity that we've been hearing about: Marvel's Avengers Academy. This is a two-day immersive experience where the kids become superheroes, and then have to work together to foil the bad guys. Captain America even makes appearances to help train and encourage the new superheroes. Being adults, WE did not get to experience this, but it sounds like SO much fun!

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Lee's video shows the spaces, and an interview with Imagineer David Duffy, where he talks about the Avengers Academy in more detail.

Also in that space is Andy's Room, where things are sized to make kids feel like one of Andy's toys. There's all kinds of things under Andy's bed, and an adorable Slinky Dog slide from the top of the bed to the floor.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

There's also Pixie Hollow, with a costume closet in Tinker Bell's teapot home.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

In the Mickey Mouse Club section kids can play video games or play with the magnetic gears on the Wacky Wall. (That was harder than it looked.)

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Almost all of the dining options on the Magic are new or updated - I think Lumiere's is the only restaurant that returns in its original form.

Animator's Palate was totally re-done - technology has changed a lot since the idea was first conceived and developed over 15 years ago.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

When we dined here we had a little bit of a surprise - we'd been told that Animator's Palate would feature the Animation Magic show from the Disney Fantasy, and that's what we expected to see, but instead we experienced an all new show that was developed for the Magic: Drawn to Magic. It draws (sorry) on the original concept of Animator's Palate, where the restaurant itself changes as dinner progresses, growing both more colorful and more, well, animated. On screens all around the room we can watch the animation process as it progresses from simple shapes to sketches, animated sketches, and full-color animated sequences.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic
Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Favorite Disney and Pixar characters are featured, and, just as in the original show, the finale includes a procession of Sorcerer Mickey and all of the servers through the dining room.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic
Re-Imagined Disney Magic

We both really enjoyed the show - it's quite different from Animation Magic, but more heartwarming. I think I'd still rather see/participate in Animation Magic, though. Once the Disney Magic starts sailing longer itineraries next year, Animator's Palate will feature both shows on every cruise.

In the video below we have most of the show, as well as images and video of the other restaurants.

Carioca's has replaced the Parrot Cay restaurant. I was happy to see this, because for whatever reason I just never cared for Parrot Cay. The new Carioca's is casual but elegant, and I thought the new decor, inspired by street festivals in Rio, was quite beautiful.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

But my favorite thing about Carioca's is the new menu! Dishes inspired by ingredients and cuisine from all over Latin America, from Argentinian empanadas to Peruvian potatoes (pictured below), Cuban black bean soup, and Brazilian sausage. I'll write more in my food blog, but I had a very hard time deciding what to order...and ended up ordering three entrees just to taste them - and there were STILL three others I wanted to try! We both really enjoyed the new menu.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

On deck 9, the new casual restaurant is Cabanas, which came over from the Dream class ships. It's more like a food court instead of a traditional buffet, where you go to different stations that feature different food selections. (Though unlike the Dream and Fantasy, this Cabanas does NOT have the aft stairwell/elevator located in the middle of the restaurant. For which I am very grateful.) For breakfast and lunch Cabanas serves this modified buffet, but they also offer table service casual dining on most evenings (typically every night except the first and last nights). The menu changes nightly, it's an abbreviated version of one of the other restaurant's menus. Right now that's Pirate Night, Animator's Palate, and Lumiere's.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

On the Dream and Fantasy I've found the food in Cabanas to be a cut above that served in Topsiders and Beach Blanket on the older ships, and that trend has carried through to the Magic. I'd rather have breakfast in Cabanas then anywhere else - the food is good and there's a nice variety of it - all the traditional stuff as well as some healthier options. Lunch also has some very good choices - higher quality food than at the quick-service places but a lot faster than Lumiere's.

Cabanas expanded the former restaurant space and offers more indoor (air-conditioned) seating now. Outdoor seating is still available at the back and up on deck 10.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

The quick-service dining has basically stayed the same, but most of the names changed. So you can still get pizza, burgers, fries, and chicken strips, and sandwiches, wraps, salads and fruit at Pinocchio's Pizzeria (same name), Pete's Boiler Bites, and Daisy's De-Lites, respectively. The ice cream station has been expanded and moved - there are three machines now. They also added Frozone, where smoothies and other frozen beverages are available for an additional fee.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

The self-serve beverage station is still located on deck 9, port side, aft. It might have been rearranged slightly - I'm not sure about that.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

After Hours is the new adult entertainment district on deck 3. There's three different bars/clubs: Fathoms, O'Gills Pub, and Keys. In the interest of research we spent time in all of them. All of the bars have menus with various signature drinks, though they are all full-service bars and you can order anything.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Fathoms is the show/dance club. It's been beautifully redone with colors and lighting that suggest being underwater. The lighting changes to simulate both daytime and nighttime conditions. During show times it was pretty crowded, but both nights we went in about 9:00 and had the entire place to ourselves - just us and the bartender. Kind of fun having our own private bar!

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

There's a legend behind O'Gills Pub. O'Gills was a fish, and one day he rescued a leprechaun from drowning. The leprechaun gave him a wish, but instead of wishing for stuff or riches (or to be human), O'Gills wished to share a pint with his new friend. Awwwww...

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

O'Gills is the sports and game bar - in addition to TVs all over the room there are some game tables and board games, too. The night we were in there a singer was performing, also. A couple of times each night they put out a small food buffet - things like veggies and dip, wings, chips and salsa, and they had a beef pie the night we visited. It's quite a large space and was not busy on a Friday night - we didn't go on Saturday night, where because of college football I expect it was a lot busier.

Keys is the third bar, and with a name like that, how could it be anything but a piano bar? It's relaxing but elegant (but they let us in anyway!). They had two pianists - one who simply played and one who played and sang. (I have to admit we enjoyed the former more than the latter.) It's the smallest of the three bars but it was also the busiest. Though the crowd tended to come and go, it was almost full at times both nights we were there. While it's not a champagne bar, it does offer our favorite Moet Ice Imperial champagne. We sat at the bar both nights and enjoyed talking to the bartenders and watching them work - they were quite busy.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Senses Spa and Salon is the re-vamped spa on deck 9 forward. This area was expanded and offers additional treatment rooms, as well as some specialized areas like a new barbershop for men, teeth whitening, and the Chill Spa for 13 to 17-year-olds. They also offer some new services like hair coloring and acupuncture.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Lee and I took a tour of the spa on boarding day where we were able to see most of the facilities - he'll have a video on that. I booked a hot stone massage for Saturday, which was quite lovely and relaxing. I tried to talk him into trying the special shave/facial offered in the barbershop, but he wasn't interested.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

The staterooms are somewhat different, but I was expecting them to be completely redone. The furnishings, soft goods, and patio furniture are new but the bathrooms and carpet were not changed at all. The bed is a single mattress and no longer supports the split bed configuration - sorry, single travelers. :-( It's very comfortable, though. It's also been raised so that luggage fits underneath. I was hoping for on-demand TV, but that wasn't added.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Our stateroom had two very nice Disney Cruise Line robes and slippers in the closet, though I don't know if that is ship-wide, or due to our category of stateroom (5B).

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Well, this ended up being a lot longer than I intended it to be. But the Re-Imagining of the Disney Magic was a huge project and there's a lot to write about. There are so many details that I haven't touched on at all!

Even though there's still some work to be done, I thought most of the Disney Magic is better than ever and I am looking forward to sailing on the Magic again. I have to admit that the Magic is my favorite of the four Disney ships - while there are things I like about all of them, sailing on the Magic always feels like coming home.

Laura Gilbreath was an invited Media guest aboard the Disney Magic. Her opinions are her own.

October 21, 2013

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

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We were supposed to be on the Disney Magic October 20-25 for the first cruise after its "re-imagining"....but last Thursday we received notification from Disney Cruise Line that the cruise had been canceled. The Magic encountered weather during the Atlantic crossing that delayed work, and it just wasn't going to be ready.

We had planned our cruise over a year ago, when we first heard that the Magic was getting enhancements, so as you might imagine, we were VERY disappointed. In addition to experiencing the new Magic we were also looking forward to spending time with friends on the cruise.

Disney is offering compensation:

"Therefore, in addition to a full refund of their voyage fare, [guests] will also receive a complimentary sailing up to 5-nights in length on the Disney Magic when sailing from Miami or Port Canaveral, Florida, before May 16, 2014. This complimentary sailing is subject to availability, offered in the same category stateroom with the same party mix originally booked aboard the Disney Magic and is non-transferable. Guests who are unable to take advantage of this complimentary cruise offer are invited to sail at a 35% future cruise discount on any Caribbean or Bahamian sailing of up to 7-nights in length, taken by October 31, 2015, excluding holiday and select peak sail dates."

That's quite fair, but it's all still very disappointing because we wanted to be the first guests on board. And the next three cruises are already sold out. We'd also made all of our plans and travel arrangements and had scheduled time off work - not to mention that we were REALLY looking forward to a vacation!

We will still get to see the Disney Magic, though - AllEars has been invited on the Media Cruise scheduled for October 25-27, and Lee and I will sailing then. I don't think two days is going to be nearly enough time to see/experience all of the new things on board, but we'll do our best.

The following is most of a preview blog I wrote before our cruise was canceled, when I was looking forward to five days aboard the Magic instead of just two!


If you're a Disney cruise fan, I'm sure you've been following the posts on the Disney Parks Blog, Twitter, and Facebook describing the changes and upgrades the Disney Magic received on its recent dry dock in Cadiz, Spain.

From the atrium to the staterooms to the restaurants, kids' club, spa, pool, and adult areas, it's all new - in many ways it sounds like a brand new ship. (Click on the photo below for a larger version.)

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Some of the things I'm most looking forward to checking out:

Dining

Carioca's is the new restaurant replacing Parrot Cay. Named for Jose Carioca, the parrot from "The Three Caballeros", the restaurant will offer cuisine inspired by South American dishes, with decor inspired by Rio de Janeiro.

Animator's Palate has been updated (yay!) and will offer the new Animation Magic show from the Disney Fantasy. I really enjoy this show, and am looking forward to seeing it again. And according to the Disney Cruise Line site, we can also expect to "enjoy a visit from favorite Disney and Disney*Pixar characters too, such as Rapunzel from Tangled and Remy from Ratatouille." Will these be interactive visits? I hope we'll find out!

Cabanas will replace Topsider Buffet on Deck 9...we'll see how this works. I have not been a fan of Cabanas on the Dream and Fantasy (though I have found the food to be much better) because of the way the aft stairwell comes out into the middle of the restaurant, but that might not be an issue on the Magic.

Most of the quick service dining on deck 9 will be changing. Pinocchio's Pizzeria remains, but Daisy's De-Lites replaces Goofy's Galley, and Pete's Boiler Bites takes over for Pluto's Dog House. As on the Dream and Fantasy, Eye Scream and Frozone Treats will be serving soft-serve ice cream and smoothies and other frozen concoctions. I'll be interested in seeing where these two are located.

After Hours is the new adult entertainment area. There are still three spaces, but they've been re-named and completely re-done: O'Gill's Pub, a sports bar, Fathoms, the show/dance club, and Keys, a quieter, more relaxed piano bar. (And I have to admit that after seeing what they did on the Fantasy, I want to see what the public restrooms are like in that area, too!)

Lots of changes in the pool area...The AquaDunk will be the Disney's Magic water thrill feature. It's a three-story body slide through a translucent tube that partially extends over the side of the ship. Apparently it starts with a near vertical drop. I'll try it, but I'm not sure how much I'll like it! There's also going to be a version of the AquaLab, first seen on the Disney Fantasy. That's a fun place to cool off! Kids will have their own new Twist n' Spout water slide, and there's the Nephews' Splash Zone for toddlers.

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

The Oceaneer's Club, for kids 3-12, has been extensively remodeled, and offers four "storybook worlds". I kind of wish I was a kid! I'll definitely be touring it during the Open House they offer on boarding day. There's Andy's Room, where kids will feel toy-sized, which features a Slinky Dog slide. I wanna slide!!!!

Re-Imagined Disney Magic

In the MARVEL'S Avenger's Academy, "Young crime fighters are invited to swoop into this top-secret command post of S.H.I.E.L.D., where earth's mightiest Super Heroes, The Avengers, train and prepare for special missions." And: "Avengers Academy is a multi-day, immersive entertainment experience where children interact with Marvel characters and unleash their inner super heroes." How fun is that???

At the Mickey Mouse Club kids can engage in various craft activities and play games. There's also Goofy Gears, "a wacky, large-scale wall game." That's as much as I've been able to learn about it so far.

Pixie Hollow offers crafts and costumes for dress-up play, in an area inspired by Tinker Bell's pixie home.

The Oceaneer's Lab will be offering new pirate-themed activities and experiments. "Navigator Simulators let young buccaneers steer a ship through the mysterious waters of The Caribbean."

The spa has been renamed Senses Spa and Salon. In addition to the traditional spa services a barbershop and "Smile Spa" are new offerings. The new Chill Spa provides spa services to teens aged 13-17.


We're really excited to see it all, and we'll be doing our best to share it with you. We'll be tweeting like crazy as we explore the ship before we leave port, and you can follow me on Twitter: @AllEarsLaura. On such a short cruise I don't know if I'll write a daily blog - though I hope that some of the Magic's upgrades include better internet service!

What do you want to know about the Re-Imagined Disney Magic? Leave a comment below or use the Feedback Form to send me an email, and we'll do our best to find the answers.

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About Re-Imagined Magic 2013

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Salute to All Things Disney but Mostly Disneyland in the Re-Imagined Magic 2013 category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Pacific Coast 2014 is the previous category.

Western Caribbean 2009 is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.