Reimagined Magic: Disney Cruise Line Announces Major Overhaul for the Disney Magic

During this morning’s Monstrous Summer presentation at Walt Disney World, Karl Holz, President of Disney Cruise Line along with Senior Creative Vice President for Walt Disney Imagineering, Joe Lanzisero, announced the plans for a major overhaul of the fifteen year old [Disney_Magic] and more than likely some of the same for her sister ship, the [Disney_Wonder].

The Disney Magic will undergo a 6 week refurbishment at Navantia‘s Puerto Real in Cadiz, Spain from September 7th to around October 10th. The Magic will grow from 964 feet to 984 feet and gain 1,000 gross tons. Then, work will continue during the Westbound Transatlantic sailing, which will sail without passengers for obvious reasons.

This announcement finally puts to bed the speculation of two new ships and the marvelous rumors as to what will be done in dry dock.

Pool Deck Remodel


The top deck of the Disney Magic will emerge from dry dock with her own unique water slide, a scaled down version of the AquaDuck called AquaDunk.

DCL AquaDunk Logo

The AquaDunk body slide will take guests on a 3-story vertical drop from the top of the forward funnel on a loop-de-loop through a clear acrylic tube extending around 20 feet over the port side of the ship before ending with a big splash on Deck 10. So far, the height requirement for the AquaDunk is set at a 48-inch minimum.

Not only will the AquaDunk be added to the forward funnel, but Funnel Vision will receive an upgrade.

Disney Magic Refurb AquaDUNK Birds Eye View

AquaDunk Ride Simulation Video

Twist n’ Spout & AquaLab

Twist n’ Spout will be a scaled up version of the Mickey Slide, with the Mickey Pool becoming the AquaLab. This is so much cooler than the layout on the Fantasy! Disney really got this area right putting all the children’s activities in one area making it much easier for families to keep a watchful eye on everyone! We found the AquaLab on the Fantasy to be out of the way with the Mickey pool & slide, Donald pool, and AquaDuck garnering all our daughter’s attention.

Twist n’ Spout is for guests between 38 and 64 inches tall.

 AquaLab Pool

An expanded area similar to Nemo’s reef called Nephew’s Splash Zone will be added for the little ones under age 3.

Atrium Remodel

My favorite area on all of the ships is the Atrium Lobby. The atrium on the Disney Magic will be re-imagined to be in line with her younger sisters; gone will be the twin staircases freeing up more floor space for events like the Princess Gathering. Thankfully, Helsman Mickey will remain to greet guests.

Disney Magic Refurb Atrium

Here is the current version of the Disney Magic’s Atrium lobby for comparison.

The Dale Chihuly chandelier will also give way to a new design.

Disney Magic Refurb Atrium Chandelier

Restaurant Remodels


Parrot Cay, one of the three rotational restaurants will be transformed into a Brazilian themed restaurant named Carioca’s. Carioca is defined as a native of Rio de Janeiro, and is the last name of José, one of the Three Caballeros. A slight change from the original concept art the flags have been replaced with lanterns.

Disney Magic Refurb Cariocas

Similar to Enchanted Garden on the Dream & Fantasy, the Carioca’s will transition from a vibrant festival theme during the day to an after-hours scene of Rio de Janiero, with the windows softly illuminated with the overhead lanterns flickering at night.

Disney Magic Refurb Carioca’s Nighttime

Animator’s Palate

The unique design of Animator’s Palate will remain mostly unchanged other than updated HD video screens, and sound system.  There will be an all new Drawn to Magic experience where the black and white walls or blank canvas explodes into full color during the course of the dinner.  Don’t worry, “all new”, in this case simply means an upgraded show with new favorites like Rapunzel and Remy.

Disney Magic Refurb Animators Palate

Animator’s Palate will emerge from dry dock with the Animation Magic dinner show, which debuted on the Disney Fantasy.  During the Animation Magic show you are provided with a placemat to draw your own character which will be transformed into an animated character by the end of your dinner.


The adult only signature resturaunt, Palo, will be freshened up to continue providing an exclusive dining experience with a breathtaking view.  Palo will receive stylish new fixtures, glass artwork and new stone floors. Red and white striped poles reminiscent of those found throughout the canals in Venice are a design feature.  Did you know that Palo was named after those red and white striped poles. It’s true.

Disney Magic Refurb PALO


Topsider Buffet will be converted into the Australian themed Cabanas with a theme similar to that found on the [Disney_Fantasy] and [Disney_Dream].  The remodel will increase the usable space by nearly 3,400 square feet to more than 9,460 square feet for a total of 455 air conditioned seats.

Deck 9 Quick Service

Pluto’s Dog House will become Pete’s Boiler Bites grilling up hot dogs, hamburgers along with chicken tenders and tasty tacos.

Disney Magic Pete's Boiler Bites

Goofy’s Galley will converted into Daisy’s De-Lites serving up fresh fruits, salads, wraps, and sandwiches among other things.

Disney Magic Daisy's Delights Logo

Pinocchio’s Pizzeria will remain as the go to place for PIZZA!  Finally, the Disney Dream & Disney Fantasy ice cream shop Eye Scream and Frozone Treats will serve up cool poolside refreshments.

Family Space Remodel

See ya later Studio Sea. Bringing the Magic in line with her younger sisters, Studio Sea will emerge from dry dock as D-Lounge, a venue for family-friendly games, shows, dances and other various activities.

Disney Magic Refurb D-Lounge

Kids Space Remodel

Disney’s Oceaneer Club

The Oceaneer Club open to children between the ages of 3 and 12 will be gutted to make room for fairies, super heroes, larger than life toys, and a club fit for a Mouse! Based on the rendering of the Atrium, it appears the entrance will be relocated from the starboard corner in the atrium to the port side hallway like it is on the Dream & Fantasy.

Disney Magic Refurb Oceaneer Club

The kids areas will also be seeing an overhaul. A two-story Andy’s Room complete with a larger than life bed with a Slinkly Dog slide! YES, there will be a slide in the Oceaneer Club!!!

Disney Magic Refurb Andy's Room

Another new area, Mickey Mouse Club, will be dedicated to the Mouse who started it all, and provide children with a place to create unique crafts and color.

Disney Magic Refurb Mickey Mouse Club

Pixie Hollow will also be added to the Oceaneer Club and will house the Princess dress-up costumes.

Disney Magic Refurb Pixie Hallow

Marvel Avengers’ Academy will be a all new experience for Disney Cruise Line. The academy invites young crime-fighters into this high-tech command post used by The Avengers to plan and train for special missions. During the course of the cruise, kids will have the opportunity sharpen their super hero skills and by the end of the cruise become their favorite super hero.

Disney Magic Refurb - Marvel's Avengers Academy

Oceaneer Lab

The Oceaneer Lab will also be getting a pirate themed facelift. The space will be full of high-tech gear to bring out the inner-pirate. Joe Lanzisero described the Oceaneer Lab a space where “Jules Vern meets Pirates of the Caribbean”. If Captain Jack had this much tech, he would not need his compass. It is not clear if the entrance will be moved from the forward elevator/stairwell, but this seems likely based on the change of entrance for the Oceaneer Club. This change would mimic the design on the Dream & Fantasy.

Disney Magic Refurb Oceaneer Lab

it’s a small world nursery

The nursery will be revitalized into a whimsical space inspired by the ride.

Adult Nightlife Remodels

Beat Street, the adult nighttime entertainment district which is the current area on deck 3 forward, will be re-themed to After Hours.

Disney Magic Refurb - After Hours


Time to shake the rocks out of the Magic ahead under the sea, Rockin’ Bar D will become Fathoms. Fathoms is a night club inspired by the excitement of the seas using custom lighting and sound effects. Personally, this theme would work better on the Wonder which has Tritons restaurant and Ariel as the atrium statue. Who knows – this may also find its way to the Wonder in 2014.


Your music lessons in Sessions are over. Sessions will become Keys, a low-key piano bar. Keys will be a perfect to venue to relax, enjoy your favorite cocktail, or drink of the day all while enjoying the soft sounds of the piano.

Disney Magic Refurb After Hours Keys Piano Bar

O’Gills Irish Pub and Sports Bar

Rounding up After Hours is a slight change in direction, as Diversions makes a lateral move to O’Gills. Throw back a few cold ones in this Irish pub and sports bar while watching live sporting events. This looks almost identical to the version on the Fantasy.

Disney Magic Refurb After Hours O'Gills

Senses Spa & Salon

Bon Voyage Vista Spa; welcome aboard Senses Spa & Salon. Get ready to enter the realm of relaxation in an revitalized spa area. The spa will be expanded by 725 square feet and be filled with earth tones.

Disney Magic Refurb Senses Spa Salon Reception

A new Smile Spa offers teeth whitening services, a new barbershop offers services for the gentlemen and the new Chill Spa provides treatments especially for teens 13 to 17 years of age.

Disney Magic Refrub Senses Spa Salon

Stateroom Remodels

The staterooms on the Magic will be redesigned and look quite similar to those found on the Dream & Fantasy. It does look like there will be a new print which looks like a collage adorning the wall opposite the bed. Bed frames will be elevated to provide storage space underneath for your luggage. It does not sound like the the inside staterooms will be upgraded with Virtual Portholes (or the latest trend virtual balconies). According to a quote from Lanzisero published on, the virtual portholes were “cost prohibitive”.

  • The beds will be raised to allow for additional luggage storage.
  • New customized Disney Cruise Line mattress
  • 100% Egyptian cotton Frette linens
  • New colors and textures
  • 44 new connecting stateroom doors.

Concierge Suites

The concierge suites on the Disney Magic will be enhanced featuring all new decor and redesigned layout to provide even more space.

Disney Magic Refurb Concierge Suite

Royal Suites

Both the Walter E Disney (8030) and Roy O Disney (8530) Royal Suites on deck 8 will be redesigned will all new decor featuring high end furnishings.

Disney Magic Refurb Walt Disney Royal Suite


Clearly, Disney is holding back on some of the changes coming to the Disney Magic. There was no specific mention of Midship Detective Agency, or Enchanted artwork during the presentation.

Duck Tail

If you look close at the rendering of the post dry dock Disney Magic, there are some notable difference to the overall structure of the ship aside from the top deck.

Disney Magic Refurb Upper Decks

It sure looks like there is structural change to the aft based on the latest rendering when compared to a real photo.

Disney Magic Refurb Aft Rendering

According to the post dry dock spec sheet, the Disney Magic will grow from 964 feet to 984 feet and gain 1,000 gross tons which appears to be from an addition to the stern in the form of a ducktail.  Not DuckTales (although Uncle Scrooge would be a great addition); a ducktail.  A duck tail is added on modern cruise ships to increase overall stability of the vessel by giving the ship a more stable base, thus allowing for cool new features.

Ducktail: An extension to ship’s stern. On older ships the diminished stability can be regained by adding a ducktail. Ducktail is also used on newbuildings; there the primary purpose is often to reduce the power consumption for propulsion.  Naval Architecture Terms via

The hidden Mickey on the bow, the crew pool, and the spare anchor are missing from the rendering. Keep in mind this is just a rendering and may simply be an omission to reduce the focus on the crew pool considering to avoid any confusion, as the bow area on the Dream & Fantasy is the teen-only area, Vibe.

Online Video Documentary Series

I am thrilled that Disney plans to document this major refurbishment and produce a new online documentary series Disney Magic Re-Imagined with Danny Forster.

Disney Cruise Line Monstrous Summer Presentation

The Disney Cruise Line presentation started with Karl Holz stating, “We have always been committed to reinvesting in our fleet and continuously making shipboard enhancements that elevate the guest experience,” and “What we’re doing with the Disney Magic is yet another step forward in our commitment to delivering the absolute best family vacations at sea.” Holz, then introduced Imagineer Joe Lanzisero. Lanzisero was part of the original team that designed and built her in Italy in the late 1990s. “Storytelling is at the heart of everything we do,” said Lanzisero. “Walt Disney was a master storyteller and knew how to engage people’s emotions into stories. Our job is to take what we learned from Walt and apply it to the experiences on board our ships.”

The following is the full video presentation of the Disney Magic Enhancement press event with Karl Holz and Joe Lanzisero which is available on YouTube via

Still looking for more?! Check out for an exclusive interview with Imagineer Lysa Migliorati.

The Disney Magic will go into dry dock this fall following her Mediterranean cruises before returning to Miami to sail on two, three, four and five night Bahamian cruise as well as five-night Western Caribbean cruises. Disney Cruise Line has created a beautiful website to showcase the reimagined Disney Magic.

The Disney Wonder, which was not referenced during today’s press event, will have to wait a year. She will undergo her remodel from October 10 to November 15th following a brief stint out of Port Canaveral. One question still up in the air is: when will the Disney Dream go in for her required routine dry dock?

What do you think about the planned changes?

33 Replies to “Reimagined Magic: Disney Cruise Line Announces Major Overhaul for the Disney Magic”

  1. Cindy

    Cabanas is confirmed via an email to TAs, and also on the TA website. And a huge plus…new bedding finally!!!

  2. Ted Amick

    You met most of the changes on my “Bucket Rehab Magic List”. However, you keep any rehab of the sleeping room a secret. Come on,… what can we expect beside new carpet. Make it Magical! Also, will Luminers dining room remain the same or a new theme?

  3. Pam M.

    Kudos to Disney for making these much overdue changes! They look fabulous! However, two comments… 1.) I think that Disney mised the mark on the redesign of Parrot Cay. Although Carioca’s will provide a much needed update to the restaurant, I can’t help but feel that it will still lack some of that famous Disney “magic”. I realize that Enchanted Garden on the Fantasy is not the main draw either, but it would have been nice to see something completely brand new and awe-inspiring to DCL. 2.) No mention of a redesign of Shutters? Maybe it will be announced later, but this is a biggie on my wish list!

  4. Cindy

    The staterooms are getting new bedding, and it looks like they will have the same beds as the Dream class ships. Suites appear to be receiving new furniture as well.

  5. Richard

    This is why I love your blog Scott, I feel I’m pretty on top of what’s up with DCL and did know about the announcement for the Magic’s remodel, but once again you went one step further and had even more information. It’s nice to know I can always count on you to get the most information as soon as or even before anyone else. I’m still going to keep looking for that chink in the armor though.

  6. Cindy

    Good eye on the missing Mickey from the bow. My guess is that will stay and was just not included in the renderings. Can’t imagine they would take away that icon!
    As always, great reporting!

  7. Richard 2

    All the changes seem positive, although I have reservations about the re-imagined atrium. The present one is one of the best looking spaces afloat (IMHO) and the new one will look unbalanced and less elegant with only the one staircase. But I don’t think I will miss the chandelier. And I echo the above “thanks, Scott” for posting this information.

    1. Scott Sanders Post author

      Richard, I love the atriums on all four ships. The redesign is growing on me. I would have been heartbroken if Helmsman Mickey was replaced. By removing the staircase Disney is able to create more usable floor space in the are that is quite small when compared to the Dream & Fantasy. With popular meet & greats like the Princess Gathering held in the lobby it could get quite crowded.

  8. Jeremy Plumley

    I’m torn about this… I love the classic ships, and was not that blown away by the Dream on my last cruise. I just hope that the overall feel of the Magic doesn’t change too much. I understand that these things need to be done to keep people excited about the classic ships, but for those of us who earned our Castaway Club status on the Magic and the Wonder, the changes might be hard for sentimental reasons.

    That being said, the changes look amazing! The only things I’m not thrilled about are the changes to the atrium, and Parott Cay. Parrot Cay was our favorite restaurant as the atmosphere fit so well with the Caribbean cruises! Also while the refurb of the Club and Lab look awesome, I did not like the check in process in the hallway on the Dream, so I am sorry to see that they may be going in that direction…

    Great work getting the inside scoop!

  9. Ted Amick

    After digesting the many photos and commentary, I am NOT THRILLED with the re-design of the Atrium. The two stair cases and Mickey really made THE Magic a Majestic ship entrance. The Chandelier was specially designed for the ship and was unique to this great vessel. Its a poor excuse to take this keynote ATRIUM and make it a gymnasium to meet and greet Princesses! This needs major re-thinking on Disney’s behalf. Disney needs to go back to the statements made by Disney management about the Magic when it was first introduced. I am also concerned about the excessive use of “gray” colors in the dining rooms. The classic Mickey colors of Blue, Red and gold should be the theme colors for the ship.. not gray and pastel this and that. I strongly urge Disney designers to stick to the plan in keeping the Magic majestic.. the most classic Cruise Ship on the Seas.. not the newest “teckie designed”. I could see using some of these new color schemes on the Wonder with its Art Nouvelle designs. BUT KEEP THE MAGIC CLASSIC AND MAJESTIC. Frankly, I would strong avoid using green and brown on a ship.. not nautical color.. keep those for the resorts on land. Lastly Scott, what’s in store for the rehab of the adult pool…. hope they keep the pool in its same configuration so we can do some laps.

  10. Ed Cairns

    Any idea why the stern of the ship is being so altered?
    It certainly doesn’t give the ship cleaner lines. Nautical reason?

  11. Ted Amick

    I would certainly hope they will put them back up in their original places…they are great, designed for this ship and not meant to go anywhere else. The dual staircases should never be touched.

  12. Amanda

    Does anyone think that Disney will actually build more ships soon? We were talking to our DVC Salesman & he said that they are definitely being built. Makes me wonder?

  13. Marion

    Amanda; when Disney Cruise Line built the Dream and Fantasy, they also placed options with the shipyard for two more ships (kind of like ‘taking a FastPass’ to jump the line when they are ready to build.) So, what Scott said, but we haven’t seen them announced.

  14. Nancy

    I sure hope they are adding a concierge lounge so that we can try this ship out. I don’t think I would sail without it:)

  15. Elena Rodriguez

    We went Thanks to make a wish. We loved the beds , I have Fybromoalgia and Islept like a baby for the first time in years. Sorry to hear the beatiful chandelier is going it made u feel like u were walking into a fairytale. My daughter loved it, the best four days of uor family.


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