In 2012, Shawn Steele wondered what he would do with all those sea days on his upcoming Hawaiian cruise aboard the Disney Wonder. Shawn’s wife Lisa provided the one little spark he needed, which resulted in a plan to build a replica of the Disney Wonder out of LEGO bricks! With a plan in place, and a few weeks to plan before the inaugural Hawaiian cruise; Shawn set out to prototype and source all the bricks he would need to complete this epic build.
Just after boarding the ship in Los Angeles on April 29, 2012, Shawn got right to work at a table on deck 9 near the pool.
Work continued as more and more passengers and characters began to take notice.
Once the Disney Wonder arrived in Hawaii, the build took a back seat to island exploration. However, there was a brief visit to the LEGO store to pick up some extra bricks.
A great deal of time was spent on the details of the ship including the slightly shorter forward funnel (I know the picture below is not the forward funnel).
If you look really close you can see some of the fine details included in this build. The final build which measures in at 4 feet long took about 60 hours to construct and consists of about 4500 LEGO bricks.
With all the attention the build was receiving on the pool deck, the ship’s officers found a place to display the finished build for everyone to enjoy.
At the end of the cruise there was one problem… How do you possibly fly home with a four foot replica of the Disney Wonder? In true Disney fashion, the crew, led by Captain Fabian, stepped up to arrange for the completed build to be shipped back to Seattle.
Full Speed Ahead May 2014 – Disney Wonder LEGO Idea Submitted
April showers usually bring May flowers, but not this year. Instead, Shawn submitted his Disney Wonder build as new LEGO Idea. If you are not familiar with LEGO Ideas or it’s former self, LEGO CUUSOO, let me take a minute to bring you up to speed. LEGO Ideas allows the general public to submit proposal for new LEGO sets. Once submitted, the project is placed on the LEGO Ideas website for fellow LEGO enthusiast to support. When a proposal receives at least 10,000 votes the project will then be qualified for an official review where the project will be evaluated by panel of designers and marketing representatives. If the project is selected by the LEGO Review board, then it will go into production which LEGO designers will consult with the project creator to develop a final set before going into the manufacturing stage. Those lucky enough to get this far will earn a 1% royalty on the sales, 5 complimentary sets, recognition as the product creator, and will be featured in the set materials.
The biggest challenges facing Shawn’s Disney Wonder LEGO Idea will be twofold. The shear size of the build and the number of bricks required to bring out the details of the classic ocean liner. The second major hurdle will be licensing. Hopefully, with enough support LEGO and Disney will see that there is a market for a large cruise ship that in turn will not be cheap. Personally, I hope this build can get the support it needs to get reviewed by the LEGO Review board. 4,500 LEGO brick will not be a small, nor cheap set so it will require a considerable backing from LEGO fans to keep this project afloat.