Today In Disney History ~ July 30th
Disney Magic is a cruise ship owned and operated by the Disney Cruise Line, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. She has 11 public decks, can accommodate 2,700 passengers in 875 staterooms, and has a crew of approximately 950. The interior of Disney Magic is decorated in the Art Deco style, in contrast to her sister ship, Disney Wonder, which is decorated in the Art Nouveau style.
The ship has twenty bright yellow lifeboats which, along with the black, red, and white colors of the ship itself, match the colors of Mickey Mouse. This change from the standard safety orange took a waiver of international maritime rules. As with other Disney cruise ships, the ship’s horn blast plays an excerpt from Disney’s famous flagship tune, ‘”When You Wish upon a Star”. The Disney Magic’s Godmother is Patricia Disney, former wife of Walt Disney’s nephew, Roy E. Disney
Disney had cruise ship designs drawn up by February 1994. In 1995 Disney Cruise Line commissioned Disney Magic and Disney Wonder from Fincantieri in Italy. The ship was built in two halves with the bow built at Fincatieri’s Ancona shipyard and the aft at their Marghera shipyard. The planned maiden voyage was for March 12, 1998. In January 1997, the first ticket for the Magic’s first trip was raffled off on the cable television channel Lifetime, while ticket sales would begin in September 1997. Continuing delays on the MS Rotterdam kept additional workers from the Magic. Thus by November 1997, the cruise line rescheduled the ship’s initial voyage to April 30, 1998. Further delays, from suppliers and weather conditions, at Fincantieri forced back the maiden voyage of Disney Magic a few more months. The bow was towed to the Marghera shipyard where the halves were joined.
With livery and design evocative of the RMS Queen Mary, the Disney Line Disney Magic set sail on its maiden voyage on July 30, 1998, out of Port Canaveral as the cruise line’s launch ship. The ships initial cruises were to Nassau, Bahamas with a stop at Castaway Cay over three to four nights.
Originally, from 2000, Disney Magic had been offering weekly cruises to Castaway Cay and multiple Caribbean islands out of its home port in Port Canaveral, Florida. In June 2005, Disney Magic was dispatched to the West Coast in honor of Disneyland’s 50th Anniversary celebrations.
In May 2007, Disney Magic started her inaugural Mediterranean cruises out of Barcelona, Spain. At the end of the summer, she returned to her home port of Port Canaveral. Disney Magic returned to Barcelona in 2010 for another summer of Mediterranean cruises, as well as several northern European cruises before again returning to Port Canaveral in September.
In May 2012, Disney Magic was relocated to New York City, where she sailed 8-night cruises to the Bahamas, New England, and Canada. In September, she was relocated to Galveston, Texas for the remainder of the year and offered 4 Night Caribbean Cruises, 6, 7, and 8 Night Western Caribbean Cruises, and 8 Night Bahamian Cruises. In June 2013, Disney Magic was re-positioned to Barcelona, Spain for the summer.
Disney Magic was put in for an overhaul at Navantia shipyard, Cadiz, Spain.In October 2013, Disney Cruise Line completed renovations to Disney Magic including updates to the ship’s cabins, lounges, restaurants and spa and introduced new features including; “Marvel’s Avengers Academy”, a play area based on Marvel’s Avengers characters, the AquaDunk and the AquaLab, consisting of a pool and waterslide.
In 2016, the Disney Magic sailed Disney Cruise Lines’ inaugural Northern Europe itineraries, homeported in the port of Southampton, 80 miles from London, England. She sailed to Norway, the British Isles, and the Baltic Sea during her brief three-month season. She will return to the region in 2017.
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