ORLANDO, Fla. — The vanguard of Disney Cruise Line’s latest new era moves forward as Disney Dream, which debuted in Port Canaveral in 2011, left the only port it’s ever called home to make place to the first ship of a new era.
With the new Trident Disney Wish-class ship arriving later this month, Dream left Port Canaveral for the last time on June 6, at least for now.
“The Disney Dream has always called Port Canaveral home,” said Port Canaveral CEO Captain John Murray. “He’s heading to Miami and next year he’s going to Europe. So that ship probably won’t be back for a while. It’s been a long stay since she gave birth about 10 years ago.
Dream’s christening ceremony took place on January 19, 2011, amid fireworks and a performance by the ship’s sponsor, singer and actress Jennifer Hudson, who began her performing career on a Disney Cruise Line ship.
The third ship in the DCL fleet, Dream was a huge step up from the original ships in the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder line.
The first of two ships in her class, Disney Dream was billed as a 4,000 passenger, 130,000 gross tonnage, 1,115ft long vessel with 1,250 cabins. The smaller Magic and Wonder weigh 84,000 gross tons and are 984 feet long with 875 cabins.
The Disney Wish is a bit larger than Dream and her sister ship, Disney Fantasy, at 144,000 gross tons, 1,119 feet and 1,254 cabins.
Dream, however, brought a new level of Disney’s signature adventurous touch with the introduction of the 765-foot-long AquaDuck, the famous water coaster that allows passengers to take a speedy, slippery boat ride through a transparent tube all around the upper deck.
It also introduced the gourmet restaurant Remy, one of the most expensive sailing options among major cruise lines. Scott Hunnell, then Executive Chef of Victoria & Albert’s at Walt Disney World’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa collaborated on the menu. And its adult-only Pink Lounge was an effort to welcome parents on board.
“The Dream’s increased passenger capacity compared to Magic and Wonder has opened up the world of cruising to more guests each week who often visit Florida as part of land and sea vacations,” Scott said. Sanders, who runs fan site DisneyCruiseLineBlog.com. “The Dream built on the success of Magic and Wonder and expanded the overall customer experience, which even led to changes in the Magic class.”
Those changes included renovating buffet-style restaurants and adding concierge lounges, Sanders said.
Fantasy followed a year later and will remain in Port Canaveral continuing to sail primarily on seven-night Caribbean itineraries.
It’s seen a few changes over the year, including the arrival of a “Beauty and the Beast” stage show in 2017 spoofing “Villains Tonight!” It was also the first ship to get a dedicated Star Wars-themed area after a 2016 drydock overhaul included the Millennium Falcon play space in the Oceaneer Club.
Disney Dream had flown three- and four-night sailings to the Bahamas, including stops at the private island Castaway Cay. Those tasks will fall to Disney Wish, which will begin service with customers on July 14.
Dream will be based in Miami through next summer, sailing on three-, four-, and five-night voyages. He will then travel to Europe for the first time, a task that has been left to Disney Magic.
Disney Wish will be followed by two yet-to-be-named sister ships in 2024 and 2025, with at least one of the other new ships also expected to call Port Canaveral. It expands the Dream and Fantasy AquaDuck concept to also include a dark ride and will feature all-new onboard dining and entertainment concepts related to Star Wars, Marvel and Frozen.