Disney Magic: The Launching of a Dream - John Hemingway

The dreammakers of Disney have done it again! Disney Magiccelebrates the creation of a cruise ship different from all others. This keepsake volume reveals how the Disney Cruise Line creative team turned a dream, long held by Walt Disney, into reality. It documents the care, innovation and originality that led to the birth of a remarkable ship. Discover why the Walt Disney Company decided to enter the cruise industry, what prompted the decision to design a fanciful, modern classic, and how the ship's storyline sets it apart from all others in the water today. Richly illustrated with more than 180 never-before-seen images, Disney Magic includes preliminary exterior design sketches, photographs of the ship's bow being towed up the Adriatic Sea off the coast of Italy for the "Float Together" and a vintage shot of Walt Disney himself aboard the Italian luxury liner The Rex. The images provide a taste of the ship's evolution, examining what went into designing and building not only its body, but the highly distinctive interiors. Be dazzled by insights into little known details of the Disney Magic.





Published in 1998, this keepsake book focuses on the development of the Disney Cruise Line, with special focus on the ship Disney Magic. This ship's build began in 1997 in the port of Marghera, Italy. Disney CEO Michael Eisner was inspired to create a cruise line exclusive to the company after touring various popular cruise lines and noticing too much of what he saw as "glassed over floating hotels".




...most suffered from self-imposed industrial constraints, that they all appeared to be built around a framework that was, at best, utilitarian. There seemed little romance, "little sense of Hollywood in contemporary cruise ship design." Yes, they were stylistically fleet, even elegant at times, but structurally they had been driven by a simple formula of compressing the maximum number of cabins into a hull. Where was the fantasy?


Eisner wanted the Disney ships to have a more classic look, something that harkened back to the halcyon days of luxury sea travel. He also wanted to offer a more magical and cozy experience to families. Following an initial billion dollar investment, the dream gradually became a reality.









"We are excessive," observes Michael Eisner. "I must have attended 5 meetings about every room on the ship. I went to see life-size mock-ups of the ship's staterooms in Italy before we committed to any design detail. We change everything 3 or 4 times at least."


"Creativity is an open process," concludes Judson Green, President of Walt Disney Attractions. "The technique that led to the perfection of the ship design is typical of Disney. I always say I'll never accept the first 'take' on anything --- no matter how brilliant. At Disney we have no shortage of ideas. Just turn on the spigots. We let ideas nurture. In the end, they always turn out better..."


Disney Magic, the flagship, was built with inspiration primarily being pulled from two sources: the Queen Mary and a general incorporation of Scandinavian ship design. This book gives readers not only text detailing the project but also a step-by-step visual of the ship (and thus the Disney Cruise Line itself) slowly coming to fruition. Looking at the pictures of the interior now, many will see the chosen fabrics seem pretty dated now (they read VERY 90s, lol) but still, there's something about the nostalgia it now brings forth. Along with the photos of the project itself, also incorporated around the text are vintage photographs of the days of sailing that inspired the vision for the Disney Cruise Line, sketches of the ship design (preliminary suggestions for styling, cabin set up, etc) as well as some rarely seen photographs of the man Walt Disney himself.



just partly built, already immense!



It's an interesting and easy read if you have interest in Disney history or shipbuilding techniques (or both!). The bonus of the photographs is extra fun!