Jeffrey Epstein, of D23 fame, visits the Imagineers working on on the Disney Dream and comes back with a really detailed report of what we can expect to find on board January 2011.
There is a tremendous amount of interactive technology going into this new ship, including some elements from the theme parks. In some ways, many of the new details and effects seem to stem from new initiatives to make the theme parks more immersive and interactive with guests. Imagine a restaurant where Crush and other characters can stroll right on up to you within the paintings (HD Monitors) hanging on the wall at your table. But they don't just sit there, they talk to you and carry on a conversation - like a personal little stage show. There are also some on-board quests and games which take advantage of interactive artwork being placed throughout the ship. Some really astounding and alluring details in this report which make me want to book a trip right now.
Here are a few excerpts from Jeffrey's article, but I'd recommend reading the full (and quite long) version here: D23 | Official online destination for Disney Fans | Disney
D23 goes behind the scenes of the magic — and technology — of the new Disney Dream ship.
First we were led to a small conference room where DCL Publicity Director Jason Lasecki and Walt Disney Imagineering Senior Show Producer Bob Zalk explain the basics of the Disney Dream, the new ship which will sail its maiden voyage from Port Canaveral, Florida, on January 26, 2011. The super-sized ship will hold nearly twice as many guests as its sister ships, the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder (4,000 vs. 2,700). Many of its attributes — including its three signature restaurants, expanded youth activity areas, enhanced adult spaces and the eagerly anticipated AquaDuck water coaster — were detailed in the Winter 2009 issue of Disney twenty-three. It was stressed that everything we would be seeing today was still a work in progress. Names, themes and design elements all might change before the Dream takes to the waters.In every interior stateroom on the Dream, a Virtual Porthole (also dubbed "Magical Porthole") will be installed, says Walt Disney Imagineering Senior Show Producer Bob Zalk (seen here). When turned on, interior-facing guests will actually enjoy an ocean view — not a simulated one — courtesy of multiple high-definition cameras installed all around the ship.
The fantastical twist is that when looking through your Virtual Porthole, you may enjoy a visit from some familiar Disney faces. Peach from Finding Nemo was shown in tests last year against a computer-generated ocean.Following our peek at the Porthole, we were brought to a spacious demonstration room, bursting with some of the new, interactive elements that will be incorporated into the Dream. "It's storytelling with technology," explained WDI Principal Concept Designer Greg Butkus. "It gives you a deeper level of immersion."
Enjoying samples of the ship's Enchanted Art — pictures that look like static images, which — thanks to high-tech LCD screens — will leap to colorful life for passengers from decks one through 13.Other pieces of Enchanted Art will be even more interactive. Ever dreamed of steering Captain Hook's pirate ship through Never Land's lagoon? Just walk up to the stunning "painting" of the ship. In front, you'll notice a steering wheel and a lever, which put you in the driver's seat. As you steer through the waters, visual icons (tiki torches on the beach, for example) will beckon you, and as you reach each icon, new effects will appear (like a shimmering rainbow).We were guided into DCL's beloved restaurant, Animator's Palate. Not the real restaurant, of course, but a mockup of what the Dream's version of the dining room will look like.The Animator's Palate on board the Disney Dream.
The Dream's version is a new take on the original idea. Guests will walk into what looks to be an old-fashioned animation studio with hardwood floors, animator's reference books and maquettes, all drenched in warm sepia tones. One hundred twenty-nine LCD monitors are thoughtfully placed throughout the room's nine "show zones," which are almost alcove-like and provide a more intimate dining experience in a restaurant that will be serving about 700 guests simultaneously.My quotes above only scratch the surface on this great story. You can read the full article by D23's Jeffrey Epstein here: D23 | Official online destination for Disney Fans | DisneyFor one hour Crush will talk with diners throughout the restaurant. Because each of the zones will have its own monitors, Crush won't be the only fish in the sea, so to speak. Nemo, Marlin, Dori, Bruce, Anchor, Chum, Mr. Ray, the moonfish and the gang from the tank will all be making the rounds, many of them also capable of talking with guests — and playing games, too.