Disney Magic

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Disney Magic logo.svg
Disney Magic2.jpg
Disney Magic at Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Name: Disney Magic
Owner: The Walt Disney Company
Operator: Disney Cruise Line
Port of registry: Nassau,  Bahamas
Ordered: 1996
Builder: Fincantieri Marghera, Italy[1]
Cost: US$400 million
Yard number: 5989
Laid down: October 31, 1996
Launched: May 13, 1997
Completed: June 30, 1998
Maiden voyage: July 30, 1998[1]
In service: 1998–present
Identification:IMO number9126807
Status: In service
General characteristics
Class and type: Magic-class (Disney) [1]
Type: Cruise Ship
Tonnage: 83,338 GT[1]
Length: 984 ft (300 m)[1]
Beam: 106 ft (32 m)
Draft: 25.3 ft (7.7 m)
Decks: 11
Installed power: 43,000 kW (57,600 hp)
Propulsion: Diesel-Electric; *5 × Sulzer 16ZAV40S; two shafts
  • Cruising 21.5 knots (39.8 km/h; 24.7 mph),
  • maximum 23.5 knots (43.5 km/h; 27.0 mph)
Capacity: 1,750 passengers (double occupancy) 2,713 passengers (maximum)
Crew: 945

Disney Magic is the first cruise ship owned and operated by Disney Cruise Line, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company.[2] She has 11 public decks, can accommodate 2,700 passengers in 875 staterooms,[1] and has a crew of approximately 950. The interior of Disney Magic is decorated in the Art Deco style.

The ship has 20 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.[3] 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".[4] Disney Magic's Godmother is Patricia Disney, former wife of Walt Disney's nephew, Roy E. Disney.[5]


Disney Magic departing Port Canaveral.

Planning and construction[edit]

Disney had cruise ship designs drawn up by February 1994.[6] Disney Cruise Line in 1995 ordered 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 stern at their Marghera shipyard.

The planned maiden voyage was for March 12, 1998.[1] In January 1997, the first ticket for Magic's first trip was raffled off on Lifetime channel, while ticket sales would begin in September 1997.[3] Delays on the construction of MS Rotterdam kept additional workers from the Magic. Thus, by November 1997, the cruise line initially rescheduled the ship's initial voyage to April 30, 1998. However, further delays from suppliers and poor weather conditions at Fincantieri pushed back the maiden voyage even further by a few months. The bow was towed to the Marghera shipyard where the halves were joined.[1]


With livery and design evocative of the RMS Queen Mary,[7] Disney Magic set sail on her maiden voyage on July 30, 1998, out of Port Canaveral.[1] The ship's initial cruises were to Nassau, Bahamas with a stop at Castaway Cay over three to four nights.[5]

Originally, from 2000, Disney Magic had been undertaking weekly cruises to Castaway Cay and Caribbean islands out of its home port in Port Canaveral, Florida.[8][9]

In June 2005, Disney Magic was dispatched to the West Coast as part of Disneyland's 50th Anniversary celebrations and as a test for California expansion. The transfer cruise sold out quicker than expected. Bookings from first time Disney cruisers were up for these cruises by at least 60%.[10]

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.[5] In the summer of 2008, Disney Magic was moved to Los Angeles once again.[11] The ship 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.[5]

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.[12] In June 2013, Disney Magic was re-positioned to Barcelona, Spain for the summer.[13]

Disney Magic was put in for an overhaul at Navantia shipyard, Cadiz, Spain.[14] In October 2013, Disney Cruise Line completed renovations to Disney Magic [15] 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.[16] Carioca's restaurant was replaced with Rapunzel's Royal Table, Club Disney Junior replaced the Mickey Mouse Club and other changes were made.[17]

In 2016, the Disney Magic sailed Disney Cruise Lines' inaugural Northern Europe itineraries, homeported in the port of Dover, 70 miles from London, England. She sailed to Norway, the British Isles, and the Baltic Sea during her brief three month season. With the October 6, 2017 cruise of Disney Magic from New York to the Bahamas, the cruise line held its first Marvel Day at Sea.[18]

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Disney Magic has been anchored in Dover on and off since May 2020 and was due to stay until August 2021.[19] However, it was later confirmed the ship would be used for UK only sailings in summer 2021.[20]


Entertainment on Disney Magic includes live Broadway-style shows with many Disney characters, two movie theaters, the Walt Disney Theater and the Buena Vista theater, which feature both Disney films and occasional first-run movies, several night clubs and lounges, several pools, and many Disney-themed parties and celebrations, including a Sail-Away Celebration and Pirates Night.

On the ship's forward funnel, there is a 24-by-14 foot LED screen known as the Funnel Vision, due to its location on the rear of one of the ship's funnels, where guests can watch various movies and shows either from the deck or from inside Goofy's Pool.

Shows from the Walt Disney Theatre may include: All Aboard, Let The Magic Begin, A Final Farewell Show,[citation needed] Twice Charmed: A Twist on the Cinderella Story, Tangled the Musical and Disney Dreams: An Enchanted Classic.[21] Former shows included 'Villains Tonight!' which was replaced by Tangled.[21]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Saunders, Aaron (October 1, 2013). Giants of the Seas: The Ships that Transformed Modern Cruising. Seaforth Publishing. pp. 76–78, 179. ISBN 978-1848321724. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
  2. ^ "Disney Magic - Disney". Cruisecritic.com. Retrieved September 8, 2009.
  3. ^ a b Iovine, Julie V. (January 16, 1997). "Now It's Heigh-Ho, Off to Sea We Go - New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved December 30, 2013.
  4. ^ Aronson, Tara (September 25, 2002). "Disney Magic grows up". csmonitor.com. Retrieved September 8, 2009.
  5. ^ a b c d Nefer, Barb. "Disney Cruise Line History". USA Today. Gannett. Retrieved December 30, 2013.
  6. ^ Dezern, Craig (February 20, 1994). "Disney Contemplating Creation Of Cruise Line". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
  7. ^ "Now it's heigh-ho, off to sea we go," Ocala Star Banner (newspaper), 1997-01-26, Section D pg8
  8. ^ "Disney Cruises To Be Longer". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. December 26, 1999. Retrieved September 8, 2009.
  9. ^ McDowell, Edwin (October 15, 2000). "Sea Changes The Latest Trends: More Ships Bring Bigger Discounts". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. Retrieved September 8, 2009.
  10. ^ Jackson, Jerry W. (June 13, 2005). "Disney ship line on cruise control". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  11. ^ Jason Garcia (March 30, 2009). "Disney will homeport a ship in Los Angeles". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on May 24, 2011. Retrieved March 30, 2009.
  12. ^ "Disney to Galveston and Canada/New England in 2012". Cruise Industry News. April 5, 2011. Retrieved December 30, 2013.
  13. ^ Sloan, Gene (September 24, 2012). "Disney kicks off first cruises from Texas". USA Today Travel. USA Today. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  14. ^ Tribou, Richard (October 26, 2016). "Upgraded Disney Wonder headed back to the U.S." Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  15. ^ Lomer-Camarena, Kyara (September 28, 2014). "South Florida Parenting". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
  16. ^ Sloan, Gene (April 26, 2013). "Disney Magic to get a major makeover". USA Today. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
  17. ^ Tribou, Richard. "'Tangled' restaurant to replace Carioca's on Disney Magic". dailypress.com. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  18. ^ "Disney Cruise Line announces Marvel Day at Sea on select 2017 Disney Magic sailings". Attractions Magazine. October 21, 2016. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  19. ^ Wright, Joe (February 27, 2021). "Disney Magic set to continue long stay in Dover after cruise schedule postponed until August".
  20. ^ "UK Magic at Sea". disneycruise.disney.go.com. Retrieved April 4, 2021.
  21. ^ a b Tribou, Richard (November 15, 2015). "'Tangled' takes center stage aboard Disney Magic". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved October 28, 2016.

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