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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Disney Cruise Line Creating More Magic at Castaway Cay

    From today's Orlando Sentinel...

    Island happy Disney unveils Castaway Cay additions

    By Dewayne Bevil
    Sentinel Staff Writer


    August 30, 2009

    CASTAWAY CAY, Bahamas

    Disney Cruise Line is preparing for a population surge on its private island.

    The upcoming doubling of its fleet entails bigger ships and thus more passengers waiting to play for a day on the shores of its 1,000-acre resort.

    The expansion plan calls for more than just setting out hundreds of additional lounge chairs and extending the dock.

    "We're out here undertaking the improvements for the new ships," says Mark Cole of Walt Disney Imagineering. "There's no reason we shouldn't step back and say 'What opportunity do we have to make this one of the most magical experiences at sea?'"

    Among the amenities on tap for Castaway Cay: an expanded family beach, more water-based recreation, more convenient eating options and 20 private cabanas — from which guests literally can flag down a bartender.

    Guests here currently have many relaxation options — snorkeling, bicycling, hiking, a ray-interaction experience, massages and welcoming beach umbrellas and chairs. The Flying Dutchman ship used in the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest rests in the lagoon. Another unique-to-Disney amenity is that passengers walk straight from the ship to the dock — no tendering necessary. The atmosphere maintains a natural island theme with only low-key references to Disney characters.

    One of the goals of the construction, set to be finished by next summer, is to spread out the guests, who usually hit the first patch of sand they see.

    "It's just human nature when you go to the beach," Cole says. "They want to claim their place so the kids know where they're coming back to."

    Disney is adding a tram stop farther down the coastline from its current hub to encourage folks to settle there. A new eatery, bar, bathrooms and merchandise outlets, similar to those already in existence, are being built nearby. To complement the current food outlet named Cookies, another restaurant with the same menu is planned. Its name will be Cookies Too.

    "If I'm going to go from 2,700 guests to 4,000 guests, transportation is a critical piece," says Disney Cruise Line President Karl Holz.

    The expansion of the 1,000-foot family beach by 700 feet will be achieved by the relocation of the stingray experience and teen getaway area.

    The majority of the private cabanas will face the family beach, with a handful at Serenity Bay, the adults-only beach. The floored structures will have covered areas, decks, refrigerators, dining tables and chairs, lounge chairs, lockable storage and outdoor fresh-water showers. They're designed to hold six people.

    Cabana rental rates have not been set, Disney officials say, but there will be at least three tiers of service available, including one with a personal host.

    "On the front of the cabana is a flagpole," says Ozer Balli, vice president of hotel operations for the cruise line. "You can actually raise a flag — depending on your package purchased — to get the attention of your bartender."

    Several new island elements sport water features:

    • Pelican Plunge will be two corkscrew slides floating on a deck in the lagoon, just a short swim away. "The beauty of Pelican Plunge is that it's for all ages: 6, 16 or 60," Balli says.

    • Disney storytelling will be evident with the Spring-a-Leak area, an all-ages play area designed to look like an island structure blown away by a "strong island breeze." ("Hurricane" might be too strong a word.) Amid all the fountains and water jets will be the leaning remains.

    • A 200-square-foot wet deck with geysers — shaped like a captain's wheel — will be added to Scuttle's Cove, the area for children's activities.

    About 10 percent of the island has been developed.

    "I think we've taken full advantage of the island where we think it makes sense," Holz say. "This is our intent, to be very responsible in terms of developing the island and making sure we do that in an environmentally friendly manner."

    "You want to preserve the local fauna and flora, it's an important thing."
    ~~~~~

    Click Here to see photos and artists' conceptions of the renovations.
    Ed
    Senior Imagineer Emeritus

    Welcome to the INTERCOT forums !


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  3. #2
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    Wow... it looks and sounds great. I can't wait to go back!
    WDW Trips - Too many to list due to sig file character count limit! :(

    Most Recent Cruise: DCL 7-day Western Caribbean Cruise - 12/29/07 - 01/05/08 - New Year's Eve at Sea! Woo Hoo!

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  4. #3
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    Default Disney Cruise Line Creating More Magic at Castaway Cay

    CELEBRATION, Fla. (Aug. 31, 2009) - Castaway Cay, Disney's private island paradise in the tropical waters of the Bahamas, is getting an extra dose of pixie dust. Enhancements will provide guests with more water-based family-fun, additional conveniences and a slice of beachside luxury all designed to complement the idyllic island setting. The additional island amenities are scheduled to be complete by summer 2010, in time for special five-night cruises aboard the Disney Wonder with two stops at Castaway Cay, and the Disney Dream cruise ship which starts sailing in early 2011.

    Castaway Cay is consistently rated by Disney Cruise Line guests as their favorite port of call – the ultimate private island escape for adventure, relaxation and quality time with the family.

    “The numerous enhancements and additions planned for Castaway Cay will take the already extraordinary guest experiences on our private island to the next level,” said Disney Cruise Line President Karl Holz. “Whether our guests are seeking recreation or leisure – or a combination of both – they will find it at Castaway Cay, all complemented by unparalleled Disney service.”

    Walt Disney Imagineers designed Castaway Cay with one-of-a-kind areas and activities for every member of the family, while celebrating the natural beauty of the 1,000-acre island. Among the crystal-clear turquoise waters, powdery white sand beaches, swaying palm trees and lush landscapes, guests soon will find the following transformations.


    Expanded Family Beach

    The Castaway Family Beach will be extended by more than 700 feet for families to enjoy the pristine white sand, build sand castles, relax in the shade under an umbrella and take a dip in the warm azure waters of the lagoon. As an added convenience for guests, enhancements to this area of the island will include:

    New Cookies Too family lunch buffet location serving mouth-watering, all-you-care-to-eat barbeque, island spiced rotisserie chicken, burgers, grilled fish, fresh salads, flatbreads, ice cream, complimentary soda and more, in a covered pavilion just steps away from the expanded family beach.

    New Sand Bar beach bar mixing up drinks like Castaway Cay’s signature Konk Kooler, other tropical concoctions, cold beer and non-alcoholic beverages.

    New Flippers & Floats beach rentals providing inner tubes, snorkels, masks and fins.

    New Buy the Sea Shore merchandise location selling a variety of Castaway Cay-exclusive items along with towels, sunscreen and other beach essentials – a complement to the island’s other merchandise location, She Sells Sea Shells & everything else.


    New Water Feature and Water Play Areas

    Guests can slide and splash at a new water feature called Pelican Plunge. The 2,400-square-foot floating platform, located within swimming distance from shore, celebrates the island’s native pelicans. Various flotsam and jetsam – such as nautical rope, cargo nets, buoys, signaling flags and starfish-like ornamentation – adorn the platform. Two exciting water slides – an enclosed corkscrew slide and a 140-foot-long open slide – take guests on a twisting ride, ending with a splash into the lagoon. A giant “bucket dump” delivers hundreds of gallons of water, soaking eagerly awaiting guests. Four water cannons provide sharp-shooting fun with floating nautical targets approximately 20 feet away.

    On the island, a brand-new, 2,400-square-foot water play area called Spring-a-Leak helps guests cool off while immersing them in what appears to be the remnants of a washed-away beach dwelling leaning in the direction of the prevailing winds. The watery fun begins as guests enter the storm-ravaged structure, greeted by dripping pipes, broken plumbing and hissing misters, exposed and twisted by the tropical tempest that wiped out the original structure.

    A “splash pad” is the focal point and gives the impression of water pooled on the ground. Water jets squirt, spray and saturate guests. Shade is provided by leftover pieces of the corrugated steel roof, aged and distressed fabric and the occasional palm tree growing up through the floor foundation. Parents can relax and have a seat – or, better yet, join in the fun – as kids frolic in the wet and whimsical setting.

    The “hub” of youth activities on the island, Scuttle’s Cove, will feature a new water play area for the youngest Disney Cruise Line guests to splash and enjoy as part of supervised youth activities on Castaway Cay. A 1,200-square-foot soft wet deck area provides fresh-water fun with an array of pop jets, geysers and bubblers. Overhead, shade sails circle the area like a compass and marine
    props – a captain’s wheel, boat oars, life preservers and nautical rope – complete the castaway theme.


    New Beach Cabanas

    Guests can have a little piece of paradise all to themselves at one of 20 new private cabanas. The premium rental cabanas provide the privacy and luxury of a deluxe beach retreat with an option to add the personalized service of a cabana host.

    The majority of the exclusive 325-square-foot beach cabanas will dot the far side of Castaway Family Beach, giving guests more privacy along with a spectacular view of their Disney cruise ship from the cabana’s large front patio deck. A handful of private cabanas will be located on Serenity Bay Beach, exclusively for adults, providing the ultimate in upscale seclusion.

    Each well-appointed cabana is furnished with comfortable cushioned chairs, luxurious chaise lounge chairs, stylish side tables and a dining table. Other convenient features include a refrigerator, lockable storage unit, outside fresh water shower and sail cloth for shade on the deck.

    Amenities included with a beach cabana rental include non-alcoholic beverages, suntan lotion and fluffy towels. A variety of a la carte services and packages will be offered, including special food and beverage options.


    Other Enhancements and Additions

    Ÿ The popular Castaway Ray’s Stingray Adventure will be moved to a different location in the lagoon, adjacent to the existing Gil’s Fins & Boats beach rental. Once complete, guests will be able to swim and interact with stingrays in an even larger area within the private lagoon.


    Ÿ Teens will enjoy Hide Out, an all-new secluded area on the island just for them. Off the beaten path, but near everything, this teen retreat is a great place to hang out and soak up the sun, just steps away from the beach, activities, food, ice cream and refreshments. Multi-colored deck chairs and sail cloth shades create the ideal getaway to gather, kick back, listen to music and watch the action at the nearby beach volleyball and soccer areas.


    Ÿ In Da Shade Game Pavilion provides guests wanting to take a break out of the sun a place to play games such as table tennis, foosball, billiards and basketball. The new shaded structure is centrally located, near Castaway Family Beach.


    Ÿ To provide additional adult pampering, three new massage cabanas will be added to the adults-only Serenity Bay Beach. For unparalleled relaxation, adults will be able to enjoy a therapeutic massage, or couples massage, at one of eight private cabanas overlooking the ocean.


    Ÿ Guest transportation is provided to and from various points on the island via tram. For greater convenience, additional tram paths will be created and a new Pelican Point Tram Stop will be located farther down Castaway Family Beach, near most of the new additions to the island.


    Ÿ Marge’s Barges & Sea Charters Dock will be expanded to accommodate additional excursion boats for parasailing, fishing tours and more.



    Ÿ The cruise ship dock at Castaway Cay eliminates the need to tender, making the ship easily accessible throughout the day. To accommodate Disney Cruise Line’s new ships, additional mooring dolphins will be installed to lengthen the dock.

    Disney Cruise Line sails to Castaway Cay on all itineraries originating from Port Canaveral, Fla. Disney Cruise Line offers three-, four- and seven-night itineraries to the Bahamas and the Caribbean with special voyages to the Mediterranean and Northern Europe in 2010. Land/sea vacation packages that include a stay at Walt Disney World Resort provide the ultimate Disney vacation experience.

    A leader in the family cruise segment, Disney Cruise Line delivers a vacation experience that every member of the family feels was created especially for them.
    John - aka. The Master Control Program
    Owner, Chairman & Chief Imagination Officer - INTERCOT

  5. #4
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    Wow, sounds great! We were going to book for the spring, but now I think we should just wait until all of the additions are completed.

    ΊOΊprprincessΊOΊ

    WDW-75, 79, 89, 91, 98, 04: Offsite; 01: ASMs & CSR; 02: Dolphin; 03: GF & POR; 06: POFQ & BC; 08: WL; 09: CBR
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  6. #5
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    Talking Upgrades to Castaway Cay

    Thank you Intercot for posting the new video on Castaway Cay. It was great.
    Keep smiling and Have a magical day!!!
    It's all good.

    We love to serve fun, food, and deliciousness.



    AKA: Jean and Marty

  7. #6
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    I think we are going to plan a Cruise for next year. Does anyone have any suggestions on good times to go?
    Never underestimate the power of pixie dust!!

  8. #7
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    I would love to try a cruise but I know I would not want to leave
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  9. #8
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    I wonder if it will be done by Memorial Weekend. We are going on the double dip and would love to experience all these new things. Not sure if they consider June summer or not?
    Poly 2004-2009 LVC
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  10. #9
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    Default Re: Creating More Magic at Castaway Cay

    Darn, but that looks good. Just one more reason to book even another cruise with Disney Cruise Line.

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