In my post about all of the Disney ships together in France, I noticed that there was a section of the Dream that was gray. I thought it was a temporary cover to protect the paint while the Dream was being worked on, but now I'm not so sure.
This is a video from inselvideo on YouTube, the same user who posted various videos about the Wish's construction. Like the other video, this shows what the four ships looked like together from various camera angles, but I think I like this video better, since it shows more footage of the ships before the Wonder arrived.
Another reason why I like this video more is because it gives more clues as to what that gray part of the Dream is. In the video above, go one minute and two seconds in, then pause it. Look to the left of Vibe's sundeck on the Dream. It's Mickey Mouse, and it's all white. It appears that the Mickey Mouse silhouette is a little higher than the rest of the white area. This part of the video was taken before the Wonder arrived, so the gray must have been added sometime between this section and when the Wonder arrived. I've never seen what the Vibe sundeck looks like from Deck 13, since that area is reserved for adults. Do any adults reading this know if the Mickey Mouse silhouette was there on the Dream before this dry dock?
Now, move ahead to 1:57 and pause the video. The area surrounding the Mickey Mouse silhouette is gray now! However, the same area on the Fantasy is still white. Maybe the white paint on the Dream was removed and the gray is just what it looks like without any paint. If this is the case, then they've probably repainted it white at this point. As I mentioned in my other post, the gray could be a cover, though I doubt this now. I couldn't see the white Mickey on the Dream in the other video, but now that I know it's there, I'm pretty sure it's not a cover. Also, if it is a cover, why would they bother putting Mickey on it? No guests were on the ship, so it wouldn't have been noticed. My only other guess is that the gray section is permanent. It may have a function. Here's why: At Vibe, the sundeck is only open during the day, and even then, it's not open all day. This is because when it gets dark, the captain and crew in the bridge need it to be dark to be able to see what's in front of the ship. If there were lights on and people outside, the crew wouldn't be able to see, which could be dangerous. The darker gray color may have been added to make it easier for the crew on the bridge to see in the dark. It's a bit of a stretch, but it's possible.
Also at 1:57, all of the Magic's lifeboats were taken off! Seeing the the Magic without any of its lifeboats looks pretty different, and you don't get to see that very often. Cool!
Finally, at 2:46, look at the gray section on the Dream again. It looks like someone, or something, is on Mickey's head! If it's a person, they might have been working on it. I wish I could ask them what the gray section was for.
Sadly, neither of the videos get close enough to the Vibe sundeck on the Fantasy to tell if there's a Mickey silhouette there like on the Dream. I'm assuming that there is, since the Dream and the Fantasy are almost structurally identical. If there is, why wasn't it gray on the Fantasy?
After analyzing both videos, my best guess is that the gray area is only temporary, while the Dream gets repainted. I don't think it's permanent because it's not on the Fantasy, the Dream's sister ship. Plus, the gray looks out of place because it's surrounded by white. It doesn't look good, and Disney designed their ships to look good.
While thinking way too hard about the strange gray area on the Dream, I realized that the white Mickey Mouse silhouette is a Hidden Mickey! Or, at least, it was a Hidden Mickey, before they made it super obvious with the gray. Could this be the world's largest (formerly) Hidden Mickey?