Tuesday, March 16, 2021

The Old Disney Cruise Line Website! Part 2: Deck Plans

Welcome to Part 2 of the series where we go back in time to the Disney Cruise Line Website of the early 2000s!  In Part 1, we started at the homepage and looked through Rates, Dates, & More.  In that post, I said I'd be saving the deck plans for a later post.  Well, it's officially later, so let's look at those deck plans!  These deck plans from the old DCL website are of the original versions of the Magic and Wonder, before any changes were made in dry docks.  I'll be comparing the old deck plans of the Magic and the Wonder (they're sister ships, so their deck plans are very similar) to the modern deck plans using this deck plan from WDWinfo.com.  I would use the normal DCL website deck plans, but this other deck plan has each deck in a way that looks very similar to the old DCL website's deck plans.

Let's start at the bottom of the ship, Deck 1.  There's not much to do on Deck 1, and nothing here has changed, except for the Health Center's name.  It used to be called "Medical Health Center", but now it's just "Health Center".  This change is very minor, if you asked a crew member where you could find the Medical Health Center today, I'm sure they'd know what you were talking about.
Deck 2 is much more interesting than Deck 1.  Aside from staterooms, Deck 2 originally had three conference rooms in Midship.  These conference rooms must not have been used for many meetings, since they were eventually converted into Edge, the youth club for ages 11-14.  Deck 2 probably wasn't an ideal place for a youth club, since the loud kids probably disturbed the guests in the nearby staterooms.  So, Edge was moved up to Deck 9, where the Quarter Masters Arcade previously was.  The space Edge occupied on Deck 2 was converted into six inside staterooms:  2063, 2065, 2067, 2563, 2565, and 2567,
Today, Deck 3 is quite different from what it was originally like.  Let's start in Forward and work our way to Aft.  The adults-only nightclub area on the Magic was originally called Beat Street and featured Sessions, Off Beat, and Rockin' Bar D.  The Wonder's equivalent of Beat Street was Route 66.  Route 66 featured the Cadillac Lounge, Barrel of Laughs, and WaveBands.  Route 66 was created before Cars, a movie that mostly took place in a town on Route 66, released.  So, Cars had no influence on it.  But did the Wonder's Route 66 influence Cars?  I don't remember there being any cruise ships in Cars.  Both of these areas featured a small shopping boutique area, separate from the main shopping area onboard.  Beat Street and Route 66 are now After Hours, a different area with a name unrelated to roads.  In the Magic's After Hours, Sessions is now Keys, a literal piano bar.  While Off Beat was a creative name, it wouldn't make much sense in After Hours, so it's now O'Gill's Pub, which is also on the Fantasy.  Also, Rockin' Bar D is now Fathoms, or as I thought when I was on the Magic in 2015, Fathorns.  On the Wonder, the Cadillac Lounge is still the Cadillac Lounge, even though the Route 66-themed area is gone.  Barrel of Laughs is now the Crown & Fin Pub, and WaveBands is now Azure.  Also, the boutique shop is now Sea Treasures.  Having a store in After Hours seems a little odd, but hey, at least it has an actual name now.

Closer to Midship are the Guest Services desk and the Shore Excursions desk.  These were likely very similar to what they're like today, but DCL's Shore Excursions are now called Port Adventures.  I prefer the newer name, but would a shopping excursion count as an adventure?

Near those desks is the atrium, now with 50% less grand staircases.  The Magic and Wonder originally had two grand staircases in their atriums, but since the newer Dream and Fantasy only have one, their starboard side staircases were removed.  At least they kept the statues in the same central location.  Right next to the staircases is one of the three rotational dining restaurants, Lumière's on the Magic and Triton's on the Wonder.  Not much has changed with these restaurants since the Magic and Wonder were launched.  Notably, on the original deck plan, Lumière's is spelled with a fancy, accented 'è', but on the new deck plan, it's just Lumiere's, without the fancy 'è'.  

Between Midship and Aft is the Promenade Lounge.  While it's still on the Magic, the Promenade Lounge has been converted into the French Quarter Lounge on the Wonder.  The French Quarter Lounge goes very well with Tiana's Place, the nearby rotational restaurant.  Unfortunately, the newer deck plan I used for this post doesn't show this change, but the DCL website's deck plan does.  The last time I was on the Wonder, it was still the Promenade Lounge, but the French Quarter Lounge looks really cool.

Near the Promenade Lounge is the second of the original DCL rotational restaurants, Parrot Cay.  From what the old website says, Parrot Cay was a tropical Caribbean restaurant.  If I went on a cruise in the Caribbean and went to Caribbean restaurants in the ports the ship visited, I think I'd prefer to eat at a different-themed restaurant at night.  Maybe that's why they changed it.  On the Magic, it was changed into Carioca's, a Brazilian restaurant.  Carioca's didn't last, though, and it was converted into Rapunzel's Royal Table in 2018.  Rapunzel's Royal Table goes really well with Tangled:  The Musical, a live show exclusively on the Magic.  Well, it's also on YouTube, but it's more fun watching it in the Walt Disney Theatre.  On the Wonder, Parrot Cay became Tiana's Place, one of DCL's most fun and entertaining rotational restaurants.
Let's go up another deck to Deck 4.  Starting in Forward, the first location is the Walt Disney Theatre.  This theatre was where live shows were held back in the time of the old website, and it still is where live shows are held.  Near the Walt Disney Theatre is Preludes, where guests can buy popcorn, cans of soda, and other snacks to enjoy during a show.  Preludes was like this in the early days of DCL, and it still is today.  The Dream and Fantasy both have Preludes as well, and they're just like their counterparts on the Magic and Wonder.

Between Preludes and the atrium are the two major shops, Mickey's Mates and Treasure Ketch.  Mickey's Mates was the shop for Disney and DCL merchandise.  Treasure Ketch was not a place to play games that involved catching treasure (a ketch is a type of sailboat), instead, it was a duty-free shop.  Mickey's Mates is now Mickey's Mainsail and Treasure Ketch is now White Caps.  The original shops likely sold similar goods to what their modern equivalents sell.

Deck 4 is the deck above the atrium.  Near the atrium is the Disney Vacation Planning Desk, which is absent from the original deck plans.  I think the desk was there but it just wasn't on the deck plans.  Where else would guests book another cruse onboard?  They couldn't have used the app because smartphones didn't exist yet.  Also, remember how I said that the starboard grand staircase was removed from the Magic and Wonder?  The newer deck plan still shows both grand staircases.  Furthermore, the deck plan on the DCL website still shows two!  This is a strange error since the Deck 3 plans have been updated to show the single staircase.  Maybe whoever was in charge of removing the staircase from the deck plans just forgot to remove the top part of it.

Near the atrium is Studio Sea, which is now the D Lounge.  The old website says Studio Sea was a family club, which is similar to the D Lounge that replaced it.  It was likely changed to keep continuity with the newer ships, as we've seen with a few changed areas so far, like the shops and the removed grand staircase.  Outside of the D Lounge is the Vista Gallery, which was not on the original deck plans.  I enjoy going to the Vista Gallery to look at art, even though I never buy anything from it.  I hope the Wish has a dedicated Vista Gallery area like the Dream and Fantasy did before Tiffany's took over.

Part of Studio Sea was turned into the Shutters Portrait Studio, where guests can pay extra to get fancy photos taken of them.  Outside of the Shutters Portrait Studio is Shutters, where guests can buy photos taken by professional photographers onboard.  Now, guests use kiosks with touchscreens to buy photos.  I'm pretty sure there weren't any touchscreen kiosks back when the Magic and Wonder entered service.

Right next to Shutters is one of the Buena Vista Theatre's exits.  It's labeled on the old deck plans but not on the newer ones.  This might be because it's no longer used as an exit, or maybe it wasn't deemed important enough to be labeled.

Near there is The Crown Jewelry on the Magic.  I don't remember this being on the Magic in 2015, but judging by its page on the DCL website, it looks like a jewelry shop with some very expensive wares.

Finally, the last feature of Deck 4 is Animator's Palate, the third rotational restaurant.  Animator's Palate is the only rotational restaurant on every DCL ship.  The version of the restaurant on the Dream and Fantasy introduced some awesome new features, and the version on the Magic and Wonder have adopted some of those features since.  For example, Animation Magic, the show where guests draw a character on a placemat and their character comes to life later in the dinner, started out on the Fantasy.  Since then, it has been brought to the Magic and Wonder.   It's not on the Dream since it only does short cruises.
The next deck we'll be looking at is Deck 5.  Starting in Forward, the first point of interest is the Oceaneer Lab, one of the youth clubs for kids from age 3 to age 12.  The Oceaneer Lab has activities targeted toward the older end of the age group, but younger kids can participate in its activities as well.  The Oceaneer Club is targeted toward the younger end of the age group, but older kids can go to it as well.  There is a hallway that connects the two clubs.  Before the Magic and Wonder were reimagined, I'm pretty sure that kids could not freely go between the two.  To go between them, they would've needed to ask a counselor.  Allowing kids to go between as they please is a much better way for the clubs to function.

Adjacent to the Oceaneer Club was Flounder's Reef Nursery, themed after The Little Mermaid.  The nursery is for children that are old enough to go on a cruise but are too young to go to the Oceaneer Club and Lab.  For children to go here, their parents would've needed to pay an extra fee.  Flounder no longer has a reef, because it's now the It's a Small World Nursery.  According to the newer deck plan, the It's a Small World Nursery ironically appears to be bigger than Flounder's Reef. 

Right next to the nursery is the Buena Vista Theatre, the ships' movie theater.  It's not as big as the Walt Disney Theatre, so new, popular movies like Star Wars and Marvel movies are often shown in the Walt Disney Theatre in addition to the Buena Vista Theatre so more people can watch them.  Since the Magic and Wonder have been in service, the Buena Vista Theatre has been upgraded with 3D technology.

Deck 5 starts and ends with staterooms, and there's not much to say about these rooms, so let's move on!
Deck 6 really isn't that interesting.  Even the deck's description on the old website doesn't seem to care much about this deck:  "Staterooms from bow to stern."  As you can see, there's just a lot of rooms here.  Some categories have been changed and some rooms have been changed into connecting rooms.  Instead of wasting time here, let's go up the virtual staircases or ride the virtual elevator to Deck 7.
Deck 7 is a lot like Deck 6, "Staterooms from bow to stern."  As I said before, some room categories have been changed and some connecting rooms have been added, but that's about it.  Let's go up to Deck 8.
Deck 8 isn't entirely "Staterooms from bow to stern."  It's mostly staterooms from bow to stern.  The bridge is shown on this deck's plans, even though it's not a guest area.  It would be really cool to go to the bridge and see what's there, but I guess the only way to do that is to get hired by Disney.  Deck 8 is also where many of the concierge rooms are, including the Walt Disney Suite and the Roy Disney Suite.  Deck 8 also has a pair of staircases behind the Aft elevator lobby.  These go to what is now Cabanas on the deck above.  Let's go to that deck!
Deck 9 is the pool deck, and there's a lot to discuss here.  As with the other decks, let's start in Forward.  The first area is the spa.  Back before the Reimaginations of the Magic and Wonder, the spa was the Vista Spa & Salon, but now it's Senses Spa & Salon, keeping with the fleetwide name and theme.  The section of the spa closest to the front of the ship is the overlook, which is absent from the newer deck plans.  The overlook was still inside the Vista Spa & Salon, and it was probably just part of the adjacent fitness area, which is on the newer plans.  On the starboard side, the Aerobics Area is now Spa Villas, and the Chill Spa for teenagers has been added near the Hair Salon.  Also, in the middle of the spa, the Thermal Baths have been converted into the Rainforest Room.  Other than those changes, the rest of Senses still has the same layout.

The Quiet Cove is similar to what is now, but there's one notable feature missing:  The Cove Café.  Instead, there's an area called Common Grounds, which was a coffee shop-themed youth club for teenagers from age 13 through age 17.  Now, you may be asking, "Where's Edge's equivalent?"  It didn't exist!  Instead of Edge and Vibe, there was only Common Grounds.  At this time, 11- and 12- year olds, two ages that can currently go to Edge, were restricted to the Oceaneer Club and Lab.  I think the reason why Edge was added and the age groups were altered was because Common Grounds was too crowded.  On the Magic or Wonder, if you've ever been to the Cove Café or Edge (they're essentially mirror images of each other), you probably know that they aren't very big.  Putting kids from ages 13 through 17 in the same small area likely wasn't ideal, so Common Grounds was split into two separate clubs later on.

Across from Common Grounds was the Quarter Masters Arcade.  Like the Arr-Cade on the Dream and Fantasy, it was removed.  The Quarter Masters Arcade is now Edge, and Deck 9 is a much better place for it than Deck 2 was.

Right behind the Forward funnel are the stage and Goofy's Pool.  There are two small whirlpools next to Goofy's Pool, which are in front of Pinocchio's Pizzeria.  Pinocchio's Pizzeria is the only original poolside restaurant on the Magic and Wonder that remains.  Contrary to what a sign may tell you on the Wonder, it isn't a pool.  

On the new deck plans, Quacks is next to Pinocchio's Pizzeria.  Quacks is really strange, but I've tried to figure out what's going on with it.  Near that are Eye Scream and Frozone Treats on the Magic and Sulley's Sips on the Wonder.  Eye Scream was originally Scoops, which was where Daisy's De-Lites is now (we'll come back to this in a bit).  The Reimaginations moved the ice cream station and added Frozone Treats and Sulley's Sips, a place to get specialty drinks for an extra cost.  Both the older and the newer deck plans show a staircase next to Eye Scream, but there isn't one there anymore, as it would make the area even more crowded.  I guess Disney really likes getting rid of staircases on the starboard side.

Under the functional funnel is the second poolside restaurant, Pluto's Dog House.  Pluto's Dog House was converted into Pete's Boiler Bites, which was then converted into the Duck-In Diner on the Magic.  It's still Pete's Boiler Bites on the Wonder, however.  That change doesn't make a ton of sense, wouldn't have just been easier to just keep it as Pete's Boiler Bites?  Anyway, Pluto's Dog House likely offered similar foods to what Duck-In and Pete's offer now, like hamburgers, chicken tenders, and French fries.

Outside of there is the original Mickey's Pool.  This was a pool shaped like Mickey's head, similar to Mickey's Pool on the Dream and Fantasy.  However, unlike the newer Mickey's Pools, Mickey's ears were two separate, smaller pools in the original version.  Mickey's Pool on the Magic and Wonder is now the AquaLab.  The AquaLab is similar to Mickey's Pool, but now, there's more to play with while getting drenched.  Near the AquaLab is the Nephew's Splash Zone on the Magic and Dory's Reef on the Wonder.  So on the Wonder, Flounder lost his reef, but Dory got a reef.  Dory's Reef and the Nephew's Splash Zone are for very young children, those that are too young for the AquaLab.  The Magic and Wonder originally did not have something like this.  At this point, I'm sure you've noticed the water slide on the deck plans, but the entrance to it is on Deck 10, so we'll come back to it.

I said we'd come back to Daisy's De-Lites later, so let's talk about it now.  Scoops was where Daisy's De-Lites is now, and it was adjacent to Goofy's Galley, which was the equivalent to Daisy's De-Lites.  It served healthier foods than the other two poolside restaurants, including fruit and salads.  However, I don't blame you if you didn't know that Goofy's Galley existed, because it's not on the deck plans.  I think the reason for this was because there wasn't enough space to fit both 'Goofy's Galley' and 'Scoops Ice Cream', so they chose the one that would appeal to more people.  If you were on a cruise, would you rather have ice cream or a salad?  

The last part of Deck 9 is the buffet.  On the Magic, the buffet was Topsider Buffet, and on the Wonder, it was Beach Blanket Buffet.  From what I've seen online, Beach Blanket Buffet had a tropical theme that was kind of like Cabanas, and Topsider Buffet had a lot of signal flags.  These themes were fine, but as we've seen a lot, when the Dream and Fantasy introduced Cabanas, Disney updated the older members of their fleet to have Cabanas.  If you look on the deck plans inside the buffet, you'll see the staircases that go from it down to Deck 8.
Time for the penultimate deck, Deck 10.  Starting in Forward, we have the Wide World of Sports Deck.  Here, there are foosball tables, a basketball court, and ping pong tables (although they might have been removed, since they had been removed from the Fantasy at some point before January 2020).  Previously, there was nothing between the sports deck and the funnel except for some tables, but now, the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is there, by the Deck 10 Forward elevator lobby.  Originally, all of the Forward elevators went to Deck 10, but now, only one does thanks to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.  Its location feels a little odd to me, it seems like Disney had nowhere else to put it so they just put it there.  On the Dream and Fantasy, the Boutique is on Deck 5 above the atrium in a convenient location, but on the Magic and Wonder, it's up by the sports deck, out of the way.  I'm not exactly in its target age group anymore, but maybe if I was, its location would make total sense.

By the funnel is the Outlook Bar.  Before writing this post, I had no idea that it existed, but according to the internet, it was a bar that offered views of the Quiet Cove and the ocean.  The Outlook Bar is not to be confused with the Outlook Café, a second-floor expansion of the Cove Café on the Wonder.  
The Outlook Bar has been replaced by the Concierge Lounge.  While the Wonder's Outlook Café is not part of the Concierge Lounge, the lounge did take over part of the café.  The Outlook Café has a Key to the World card scanner next to the door to unlock it.  I tried mine once, but it didn't work.  It likely only works for adults, since it is still part of the adults-only Cove Café.  

The Outlook Café was never added to the Magic, and near where it would've been is the AquaDunk entrance.  The AquaDunk was added to the Magic in 2013.  It's a scaled-down, faster version of the AquaDuck, which is found on the Dream and Fantasy.

Inside the nearby Forward funnel is the Broadcast Center, which is now called the Radio Studio.  Judging by the names, they're likely very similar to each other.  This is not a guest-accessible area, and like the bridge, I'd like to see inside it someday.  Across from there is the ESPN Locker Room.  This was probably part of the ESPN Skybox, located above on Deck 11, where Vibe is now.  

Between the two funnels, there's some open deck space for chairs on Deck 10.  Like on Deck 9, both the old and the new deck plans still show two staircases, but there's only one now.  On the back of the Aft funnel is the slide entrance.  Originally, this slide was Mickey's Slide and after riders climbed up a spiral staircase to around the height of Deck 11, they slid down about three decks, ending beside Mickey's Pool.  Now, the slide is the Twist 'n' Spout.  This slide is similar to Mickey's Slide, but it's taller, starting from what would be Deck 12 and ending on Deck 9.  As the name suggests, it's also significantly more twisty, and these twists increase the length of the slide.  Essentially, the Twist 'n' Spout is a bigger, more fun version of Mickey's Slide on the Dream and Fantasy.  The slide shown on the deck plans looks the same on both the original version and the newer version, so just pretend that there are many more twists on it now.

The last guest area on Deck 11 is Palo, the only adults-only restaurant on the Magic and Wonder.  Palo is an Italian restaurant that debuted on the Magic and Wonder, but it is also on the Dream and Fantasy along with Remy, a French restaurant, and Meridian, a bar between the two.  I've never been allowed to go, but from what I've heard, Palo is much fancier than Pinocchio's Pizzeria.
We finally made it to the top deck, Deck 11!  Deck 11 is the smallest deck, as it only includes the Forward funnel.  Even with its small size, there's plenty to talk about here.  Originally, the ESPN Skybox was inside this funnel.  It was a sports bar that had many TVs playing up to four sports broadcasts simultaneously.  It also had live radio broadcasts of other games.  It seems similar to O'Gill's Pub or the Crown & Fin Pub, bars where live sports are sometimes shown.  The old DCL website's page about the ESPN Skybox doesn't say anything about it being only open to adults, but it also doesn't say anything about going there with the whole family.  Maybe it was like the other bars:  Open to everyone during the day, but only open to adults at night.  I would call DCL to ask about it, but this area doesn't exist anymore, so I doubt I'd get an answer.

Eventually, the ESPN Skybox was converted into The Stack on the Magic and Aloft on the Wonder.  Common Grounds, the original teen club, was converted into the Cove Café.  The same age group from Common Grounds, 13 to 17, applied to The Stack and Aloft.  From the picture on the old DCL website, The Stack reminds me of Edge on the Dream and Fantasy.  However, pictures I've seen of Aloft online look really similar to what Vibe looked like on the Magic-class ships before their most recent dry docks.  The older version of Vibe was definitely inspired by Aloft.  Anyway, Deck 11 on the Magic and Wonder is now Vibe.

I'd love to keep talking about how the Magic and Wonder have changed since their launch, but we're out of decks.  The Magic and Wonder are quite different now compared to the early 2000s, and it's interesting to see what's different and what's the same.  If you want to explore the original deck plans on your own, feel free to visit the old DCL website.  The next part of this series will be cover the Fun Onboard section of the old website.  We've already learned a bit about what the Magic and Wonder had to offer when they launched, but next time we're going to look at these features in more detail.  It'll be fun (Onboard)!

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