Disney Cruise Lines adding interactive art, floors to latest ship

By Derrik J. Lang, AP
Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Disney adding interactivity to latest ship

GLENDALE, Calif. — The walls and floors will come alive on Disney’s latest cruise ship.

Over 20 pieces of moving artwork will line the decks of the Dream, which launches early next year, while two interactive floors will keep kids on their feet in the ship’s youth areas.

The new interactive experiences were unveiled during a recent press demonstration at the headquarters of Walt Disney Imagineering, the company’s creative design team.

The 22 pieces of “enchanted art” will be showcased on LCD screens encased in glass and surrounded by a frame housing speakers and a camera that can detect when a cruiser is in front of it. For example, if a passenger is looking at a photo of Walt Disney on the beach in Rio de Janeiro, the characters from “The Three Caballeros” may zip through the landscape.

“This is a great opportunity to do something special,” said principle concept designer Greg Butkus. “We’re really empowering our guests of all ages to interact with the art on every deck of the ship in way that hasn’t quite been done before on this scale. … We can truly say no two pieces of art will be the same.”

The art, which also features images from classic Disney films, can also be transformed into Nintendo Wii-like motion-detecting mini-games as part of a shipboard scavenger hunt. Barcode technology is used in the game that will employ cruisers to search the decks for a Disney villain who nabbed either pieces of artwork or puppies from “101 Dalmatians.”

In the ship’s youth areas, children will be encouraged to step, jump and pound on two interactive floors featuring games with characters from such Disney films as “Bolt,” ”Tron” and “Princess and the Frog.” Glowing pads around the floor’s perimeter are used to detect weight and control what happens on 16 screens planted within the interactive floor surface.

The designers also flaunted a revamped version of Animator’s Palate, a restaurant aboard Disney’s two other ships. The new 700-seat eatery will be themed to an animation studio that comes alive during dinner with “Finding Nemo” characters on several LCD screens surrounding the restaurant, similar to the “Turtle Talk with Crush” theme park attraction.

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