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Disney Dream’s Believe show bestows magical life lesson

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On January - 21 - 2011

Just as designing the Disney Dream was an intensive project so too is the entertainment that goes onboard. Last October, I was one of a handful of journalists to attend an exclusive preview of Disney Believe, the ship’s new Broadway-style show in Toronto. Disney Cruise Line maintains facilities there to workshop new entertainment, train actors, and recruit talent.

Believe1The Disney Believe show has been more than two years in the making. The line partnered with renowned Broadway director Gordon Greenberg, along with choreographer Patti Columbo and writer Kirsten Childs, to create an original production that is unlike any other show at sea. A master illusionist was brought in to help with thrilling character moments and to create stage magic the producers worked with 3D modeling, design, and animation to create the sets, costumes, and even the special effects that will be used. “We had to up the ante with Dream,” said David Duffy, the line’s Creative Director, Entertainment and Port Adventures. Indeed they have. Duffy states that the show will play in the state of the art theater on Dream that rivals those on Broadway and London’s West End. Greenberg added that the technology used in the show will be ground breaking with things that have never been used on Broadway like front and rear projection.

With the story, design, and casting all in place the 24-member cast spent 10 weeks rehearsing in Toronto and six weeks onboard the Dream while under construction in Germany. As I watched the rehearsal of several high-energy scenes it’s very clear the performers are the cream of the crop from around the globe. There’s no lip-syncing at Disney its live vocal performances at their best.

Disney Believe tells the story of a workaholic father who, through the power of Disney magic, reconnects with his daughter and learns a valuable lesson about what is important in life. The show takes guests to the garden of Dr. Cornelius Greenaway, a brilliant botanist obsessed with cultivating his precious plants. Dr. Greenaway is so preoccupied with his garden that he overlooks the birthday of his daughter, Sophia. Saddened, Sophia makes a special birthday wish and the impossible happens: Genie from Disney’s “Aladdin” appears to make her wish come true. Joined by a host of characters, Genie takes Dr. Greenaway on a journey where he learns that magic is real and is embodied in his beloved daughter. More than 20 of Disney’s most beloved characters take the stage during Disney Believe, including Cinderella, Peter Pan, Mary Poppins, Belle (“Beauty and The Beast”), Rafiki (“The Lion King”) and Princess Tiana (“The Princess and the Frog”).

I couldn’t wait to so see the show when I boarded the Disney Dream for its christening on January 19. David Duffy was right; the Walt Disney Theater where the show is held is impressive. Spanning three decks with orchestra and balcony seating, the 1,340-seat theater is resplendent with art deco styling recalling luxurious show places of a bygone time, best of all there are no obstructed views. At the same time, it is equipped with theatrical technology that Gordon Greenberg noted making it one of the most advanced venues on land or sea thus allowing stories to be experienced in a whole new way.

Disney Believe turned out to be better and more colorful that I had imagined. John Massey, the Disney performer who plays Genie, stole the show with his silly wise cracks and dancing. The music and costumes were spectacular; however, it was the story line that made the most impact. I noted a lot of teary eyes and smiles leaving the theater. But the best sight was seeing all the fathers holding their precious children a little bit tighter.

By Anita Dunham-Potter (editor@www.expertcruiser.com)

© www.expertcruiser.comYour online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.

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3 Responses to “Disney Dream’s Believe show bestows magical life lesson”

  1. Sorbet Maker says:

    My kids would have loved to have seen this. Is this a regular feature on the cruise or just a one off?

  2. Oron Premium says:

    Disney is my best 🙂

  3. TJ Macy says:

    I am really liking where Disney went with the Dream. After cruising with Disney in the past it seems they really took the best of both ships, and combined them together for the Dream. From the pool deck with the AquaDuck, all the way to the dining rooms. Quite impressive all the way around. I agree with you 100%



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