On with the Show: Original Stage Adaptation of ‘The Little Mermaid’ Headlines New Live Entertainment Exclusively Aboard the Disney Wish
From the Walt Disney World News and written by:
New Disney Cruise Line ship will offer unique theatrical take on the classic mermaid tale, a musical voyage through favorite Disney stories and a rock-and-roll twist on the fleet’s signature pirate night
CELEBRATION, Fla. — Setting sail in summer 2022, the Disney Wish presents a splendid lineup of world-class entertainment experiences, immersing families in the fantastical worlds of their favorite Disney stories like never before. The combination of innovative new venue concepts and evolutionary storytelling techniques sets the stage for original productions, guest-favorite shows and brand-new experiences for the entire family to enjoy.
The fifth ship in Disney’s fleet debuts two original stage spectaculars in its state-of-the-art Walt Disney Theatre: an innovative, Broadway-style take on Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “The Little Mermaid” and an embarkation day celebration helmed by Captain Minnie, Goofy and an all-star cast of Disney and Pixar characters. Up on deck, guests rock out to a new pirate deck party complete with fan-favorite fireworks at sea.
Stunning Stage Shows at the Walt Disney Theatre
A hallmark of the Disney Cruise Line experience is the unparalleled live entertainment performed in the Walt Disney Theatre. On the Disney Wish, this elegant 1,274-seat show palace evokes an enchanted forest inspired by scenes from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Fantasia,” with orchestra and balcony seating spanning three decks. The theater is equipped with state-of the-art production equipment, including the most robust projection mapping capabilities of any Disney ship and a Dolby Atmos 3D audio system — a first for the cruise industry — to create a transformative theatrical experience rivaling anything on land or at sea.
A Treasure Retold — ‘Disney The Little Mermaid’
“Disney The Little Mermaid” will be an original Broadway-style stage adaptation of the renowned 1989 Disney Animation film, developed exclusively for the Disney Wish. During this one-of-a-kind theatrical production, audiences rediscover the iconic scenes, acclaimed music and indelible characters of “The Little Mermaid” while experiencing the story like never before.
In this modern-day retelling, the curtain rises on an enchanted treasure chest at the moment it is discovered by a group of storytellers, led by a special young woman who has the power to unlock its magic. As they uncover the whozits and whatzits galore hidden within the trunk, the storytellers take on the roles of Ariel, Ursula, Prince Eric, Sebastian, Flounder and more, bringing to life the immersive undersea world right before guests’ eyes. These exemplary performers put their own contemporary spin on the timeless story of a young woman’s search for independence, love and a place in the world.
The creative minds at Disney Cruise Line joined forces with a team of top Broadway talent to bring this treasured tale to life through an elaborate, whimsical and resonant storytelling experience offering audiences a brand-new way to be part of Ariel’s world.
“Disney The Little Mermaid” features innovative theatrical design, dazzling special effects, artistic choreography, and a reimagined script and score full of surprises for guests of all ages.
- New orchestrations of favorite songs like “Part of Your World,” “Poor Unfortunate Souls” and “Under the Sea” enchant audiences with moving ensemble pieces and spellbinding production numbers.
- Unexpectedly playful scenic designs and state-of-the-art video projections transform the Walt Disney Theatre into a 360-degree undersea environment.
- Contemporary, interpretive costuming reflects the show’s special blend of modern setting and mystical story.
- Cutting-edge puppetry animates fantastical sea creatures and characters such as Sebastian, Flounder, Scuttle, and Flotsam and Jetsam in never-before-seen ways.
“‘The Little Mermaid’ is a timeless story, one that transcends generations,” said Shelby Jiggetts-Tivony, vice president, creative and advanced development, Disney Live Entertainment. “Our hope is that this new stage adaptation aboard the Disney Wish continues that incredible legacy, not by simply reenacting the elements that make the original film so powerful, but by reinterpreting it in a way that resonates with the audience sitting in the theater each night.”
An Embarkation Celebration — ‘Disney Seas the Adventure’
On their first night aboard this enchanted ship, Disney Wish guests embark on a musical voyage into some of their favorite stories during an original musical spectacular, “Disney Seas the Adventure.” When Captain Minnie hands over the helm to her dear friend Goofy, he sets sail into uncharted waters on a journey to discover his own inner captain.
Along the way, Goofy encounters a bevy of bold, brave and brilliant Disney and Pixar friends who encourage him to lead with his heart through rousing renditions of iconic Disney songs.
- Tiana teaches Goofy the power of hard work to make a dream come true during a lively performance of “Almost There” from Disney Animation’s “The Princess and the Frog.”
- Goofy navigates the big ocean blue, where Crush and Squirt — the tubular turtles from Pixar’s “Finding Nemo” — show him how to “Go with the Flow.”
- In an original arrangement exclusive to this show, heroines Elsa, Moana and Merida perform a powerful medley of “Into the Unknown,” “How Far I’ll Go” and “Touch the Sky.”
- When Goofy loses his way and self-doubt takes hold once again, he gains the courage to “Go the Distance” with the help of Hercules and a host of heroes from a variety of Disney films.
The adventure culminates in a cavalcade of characters joining Captain Minnie and Goofy on stage during a fond farewell before leading guests out of the theater and into the Grand Hall for an unforgettable sendoff experience — the ultimate “kiss goodnight” to close guests’ first day on board.
A Reimagined Favorite: ‘Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular’
The Disney Wish will also feature a reimagined adaptation of “Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular,” a guest-favorite show from across the fleet. This fast-paced musical comedy is based on the classic Disney Animation tale of Aladdin meeting the Genie, battling the evil Jafar and falling in love with Princess Jasmine.
Iconic scenes and songs from the movie are being re-created on stage with brand-new sets and theater-filling projection design developed exclusively for the Disney Wish. Highlights include a lively, Las Vegas-style rendition of “Friend Like Me”; a heartfelt performance of “A Whole New World” atop a flying magic carpet; and a solo performance for Jasmine titled “To Be Free,” created for Disney Cruise Line by Grammy Award-winning composer Alan Menken.
Signature Pirate Night with a Rock-and-Roll Twist
Another guest-favorite Disney Cruise Line experience returns aboard the Disney Wish in a new way with the premiere of Pirate’s Rockin’ Parlay Party, a fresh take on the fleet’s signature nighttime deck celebration sure to delight landlubbers and freebooters alike.
On one special night of every voyage, guests of all ages can don their most swashbuckling pirate garb and head to the upper decks for a rollicking rock-and-roll extravaganza, complete with fireworks at sea like only Disney can do.
Hosted by Captain Redd — a descendent of the famous red-headed rogue from the Pirates of the Caribbean theme park attractions — the show features live music, remarkable stunts, special effects and plenty of surprises. Throughout the party, she and her band of head-banging buccaneers perform famous rock-radio hits, plus a thrashing rendition of the classic pirate tune “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me).”
When Redd assembles a fearsome council of captains, including the notorious scoundrel Captain Jack Sparrow, they unlock a sparkling treasure lighting the night sky: a fantastic fireworks display underscored by an original arrangement of the sensational soundtrack from the Walt Disney Studios “Pirates in the Caribbean” films.
Immersive Enchantment in Evolutionary Entertainment Venues
Disney Cruise Line is combining innovative design and technology to create the next generation of family entertainment venues on board the Disney Wish. These imaginative environments surround guests in storytelling in new ways, putting them front and center as they play a part in the magic.
The Grand Hall
The fairytale castle-inspired Grand Hall sparkles and shimmers with enchantment as it evolves from an elegant atrium into an environmental theater with the help of a hidden layer of special effects and the first atrium stage on board a Disney ship. From the ornate stage to the grand staircase to the starry chandelier above, dedicated shows and interactive entertainment come to life all around guests in this magical new venue.
If the Grand Hall is the castle of the Disney Wish, Luna is the town square — an event space and gathering place evoking the warmth and enchantment of classic Disney stories. This brand-new entertainment hub transitions from a daytime setting for family fun into an elegant evening venue for adult-exclusive entertainment, offering a variety of live shows and interactive programming throughout the day and night.
Featuring a celestial design inspired by the Disney and Pixar short “La Luna,” the venue is outfitted with a two-story LED screen wall, stylish stage, full-service bar and spacious seating — creating an energetic atmosphere on the lower level buzzing with community and life. The balcony offers a more intimate setting for enjoying the festivities in small groups, with secluded seating in semi-private booths.
Introducing a completely new category of active family play to the Disney Cruise Line portfolio, Hero Zone is a futuristic sports arena where physical activity blends with imagination, alternating between an elaborate family obstacle course and a free-play sports hub.
Here, families take on action-packed physical challenges themed to some of Pixar’s most incredible heroes during over-the-top, game show-style competitions. Balcony viewing space is available for other guests to watch, cheer and admire the fearless feats performed during the epic games.
More Movies at the Wonderland and Never Land Cinemas
The Disney Wish elevates the onboard cinematic experience with two intimate screening rooms steeped in Disney storytelling. These boutique cinemas are the first in the cruise industry to offer Dolby Atmos 3D audio, providing the most immersive movie-going experience on the high seas.
At 84 and 86 seats respectively, the Wonderland and Never Land cinemas offer guests more options than ever before to watch classic and first-run films from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and more.
Wonderland Cinema is inspired by the fantastical world of “Alice in Wonderland,” with nods to the otherworldly creatures and distinctive characters who inhabit the ever-curiouser Tulgey Wood. The woodland motif continues along the ceiling, creating the feeling guests are peering up through the enchanted tree canopy above.
Never Land Cinema is inspired by Peter Pan’s flight from London to Never Land, sweeping guests up in their own flight of fantasy, past the second star to the right and straight into the magical world of movies. As guests revisit iconic scenes such as Skull Rock and Mermaid Lagoon, the venue’s night-sky color palette lights up with the flutter of Tinker Bell’s wings.
In true Disney Cruise Line fashion, the Disney Wish offers a robust menu of world-class entertainment throughout every voyage. In addition to original stage spectaculars and exhilarating deck parties, guests enjoy immersive dining experiences themed to “Frozen” and Marvel; one-of-a-kind character experiences and programming for kids of all ages; fun family activities in new venues like Luna and Hero Zone; tailored programming for adults every evening; and so much more.
Maiden Voyage and Inaugural Season
The Disney Wish will sail its maiden voyage on July 14, 2022, followed by a season of three- and four-night cruises to Nassau, Bahamas, and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, from Port Canaveral, Florida.
To learn more about the Disney Wish or to book a vacation, guests can visit disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500 or contact their travel agent.