'Cause Baby, You're a Firework...on a Cruise
Photo courtesy of Disney Cruise Line
Fireworks literally elevate cruise show spectaculars to new heights.
Disney was already known for its grand fireworks presentations in its worldwide theme parks, so it stood for reason that the company would want to extend that element of its showmanship to its cruise line as well, and it has since become a signature attraction onboard.
With double smoke stacks, the four ships – the Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy, Disney Magic and Disney Wonder – can launch a cross-volley of mortars into the sky off the starboard side.
READ MORE: A Disney Cruise Without the Kids?
The result is not just a visual display but also an extension of its storytelling brand.
Taking its cues from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” rides and film franchise, the fireworks show “Pirates in the Caribbean,” is most appropriate in the tropical waters where the cruise line originated but is also extending to regions that allow the show to be conducted.
In environmentally sensitive waters like Alaska and Norway, the cruise line has replaced pyrotechnics with a snowy “Freezing the Night Away with Anna, Elsa and Friends” inspired by “Frozen” instead.
Most of the time, however, “Pirates in the Caribbean” is a fun romp where—in one version aboard the Disney Fantasy—pirates “commandeer” the vessel in pursuit of Captain Jack Sparrow and a magical gauntlet that sparks the fireworks show.
In another version on the Disney Wonder, Mickey Mouse is the master of ceremonies to kick off the display. In either case, the bombastic visuals and complementary Hans Zimmer score make for splendid entertainment that uniquely sets Disney apart from the competition.
Norwegian Cruise Line briefly introduced fireworks when it launched the Norwegian Breakaway with a 1980s-themed show and on the Norwegian Getaway to follow. Rather than an entire side of the ship acting as a colorful canvas as on Disney, Norwegian cast its display off the stern of the ship for limited viewing of a more meager show altogether. When I saw it, a percentage of the mortars didn't even ignite, resulting in a lackluster performance. Even though the company has now given up on fireworks, I still commend the company for being the only one besides Disney to try.
Meanwhile, the Disney Cruise Line rages on as the only producer of fireworks at sea, and that extends to its “Star Wars” Day at Sea theme cruises, where aboard select Disney Fantasy sailings, a special version of the fireworks show is set to the galactic music of John Williams. Characters like Darth Vader, Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2 take to the pool deck stage before pyrotechnics light up the night sky.
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