I’m writing today from the beautiful Disney Magic, somewhere north of New York City, south of the Canadian coast and right in the middle of a “neighborhood block party at sea” as Disney Vacation Club takes its Member Cruise tradition to places it’s never gone before.
If you’re at all familiar with Member Cruise sailings, you know that this Disney Vacation Club charter voyage elevates the already spectacular Disney Cruise Line experience with exclusive entertainment, daily in-room gifts and more. This year’s event is particularly special, sailing to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada as Disney Vacation Club celebrates “25 years and beyond,” a milestone we share with a certain “tale as old as time.”
That’s right, “Beauty and the Beast”, a film that debuted when I was in college, is turning 25. (Please excuse me while I weep for my lost youth.) Don Hahn, the film’s legendary producer and perhaps the most gracious gentleman on Planet Earth, is here to help us celebrate the 1991 animated classic and peek ahead to next year’s highly anticipated live-action adaptation, on which he’s an executive producer. We’re even joined by the incomparable Ashley Brown, a former Belle in Beauty and the Beast on Broadway, who will close our celebration with a song.
Our “Beauty and the Beast 25” presentation is one of more than a dozen exclusive experiences Disney Vacation Club has developed for this voyage in collaboration with our friends at the Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Imagineering, Disney Theatrical Productions, the Walt Disney Archives and other invaluable partners from throughout this great company. In the days ahead, our Members will sail behind the scenes of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Moana”, go deep “Inside Lucasfilm,” see the stunning Disneynature film “Born In China” more than six months before its Earth Day 2017 U.S. debut, join renowned Imagineer Joe Rohde for a revealing look at the evolution of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, voice characters alongside celebrated Disney voice actors, draw with award-winning Disney artists, virtually explore Walt Disney’s recently restored Burbank offices, let their football fandom fly at an unprecedented “ESPN College GameDay Sailgate” party, enjoy a star-studded Disney on Broadway finale concert and more.
Me? I’ll be in the fetal position in my stateroom, remembering the first time I saw “Beauty and the Beast” in theaters and accepting the fact that I, like the tale told in my favorite film, am “as old as time.”