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A bit of Disney Magic's coming to Dorset

Portland Port

11:04am 19th May 2017
(Updated 11:11am 19th May 2017)

Portland Port is eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Disney Magic as she makes her inaugural visit on 23rd May.

The Disney Magic is the biggest cruise ship to ever visit Portland, being over 300m long and able to accommodate 2,800 passengers.

The ship's visit is expected to attract a lot of attention, and the port is busy preparing for several thousand visitors to descend on the area hoping to glimpse a view and maybe even hear the distinctive blast of the 'Mickey horn' - an excerpt from Disney's famous flagship tune, '"When You Wish upon a Star".

The ship's distinctive design also matches the colours of Mickey Mouse, with its twenty bright yellow lifeboats along with the black, red, and white colours of the ship itself. Lifeboats are usually the standard rescue orange and Disney had to get special permission from the international maritime authorities to have them yellow as a nod to Mickey's famous yellow shoes.

Measures are being put in place to avoid congestion on the day, however the port is asking that people do not attempt to visit the port unless access has been authorised in advance. The berth that the ship will be docked at is not visible from Castletown, but some good viewpoints include:

- Nothe Gardens in Weymouth
- Sandsfoot Castle (café will be open from 10am - 5pm)
- Hamm Beach (public pay and display car parks on either side of Portland Beach Road near Billy Winters and Taste Café Chesil - open from 10am - 5pm)
- The Boat That Rocks at Portland Marina will have views of the ship arriving and departing.
- The Jailhouse Café at The Verne (open from 10am - 3pm)

General manager at Portland Port Ian McQuade is hoping this cruise call could be the beginning of a long relationship between the port and Disney: "The Disney Magic will be the first cruise ship of over 300m in length to call at Portland Port and we do not expect her to be the last. The recently completed cruise berth extension will allow us to handle ships in excess of 340m long alongside and with more and more cruise ships over 300m long being delivered to the global fleet we anticipate this to be the first of many."

Disney Cruise Lines launched in 1998 and Disney Magic is one of a fleet of four other cruise ships, including the Disney Wonder, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.

A stay on the Disney Magic would offer a variety of entertainment including fireworks at sea, on-board musicals and waterslides.

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