EnchantedArt5Self-proclaim a scavenger hunt on the Disney Cruise Line brand-new ship called Fantasy when you sail from Port Canaveral, Florida.

Or play I Spy all around the 14 decks.  Art is the search, and much is enchanted on this squeaky-clean, fresh-from-the-shipbuilder vessel.

The 3,999 other passengers might be looking too, and art is abundant.

Favorite sightings for me happened on every stairway. Fantasy cruise decks are tall so stairs have a spacious landing half-way up and down, just right for looking at art and not blocking others.


“Miscellaneous Fish for Pinocchio Under the Sea” was drawn in December 1938, an easy date to read on the ship.

Pencil sketches some of them, maybe by Walt Disney himself.  The “Miscellaneous Fish for Pinocchio Under the Sea” was dated 12-6-38.  How exciting.

“Sea Horses Pinocchio, Sequence 10” is dated 8-12-39. For me, this historic art tied the splendor of a sparkly 2012 ship to the philosophies, animation and delights of the founder.

In fact, be on the lookout for the black and white photo of Walt Disney with his sketchpad because Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Donald seem to spring from the paper as he draws animations.


The early look of some of the seven dwarfs fills a sketch from early Disney days.

Enchanted this art on the Fantasy.  At least 20 paintings, drawings and posters came alive when I stood before them, and not always in the same way on a second visit.

Alice in Wonderland is one, and so are Dumbo and Timothy Q. Mouse in circus art posters.


Historic sketches preparing for now-famous animated cartoons hang on Fantasy cruise ship walls like this Pinocchio.

At least 14 other pieces of enchanted art provide clues for the Midship Detective Agency game, totally fun for all ages, solo or together.

Computer interactive kiosks provide the tools and cruisers solve the mysteries, like the “Case of the Muppets Missing Show.”

A map shows the general location of paintings that come alive with clues on nine decks when detectives stand on the brass plate in front of them.

Play more than once because random events and multiple endings keep animated fun popping.  


Bathrooms are elegant spaces too in the ship’s Europa nightclub district.

My own sketch at dinner morphed from amateur drawing to big-screen movie with my name in the credits. Now that’s a heady experience and it happens in the restaurant named Animator’s Palate.

Happens for everyone with a little pixie dust to help and here’s how. Sit to dinner with family and friends; find a simple paper template at every place.

Color in clothes, hair, and faces and sign your name. Exchange it with your server for a bowl of creamy corn soup with caramel popcorn and cornbread and then perhaps a lobster or fine steak.

By desert time, chocolate lava cake for me, the lights dimmed and everybody’s drawings—now animated—marched across screens filling all the walls.

Mickey Mouse led our drawings in increasingly more elaborate skips, jumps and dances, eventually joined by Jiminy Cricket, Snow White and Cinderella.

Filled each of us with pride and pleasure. And that’s the kind of happiness that exudes throughout the Fantasy.

Christine Tibbetts is a university-trained journalist with 40+ years writing for newspapers, public relations and marketing firms and arts and education organizations. She shares travel and life with a family blended by marriages and multiple encounters.

Top Photo: The Enchanted Garden restaurant opens in a wide and welcoming way, just beyond a kiosk for the Midship Detective Agency.