*As part of the media invitees who got the opportunity to attend the Disney Dream Christening Celebration and Inaugural Cruise, I must say it was an added surprise to meet a key component person directly involved in the creation of Disney Dream!!
I can’t begin to tell you how amazing it was and what a privilege it was to sit down and interview one of the most valuable players and a member of the creative driving force behind the Disney Dream, Disney’s brand new 4,000 passenger maritime marvel.
EURweb family, I would like for you to meet Michael Davie, an African-American Disney Imagineer from the Walt Disney Imagineering team, the design and development branch of The Walt Disney Company. The word itself comes from the marriage of imagination and engineering and has been used by Disney since the 1950s.
The imagineering team utilizes persons with multiple skill sets ranging from show writers to graphic designers to architects to engineers, which leads me back to the focal point of this story, Michael Davie. During our chat, I discovered he is a native of Chicago, Illinois and attended Florida A & M University where he majored in civil engineering and has now been with Disney Imagineering for 13 years.
In discussing the entire process of Disney Dream with Michael, I now know the conceptualization of Dream was initiated in 2003, with imagineers toying around with the idea on and off for three years until 2006 when the team became more serious, and then finally starting the actual design plans in 2007.
Being an integral part of the team, Davie actually had to relocate, taking his wife and kids with him to Germany (birthplace of Dream), a move he said was a wonderful opportunity for them all. Once in Germany, the partnership between Disney Cruise Line, Walt Disney Imagineering, and the Meyer Werft Shipyard commenced … building what is now this spectacular ship named Disney Dream. Davie’s official title of project manager enabled him to carry out his duties in a dynamic multi-level work environment, which included collaborating closely with a designer from Norway to give the ship, in Michael’s words, that “old, classic trans-Atlantic” look.
Although he stated Disney’s prior ships, Magic and Wonder, were an inspiration for the design team, Michael spoke that no stone was left unturned with Disney Dream and rest assured that every aspect from the elegant chandeliers, to the constructed outdoor decks, to the murphy beds which emerge from some of the stateroom ceilings, was thoroughly thought out in a way so that the “Disney brand would be presented in the utmost way.”
From partnering with I-Crave to design the high-tech, neon-infused, card-access only 9,000 square foot teen club, Vibe, to the adult-only nighttime entertainment area, The District, to the 1340-seat opulently adorned Walt Disney Theatre, Davie played an essential role in the design of all these areas and more. Not to mention, Disney is the only cruiseline that gives passengers an exciting fireworks display at sea!!!
On a personal level, when asked about how it felt to be one of a few African-Americans placed in this amazing position with Disney or if he ever thought he would be working as a Disney Imagineer living abroad in Germany, Davie responded with “it is all a surreal and humbling experience.”