Saturday, February 18, 2012

Red, White, Mickey Shoe Yellow and . . . Monica Blue?

Red, White, Mickey Shoe Yellow and . . . Monica Blue?

The Colors of the Disney Cruise Ships

There is an interesting story behind the colors of the Disney Cruise Ships. Each color has a reason for being on the ship and a story about how it came to be.

Disney Cruise Line has a unique set of colors for their ships. Disney wanted the look of a classic ocean liner of the 1930s & 40s. Those old grand ships were usually painted white and dark navy blue. They also wanted the ship to remind people of seeing Disney’s main mouse, Mickey!

The smoke stacks are a bright cheery red like Mickey’s red shorts. The upper decks are white reminding you of Mickey’s bright white gloves. The lifeboats are a Mickey Shoe Yellow (and caused a problem with maritime law). The main color of the ship looks to be black like Mickey’s body and ears. In reality the main body of the ship is a shade of blue that Disney named Monica Blue.

The smoke stacks were easy. Disney went to their records for the exact mix for Mickey Red. The white for the gloves was just as easy as the red. Both of those remind you of Mickey’s shorts and gloves.

The Mickey Shoe Yellow was an easy color to mix because of Disney’s good records, but maritime law requires orange lifeboats to make them visible from a great distance. Could you see the Disney ship with Red, White, Orange and Monica Blue? Orange and Red together? YUCK! Disney had to prove that the Mickey Shoe Yellow was just as visible as the orange. This took several years and a lot of discussion with documentation to back up Disney’s stance that not only was the Mickey Yellow as visible it is MORE visible for a greater distance.

The hardest color to figure out was the blue/black they wanted for the main body of the ship. As the first ship, The Disney Magic was being built they kept working on it. Many swatches of navy blue and royal blue were brought in and failed the test. The Imagineers kept saying, “We will figure it out when the time comes.”

As the time neared for painting the ship got closer they kept looking for just the right color. One day an Imagineer, named Monica came into the conference in a suit. As she walked in the others noticed the nice shade of black of her suit. As she walked closer they rethought the color of the suit and started commenting on what a wonderful shade of dark blue the suit was. Quickly it was decided to snip a part of her jacket sleeve and rush it to the painters to see if they could mix that color paint. When the paint was mixed and approved it was called Monica Blue

Having been on both the Magic and Wonder I can say the mix of colors is both beautiful and whimsical. The ships have a classic feel without being stuffy. Well Done Disney!!

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