Disney Transportation and Walt Disney Imagineering recently teamed up to create the first new motor cruiser in almost 30 years. The cruiser is called Tradewinds, a name that was chosen by Walt Disney Imagineering and voted on by watercraft cast members.
But the name isn’t the only thing that cast members helped to choose. Watercraft cast members offered feedback that directly impacted the design of the vessel, from the position of the pilot house to the amount of cabin space available to guests.
Guests can identify the new motor cruiser by its bright orange, yellow, white and teal coloring – also selected by the cast.
Before Tradewinds made its maiden voyage, cast members gathered together to christen the boat, a nautical tradition.
Now, the motor cruiser is making the rounds to the various Magic Kingdom area resorts. It has been seen on the Magic Kingdom/Grand Floridian/Polynesian Village route. Today, it was making laps between Magic Kingdom and Wilderness Lodge. We decided to jump on board to experience the new boat for ourselves. Here’s what we saw.
First, here’s a look at the exterior of the motor cruiser.
The Tradewinds is much more accessible than other watercraft in the fleet. It’s extremely spacious and while we noticed some difficulties on getting the boat to the level of the dock to allow for an ECV boarding, that’s not uncommon for boats. Once onboard, there is a lot of space for EVCs and wheelchairs.
As a matter of fact, perhaps the overarching theme of the interior of the motor cruiser was the space that there was onboard.
There is open-air seating at the front and back of the motor cruiser.
As noted earlier, there were some improvements made to the motor cruiser based on Cast Member feedback. From what we could tell, there were some tech upgrades and control changes. Most notably, Cast Members now have live video feeds from the sides and rear of the motor cruiser.
The pilot house looks to be more spacious, almost too much from what it looked like. Cast Members had difficulty reaching windows beyond the video monitors.
It also felt like the controls were different and perhaps more sensitive than other motor cruisers, especially during the docking process.
Overall, this is much more than just a small upgrade from a guest perspective. Having more accessible guest areas is a much-needed update and we would love to see more watercraft take this direction.
As always, keep checking back with us here at BlogMickey.com as we continue to bring you the latest news and photos from around the Disney Parks!