Tonight's christening ceremonies for the Disney Fantasy were nothing short of extraordinary. The evening's fantastic entertainment sampler in the Walt Disney Theatre was emceed by none other than Neil Patrick Harris, and Paul Motter and I had front row seats. NPH (Neil's shorthand alias) played to the crowd with his usual wit and stage craft, introducing tastes of the Fantasy's three headline shows.
The audience was satiated by the increasing roster of talent as NPH introduced New York staples, comedian Jerry Seinfeld and Broadway superstar Heather Headley. Jerry performed a 10 minute stand-up routine of fresh material which proved his comedic skills are still as sharp as ever. At one point Neil even "stumbled across" New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg, in the audience. Then Heather sung a medley of three Disney classics before coming back to round out the stage entertainment with a soaring rendition of "When You Wish Upon a Star."
Afterwards, the ships' atrium was filled with guests anticipating the ship's actual christening. To introduce the ceremony, Bob Iger, CEO of the Walt Disney Company, and Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, enlisted Mickey – now with a fully articulated mouth – to escort the ship's godmother, Mariah Carey, to the stage.
After the usual pleasantries, and a triple note a cappella tune from Mariah, we were shown a live video feed of the outside of the ship where her husband Nick Cannon and Minnie Mouse stood at the ship's bow. At Mariah's count, Minnie smashed the bottle of champagne onto the steel of the Fantasy's hull. And with that, streamers and confetti showered the cheering crowd.
It was a magical night in typical Disney fashion that finished off with a wonderful dinner and an opportunity to explore the ship's many nightclubs and bars.
And now some photos to whet your appetites as well...
The Disney Fantasy Docked in New York
The Official Christening Seal
Neil Patrick Harris with Mickey Gloves
Infamous Comedian, Jerry Seinfeld
Broadway Superstar, Heather Headley
NPH with New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg
Mariah Carey and Mickey Mouse
The Christening Stage
The Crowd Covered in Streamers