Left: The proposed design for the Orlando-class cruiseship, was created during the early planning of Walt Disney World, in 1968. This design is 140' in length and most likely would have a beam width of 34'-10", or what the 3 Disney ferryboats have today. However, a hull length of 140' is too long to negotiate the winding curves of the waterbridge channel.

The "Orlando" would have had 3 decks. The Main deck, or Deck 1 would have a medium Lounge area, with a small dance floor in the center of the ship, where the deck-slope is flat. Deck 2 would have had a medium-sized enclosed dining area amidship. The Upper Deck, or Deck 3 is the Observation Deck, and would have been a great place to watch the Magic Kingdom Fireworks show, or the Electrical Water Pageant (The Lightshow).

This old-style blueprint of the proposed Disney "Orlando-class" cruiseship, is on display, with the other designs, at Boatwright's Dining Hall, at Walt Disney World's - Dixie Landings Resort. See them, mounted on the back wall area.

 

The "Orlando" cruiseship -  ( Proposed design only )
(Note: This was a conceptual design - but never built )

 

 

 

Orlando class

 

Orlando_class_conceptual design only

 

Length: 140'- 0" long

Beam: 34'-10" wide

Draft: 5'-6" deep at keel

Displacement: 190 tons (Best estimate)

Engines: Diesel-Electric drive. Probably would have been (2) Catapillar 3406 diesel engines, with (2) Kato generators for the main electrical power.

Built: Hull sections would have been built at the Tampa Bay Drydock Co. But then assembled at WDW's Drydock and Central Shops, during 1970.

 

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Click on pictures to see enlarged images

 

 

Above: The pilothouse of the Ports-O-Call, an Osceola-class steamship. It could be the same design for the proposed Orlando-class pilothouse as well. With all the polished brass, the mohogany and teak wood, it had a very nice aroma inside. The window panels were raised and lower using the leather straps. The brass steering tiller can be seen, and the ship's telegraph is a working version connected to the other one in the Boiler Room. It was actually used to signal the Engineer, about the speed and direction for the ship's movements. The steam whistle pull-handle hangs from above, as does the aim-handle for the brass spotlight. But a diesel-electric drive vessel has an air-horn instead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Design of the "Orlando"- Cruiseship -
The proposed design for the Orlando-class cruiseship, was created during the early planning of Walt Disney World, in 1968. This design is 140' in length and most likely would have had a beam width of 34'-10", or what the 3 Disney ferryboats have today.

However, the overall length of 140' is too long of a hull length, to negotiate the winding curves of the waterbridge channel, so the design was never built. Especially for getting in and out of the Walt Disney World - Drydock area, on the northern tip of Bay Lake. Originally, the entrance canal of the Drydock area was a lot narrower in width, and was widened by dredging operation, when the first 2 ferryboats were added to the Watercraft fleet in 1972. The only thing is that the ship would require a higher freeboard height (the hull area between the waterline and main deck), or a deeper hull-draft for the Engine Room, and Prop shafts, since there are no side-paddlewheels on this ship design. This ship would require a diesel-electric drive arrangement. The middle Lounge dance floor would be located right over the Engines.

This Orlando-class cruiseship would have had 3 decks - The Main deck or Deck 1, would have a medium-sized Lounge area, with a small dance floor in the center of the ship, where the deck-slope is flat. Deck 2 would have had a medium-sized enclosed dining area amidship. The Upper Deck or Deck 3, is the Observation Deck, and would have been a great place to watch the Magic Kingdom - Fantasy In the Sky - Fireworks show, or The Electrical Water Pageant (The Watercraft Dept.'s "Lightshow"). As long as the passengers aren't all on the The restrooms (or "heads") would have been under the Pilothouse, and there are 2 sets of stairwells, on the fore and aft ends of the ship. The bow would have an extra deck, Deck 2, covering over the Main Deck.

This also reminds me of a funny story, when one of the female Watercraft pilot, Sharon Sudderth, said it did bother her before, to have to watch couples "suck-face" (kissing) while they were standing in front of the pilothouse of the "Southern Seas" II. Sharon was piloting the ship, on the nightly "Moonlight Cruise". The guests can also walk around the Pilothouse. With this ship's design, it would have been quite distracting to the Pilot, to watch the commotion, of passengers coming up and down the forward stairwells, while trying to concentrate on piloting the ship.
Despite the fact that this ship has a classic "steamer" bow, its size vs. deckplan arrangement, is still more reminiscent of a traditional ferryboat design layout. However, if Las Vegas-styled casino gaming (Class III gaming) were legalized in Florida, this ship's Lounge area would have made an excellent floating casino, for setting up table games and server-based (networked) videoslot machine terminals. Other than having to steer it through the narrow, winding curves of the Waterbridge Channel, piloting the 140' long - "Orlando" cruiseship, would have been awesome!

 

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