Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Disney Cruise Line
The Representation Of Black Princes and Princesses On Disney Wish Ship
Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship isn’t just the biggest and most modern ship in its fleet. There’s also an experience of Black royalty, unlike anything we’ve seen before.
You have to pay attention to the intricate details outside the beautiful lounge on Deck 3, known as The Bayou –themed after Disney’s Princess and the Frog film. It almost feels like you’re attending a coronation as you walk through the elegant velvet green, gold, and white hues. As you walk with your head high (to keep your crown from falling), you’ll be greeted with lily pads and twinkling fireflies above you.
But as Mama Odie tells us from the film, you have to dig a little deeper, walk past the bayou, and go up to deck 4 near the Rapunzel-inspired Untangled Salon.
Right across is the beginning of a stunning tribute to Black culture where Black children will see themselves just as they are: royal.
The Black-Owned Studio Behind The Images
CreativeSoul Photography is the Black-owned studio behind the royal images aboard the Disney Wish.
Kahran and Regis Bethencourt reportedly founded the studio in 2009. The husband and wife duo have created a series of photos showcasing children of color in their natural state. Their work has gone viral, and now it’s put into a book titled Halo: Fantastic Visions of Blackness.
“We feel that it’s so important for kids of color to be able to see positive images that look like them in the media,” the Bethencourts stated in an interview with Teen Vogue. “Unfortunately, the lack of diversity often plays into the stereotypes that they are not ‘good enough.’ We try to combat these stereotypes in our photography by showing diverse imagery of kids who love the skin they’re in, their own natural curls, and their culture.”
As for Disney, the artwork and details are all intentional.
“We have over 4,000 pieces of art on the ship. We want everybody to be inspired and for them to be relevant,” Laura Cabo, VP Portfolio Creative Director for Walt Disney Imagineering, tells Travel Noire. “ For us, it’s about what princesses and princes symbolize. We deliberately searched for artists that could interpret Disney princesses and princes. We feel everybody, no matter the color of their skin, could have a piece of that princess or prince in them.”