If something is worth doing once, it is probably worth doing again. Or so we told ourselves. That’s right, Alexa, Chris and I are back again, this time with the amazing architectural talents of Braiden Green, to design what would be our final Disney Imaginations submission before we all graduated and headed into the world. This time around our challenge was to create an experience that explores a Natural or Ancient Wonder of the World.
After weeks of discussions and skype calls we settled on the beautiful Guanabara Bay at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This breathtaking natural wonder served as the back drop for what would become Ykove, a unique “micro-cruising” experience combining, culture, celebration, and conservation. Centered around iconic Rio inspired houseboats, our “floating favelas” journey around the bay showing guests the sights, sounds, smells, and incredible features that the bay has to offer, while also serving as an intimate way to learn about the ecology and conservation of Brazil’s beautiful but delicate natural wonder.
I helped design our unique “Muiraquitã” guest wearable achievement system and accompanying interactive mural, and also consolidated the team’s amazing designs and artwork into our project “sizzle reel.”
Ykove was a real treat to help create, which would not have been possible without the amazing talents, skills, and hard work of Braiden, Alexa, and Chris. We hope you enjoy exploring what we imagined.
People want meaningful lives. We as people find meaning when we make a difference. We often leave on vacation to see something different, when we really travel because we are looking to become something different. We don’t just want a change of pace, we want to change the world. Guanabara Bay at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil provides the perfect location for an experience that does just that. With its unique mountain formations, mesmerizing rainforests, and culturally-diverse communities, Guanabara Bay is the ideal setting to spark inspiration for change.
Derived from the old Guarani language to mean “living water”, Ykove offers an up close and personal cruise experience that allows people to make real memories, real connections, and a real difference.
While enjoying the wonders of Ykove, guests will become part of an engaging story based in Brazilian Folklore. When combined with a real world conservational effort, their visit to Guanabara Bay becomes much more than just a check on their bucket list. A unique combination of vacation and conservation, Ykove will leave guests inspired, rejuvenated, and with a sense of meaningful achievement. By participating in a variety of cultural cruise activities and eco-friendly adventures, guests will make memories with their loved ones, connect with the local culture, and discover the difference they can make in the world around them.
video edited by Brandyn Burbank
Legend tells of the spirits of Guanabara. These playful, yet powerful spirits have long helped to hold back a darkness, protecting life in the rainforests and rivers surrounding the bay.
Long ago, people and spirits worked together to hold off the darkness and eventually the grand city of Rio de Janeiro was built. The city became a place of endless music and laughter. However, over time people began to forget about the darkness, and the spirits altogether. Without the help of the people, the spirits’ magic was not enough and the darkness began to spread. As the darkness grew, filth began to fill the waters and the land began to crumble. As the land became unstable, parts of the mountain, including the favelas of Rio began to sink into the bay!
The forgotten spirits of Guanabara rushed to save the people and, using their magic, gave the favelas the power to float on the water. Inspired by the spirits saving their homes, the people decided to once again help fight the darkness.
Combining the power of magic and technology, the floating favelas were transformed into powerful ships that could carry people and spirits alike to explore and protect the wonders of Guanabara Bay.
Creatively designed to encompass all aspects of a relaxing yet engaging vacation, Ykove offers a myriad of Brazilian-inspired experiences that will help guests feel empowered and fulfilled in their journeys to Guanabara Bay.
Upon arrival, they will check-in to the experience and immediately become a part of the story. Special Muiraquitã amulets, or ‘activity trackers’, will be given to each guest as they board their ‘floating favela’, where they will meet their Spirit Guide for their stay.
They will then embark on a journey on and around Guanabara Bay, participating in cultural events and excursions including beautiful hikes, exotic animal encounters, interactive conservational efforts, and traditional Brazilian demonstrations.
At the conclusion of their daily adventures, guests’ Muiraquitãs will magically tell their Spirit Guide about their journeys and display them on an interactive mural onboard their favela. The more activities and adventures accomplished, the more the Guides will interact with them!
As night falls, the favelas will return to the Plaza, an island resort where guests can eat, shop and play in Brazilian fashion.