Disney Cruise Line
Disney Cruise line terminal in Port Canaveral.
|Disney Cruise Line|
|Disney Vacation Cruises
Devonson Cruise Company, Limited
|Subsidiary of a public corporation|
|Founded||May 3, 1995|
Number of locations
|Alaska and the Pacific Coast, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Europe, Canada|
|Jeff Vahle (President, Disney Signature Experiences)|
Disney Signature Experiences
(Disney Parks, Experiences and Products)
Disney Cruise Line is a cruise line operation that is a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The company was incorporated in 1996 as Magical Cruise Company Limited and is domiciled in London, England, with their operational headquarters located in Celebration, Florida.
Disney Cruise Line currently operates four ships: Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream, and Disney Fantasy. Three ships will join the fleet in 2021, 2022, and 2023. The first ship was revealed to be named ‘Wish’.  Disney Cruise Line also owns Castaway Cay, a private island in the Bahamas designed as an exclusive port of call for Disney's ships. Disney Cruise Line operates the Disney Cruise Line Terminal (Terminal 8) in Port Canaveral, Florida.
The cruise line has experienced some growth over the past several years. In 2011, the company held a 1.95 percent market share and by 2015, Disney Cruise Lines had 2.8 percent of the worldwide cruise market by passenger and 2.4 percent by revenue. However, in 2018, Disney Cruise Lines declined to 2.3 percent of the worldwide cruise market by passenger and 2.2 percent by revenue.
The line pioneered the rotational dining concept, in which guest would rotate with their wait staff through three different main dining rooms.
Background [ edit ]
In 1985, Premier Cruise Line became the licensed partner cruise line with Disney. This allowed Disney characters on their ships and combined cruise, hotel and theme park packages. In 1993, Premier ended the Disney character license for a license for Warner Brothers characters. Premier continued to offer Disney land and sea packages while adding Universal Studios as an option. Thus Disney approached both Carnival and Royal Caribbean cruise lines to replace Premier as an exclusive sea partner.
History [ edit ]
When Disney's negotiations with two major cruise lines, Carnival and Royal Caribbean, did not produce results, Disney had cruise ship designs drawn up by February 1994. Meanwhile, Walt Disney Travel Company started signing up other cruise lines to offer packages that included Disney hotels and resorts. On May 3, 1994, Disney announced that they intended to start their own cruise line with operations starting in 1998. Arthur Rodney was selected to serve as the first president of the cruise line tentatively called Disney Vacation Cruises. Disney Cruise Line in 1995 commissioned Disney Magic and Disney Wonder from Fincantieri in Italy. The cruise line was incorporated as Devonson Cruise Company, Limited on February 6, 1996, in the United Kingdom, but soon was renamed Magical Cruise Company Limited on October 1, 1996. The cruise line cost as much as a theme park to start up. In 1996, Magical Cruise Company purchased Gorda Cay as the line's private island. The company spent $25 million over 18 months on the island and renamed it Castaway Cay.
The Disney Magic's first cruise was postponed twice which was originally scheduled for March 1998 while the Disney Wonder was scheduled for December 1998. On July 30, 1998, with the first voyage of Magic, the Disney Cruise Line was operational. Also, a 10-year contract was signed with Port Canaveral for its home terminal. With the August 31, 1999, resignation of Rodney as cruise line president, senior operating officer Matt Ouimet was named as his replacement in July. By 2002, the line added seven-day cruises and western Caribbean cruises.
In June 2005, Disney Magic moved its port for the summer cruise season to the Port of Los Angeles. This was temporary for the company's 50th-anniversary celebration of Disneyland and as a test for California expansion. The transfer cruise sold out quicker than expected. Bookings from first time Disney cruisers were up for these cruises by at least 60%. While Disney has wanted additional ships, shipbuilding cost have increased by at least 33% since it built its first two ships. A ship was transferred to the Mediterranean for an extended stay in 2007. In 2007, Disney announced the building of two new cruise ships. Disney Dream set sail in Jan 2011, followed closely by Disney Fantasy in 2012. Meyer Werft shipyard, based in Papenburg, Germany, built the new ships. In February 2009, Tom McAlpin left the Disney Cruise Line presidency and was replaced by Karl Holz as president of Disney Cruise Line and New Vacation Operations. In early 2009, Disney and Canaveral Port Authority extended their agreement to 2022 with expansion to the terminal to handle the new class of ships. A re-posting of the Disney Magic to Europe in 2010 adding DCL's first North European cruises with Mediterranean cruises.
With the arrival of Disney Dream in 2011, Disney Wonder was relocated to Los Angeles. With the arrival of Disney Fantasy in 2012, Disney Magic was relocated to New York City in May 2012 for only the Summer season, before relocating to Galveston, Texas.
At the February 2016 Cruise Critic Cruisers' Choice Awards, three of Disney's ships won 11 category awards. The company ordered three ships of a new class of ship, Triton, in 2016 and 2017. At the company annual meeting on March 3, 2016, Walt Disney Company Chairman Bob Iger announced the first two new ships of the new line which are planned to be built larger than the previous two ships. These ships are expected to join the line in 2021 and 2023. On July 15, 2017, Bob Chapek, President of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, announced at the D23 Expo that a seventh unnamed ship will join the fleet.
In 2016, the cruise line was looking to buy Egg Island, Eleuthera, Bahamas as another detestation for the additional cruise ships. However, opposition from nearby island residents and potential damage to the islands' reefs stops plans from going forward.
In April 2017, it was announced that Karl Holz would retire as president of Disney Cruise Line on February 15, 2018 and Anthony Connelly would assumed the role of president on October 1, 2017. The Canaveral Port Authority Board of Commissioners in January 2019 approved work for Disney's Terminal 8 and adjacent Terminal 10, which would handle more ships when the new class arrives.
With the October 6, 2017 cruise of Disney Magic from New York to the Bahamas, the cruise line held its first Marvel Day at Sea. In October 2018, the cruise line began showing Disney at Sea with D23, a 30 minute entertainment news show that covers the many Disney subsidiaries with input from D23, starting with the Disney Wonder ship.
Disney Signature Experiences unit [ edit ]
Soon after a March 2018 conglomerate wide reorganization that formed Disney Parks, Experiences and Products segment division, Disney Cruise Line and New Vacation Operations was renamed Disney Signature Experiences along with a new president, Jeff Vahle.
Disney Cruise Line purchased in early March 2019 another Bahamas destination, Lighthouse Point property on the island of Eleuthera from the Bahamas Government. The cruise line was looking for another Bahamas location since the announcement of the third ship expansion in 2016. Disney is expected to spend between $250 million and $400 million on developing the 700-acre property, incorporating Bahamian themes, and donate 190 acres including the southern most tip to the government for a national park. Disney also agreed to hire Bahamians for construction and employment and offer entrepreneurial training for its Bahamian employees. Also, Bahamians are to be given preference as vendors. The agreement also requires increases in calls on Bahamian ports, Nassau and Freeport, of 30 to 40 percent over 2018 calls. The location is expect to be taking visitors between 2021 and 2023.
Fleet [ edit ]
Current [ edit ]
All of Disney Cruise Line's ships are officially registered with the Bahamas. Disney Magic began operation July 30, 1998. Disney Wonder began operation on August 1999 and were both built at Fincantieri ship yard, Italy. These approximately 84000-ton (the weights of the two differ slightly) ships are 964 ft (294 m) long and 106 ft (32 m) wide. The ships each contain 875 staterooms and are not identical in their design, with a lot of variations in interior design, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Both contain areas designed exclusively for various age groups, including children, teenagers, and adults. Current routes are Alaska, Bahamas, Caribbean, and Europe, depending on the ship.
The ships are the first in the industry to be designed and built from the keel up as family cruise liners, with the goal of accommodating parents and children. Unlike most ships of their type, they do not include casinos. Disney ships also feature ship's horns which play the opening seven-note theme When You Wish Upon a Star from Disney's Pinocchio, in addition to the traditional horn. Other horns include Do You Want to Build a Snowman?, It's a small world, and several other tunes. 
Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy entered service in January 2011 and March 2012, respectively. These ships were built at Meyer Werft shipyard, Germany. These new 129,690-ton ships are 339.5 m (1,114 ft) long and 36.8 m (121 ft) wide. They are two decks taller than Disney Magic and Disney Wonder and have 1,250 staterooms each. Dream was the first ship to have a water coaster, the AquaDuck.
|Ship||Passenger capacity||Staterooms||Entered service||Godmother||Bow / Atrium / Aft Character||Homeport[a]||Gross tonnage||Image|
|Disney Magic||2,700||875||July 30, 1998||Patricia Disney||Sorcerer Mickey / Helmsman Mickey / Goofy||Copenhagen, Denmark / Dover, England / Miami / Barcelona, Spain / New York / San Juan, Puerto Rico / Port Canaveral / Rome, Italy||83,969 GT|
|Disney Wonder||2,700||875||August 15, 1999||Tinker Bell||Steamboat Willie / Ariel / Donald and nephews||Vancouver, Canada / San Diego / Galveston / San Juan, Puerto Rico / Port Canaveral||84,130 GT|
|Disney Dream||4,000||1250||January 26, 2011||Jennifer Hudson||Captain Mickey / Admiral Donald / Sorcerer Mickey||Port Canaveral||129,690 GT|
|Disney Fantasy||4,000||1250||March 31, 2012||Mariah Carey||Sorcerer Mickey / Mademoiselle Minnie / Dumbo and Timothy Q. Mouse||Port Canaveral||129,690 GT||
Future [ edit ]
In early 2019, the company placed an order for a new class of ship, named in public documents as the Triton class. In 2016 the line announced it would acquire two ships, as yet unnamed, are described as larger than Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy but with an equivalent number of staterooms. A third ship of the class was announced on July 15, 2017 at the D23 Expo.
|Ship||Class||Staterooms||In-service date||Gross tonnage||Notes||Shipyard|
|Disney Wish||Triton ||1,250||January 2022||144,000 GT||Announced March 3, 2016||Meyer Werft |
|TBA||1,250||2022||Announced March 3, 2016|
|1,250||2023||Announced July 15, 2017|
Disney Cruise Line Terminal [ edit ]
Disney Cruise Line Terminal as seen from the Disney Wonder.
|Official name||Cruise Terminal 8|
|Owner||Canaveral Port Authority|
|Operator||Disney Cruise Line|
The Disney Cruise Line Terminal, or Port Canaveral's Cruise Terminal 8, is located in Port Canaveral in Cape Canaveral, Florida, United States. It is used to transport passengers on and off of the Disney Cruise Line ships the Disney Magic, the Disney Wonder, the Disney Dream, and the Disney Fantasy.
The port, located in Port Canaveral, at cruise terminal A, is a large building, owned by Port Canaveral, and operated by the Walt Disney Company. At 70,000 square feet (6,500 m2), this massive building includes the base for Disney Cruise Line check-in, security, and boarding. The terminal was designed loosely on the old Ocean Terminal in Southampton.
Disney Cruise Line has negotiated with the Port Canaveral port authority and early 2009 has extended their contract until 2022. As part of this contract, the port authority expanded and upgraded the dock in order to accommodate the new ships (both of which will be home-ported there), the terminal will be enlarged to accommodate more passengers and luggage, and a parking garage was built. The Disney Dream, the Disney Wonder, the Disney Magic and the Disney Fantasy have departed from Port Canaveral.
In late 2012, Disney Magic and Disney Wonder began sailing cruises out of Galveston, Texas and Miami, Florida, respectively. In 2013, Disney Magic relocated to Barcelona, Spain and Disney Wonder relocated to Vancouver, British Columbia. In Autumn 2013, Magic and Wonder returned to the United States but switched home ports, with the Magic leaving out of Miami and Wonder leaving out of Galveston. In January 2014, Wonder took over for Magic in Miami and Magic joined Dream and Fantasy in Port Canaveral, placing all four ships in the state of Florida for the first time. Since then the Magic and the Wonder have once again switched places.
In June 2018, Port Canaveral officials approved pursuing a study about how to best upgrade Disney's Terminal 8 and other nearby terminals. With the Disney fleet expected to expand from four to seven ships, Port Canaveral Chief Executive Officer John Murray stated that, without expansion, "we'll have more activity than Terminal 8 can handle." The Canaveral Port Authority Board of Commissioners in January 2019 approved work for Disney's Terminal 8 and adjacent Terminal 10, which would handle more ships when the new class arrives. The upgrades would allow Disney to base three ships year round at the port.
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With a larger new ship arriving at Port Canaveral in 2011, Disney Cruise Line sent the Disney Wonder to the West Coast and the Disney Magic to Europe
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- All ships officially registered to Nassau, Bahamas