Disney launches Wish cruise ship

Captain Minnie poses aboard Disney’s newest cruise ship The Wish.


It’s been a decade since Disney has expanded its cruise ship fleet. Its latest addition, due out in the coming weeks, is a 1,119-foot floating theme park.

Disney Wish is one of more than 30 ships from various leaders in the yachting space slated to launch before the end of 2022, and dozens more are expected to join incoming waters. year 2027.

As the fifth addition to the company’s cruise fleet, The Wish is scheduled to make its maiden voyage from Port Canaveral, Florida, to Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, on the 14th. July.

The Wish sets sail at a time of transformation and recovery for the yachting industry, which has been ravaged by the pandemic and health restrictions. In addition to difficulties from guests, who have been slow to return to cruises, the industry is now facing economic pressure due to increased Fuel costs and inflationary.

Disney is betting that series like Marvel and “Frozen,” as well as creative spins on classic yachting experiences, will draw visitors back to the high seas.

In addition to typical Disney flourishes of cupcakes and candy apples, Wish’s Star Wars-inspired Hyperspace Lounge boasts a $5,000 Kaiburr Crystal drink served in a camtono, a container commonly used by bounty hunters in the space opera franchise. It’s unclear what’s in the drink, but it became one of Wish’s most talked-about aspects after members of the media were given a test ride of the ship this week.

Other, less expensive experiences include a sing-along dinner with “Frozen” and a Marvel dining experience. The ship also has the first Disney attraction on board, AquaMouse.

While overall passenger numbers are set to exceed pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2023, the cruise industry has never had the same pricing power as other travel and hospitality industries, leaving some operators Analysis concerns the short-term resilience of the overall business. . Especially, when rival brands like Carnival are carrying three times more debt than before the pandemic.

Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure is Disney’s first “Frozen” themed theatrical dining experience that brings the kingdom of Arendelle to life through immersive live entertainment – featuring beloved characters favorites like Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Olaf – and world-class cuisine infused with Nordic influences.

Disney | Matt Stroshane

“Getting back to that financial position where you can play offensively and play defensively or in survival mode, it’s just a long way off,” said David Katz, an analyst at Jefferies. Katz, an analyst at Jefferies said.

Shares of Royal Caribbean are down about 61% year-over-year, and Carnival is down about 68%.

Disney has more vacancy because its overall business is much more diversified. The company runs a media empire as well as hotels, theme parks and cruises.

Disney does not disaggregate its travel business when it reports earnings. Instead, it’s encapsulated in parks, experiences, and product segments, revenue more than doubled to $6.7 billion in the second fiscal quarter, compared to the previous year period. By comparison, the array generated $6.2 billion in the same quarter of 2019.

Disney shares are down about 66% year-over-year.

Cruise on the sea

Katz, who only organizes Carnival, said tour companies operate in contrast to the hotel business. That is, the tour will reduce the ticket price as close as possible to the ship’s launch date to reach capacity. For hotels, prices usually increase as the booking date approaches.

“This recovery is unlike any other that anyone else has gone through,” he said. Prices typically don’t boost a traveler’s willingness to go cruises, so the discount may not increase customer numbers, he added.

However, people are cutting back on the number of days they will spend on an excursion because of rising costs.

Disney’s Wish has three-night tours starting at $1,750 for two guests and four-night tours starting at $2,250. These prices will go up if you choose trips tied to Halloween or Christmas. Disney is considered a bit more expensive than Carnival and Royal Caribbean in terms of base price, but if guests choose to upgrade to larger cabins or add a food package or experience to their itinerary, the price will be quite similar. equivalent.

About 80% of travelers who have taken a cruise before say they will travel again, the same rate as before the pandemic, according to data from the International Travel Association (CLIA), a travel industry trade group. global calendar.

CLIA forecasts that 2022 will be the year of transformation for the cruise industry and 2023 will be the time of full recovery. It also predicts that passenger volumes will recover in excess of 12 percent from 2019 levels by the end of 2026.

For Josh D’Amaro, president of Disney parks, experiences and products, there’s no need to worry that the yachting industry will recover.

“Maybe the road will be a bit bumpy in the short term? Yes,” he said. “But, do I know where the destination is? I’m completely confident about that.”

The decision to add more ships to Disney’s fleet was made five years ago, before D’Amaro was head of the division. The expansion includes The Wish and two other ships that are yet to be named, but will launch in 2024 and 2025.

While the average cost to manufacture a cruise ship is about $617 million, according to CLIA, larger ships like Disney’s Wish are estimated to cost close to $1 billion. Disney declined to say how much it has invested in adding new fleets.

“I think Wish is going to be one of those beacons that call out to the world and remind them that cruising is something special to do with your family,” D’Amaro said. “We’re pretty optimistic about it.”

While there are traditional amenities on board the Wish that are staples on cruise lines – fine dining restaurants, swimming pools, spas and kids’ games rooms – Disney has incorporated storytelling into its offerings. this service to raise them to the company’s standard of “magic”.

The Wish, led by Minnie Mouse, offers a range of dining experiences such as theatrical, Broadway-style productions and the first Disney attraction at sea.

“With Wish, we had the opportunity to think, ‘What are the things we can do that could be new, different, and for the first time?’ – and there’s a long list,” said D’Amaro.

Immersive dining experience

Worlds of Marvel is the first dining adventure in Marvel cinema, where guests take an interactive role in an action-packed Avengers quest that unfolds around them, complete with a Universe-inspired world menu. Marvel Cinema.

Disney | Amy Smith

The Worlds of Marvel cinematic dining adventure takes guests on an Avengers quest centered around Ant-Man and the Wasp, who offers to show diners the latest Pym technology. The quantum core allows things to shrink and grow, but the demonstration doesn’t go as planned and an unexpected villain arrives to steal the technology.

Ant-Man and the Wasp teamed up with other Avengers like Captain American and Captain Marvel to stop them.

For Star Wars fans of legal age, Disney’s Wish features the Hyperspace Lounge, an upscale bar designed to recreate the luxury yacht-class spaceship owned by Dryden Vos in “Solo” “.

Aboard a Disney ship for the first time, guests embark on a space cruise in the Star Wars galaxy at Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge, an upscale yacht-style bar aboard the Disney Wish ship. .

Disney | Amy Smith

Here, guests are served signature drinks inspired by destinations in the Star Wars universe, including the jungle planet Batuu, the desert planet Tatooine and the lava planet Mustafar – also known as the lava planet. Darth Vader’s hometown. While they sipped cocktails and sampled the tasting menu, ships could be seen jumping out of the view to the speed of light.

Unique service

Siskie says there are two channels on Disney Wish, one that works and the other that is “aesthetically beautiful.”

In that second channel is the Wish Tower Suite, the first suite located in the cruise ship hopper. At nearly 2,000 square feet, the two-storey penthouse can accommodate eight guests and is inspired by “Moana” decor.

The Wish Tower Suite is the first accommodation located high in the forward funnel of the ship. This 1,966-square-foot sky penthouse can accommodate eight guests and features an elegant design inspired by Disney Animation’s “Moana,” one-of-a-kind ocean views, and premium Disney service.


“The Wish Tower Suite really provides a great example of what sets Disney apart in this space,” Siskie said.

Another Disney early is the AquaMouse, which at first appears to be just another water slide, but is actually an official water attraction.

The 760-foot ride features light, sound and water effects, including a video screen showcasing the new Mickey Mouse shorts, before turning into a traditional water slide. The attraction surrounds the top deck and takes about two minutes to navigate.

In addition to the AquaMouse, there are six pools staggered in several tiered decks.

“We know we have something very strong here,” D’Amaro said.

Guests will bask in the “Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts aboard AquaMouse, Disney’s first attraction at sea. Complete with performance scenes, lighting and special effects, and fun surprises, this wild water ride is sure to delight everyone in the family as they zigzag, zigzag, and zigzag. zigzagged and darted through 760-foot winding tubes suspended from the upper deck.


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