Disney Cruise Line

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Magical Cruise Company Limited
Disney Cruise Line
Formerly called
Disney Vacation Cruises
Devonson Cruise Company, Limited
Subsidiary of a public corporation
Industry Hospitality, Tourism
Founded May 3, 1995; 22 years ago (1995-05-03)
Headquarters Celebration, Florida, US
Number of locations
Areas served
Alaska and the Pacific Coast, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Europe
Key people

Karl Holz (president, DCL & New Vacation Operations)

Anthony Connelly
Services Cruise line
Parent Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
(The Walt Disney Company)
Website Official website

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[1] and is domiciled in London, England, with their operational headquarters located in Celebration, Florida.[2] The President Karl Holz [3] will be replaced by Anthony Connelly in October of 2017.

Disney Cruise Line currently operates four ships: Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream, and Disney Fantasy.[4] Two as-yet-unnamed ships will join the fleet in 2021 and 2023. Disney Cruise Line also owns Castaway Cay, a private island in the Bahamas designed as an exclusive port of call for Disney's ships.[5] Disney Cruise Line operates the Disney Cruise Line Terminal in Port Canaveral, Florida.

In 2015, Disney Cruise Lines had 2.8% share of the worldwide cruise market by passenger and 2.4% by revenue,[6] while in 2011, the company held a 1.95 market share.[7]

The line pioneered the rotational dining concept, in which guest would rotate with their wait staff through three different main dining rooms.[8]


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.[9]


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.[10] 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[11] tentatively called Disney Vacation Cruises.[12] Disney Cruise Line in 1995 commissioned Disney Magic and Disney Wonder from Fincantieri in Italy.[8] 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.[13] The cruise line cost as much as a theme park to start up.[14]

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.[8]

The Disney Magic's first cruise was postponed twice which was originally scheduled for March 1998[15] while the Disney Wonder was scheduled for December 1998.[16] On July 30, 1998, with the first voyage of Magic, the Disney Cruise Line was operational.[8] Also, a 10-year contract was signed with Port Canaveral for its home terminal.[17] With the August 31, 1999, resignation of Rodney as cruise line president, senior operating officer Matt Ouimet was named as his replacement in July.[18] By 2002, the line added seven-day cruises and western Caribbean cruises.[19]

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.[17] A ship was transferred to the Mediterranean for an extended stay in 2007 to reviewers' acclaim.[20]

In 2007, Disney announced the building of two new cruise ships.[21] Disney Dream set sail in Jan 2011, followed closely by Disney Fantasy in 2012.[4][22][23] Meyer Werft shipyard, based in Papenburg, Germany, built the new ships.[8]

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.[24] 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.[20]

With the arrival of Disney Dream in 2011, Disney Wonder was relocated to Los Angeles,[25] and 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.[26]

At the February 2016 Cruise Critic Cruisers' Choice Awards, three of Disney's ships won 11 category awards. On March 3, 2016, at the company annual meeting, Walt Disney Company Chairman Bob Iger announced that two new ships were planned to be built larger than the previous two ships. These ships are expected to join the line in 2021 and 2023.[27]



Disney Magic began operation July 30, 1998.[15] Disney Wonder began operation on August 1999. They are 964 ft (294 m) long and 106 ft (32 m) wide. The ships each contain 875 staterooms[8] 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. [28][29][30]

Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy entered service in January 2011 and March 2012, respectively. These new 129,690-ton ships are 339.5 m (1,114 ft) long and 36.8 m (121 ft) wide. They are 2 decks taller than Disney Magic and Disney Wonder and have 1,250 staterooms each.[31]

Ship Passenger capacity Entered service Godmother Homeport Gross Tonnage Notes Image
Disney Magic 2,400 July 30, 1998 Patricia Disney Copenhagen, Denmark / Dover, England / Miami / Barcelona, Spain / New York / San Juan, Puerto Rico / Port Canaveral 83,338 GT Disney Magic arriving at Tallinn 1 June 2015.JPG
Disney Wonder 2,400 August 15, 1999 Tinker Bell Vancouver, Canada / San Diego / Galveston / San Juan, Puerto Rico / Port Canaveral 85,000 GT Disney Wonder 20110216.JPG
Disney Dream 4,000 January 26, 2011 Jennifer Hudson Port Canaveral 129,690 GT Disney-dream cropped.jpg
Disney Fantasy 4,000 March 31, 2012 Mariah Carey Port Canaveral 129,690 GT Disney Fantasy Cruise Ship (6) (21000557309).jpg


Two new ships have been announced and will join the Disney fleet in the next 5–7 years. The two ships, as yet unnamed, are described as larger than Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy but with an equivalent number of staterooms.[32]

Ship Staterooms In-service date Gross Tonnage Notes Shipyard[32]
TBA 1,250 2021 135,000 GT Announced March 3, 2016 Meyer Werft
TBA 1,250 2023 135,000 GT Announced March 3, 2016 Meyer Werft

Disney Cruise Line Terminal[edit]

Disney Cruise Line Terminal
Port Canaveral Terminal 8 (Disney Cruise Terminal) - Ship Side.JPG
A photo of the Disney Cruise Line Terminal from the Disney Wonder.
Official name Cruise Terminal 8
Locale Port Canaveral
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.[33] 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.[34]

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.[35] The terminal was designed loosely on the old Ocean Terminal in Southampton.[8]

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. Both Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy have departed from Port Canaveral.[20]

In late 2012, Disney Magic and Disney Wonder began sailing cruises out of Galveston, Texas and Miami, Florida, respectively.[36][37] In 2013, Disney Magic relocated to Barcelona, Spain[36] and Disney Wonder relocated to Vancouver, British Columbia.[38] In Fall 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.[36][39] 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.[2][40]


  1. ^ "Magical Cruise Company Limited: Private Company Information". Investing.businessweek.com. 2012-05-25. Retrieved 2013-03-29. 
  2. ^ a b Orben, Bill. "Disney to base 3 ships at Port Canaveral for 2014". Orlando Business Journal. American City Business Journals. Retrieved 4 December 2012. 
  3. ^ "Familiar face takes Disney Cruise Line helm: Karl Holz". Orlando Sentinel. 
  4. ^ a b "Disney Fantasy". Cruise Critic. Retrieved 2010-04-05. 
  5. ^ "The Kingdom on the Sea". Time. 1998-08-10. 
  6. ^ "2015 World Wide Market Share". Cruise Market Watch. 
  7. ^ "2011 World Wide Cruise Market Share". Cruise Market Watch. Retrieved May 5, 2016. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Saunders, Aaron (October 1, 2013). Giants of the Seas: The Ships that Transformed Modern Cruising. Seaforth Publishing. pp. 76–78,179. ISBN 1848321724. Retrieved May 4, 2016. 
  9. ^ Fritscher, Lisa. "How Disney Cruises Started". USA Today. Gannett. Demand Media. Retrieved October 8, 2015. 
  10. ^ Dezern, Craig (February 20, 1994). "Disney Contemplating Creation Of Cruise Line". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 4, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Company News; Disney to Start its Own Cruise Line by 1998". New York Times. May 4, 1994. Retrieved May 4, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Disney Cruises Now Official". Cruise Industry News. May 18, 1994. Retrieved May 5, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Magical Cruise Company Limited". companieshouse.gov.uk. Companies House (United Kingdom Government). Retrieved April 20, 2016. 
  14. ^ Shenot, Christine (April 7, 1996). "Disney To Make Mark On Cruising". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 4, 2016. 
  15. ^ a b Alesandro, Jody. (October 4, 1998). "FALL AND WINTER CRUISES; A Family-Size Mouseboat". The New York Times. Retrieved November 1, 2009. 
  16. ^ Iovine, Julie V. (1997-01-16). "Now It's Heigh-Ho, Off to Sea We Go - New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2013-12-30. 
  17. ^ a b Jackson, Jerry W. (June 13, 2005). "Disney ship line on cruise control". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved April 13, 2016. 
  18. ^ "New Disney Cruise Line President". Cruise Industry News. July 16, 1999. Retrieved May 4, 2016. 
  19. ^ Aronson, Tara (September 25, 2002). "Disney Magic grows up". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved May 5, 2016. 
  20. ^ a b c Schmidt, Chuck (April 4, 2009). "Disney Cruise Line: A good idea gets better". Staten Island Advance. Staten Island Media Group. Retrieved May 5, 2016. 
  21. ^ "Disney cruise line: Disney to spread cruise ships around the world". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on March 27, 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-05. 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 
  22. ^ "Disney Dream cruise ship to launch in 2011". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2010-04-05. 
  23. ^ "Disney Dream cruise ship begins to take shape". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2010-04-05. 
  24. ^ Garcia, Jason (February 14, 2009). "Familiar Face Takes Disney Cruise Line Helm: Karl Holz". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved January 25, 2016. 
  25. ^ Jason Garcia (2009-03-30). "Disney will homeport a ship in Los Angeles". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  26. ^ Bissett, Kevin (2012-01-31). "Cruise passengers turning to Eastern Canada for new thrills". The Star. Toronto. 
  27. ^ Hetter, Katia (March 4, 2016). "Disney to add two cruise ships". CNN. Retrieved April 13, 2016. 
  28. ^ Aronson, Tara. (September 25, 2002). "Disney Magic grows up". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved November 1, 2009. 
  29. ^ "It's All in the Details: The Horns of the Disney Fantasy • The Disney Cruise Line Blog". The Disney Cruise Line Blog. 1 July 2012. Retrieved 30 November 2016. 
  30. ^ "Disney Dream Horn: Do You Want To Build A Snowman (Frozen) Video & Ringtone Downloads • The Disney Cruise Line Blog". The Disney Cruise Line Blog. 5 November 2015. Retrieved 30 November 2016. 
  31. ^ Niemelä, Teijo (2009-03-10). "Disney names its new ships". Cruise Business Online. Cruise Media Oy Ltd. Archived from the original on 2009-08-30. Retrieved 2009-03-10. 
  32. ^ a b Sloan, Gene (March 3, 2016). "Disney to expand cruise line with two more ships". USA Today. Gannett. Retrieved May 11, 2016. 
  33. ^ "Port Canaveral Cruise Terminals". Cruisecanaveral. Retrieved 2014-09-30. 
  34. ^ "Port Canaveral 2014 Interactive Cruise Guide". Port Canaveral. p. 28. Retrieved 2014-09-30. 
  35. ^ "Cruising Terminals". Port Canaveral. Retrieved 2014-09-30. 
  36. ^ a b c Sloan, Gene (2012-09-24). "Disney kicks off first cruises from Texas". USA Today Travel. USA Today. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  37. ^ Gale, Kevin (2012-01-13). "Disney Wonder expected at Port of Miami". 
  38. ^ "Disney Cruise Line Unveils New Itineraries and Ports for 2013". Disney Cruise Line. 2012-01-24. Retrieved 2012-01-25. 
  39. ^ "Fall 2013 Sailings for Disney Magic and Disney Wonder Now Available". Travel on a Dream. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  40. ^ "Disney Cruise Line Unveils Itineraries and Ports for 2014". Disney Cruise Line News. Disney. Archived from the original on January 24, 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2012. 

External links[edit]