Walt Disney Company, at its annual D23 Expo on Aug. 25, revealed a slew of announcements about Disney Cruise Line and updates to Disney Parks. Bob Chapek, chairman of Disney Experiences and Products unveiled the name of the fifth Disney Cruise Line ship, Disney Wish, as well as a first look at the ship’s three-story atrium and the iconic Disney character that will adorn the ship’s stern. This is the first of three planned new vessels for DCL.
Chapek and Imagineer Joe Rohde also shared new details about plans for a second island destination for DCL in the Bahamas. With a little help from Tinker Bell, Disney fans were the first to hear that Disney Wish will be the name of the fifth Disney Cruise Line ship, which is scheduled for delivery in late 2021 and is expected to set sail beginning in January 2022.
“There couldn’t be a better name for our incredible new ship because making wishes come true is part of the Disney DNA and is at the heart of so many of our cherished stories,” Chapek said.
A new rendering of the ship provided D23 attendees with a first look at the ship’s bright and airy three-story atrium, inspired by the beauty of an enchanted fairytale.
Disney characters depicted on the stern of DCL vessels have been a tradition for the Disney fleet since the beginning and reflect the theme of each ship. For the Disney Wish, the ship’s stern will feature Rapunzel, a character that Disney describes as spirited, smart, curious and adventurous, embodying the wish and desire to see and experience the world.
“Each Disney Cruise Line ship is unique, with a name that embodies the excitement of sailing with Disney and the power of our stories,” Chapek said. “The new ships will have the experiences our guests love, as well as all-new magic.”
DCL’s three new ships will be powered by liquefied natural gas and, at approximately 144,000 gross tons and 1,250 guest staterooms, will be slightly larger than the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.
Also at the D23 Expo on Aug. 25, Disney revealed new information and two early conceptual artist renderings for its second private island destination in the Bahamas, which is located on the island of Eleuthera at a place called Lighthouse Point.
“With three new ships joining our fleet, we thought this would be an incredible opportunity to add another unique destination to our ports of call,” Chapek said. “We looked all over The Bahamas and Caribbean for an ideal location that would enable us to create new experiences, while celebrating the culture of this amazing region.”
Disney Imagineer Rohde, whose work includes designing Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park in Orlando and Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii, has embarked on an in-depth cultural tour of the Bahamas to meet with local artists and cultural experts. Together, they have explored arts and cultural sites across New Providence and Eleuthera, from Junkanoo shacks to noted art galleries.
“The Lighthouse Point site is so beautiful and so full of nature that we want to preserve this and use our designs to call attention to the extraordinary quality of the place itself—a place of natural beauty with a rich and fascinating cultural tradition,” Rohde said. “We will be directly involved in conservation efforts to preserve and protect the environment that creates this beauty, and we will be working with artists of every kind, much like we did with Aulani in Hawaii, to create a unique destination that is rooted in Bahamian culture and imbued with Disney magic.”
DCL completed its purchase of privately owned Lighthouse Point earlier this year and signed an agreement with the government of the Bahamas that guides the responsible and sustainable way the site will be developed. Disney has committed to develop less than 20 percent of the property; employ sustainable building practices, including an open-trestle pier that eliminates the need to dredge a ship channel; establish environmental monitoring programs during construction and operation; and donate more than 190 acres of privately owned land to Government, among other commitments.
Through the Disney Conservation Fund, Disney has provided more than $13 million to marine conservation programs around the globe, including several in the Bahamas. Since 2007, Disney has been directly involved in leading a multi-year initiative to protect and rehabilitate coral reefs in The Bahamas and will continue to work with leading conservation organizations and communities to protect special places there.
Construction at Lighthouse Point will begin only after an Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Management Plan are reviewed and accepted by the government of the Bahamas and public consultation has occurred. Construction could begin in 2020 with completion in late 2022 or 2023. Give Platinum Edge Luxury Travel a call at 800-572-9234 for booking on this amazing voyage!