Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Disney unveils Wish – its first new cruise ship in a decade

Chief Executive Bob Chapek on Wednesday introduced Walt Disney’s first new cruise ship in a decade, the culmination of the former theme park executive’s first project for the company’s board of directors.

The launch of the 4,000-passenger Disney Wish is a bright spot for Chapek, who became Disney’s CEO in February 2020 and secured a three-year contract extension on Tuesday after recent controversies raised questions about his tenure.

It took more than six years to bring the 144,000-ton Desire to market, Chapek told guests at a christening ceremony that included fireworks and displays by Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Ant-Man, Chewbacca and other characters from Disney’s vast portfolio. Were.

Onboard, “we combine these amazing characters and stories with incredible technology to create brand new experiences,” Chapek said.

The cruise business is part of Disney’s sprawling theme parks, experiences and products unit, which has been overturned by the pandemic shutdown. Operating income reached $4.2 billion in the first half of fiscal year 2022, reversing from a loss of $535 million a year earlier.

Wish will embark on its maiden voyage on July 14 from Port Canaveral, Florida.
Handout via Walt Disney/Reuters
Interior rendering of the dining area.
New dining experiences put families inside the worlds of Disney’s “Frozen” and Marvel’s “Avengers.”
Handout via Walt Disney/Reuters

Disney doesn’t disclose how much Cruise Vacations contributes to earnings, but Chapek told investors in November that the business generated a “double-digit return on investment,” given the premium price charged by Disney. Has happened.

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Wish is the fifth ship in Disney Cruise Line’s growing fleet. Two more ships will be delivered by 2025.

The new ship is setting sail as the cruise industry works to woo customers after a 15-month shutdown during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Cruise Lines International Association estimates that it could take until the end of 2023 for passenger numbers to surpass 2019’s pre-pandemic levels, when 29.7 million people boarded ships worldwide.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still advises that COVID-19 “spreads easily between people on board ships” and that even vaccinated passengers can become infected.

On Disney Wish, the company will try to wow vacationers with its first attraction at sea, the AquaMouse. The theme-park-like rides include animated short films featuring Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters as guests float through 760 feet (230 m) of curved tubes suspended above the ship’s upper deck.

New dining experiences put families inside the worlds of Disney’s “Frozen” and Marvel’s “Avengers.” For adults, Disney created a Star Wars-themed hyperspace lounge that evokes the futuristic look of the Star Cruiser in “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”

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The ship also features an interactive experience that marries the physical and digital worlds using the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app. The app turns the user’s phone into a virtual “spyglass” to view the constellations in the night sky (which appear as Disney and Pixar characters) and begin the adventure.

Disney unveils Wish - its first new cruise ship in a decade
Desire of 144,000 tonnes is setting sail as the cruise industry works to woo customers after a 15-month shutdown during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Associated Press
The rendering shows a suite.
Chapek has said that the cruise business has generated a “double-digit return on investment” given the premium price Disney charges.
Reuters. Through

The interactive game is a step towards achieving Chapek’s goal of establishing a presence in the metaverse. The executive champions virtual experiences as a way to keep Disney consumers engaged with the characters and stories they love between movie releases and theme park visits.

Disney Wish will depart from Port Canaveral, Fla., on its maiden voyage on July 14.

Disney has been embroiled in controversy in the state after the company opposed a law limiting LGBTQ discussion in schools. This prompted state lawmakers to pass a measure that removes the company’s self-governing status for Walt Disney World in Orlando, though the effort has yet to take effect.

Disney employees urged the company to speak out against the LGBTQ law, which opponents dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

Nation World News Desk
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