Not all that long ago, Disney Cruise Line doubled the size of their cruise ship fleet, adding Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy in 2011 and 2012. Continuing to define family cruise travel, Disney recently announced plans to build two more ships that will serve the next generation of children, some not even born yet.
Due to launch in 2021 and 2023, the lead time on the two new 135,000 ton Disney Cruise Line ships means a good chunk of their Oceaneer Club members (ages 3-12) are not even born yet. That’s huge nod to the well-earned confidence Disney has in all things family, as one might expect.
“We pride ourselves on the unforgettable vacation experiences we deliver to our guests each and every day, and the expansion of our Disney fleet will allow us to create even more magical memories for families at sea and in incredible cruise destinations around the world,” -Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company
Slightly larger than Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, the two new yet-to-be-named ships have the Walt Disney Imagineering team already dreaming up exciting new ways to create magical oceangoing adventures. The Disney announcement no doubt has the attention of other big ship cruise lines, all in head on competition for the lucrative family travel business.
Looking back, a number of cruise lines launched new ships with a plethora of top deck features just prior to the arrival of Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, aimed to compensate for Disney’s ‘character factor’, an undeniable advantage. That worked, with key players Royal Caribbean International and Carnival Cruise Line defining their own role in the world of family travel.
Still, Disney Cruise Line brought several firsts for the cruise industry, including the AquaDuck water coaster at sea and Magical (virtual) Portholes in interior staterooms, all announced far in advance. That the recent Disney announcement is short on details speaks volumes about the brand and the trust cruise travelers have in it, all during a period of robust growth and innovation for Disney properties around the globe.
“The expansion of Disney Cruise Line only adds to our excitement for the unprecedented growth taking place across our vacation destinations, from new Star Wars experiences coming to the Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts to the 25th anniversary of Disneyland Paris and the grand opening of our newest park, Shanghai Disney Resort,” said Bob Chapek, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.
While more details will be released about the ships and itineraries they will run at a later date, it’s all about faith, trust and pixie dust right now, and that’s just fine with us. Hakuna Matata.