Bob Chapek revealed Walt Disney Co.‘s first new cruise ship in a decade. It was the first project he championed to the company’s board. Chapek became Disney’s CEO in February 2020 and earned a three-year contract extension on Tuesday after recent issues spurred questions about his stay.
Chapek informed attendees at the christening event that it took six years to build the 144,000-ton Wish. Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Ant-Man, Chewbacca, and other Disney characters made appearances. “We combine wonderful personalities and tales with incredible technology,” Chapek remarked.
Disney’s theme parks, experiences, and goods unit has rebounded from pandemic closures. First-half operating income was $4.2 billion, reversing a $535 million deficit a year earlier. Chapek said in November that Disney’s premium-priced cruises have yielded “a double-digit return on investment.”
The Wish “kicks off the largest expansion in Disney Cruise Line history,” said Disney’s parks division head Josh D’Amaro. By 2025, two more ships will arrive
The new ship sails as the industry tries to win back consumers. Moreover, the Cruise Lines International Association thinks it will be 2023 before passenger volume surpasses 2019’s 29.7 million.
D’Amaro said bookings indicate Disney’s cruise line will return to full capacity.”We’ll have seven of them filled out,” he added. “I’m positive.” In addition, ” People who join this ship spend three days at Walt Disney World.”
AquaMouse will be the Disney Wish’s first attraction at sea. Guests float through 760 feet (230 meters) of winding tubes while seeing Mickey and other animated shorts. Families may dine in “Frozen” and “Avengers” realms. Disney designed a “Solo: A Star Wars Story”-themed hyperspace lounge for adults.
The ship features a physical-digital interactive experience. A Disney Cruise Line software turns a phone into a virtual “spyglass” for viewing constellations and going on adventures.
The interactive game further Chapek’s metaverse ambitions. The executive recommends virtual activities to keep consumers linked to Disney characters and tales between movie releases and park visits. The Disney Wish departs Port Canaveral, Florida, on July 14.