History of Disney Cruise Line

History of Disney Cruise Line

Hmm ever heard of Magical Cruise Company Limited?   This is the legal name of the Disney Cruise Line, it is incorporated in the UK and cruise ships are registered in the Bahamas. Operational Headquarters for DCL are in Celebration, FL.

Honeymoon Cruise 3

Disney Magic and The Big Red Boat

In the 1980’s Disney started paying attention to the cruise industry, but wasn’t ready for the expense of building their own ships.   So in 1985, Disney partnered with Premier Cruise Line to provide seven night land and sea vacations on the Big Red Boat.   This was a happy partnership for 8 years until 1993 when Premier announced that it would be removing the Disney characters and would start a new license agreement with Warner Brothers.   Disney quickly contacted both Carnival and Royal Caribbean to replace the exclusive land and sea deal; these talks did not prove to be successful.   This was a blessing in disguise, and in 1994 Disney announced that it would create its own cruise line.

After the announcement Disney commissioned two ships to be built at Fincantieri in Italy.   These ships would go on to become the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder.

Disney cruise line was officially born in 1998 with the launch of the Disney Magic.   July 30th 1998 a day I will remember well as my wife and I would board the ship for our honeymoon on the maiden voyage of the Disney Magic.   Stepping on board was breathtaking for both of us.   Disney quality showed through with a beautiful ship that was so clean you could eat off the floors.  It was a bit ironic as we pulled into Nassau, Bahamas and docked alongside the Big Red Boat (picture earlier in this article).

Honeymoon Cruise 2

Our Amazing Servers

As with any industry that Disney enters, they re-Imagineered family cruising, one change was the introduction of rotating dining.  This allows the guest to visit each of the ships restaurants while maintaining the same serving staff.   This was an innovative concept at the time and we loved it as we still do today.   To top it off, Disney also added its own island to the cruises.   Disney purchased a 99-year land lease of a Bahamian Island called Gorda Cay which they renamed Castaway Cay.   Find a bit of history on the island landing strip here.

Today Disney Cruise Line has now grown to 4 Ships with destinations all around the world including Alaska, Bahamas, Caribbean, Europe, and the Pacific Coast.

  • Disney Magic – July 1998
  • Disney Wonder – August 1999
  • Disney Dream – January 2011
  • Disney Fantasy – March 2012

What is your favorite ship and destination?

Fun Facts and Trivia about the Disney Wonder

Fun Facts and Trivia about the Disney Wonder

In just a few weeks the DisneyDayByDay Family will be headed to Alaska on the Disney Wonder.   This will be our first time on the Wonder so I collected some fun trivia and facts on the ship.

  • Maiden voyage – August 1999
  • The ship has 875 staterooms
  • Passenger Capacity is around 2,713
  • Crew of around 950
  • Tinkerbell is the Godmother of the Disney Wonder. Disney Cruise Line was the first cruise line to have an animated character as the Godmother of a ship.
  • The atrium in each of the Disney Cruise Line ships feature a character statue. On the Wonder, Ariel sits outside her father’s, King Triton’s, restaurant.
  • The bow features Steamboat Willie at the helm leading the way.Disney Wonder - Steamboat Willie
  • On the aft you will find Donald doing his best to finish up the paint job name plate while under duress from his nephew Huey who found a pair of scissors. Disney Wonder Aft - Donald
  • The interior design is art nouveau with a more natural whimsical feel, characterized by an art from nature feel, with whimsical, swirling wave design.
  • The ship’s cruising speed is 21.5 knots, kick it into high gear and  its maximum speed is 24 knots (about 28 MPH).
  • The total diesel fuel storage capability is 20,000 gallons.   At $3.90 a gallon that’s $78,000 to fill it up, a bit over my Visa limit.
  • The horsepower of Disney Wonder’s five engines is equivalently to the power of more than 100 Formula One racing cars running at full speed.
  • The Disney Wonder is 106 feet wide and 964 feet long making it almost as long as the Eiffel Tower is high.   Disney Wonder and Eiffel Tower
  • There are 5,390 pillows on board, these come in real handy :).
  • The weight of the anchor is 14 tons (weight of around 3 elephants)
  • The weight of the propeller is 18.8 tons.
  • The ship can make 1,200 tons of fresh water from seawater each day.  Drink up.
  • The water used to operate the laundry is water from the atmosphere, collected as it drains from the air-conditioning system. Specifically, 280 tons a day are retrieved; the laundry uses 220 tons.   This shows in Disney’s commitment to the Environment and their A grade in the Friends of the Earth Report Cards each year.
  • 5500 square feet of Disney themed shopping and I’m sure you will check out every foot.
  • 8,260 cups of coffee are served every day on board.
  • In a month of cruises on the Disney Wonder, 15,776 cans of Coca-Cola will be consumed.   Will you contribute to this?

Have any other facts to add, include them in our comments below.

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