This weekend’s Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products panel had plenty of WDW news in it
, but Disney Cruise Line was also received a lot of attention during the 90-minute presentation.
In announcing the new Disney Cruise Line port-of-call Lighthouse Point, Joe Rohde called Disney's plans for the 751-acre peninsula a “kind of seaside adventure camp” that draws inspiration from the natural features already found on this site, including impressive rock formations stretching into the ocean. With conservation in mind, the camp will “touch very lightly onto the surface of this land.”
Bahamian music, storytelling, and dance will also be celebrated in the new port-of-call, performed by local artists. Rohde went on to explain the day resort will “not be like any other, not a replica of some old Bahamian town, not a pirate fantasy, but a dreamlike fantasy of adventure by the sea where art and nature combine with Disney magic to create a destination that can only exist in one place.”
Image via Disney
Concept art for Lighthouse Point
While comparisons to Aulani, the DVC resort in Hawaii that Joe Rohde also oversaw the design of, were found throughout the announcement, Lighthouse Point looks to remain a day resort. Disney is already looking at the possibility of a stand-alone Bahamas resort, as confirmed via a survey sent to DVC members. Lighthouse Point should open in 2022 or 2023. The flexibility in the opening date is due in part to the lengthy approval process still in the works for the project.
In announcing the new port-of-call, the Disney Parks Blog noted
, "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."
Both Lighthouse Point and Disney’s current private port-of-call, Castaway Cay, will be serviced by Disney Cruise Line’s three new ships. Speculation ahead of the D23 Expo pointed to the liners being named
Wish, Enchantment, and Imagination. The three ships will be slightly larger than the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. They will be powered by liquefied natural gas.
Not announced at the Expo but previously confirmed by Port Canaveral authorities, at least two of the three ships will call Port Canaveral home. Disney is currently increasing the size of their flagship terminal at the port and working on a second partner terminal nearby. While details regarding the second and third ships weren’t shared, the first of the new vessels was confirmed as the Disney Wish.
With delivery in late 2021 and the first sailings taking place in early 2022, the Disney Wish will draw inspiration from Disney fairytales with a Beauty and the Beast like atrium. As is tradition with Disney Cruise Line ships, the stern will have a Disney character hanging off of it. For the Wish, it will be Rapunzel with a paintbrush in hand, suspended by her hair and with her trusty sidekick Pascal by her side.
The Disney Wish should be delivered just after the next D23 Expo in 2021, at which time the details on the two other ships are expected to be shared. That same year DCL is also likely to announce a new focus on the growing Asian cruise market with one or more liners, likely one of the older ships in the fleet, heading to that region.
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