Port Canaveral has been busy fixing up Disney Cruise Line's terminal during pandemic hiatus


  • Image via Port Canaveral | Facebook
In 2019, Port Canaveral began a massive upgrade to Cruise Terminal 8, the home of Disney Cruise Line. The project was slated to include nearly $47 million in upgrades and be ready for Disney’s new ships that were to call the port home beginning this year.

Last year’s global pause in cruising put those plans in limbo, but recent updates show that the renovations are ongoing, albeit in a pared-back form.

The port has saved money on the upgrades by using internal labor for many jobs at Terminal 8 and throughout the port. Workers who typically clean restrooms, change lightbulbs, and mow the grass have been reassigned to other tasks since no cruise ships are currently active at the port. This has meant the general wear and tear of the terminals aren’t happening, allowing the workers who typically focus on these items to instead shift to maintenance that had been planned to be outsourced.

  • Image via Port Canaveral

Cruise Terminal 8 saw major upgrades as part of the first phase of its update. The expansion and refurbishment were designed to blend perfectly with the original terminal, built in 1998. An expanded drop-off area and entrance plaza will allow for easier traffic flow while also ensuring passenger safety. An additional two dozen shaded curbside drop-off/pick-up spaces have been added along the side of the terminal.

Inside, the ceilings received an updated paint scheme, and lighting throughout has been upgraded to energy-efficient LEDs. The terrazzo floors, braided rope tilework, and the iconic Mickey-shaped portal have all been restored to their original glory. The building saw the arrivals hall expanded by more than 11,000 square feet with an additional nearly 7,000 square foot shaded open-air plaza attached to it. Guests will exit into a 2,800 square foot debarkation ramp.

  • Image via Port Canaveral
A new jetway-style boarding bridge allows for easier access to the cruise ships. New mooring accessories, including four 125 metric ton mooring bollards, have been installed to enable Disney’s upcoming larger class of cruise ships access to the terminal.

The $2.9 million Phase Two will see an additional pier-side restroom facility and expanded concierge spaces added to the terminal. An overhauled U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspection area is also part of this phase.Terminal 8 will be ready in time for the debut of theDisney Wish, currently scheduled to sail from Port Canaveral beginning on June 9, 2022.

Rendering of the Disney Wish cruise ship. - IMAGE VIA DISNEY
  • Image via Disney
  • Rendering of the Disney Wish cruise ship.

The Port Canaveral terminal is the only custom-designed Disney Cruise Line terminal in the world. Disney is beginning negotiations to bring a second, custom-built Disney Cruise Line terminal to a port in South Florida. 
Among the deferred upgrades to the terminal is a large outbound luggage screening building. The footprint for that future building was prepped, but its construction will wait until future funding is in place.

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