Disney Cruise Line now officially owns two destinations in the Bahamas. Disney has purchased Lighthouse Point on the island of Eleuthera and has reached an agreement with the local government to begin developing the location.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the 700-acre property will be used differently than the Castaway Cay destination that Disney Cruise Line guests already know and love.
For starters, Disney will donate 190 acres of the land back to the local government for the development of a national park. The land Disney retains is envisioned to be developed in a similar fashion to Disney’s Aulani Resort in Hawaii in the way it incorporates the local culture and theme in its plans. The property will also be open to residents of the Bahamas and won’t be a private location like Castaway Cay.
The agreement also stated that Lighthouse Point must allow Bahamian vendors to sell items and souvenirs to Disney Cruise Line guests. Bahamian vendors must also be given priority for port adventures and excursions.
Finally, the agreement calls for an increase in visits by Disney Cruise Line to the Nassau and Freeport ports. Disney will likely meet this requirement through the arrival of at least one of its new cruise ships.
Summarized, Lighthouse Point will serve as another destination in the Bahamas that Disney Cruise Line can visit with its expanded fleet. However, it sounds like this area will be quite different than Castaway Cay in the fact it won’t be another private island reserved exclusively for cruise guests. Disney will need to keep a watchful eye on what it offers at Lighthouse Point in order to avoid the location feeling like another Nassau, which many avoid experiencing when traveling on Disney Cruise Line due to pushy vendors, quality of offerings and crime. That should be less of an issue since Disney is the owner of the property and won’t want to be connected to any bad experiences or negative press.
Lighthouse Point is currently expected to open to guests between 2021 and 2023, just in time for Disney’s new ships to set sail.