The Walt Disney Company recently held their quarterly earnings call and discussed how the global pandemic has impacted their theme parks, entertainment offerings and Disney Cruise Line. Shortly after discussing their “cautious and sensible” approach to reopening their theme parks, several questions were asked about Disney Cruise Line returning to service.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek reiterated that there isn’t a scheduled reopening date for their theme parks at this time, matching what was said about Walt Disney World earlier this week. When asked about Disney Cruise Line, Chapek didn’t provide specific details but did say that he expects it will be the last segment to reopen.
Disney was also asked about the three new cruise ships that are expected to join the Disney Cruise Line fleet over the next few years. The first is the Disney Wish, which was originally supposed to start welcoming guests in early 2022. Specifically, they were asked whether they were planning to cancel or change their orders for these new ships.
Chapek and team provided more of a roundabout answer here, saying that they have data that shows guests are often repeat cruisers. After experiencing their first trip with Disney Cruise Line, guests will often book new itineraries in the future due to Disney’s focus on safety and guest satisfaction. Disney believes demand will return – albeit not in the next few months – and Disney Cruise Line will rebound.
Summarized, Disney isn’t publicly showing any concern over Disney Cruise Line despite the fact they believe it will be the last to resume operation. The overall impression they gave off – without saying anything formally – is they may be content to allow competitors to reopen first and then gauge their own response based on how the competitors do. Carnival Cruise Line is tentatively trying to resume sailing in August and may be a barometer for other companies who may plan to open later.
Disney Cruise Line has currently cancelled all itineraries through June 18, 2020, with Disney Magic sailings cancelled through July 2, 2020 and Disney Wonder sailings cancelled through the end of June. We’d expect more cancellations to be announced in the near future, but this is a very fluid and dynamic situation that can change at any moment.