#D23Expo: Details about Disney’s new private island in the Bahamas plus the ‘Disney Wish’ and Rapunzel!
This weekend, we got a few D23 Expo surprise announcements about goings on at the Disney Cruise Line. The two big stories to emerge are news of a second tropical destination in The Bahamas and the name for one of the new ships joining the lineup.
A Disney Wish
Disney Wish was revealed as the name of Disney’s fifth ship (a sixth and seventh are also in devleopment). The ship’s atrium will be a bright, airy and elegant space inspired by the beauty of an enchanted fairytale.
A beloved hallmark of Disney Cruise Line, it has been a tradition to adorn the back of our ships with an iconic character that reflects the theme of each vessel. For the Disney Wish, the ship’s stern will feature Rapunzel. Our favorite artsy princess, paintbrush in hand, uses her enchanted hair to suspend herself as she decorates the stern of the ship with the help of her feisty sidekick, Pascal. Spirited, smart, curious and above all, adventurous, Rapunzel embodies the wish and desire to see and experience the world.
A New Island
Lighthouse Point, Eleuthra
Lighthouse Point is the name of Disney’s new destination on the island of Eleuthra in the Bahamas. In a similar stroke to what was done with Aulani in Hawaii, the new destination will celebrate both the stories and culture of The Bahamas, as well as the natural environment of Lighthouse Point itself. It will become a new destination that joins Castaway Cay as an exclusive private port of the Disney Cruise Line.
In preparation for creating the new destination, Walt Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde — whose work includes not just designing Aulani but also Disney’s Animal Kingdom — embarked on an in-depth cultural tour of the Bahamas to meet with local artists and cultural advisers. Together, they explored arts and cultural sites across New Providence and Eleuthera, from Junkanoo shacks to noted art galleries.
Disney Cruise Line completed the purchase of the privately-owned Lighthouse Point earlier this year and signed an agreement with the Government of The Bahamas that guides the responsible and sustainable way the site will be developed. Less than 20 percent of the property will be developed and the parts that are will employ sustainable building practices (including an open-trestle pier that eliminates the need to dredge a ship channel) plus establish environmental monitoring programs, and donate more than 190 acres of privately owned land to Government, among other commitments.
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. Construction could begin in 2020 with completion in late 2022 or 2023.
Disney Conservation Fund
Through the Disney Conservation Fund, Disney has provided more than $13 million to marine conservation programs around the globe, including several in The Bahamas. Since 2007, Disney has been directly involved in leading a multiyear initiative to protect and rehabilitate coral reefs in The Bahamas and will continue to work with leading conservation organizations and communities to protect special places there.
See it for Yourself
Disney Wish is scheduled for delivery in late 2021 and will set sail in January 2022.
The vessel will join Disney Cruise Line’s award-winning fleet. All three new ships will be powered by liquefied natural gas and, at approximately 144,000 gross tons and 1,250 guest staterooms, be slightly larger than the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.