Disney’s parks and cruise business have been a bright spot for the Disney group in recent years, propping up the whole company with an estimated $10 billion in profit this year, with Disney now planning an investment of more than $60 billion.
The move comes after Robert A. Iger, Disney’s CEO, last month singled out the parks division, of which Disney Cruise Line is a part, as “a key growth engine”.
Disney Cruise Line will by 2025 have a fleet of eight ships, with each one essentially operating as a floating Disney theme park and resort. The cruise line boasts an occupancy rate of around 98%, even following the disruption caused by the pandemic.
Disney is now planning to spend roughly $60 billion over the next decade to expand its domestic and international parks and to continue building Disney Cruise Line, a full doubling of what Disney spent on parks and the cruise line over the past decade.
Disney more than doubled its cruise line capacity during the past year, adding rides and cruise experiences based on intellectual properties like “Star Wars,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Tron,” Spider-Man, “Avatar” and “Toy Story”.
The cruise line has three ships under construction, including the former Global Dream (to be renamed Disney Adventure), which will be the largest cruise ship it has ever operated, and two new Triton class ships, Disney Treasure due next year, and an unnamed sister ship due in 2025.
Disney is also nearing completion of a new port on a Bahamian island, joining the one it already has in the Bahamas. All of these investments were made over the last decade, however, with the earmarked $60 billion intended for a series of as-yet-unannounced new projects and expansions of the theme parks and cruise line.
“There are far fewer limits to our parks business than people think,” Iger said in an email to the New York Times. “The growth trajectory is very compelling if we do nothing beyond what we have already committed,” he added, referring to attractions and ships that have been announced but are not yet operational.
“By dramatically increasing our investment — building big, being ambitious, maintaining quality and high standards and using our most popular I.P. — it will be turbocharged,” he said.
Disney has not outlined how the $60 billion will be spent, but Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products (which owns Disney Cruise Line), hinted that Disney movies like “Coco,” “Zootopia,” “Encanto” and others would be incorporated into the company’s experiences.
Disney’s ships have grown increasingly themed, with characters and artwork from franchises like “Frozen,” “Star Wars” and Marvel’s Avengers incorporated into restaurants and entertainment zones aboard Disney Wish and Disney Treasure.
Disney Cruise Line will also focus on developing new ports for its ships. The upcoming 6,000-passenger Disney Adventure will be based in Singapore from 2025 (and might even cruise via Dubai).