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Is the "Disney Magic" already making plans to return to California in 2006? Survey says "Yes!"

Angela Ragno

Angela is the Walt Disney World shopping queen.

Is the "Disney Magic" already making plans to return to California in 2006? Survey says "Yes!"

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At Canaveral, It's t-minus 72 hours 'til launch.

No. Not Cape Canaveral. Port Canaveral. As in: The home port of the Disney Cruise Line.

Over there, the DCL staff is frantically getting ready for Saturday's departure of the "Disney Magic." Which is when this 83300 ton vessel will set sail on a 14-day-long repositioning cruise. Moving -- via the Panama Canal -- from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

Then -- once the "Disney Magic" arrives at the Port of Los Angeles -- it will then (as part of Disneyland's 50th anniversary celebration) begin taking Disneyana fans out on 7-days cruises to exotic ports-of-call like Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán and Cabo San Lucas.

But -- even before this 2400 passenger vessel sets sail for LA on Saturday -- many Disney watchers are already wondering what the cruise line has planned for the Summer of 2006. As in: Given the huge demand that there was for berths on the 12 West Coast cruises that Disney offered this year, will the "Magic" be making a return trip to the Mexican Riveria next year?

Copyright 2005 Disney Enterprises, Inc.

Well, based on what I've been hearing lately, I'd have to say that the answer to that question is most likely "Yes."

"What have I heard?," you ask. Well, back here in Florida, Disney Cruise Line reservation agents are already being told to take the names of any persons who are unable to secure bookings on the West Coast sailings of the "Disney Magic." These names are then added to a waiting list. Not for any spots that suddenly open up in the 12 cruises scheduled for 2005, mind you. But -- rather -- these names are reportedly being used to start a waiting list for next year's West Coast cruises.

Then we have that survey that Disneyland Guest Relations reps were handing out to people as they pushed through the turnstiles last Tuesday. Which was loaded with questions like:

  • Have you ever been on a cruise?
  • Have you ever been on a Disney Cruise?

So clearly, the Mouse is collecting data. Trying to get a sense if there's any real interest out there among the general public in Southern California in taking a trip on a Disney Cruise ship.

Copyright 2005 Disney Enterprises, Inc.

Then there's what folks who are in-the-know were telling me at last week's press event. That the "Magic" 's return to Southern California is already a foregone conclusion. That we should expect a formal announcement of the next round of West Coast cruises on or about July 17th. As part of the official press conference that the Walt Disney Company will be holding for Disneyland's really-for-real 50th birthday.

Now does this mean that -- what with all this increasing demand for Disney Cruises -- that Mickey's finally going to get serious about building that third cruise ship? Well ... Let's not get ahead of ourselves, shall we?

By that I mean: The third ship in the line is reportedly already been designed. More importantly, the Mouse has allegedly shopped plans for this next vessel in the DCL fleet around to various shipyards in Europe. Hoping to get the best possible break on the cost of constructing this vessel.

But -- what with the current exchange rate (I.E. The Euro is currently worth a whole lot more than the dollar) as well as the price of steel -- it just doesn't make sense for the Walt Disney Company to spend over $200 million constructing a third ship right now.

Of course, that could change in a couple of months. So stay tuned ...

Copyright 2005 Disney Enterprises, Inc.

Speaking of changes ... Though there was initially some very heavy demand for this initial round of West Coast Disney Cruises (With virtually every room on this 2400 passenger vessels being booked), I've recently heard that a limited number of spots on the ship have suddenly opened up. Particularly on the first two sailings.

So -- if you'd like to get in on this bit of Disney history, be among the initial group of passengers who get to experience what it's like to cruise around the Mexican Riveria aboard the "Disney Magic" ... Well, now might be a good time to contact Disney Cruise Lines and/or give your local travel agent a call.


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