Disney Won’t Grant Wish for Six More Weeks
No, the news didn’t happen on Groundhog Day, but it had the same effect.
Disney Cruise Line just announced that the Disney Wish must wait another six weeks for its inaugural voyage. I guess the groundhog saw its shadow.
Anyway, here’s why Disney cannot make its deadline for the next luxury cruise ship.
Earlier this afternoon, intrepid Disney reporter Scott Gustin ominously tweeted the following:
Disney Cruise Line has paused new bookings of the Disney Wish until Feb. 8. Also, the DCL call center is closed until 1:30 p.m. ET for "cast training."
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) February 3, 2022
As you might imagine, Disney doesn’t provide its customer service staff with crisis training often. We’re talking about emergency situations only.
Similarly, Disney Cruise Line wouldn’t willingly pause Disney Wish bookings without reason. That’s a lot of money in lost reservations.
After all, the new vessel will immediately become the anchor ship in the fleet when it debuts. So, something was obviously up.
Within the hour, we learned the details. The Disney Wish cannot make its promised maiden voyage date of June 9th.
Instead, Disney will delay the inaugural date by several weeks. The new target for the Wish’s first trip is July 14th.
Now, Disney isn’t about to miss another deadline here. So, I presume they built in some buffer time to ensure that the Disney Wish will depart on July 14th.
Still, this news has understandably caused confusion and frustration among Disney fans, even though it impacts less than 50,000 people directly.
Overall, 12 voyages on the Disney Wish will require rescheduling due to the missed target date. I’ll explain that process in a later section.
Before then, we should discuss why Disney missed its date on the Wish. And the answer is COVID-19.
In fact, Disney had shockingly little to do with what went wrong here. The Meyer Werft shipyard has dutifully worked on the Disney Wish since its inception.
As a reminder, Disney announced the ship a long time ago. The company commissioned several new vessels all the way back in March of 2016, which feels like a lifetime ago.
During the 2019 D23 Expo, park officials revealed the name of the first new ship, the Disney Wish.
Also, Disney listed a delivery date of December 2021 followed by a maiden voyage in January 2022.
Since we’re in February of 2022 now, we know that didn’t happen. In fact, we’re now discussing the third delay for the Disney Wish, which is…a lot.
Still, by the time the vessel finally embarks on its first cruise, it’ll only have missed its target date by six months.
Given the pandemic, I think that’s rather impressive, all things considered.
Last April, Disney had confidently projected a June 2022 start, though. The reason why the project fell behind is the obvious one.
The Omicron outbreak toward the end of 2021 caused significant staffing shortages at shipyards around the world.
Disney just happened to be building its biggest and most ambitious cruise ship ever at the time.
For this reason, Meyer Werft’s leadership team recently confirmed to Disney that they just couldn’t make the early June timeline work.
How does this new date affect you? That depends…
Okay, if you were previously booked on the maiden voyage, you have options.
By default, Disney has rolled back your date to the new maiden voyage on July 14th.
So, your dates just changed, but you still have the same reservation for the first trip on the Disney Wish.
Even better, you just got a 50 percent discount on your cruise! Think of this multi-thousand-dollar discount as Disney’s way of saying sorry for the aggravation.
Disney Cruise Line understands that you may not be able to make those new July dates, though.
In that case, you can receive a full refund for your cruise by canceling. Rescheduling is also an option.
Disney offers a 50 percent discount on all rescheduled cruises between July 2022 and December 2023.
Any funds that you’ve already paid will go down as a future cruise credit if you take this approach.
Similarly, if you were scheduled for one of the other 11 Disney Wish trips in June/early July, you have your choice of a refund or a 50 percent discount on a later trip.
Please understand that it’s an either/or option. You cannot cancel, ask for a refund, and then rebook at a 50 percent discount.
If you used DVC points, this final part is essential.
The exclusive DVC cruise has been delayed until July 19th. The three-night voyage had been scheduled for June 14th.
You should contact Member Services to discuss options if you cannot make the July 19th itinerary work.
Of course, Disney will try to contact you first. I know multiple people impacted by this delay, and they’ve already heard from Disney.
Overall, this new date for the Disney Wish won’t amount to much in the greater scheme of the Disney empire.
Still, tens of thousands of early adopter Disney fans are having a bad day.