Today, the Walt Disney Company held their annual shareholders meeting in Portland, Oregon. The event started with glowing praise for the success of Disney Animation’s Frozen and touched on various highlights from the past year, as well as a look forward. If you want to quickly read over the highlights, check out LaughingPlace.com’s live blog from the event. Just like last year, there were no formal announcements pertaining to Disney Cruise Line during the nearly 2 hour shareholder meeting, but there were some interesting tidbits worth sharing.
The best part of these shareholder meetings is the often entertaining general question and answer period. This year, there were a couple of questions that related to Disney Cruise Line. Ok, it was just one, but there was another question that is worth exploring along with a potential connection to Shanghai Disney Resort.
The first question was by a young boy who asked Iger if Disney has ever consider running summer camps for kids. The response was essentially it has been considered, but not something that will happen. While this may never materialize, I’d be willing to argue that a week long Disney Cruise could provide a similar summer camp experience with the array of youth activities, port adventures geared specifically towards families, and outdoor adventure. If I were in charge of marketing for DCL, I would at the very least look into this for a potential commercial or overall marketing campaign.
The most direct question came from Terry Williams of Oregon who inquired about the future expansion of the fleet and if there were any plans for new itineraries. Basically she was asking what is on the horizon for Disney Cruise Line. Iger reaffirmed his previous statement that the focus at Disney Cruise Line is on new and expanded itineraries, and was also quick to scuttle any notion that Disney Cruise Line would commission any new ships in the short term. Although, during the response, Iger claimed he did not know what those itineraries were at the moment it would have been fitting to tie in the Norwegian Fjord sailings on the same day as the release of Disney’s Frozen on Blu-ray. It would have been Disney synergy running full speed ahead. I guess he will find out with the rest of us on Monday. However, when Iger asked Jay Rasulo if he had anything to add, Rasulo was quick to respond in with a nope! Sadly, it was not the Olaf, nope.
Audio clip featuring Bob Iger’s response to the Terry’s question along with a full transcription.
Iger: We are proud of our cruise ships. All four of them.
We are currently not planning to commission or build more ships than the 4 that we have. Don’t rule that out forever, but we are extremely satisfied with the two new ones the Dream and the Fantasy that were launched in 2011 and 2012. not just from an experience perspective but from a business perspective. We are looking at a number of new itineraries. Usually, I have all of them in my head either because I’ve studied them, or I have interacted with the cruise ship folks. I must say I am drawing a blank on what the new itineraries are but, I know we are expanding where the fleet is sailing to. You know we sail up, not far from here northwest into Alaska which has been extremely successful. The two big ships Fantasy and Dream are spending most of their time in the Caribbean. I know we have a big European trip coming up for one of the ships… Jay, you are looking at your notes. Want to add anything to that? No!?!
Rasulo: Nope! Ha Ha Ha Everything in it’s time. Ha Ha.
Iger: Everything in it’s time. Near future… expanded itineraries but not expanded fleet.
Early on in the business portion of the shareholder meeting, Iger provided a first look at Shanghai Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean inspired land, Treasure Cove with the new POTC attraction called Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle of the Sunken Treasure. This area will bring Pirates of the Caribbean full circle, first an attraction, then a movie series based on an attraction, and now an attraction/land based on the movie series. Which brings me to my last DCL tie-in… Iger mentioned the Asian cruise market during November’s earnings webcast as a future market for Disney Cruise Line and as a reason for the company to potentially build another ship. Could these future new ship builds be tied to the completion, and successful opening of Shanghai Disneyland? Only time will tell.
I will update this article later with a better transcription of the questions along with an audio clip once available.