Disney Cruise Line Provides Update on Lighthouse Point During 9th Annual Eleuthera Business Outlook

Today, the 9th Annual Eleuthera Business Outlook was held as a virtual event featuring presentations by stakeholders and experts addressing principal developmental issues and opportunities in the Central Bahamas. During the event, a representatives from Disney Cruise Line provided an update on the plans for the cruise line’s Lighthouse Point project in South Eleuthera which, pending approvals, is slated to begin construction in early 2022 with an anticipated opening in the first half of 2024.

The Honorable Dionisio D’Aguilar, Minister of Tourism and Aviation started the event with the keynote address which included the following informative overview of the status of Disney Cruise Line’s Lighthouse Point project.

With regard to the Disney project in South Eleuthera, I’m delighted to report that COVID delays not withstanding, that project is progressing. Disney, I’m advised has satisfactory completed its Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), addressed all of the concerns brought forward at the town hall meeting and other gatherings. Is currently working on its Environmental Management Plan (EMP) with the Department of Environmental Planning and Protection. In addition, I am also advised it has identified its contractor. The plan currently is to commence construction of this project in early 2022

Honorable Dionisio D’Aguilar, Minister of Tourism and Aviation – Keynote Presentation Excerpt on Disney Cruise Line’s Lighthouse Point

Disney intends for Lighthouse Point to be its second island destination in The Bahamas. Disney Cruise Line guests will be able to enjoy stunning beaches and explore nature, while also having the opportunity to explore the island of Eleuthera. Working with local artists, the design and experience will be rooted in Bahamian culture and inspired by the natural beauty of the site. The site will be open to Bahamian citizens and residents for non-commercial purposes.

Early in the event, Disney Cruise Line’s Kim Prunty, Vice President, Communications & Public Affairs, and Thomas Mazloum, President were given about 30 minutes to provide an update on the the Lighthouse Point cruise port destination project and offered insight on how Disney intends to create a lasting economic impact to the Eleutheran community. During a brief introduction, Mazloum reiterated Disney commitment to sustainability at Lighthouse Point. He pointed out solar will play a role at Lighthouse Point, and for example shared that, 70% of Castaway Cay is now powered by solar. In fact, the original plans for Lighthouse Point targeted 30% renewable energy, and now the plans are closing in on 90%.

ELBO 2021 DCL Lighthouse Point Update 1

Following Mazloum’s remarks, Kim Prunty took the helm of the virtual stage with the Lighthouse Point Update presentation which screenshots are included below. The update included commentary on the design, commitments to the community, environmental update, the selection of the construction company, and the various economic opportunities for the Eleutheran community.

ELBO 2021 DCL Lighthouse Point Update 2

Disney Cruise Line is guided by four main principles. Develop the site in an environmentally responsible way, create sustainable economic opportunities for the Bahamians, celebrate Bahamian culture, and further strengthen the community.

ELBO 2021 DCL Lighthouse Point Update 3

The Lighthouse Point project includes a variety of aspects including beach areas, a single open-tresle pier for a cruise ship, marina, back of house areas, Bahamian art and cultural center, cabanas, service roads, elevated walking paths, and solar farm. One major concern has been dredging. Prunty stated, that dredging is NOT required for either the marina or the single cruise ship pier.

Disney will continue to fulfill promise outlined in the Heads of Agreement (HOA) signed with The Bahamian governments back in 2019 with a commitment to low density development, donated land, employment opportunities for Bahamians as well as providing Bahamian vendors and tour operators priority to provide service to cruise passengers while ships are in port.

ELBO 2021 DCL Lighthouse Point Update 6

Part of Disney commitment to The Bahamas is centered around involving the community. This includes the commitment ship calls across The Bahamas at Nassau, Castaway Cay, and eventually Lighthouse Point.

Construction will only begin on the site after the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Environmental Management Plan (EMP) are accepted by government, public consultation has occurred and all other necessary government permits and approvals have been granted.

Disney Cruise Line is currently working through the environmental clearance process. At this point EMP has been submitted, and the Lighthouse Point public consultation report has been made public.

Overall, Disney’s plans call for about 16% development of the overall 758 total acres of the property. It is also anticipated far more land will be donated back to The Bahamas or left undeveloped. The 190 acre land donation is valued at $6.29 million. Disney is also planning for zero waste to landfill. The current design is approaching 90% renewable energy up from the HOA promise of 30%.

Disney’s $250-400 million investment is focused on the environment, it was mentioned the low-density development and sustainable building practices are not cheap, but it is the course being taken as it is the best route for the overall environment.

The development will likely employ at a minimum of 120 construction workers with 80% of the workforce comprised of Bahamians. Disney estimates the operation of Lighthouse Point will require at least 150 employees which will be provided training as well as given opportunities for professional development through various programs.

Due to the pandemic-related delays site work is expected to begin late 2021, pending approvals. Opening of Lighthouse Point is slated for first half of 2024. Construction could begin in 2021 with completion in the first half of 2024

Disney Cruise Line selected American Bridge as the Lighthouse Point contractor with the commitment to employing mostly Bahamian workers. In 1996, American Bridge took on the job of transforming for the development of Gorda Cay into Disney’s Castaway Cay. To date, representatives from American Bridge have toured the property, joined the Bahamian Contractors association, held information sessions and meetings in Eleuthera and New Providence with those interested in working on the project.

As you can see in the slide below, there are a plenty of roles needed spanning both direct and vendor employment opportunities available for the development of Lighthouse Point with positions starting as soon as October 2021.

ELBO 2021 DCL Lighthouse Point Update 12

Hiring for operational staff is slated to begin 18-24 months hiring prior to opening of Lighthouse Point. For those interested, there are currently openings available at Castaway Cay.

Below is an excerpt highlighting the discussion on Disney’s Lighthouse Point. The full event video can be found here.

On March 11, 2019 Disney completed the Lighthouse Point purchase and signed a Heads of Agreement with the Bahamian Government. In November 2019, the Environmental Protection Plan (EPP) for the Geotechnical Investigations was submitted and eventually made public a month later. The complete 551 page Lighthouse Point Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was released on March 10, 2021 and on July 16, 2021, following the public comment period, Disney released the Lighthouse Point Public Consultation Report which is over 550-pages. Happy reading.

For the latest updates, please visit the Disney Cruise Line’s official Lighthouse Point website.

8 Replies to “Disney Cruise Line Provides Update on Lighthouse Point During 9th Annual Eleuthera Business Outlook”

  1. Ray

    You shouldn’t be doing this project at all! If you really cared about the environment you would leave it alone!!!!!! Disgraceful destruction of the literally the most beautiful place on earth! I will never go to Disney again and will suggest the same to whoever will listen!

  2. Jeff

    Ray and CPruett, that is a bit selfish. I would never be able to go enjoy this area on my own. Thanks to Disney, my family will get a chance to experience this beautiful piece of nature. As for me and my family, we will be looking forward to the day we can all enjoy it!

    1. Stephen roper

      The problem is you are not seeing it n its natural habitat. You will see it in Disney’s version of natural habitat.

      This is one of the prettiest places I have ever been to. It will be ruined by Disney.

  3. Robert Seguin

    hello, i travel to Eleuthera and have enjoyed Lighthouse Beach . it is beautiful. my wife and I made the trip from Rainbow Bay and the trip was worth it. the last 5 miles of rough road was a challenge but when we got to lighthouse point we agreed we would do it again. this brings me to my question, will Eleuthera tourists be able to access lighthouse point. i would be very disappointed if our trip to Eleuthera couldn’t include a trip to Lighthouse Point

  4. kat

    i don’t understand why Disney decided to destroy this untouched paradise enjoyed by the locals of Eleuthera?? the lure of Eleuthera is the primitive, uncommercialized beauty of the island…there are plenty of tourist traps in the Bahamas & Eleuthera is not one of them…unfortunately that will all change in 2024 when they transform this untouched paradise into another tourist trap for the unimaginative. There are literally 700 islands in the Bahamas but they chose to destroy our community & island paradise.

  5. David Arnold

    There is no reason other than $$$ greed to develop such an extraordinary place that is completely incompatible with development for about any reason you can think of – Disney should donate the land to a land trust or the Bahamas government for the purpose of protecting the area in perpetuity rather than destroying it.


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