May 3, 1994 – Disney Announces Intention to Start a Cruise Line
“Operating our own cruise line will allow us to bring a new dimension of entertainment to our guests.” – Michael Eisner, then-Disney CEO
On May 3, 1994, the Walt Disney Company publicly announced their intention to create a cruise line, with their first ship estimated to be ready to sail in 1998. This announcement came on the heels of some recent announcements of expansions of the Disney brand, including the renovation of the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York City, plans to build a historical theme park in Virginia, and the first professional season of the Mighty Ducks hockey team. Disney had licensed its characters to be a part of the Florida-based Premiere Cruise Lines, but had recently ceased the eight-year agreement with the company. The first ship in the Disney Cruise Line, the Disney Magic, sailed out on its maiden voyage on July 30, 1998.