Is there a Disney cruise in California's future? Could be, according to officials in Florida, where the company operates the 83,000-ton Disney Magic and has scheduled the maiden voyage of another cruise ship, Disney Wonder, for Aug. 15.
West Coast routes have always been part of long-term expansion discussions, several Walt Disney Co. officials said. For the short-term, though, the focus is on Florida, where ship construction delays in Italy have complicated the company's new venture.
"Right now, we're concentrating on getting the second ship afloat," said Amy Foley, a spokeswoman for Disney Cruise Vacations.
The Florida cruises depart from Port Canaveral, an hour's drive across the Florida flatlands from Walt Disney World, and are marketed as a sister attraction to the company's Florida theme parks. It's possible to take just a three- or four-day cruise to Nassau and a Disney-owned island. But Disney encourages tourists to make a week of it, split between the ship and Disney World.
California has proved a solid source of customers for the new line. Indeed, Disney publicist Rick Sylvaine said the company is actively promoting its Florida complex in the Golden State for the first time in years because of the interest in Florida cruises.