Not content with dominating so many areas of the entertainment and hospitality sectors already, Disney is making a big move in the luxury cruise line business—and serving a $5,000 cocktail on board its fancy new ship is part of the House of Mouse’s plan to attract high-end passengers.
The strategy behind all this is to show the world—and especially Wall Street—that the entertainment empire is rebounding from recent setbacks with bold new money making moves. Disney just added to its cruise fleet with the company’s biggest and costliest ship ever, Disney Wish.
But what’s making the headlines is the libation served in its Star Wars-themed Hyperspace Lounge, which is the only place in the world where you can buy what’s billed as “the most expensive drink in the galaxy.” Called a Kaiburr Crystal, taking its name from a relic in the space saga which amplifies the power of the Force, the cocktail is made with Camus cognac, the Japanese citrus fruit yuzu and shots of very old and very expensive whiskey and port.
Embattled Disney CEO Bob Chapek hopes to be raising a glass to better fortunes soon for the company, which has struggled to rally from the pandemic problems in 2020, which forced the closure of its theme parks and suspension of all Disney Cruise Line departures.
In fact, Disney stock is down nearly 40 percent this year due to factors including a political conflict with its home state of Florida, where the company’s tax breaks were just revoked, disappointing box office numbers for recent Pixar film Lightyear, and rising costs for its popular streaming platform, Disney+.
Hoping to prove the giant company is not a sinking ship, Disney is betting on its new ocean going liner to help turn fortunes around. Like an enormous floating Disneyland, only with more to enjoy for the parents, Wish aims to bring in a boatload of cash by dominating the family market in the cruise business.
Having just started sailing from Florida to the Bahamas—hoping not to encounter any real life Pirates of the Caribbean on the way—this floating fantasyland is something the Imagineers have been working on for years to create enchantment around every corner. Fine dining, deluxe suites, world class spas, and exquisite decorations add to the magic, and the boat also boasts the Aqua Mouse—Disney’s first amusement park ride at sea. It’s a wild waterslide that twists and turns through 760 feet of winding tubes. Kid passengers can enroll in an on board Marvel Superhero Academy, where they learn from the likes of Spider-Man and Black Panther how to be heroic.
According to Disney Cruise Lines, the 1,100 foot long cruise ship has a crew of 1,500 and can hold up to 4,000 passengers, with its fanciest accommodation being a luxury suite located inside the ship’s funnel. It’s also a musical cruise, thanks to the ship’s horns belting out favourite Disney tunes including modern classics like “Be Our Guest” from Beauty and the Beast and more recent hits such as “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” from Encanto. For dining on board, you’ll find a Frozen-themed restaurant, offering dishes with Nordic influences, a World of Marvel eatery, serving delicacies from Wakanda and other comic book worlds, and the cruise’s most upscale dining can be found at Enchante with a gourmet menu created by three-Michelin-starred Chef Arnaud Lallement.
Tickets for future cruises have been going fast, which suggests Disney may have found the answer on the water to some of its recent fiscal problems. While they may have to sell a lot of $5,000 Star Wars cocktails to make this new venture a galaxy-sized success, after a stormy few months, Disney’s corporate ship at last seems to be turning the tide and sailing towards calmer waters.