The Mouse has taken to the water. And he's grabbing nearly 3,000 willing folks with him.
That's the type of reaction one might expect every time Disney announces a new venture, which in this case is a new Caribbean cruise slated to disembark from New Orleans in February 2020. And Disney Cruise Line surprised even itself when the four-day junket sold out in less than an hour.
According to Cruise Planners, which administered the whole thing, 2,713 folks went online to book their way onto their choice of 875 suites on board the Disney Wonder vessel. That's 45 bookings a minute. Only pop music concerts sell out faster, such as the Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z tandem from 2016 that wound up selling over 600,000 tickets a minute.
That was on Oct. 4th. What was painfully slow in comparison were the four weeks it took Disney to share those results with the rest of the world. Perhaps it took that long for cruise organizers to pick themselves off the floor.
“You wouldn’t believe the people that jumped on that,” said Cruise Planners co-owner Brenda Walker. "It sold out in one hour. The whole cruise."
Even though Disney announced back in September that they planned to build a port in New Orleans, the results from the inaugural Wonder Cruise 16 months before it sets sail seems to affirm that the company was on to a good thing.
Furthermore, Disney's establishment of a port in New Orleans will likely open up more opportunities for employment at the site as well as overall tourism, given that the city is still reeling economically from the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Katrina back in 2005. Other cruise companies are also reportedly checking out the potential of the city with Norwegian Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean planning to launch ventures there.
Meanwhile, Disney Cruises will have its wonder vessel available for Caribbean and Bahamian destinations from current ports like Galveston, Texas and San Diego, California. Also on tap are trips to the Hawaiian Islands and Puerto Rico in 2020. Although the New Orleans sojourn is already sold out, plenty of tickets are available for around 20 other Disney cruises on its website. Prices range from $1,294 to $3,196, depending on the length of the cruise as well as taxes, port fees, and other expenses built into the ticket cost.