Welcome to DisneyBizJournal.com - News, Analysis and Reviews of the Disney Entertainment Business!

Brought to fans, investors, entrepreneurs, executives, teachers, professors, and students by columnist, economist, novelist, reviewer, podcaster, business reporter and speaker Ray Keating

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Toy Story 4: Big Bucks, Disappointing Movie

by Ray Keating
Review
DisneyBizJournal.com
June 23, 2019

DisneyBizJournal.com Movie Rating: 3 stars out of 5
DisneyBizJournal.com Box Office Rating:  $$$$ out of $$$$

Okay, I’m getting tired of coming out of a Toy Story movie feeling ... well ... kind of depressed. Toy Story 4 could have easily carried a subtitle like Woody’s Midlife Crisis or Woody’s Angst.

I exited the theater after watching Toy Story and Toy Story 2 feeling uplifted and joyous. That most certainly wasn’t the case with Toy Story 3 or, now, Toy Story 4.


Having said that, while Toy Story 3 was still a good movie, Toy Story 4 ranks as pretty good. Among the big plusses are several enjoyable new characters, namely, Forky (Tony Hale), Ducky (Keegan-Michael Key), Bunny (Jordan Peele), Giggle McDimples (Ally Maki), and perhaps best of all, Duke Caboom (Keanu Reeves).

At the same time, there are just too many problems with the film. For example, it’s so focused on Woody (Tom Hanks) that key characters whom we’ve come to love are relegated to after-thoughts, including Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and Jessie (Joan Cusack), as well as Rex (Wallace Shawn), Hamm (John Ratzenberger), Slinky Dog (Blake Clark), and Potato Head (Don Rickles).

The additions of other toys simply don’t work all that well, especially the story arc involving Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks).

And then there’s the return of Bo Peep (Annie Potts). It was good to see one of the gang return to the fold, and her adventurous life added some verve to the movie. But her tale largely amounted to – at least based on the first three films – an anti-Toy-Story story.

In the end, the key problem with Toy Story 4 is Woody’s big choice, which undermines much of the point of the Toy Story franchise, and could be classified as selfish. It was very un-Woody. The scenes mixed in with the credits attempt to gloss over or justify Woody’s decision, but that effort comes up short.

The Box Office

But make no mistake, my take on Toy Story 4 definitely falls into the exception category. The rule is that critics and fans love this. Over at rottentomatoes.com, both critic and audience scores are off the charts – 98% fresh with critics and 95% with audiences.

BoxOfficeMojo.com had the early global box office haul at $167.4 million (as of Friday, June 21), and the movie was expected to pull in between $122 million and $125 million domestically for the entire opening weekend.

Yes, Toy Story 4 will succeed at the box office, but it disappoints when it comes to what Toy Story has long been about. Come on, Woody (or Pixar), you should’ve done better.

Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com, and author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels. He can be contacted at  raykeating@keatingreports.com.

If you enjoyed this article, and since I am the author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and short stories, can I ask you to take at least one (preferably more) of the following steps?

1) A new Pastor Stephen Grant novel – DEEP ROUGH – is coming very soon. You can pre-order the Kindle edition, or the signed book.

2) Please join the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and short stories email list, and get the upcoming short story, THE TRAITOR, for free! Sign up here.

3) Buy one of the other Pastor Stephen Grant novels or short stories at Amazon.comor signed books at www.raykeatingonline.com

4) Become a member of the Pastor Stephen Grant Fellowship, and get all kinds of FREE stuff, including each new book in the Pastor Stephen Grant series. Check out the levels and benefits here.

Friday, June 21, 2019

How Much Did It Cost to Build Toy Story Land?

by Ray Keating
News/Analysis
DisneyBizJournal.com
June 21, 2019

As an economist, I’m always interested in what kind of investments were made to build structures or to undertake certain ventures. With Toy Story 4 now opening in theaters, it’s an ideal time to take a look at what it cost to build Toy Story Land. As you’ll see in the following video, Rob Plays has some fun in determining what it cost Andy, not Disney, to build Toy Story Land. Enjoy!


Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com, and author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels. He can be contacted at  raykeating@keatingreports.com.

If you enjoyed this article, and since I am the author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and short stories, can I ask you to take at least one (preferably more) of the following steps?

1) A new Pastor Stephen Grant novel – DEEP ROUGH – is coming very soon. You can pre-order the Kindle edition, or the signed book.

2) Please join the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and short stories email list, and get the upcoming short story, THE TRAITOR, for free! Sign up here.

3) Buy one of the other Pastor Stephen Grant novels or short stories at Amazon.comor signed books at www.raykeatingonline.com

4) Become a member of the Pastor Stephen Grant Fellowship, and get all kinds of FREE stuff, including each new book in the Pastor Stephen Grant series. Check out the levels and benefits here.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Disney World Price Hikes: Not So Risky

by Ray Keating
News/Analysis
DisneyBizJournal.com
June 19, 2019

So, you’ve got a wildly popular theme park, and you have to manage demand to maximize profits for shareholders, and manage crowds so as to not diminish the experience for those in attendance. What to do? As Disney understands, the price of a ticket is key in all of this. 


The Walt Disney Company, as widely reported, has just increased the costs of annual passes to Walt Disney World – just ahead of the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at the end of August.

For example, WESH reported:

     Visitors from both in and out of state can see some significant increases on their annual passes, in some cases more than $150 a year. 
     The following passes have been affected (Florida resident prices): 
-Epcot After 4 Annual Pass now $309 (was $289)
-Disney Silver Pass now $519 (was $479)
-Disney Gold Pass now $699 (was $609)
-Disney Platinum Pass now $899 (was $749)
-Disney Platinum Plus Pass now $999 (was $849)

Disney last increased the price for annual passes in October. 

For good measure, overnight parking fees at resorts are increasing as well.

Obviously, lots of people are not pleased ... to say the least. However, one has to ask: If Disney can raise prices and not suffer for it in terms of lost revenue – indeed, likely gain revenue – why wouldn’t it do so? 

Sure, raising prices can be risky for any business. The risk, or course, is that the price goes too high, and business suffers accordingly. But that’s hard to envision right now – barring a recession, that is – with Disney’s theme park popularity and attendance.

In the end, after all of the complaining dies down, people will, in fact, still pay the price to go to Walt Disney World. And even at the higher prices, annual passes to Walt Disney World for those who attend on a regular basis ranks as an entertainment bargain.

Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com, and author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels. He can be contacted at  raykeating@keatingreports.com.

If you enjoyed this article, and since I am the author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and short stories, can I ask you to take at least one (preferably more) of the following steps?

1) A new Pastor Stephen Grant novel – DEEP ROUGH – is coming very soon. You can pre-order the Kindle edition, or the signed book.

2) Please join the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and short stories email list, and get the upcoming short story, THE TRAITOR, for free! Sign up here.

3) Buy one of the other Pastor Stephen Grant novels or short stories at Amazon.comor signed books at www.raykeatingonline.com

4) Become a member of the Pastor Stephen Grant Fellowship, and get all kinds of FREE stuff, including each new book in the Pastor Stephen Grant series. Check out the levels and benefits here.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

IllumiNations Merchandise Arriving on June 17th

by Beth Keating
News
DisneyBizJournal.com
June 16, 2019

Break out the wallets, all you fans of IllumiNations! As the much-loved show heads into its final weeks, the “Farewell IllumiNations” merchandise will go on sale June 17th.  


Now’s your chance to get the commemorative t-shirts, hats, pins and MagicBands.  The limited edition goodies will be available at select Epcot locations, and will only be available until supplies run out (which, given the speed at which that often happens at Disney, could be as early as lunchtime…just joking… maybe.)

The final performance of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth takes place on September 30, 2019. It will be replaced by “Epcot Forever” on October 1st.

Beth Keating is a regular contributor to DisneyBizJournal.

From Ray Keating: If you enjoyed this article, and since I’m the author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and short stories, can I ask you to take at least one (preferably more) of the following steps?

1) Please join the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and short stories email list, and get the upcoming short story, THE TRAITOR, for free! Sign up here.

2) Buy one of my Pastor Stephen Grant novels or short stories at Amazon.comor signed books at www.raykeatingonline.com.

3) Become a member of the Pastor Stephen Grant Fellowship, and get all kinds of FREE stuff, including each new book in the Pastor Stephen Grant series. Check out the levels and benefits here.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Will the Oscars Finally Recognize Superhero Films? The Lord of the Rings Example

by Ray Keating
Commentary
DisneyBizJournal.com
June 14, 2019

Can Avengers: Endgame lay waste to Hollywood’s Oscar bias against superheroes?



The Academy Awards just announced the date for its 2022 Oscars show, and confirmed the dates for the 2020 and 2021 shows. I understand that February 9, 2020, for the upcoming Oscars seems pretty far off, and we still have plenty of movies to watch in 2019, but this announcement got me thinking about whether or not Avengers: Endgame might finally have the power to break through the Academy’s opposition to superheroes.

If there’s hope on this front, it can be found in The Lord of the Rings movies. The first in that film trilogy – The Fellowship of the Ring – hit theaters in December 2001, followed by The Two Towers in December 2002. Both films were nominated for Best Picture, but failed to win, only taking home technical and music Oscars. And then came The Return of the King in December 2003. All three movies, by the way, were filmed together, and then released over those three Decembers.

It was noted at the time that Academy voters were holding off on awarding the big Oscars until the last movie in the trilogy. However, that was no slam dunk. It needs to be pointed out that no true fantasy movie had ever won Best Picture. In fact, Fellowship and Two Towers were, it can be argued, the only other true fantasy films ever nominated for Best Picture to that point.

So, at the 2004 Oscars, The Return of the King broke through, winning Best Picture, Best Director (Peter Jackson), and a total of 11 Academy Awards.

There are parallels when it comes to Avengers: Endgame, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Released in April 2019, Endgame not only was the second part of an epic story that began in Avengers: Infinity War (April 2018), but it brought to a close this part of the MCU that covered a breathtaking 22 films, starting with Iron Man in May 2008.

Also, no superhero movie has ever won a Best Picture Academy Award, with Black Panther (February 2018) becoming the first movie in the genre to be nominated for Best Picture. And there have been assorted snubs in terms of nominations over the years, in particular with Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight (2008).

And of course, there is the critical and box office success of Endgame itself (see the DisneyBizJournal review) as the crescendo of these 22 interlocking movies that included very few misses. 

Also, if the Academy sees wisdom in nominating Endgame, and it is considered a serious contender, people might actually watch the February 2020 Oscars show, as opposed to the show’s long decline due to, in large part, a lack of interest among most of the movie-going public for the films nominated.

Endgame and the entire MCU truly rank as a monumental achievement in cinematic history – one that deserves recognition by the Academy. And that recognition should come not just in the form of a Best Picture nomination for Avengers: Endgame, but in the actual awarding of the Best Picture Oscar. It made sense for The Return of the King and it does for Avengers: Endgame.

Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com, and author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels. He can be contacted at  raykeating@keatingreports.com.

If you enjoyed this article, and since I am the author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and short stories, can I ask you to take at least one (preferably more) of the following steps?

1) Please join the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and short stories email list, and get the upcoming short story, THE TRAITOR, for free! Sign up here.

2) Buy one of my Pastor Stephen Grant novels or short stories at Amazon.comor signed books at www.raykeatingonline.com

3) Become a member of the Pastor Stephen Grant Fellowship, and get all kinds of FREE stuff, including each new book in the Pastor Stephen Grant series. Check out the levels and benefits here.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Coronado's Three Bridges Bar & Grill Opens Ahead of Schedule

by Beth Keating
News
DisneyBizJournal.com
June 10, 2019

Yessssss!  Three Bridges Bar & Grill at Villa del Lago at Disney’s Coronado Springs had a surprise ribbon cutting and grand opening today!

You can catch the ribbon cutting with Rob at “Passport to the Parks” below (big thanks to Rob!):


Rob has been covering the progress of the eatery over the past few weeks, and we were excited to see this gorgeous spot open ahead of its projected July schedule.  Rob live-streamed the ribbon cutting, and was literally the first diner through the doors to show off the eatery.  His video will give you a nice overview of Three Bridges, and cast member Jaimie gives Rob (and thus, us!) a knowledgeable rundown of the menu highlights, as well as pointing out what makes some of the selections unique. 

Several of the dishes bring in influences from various cultures, with contemporary twists. House-made sangrias and Spanish coffees also are highlights of the new menu.  

Three Bridges has a unique location in the middle of Lago Dorado, the centerpiece lake at Coronado Springs. The spot will certainly give diners a visual treat, whether you attend during the daytime and enjoy the fantastic vistas of the southwestern style resort, or relax in the covered outdoor seating in the evening with the sparkling lights reflecting off the water. (Speaking of lights, we especially love the striking lanterns hanging in the bar area.) 

There also is a spectacular stone fireplace in the restaurant, and comfortable sofa style seating.  You can get to the restaurant – you guessed it - by strolling the bridges over the lake.

Beth Keating is a regular contributor to DisneyBizJournal.

From Ray Keating: If you enjoyed this article, and since I’m the author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and short stories, can I ask you to take at least one (preferably more) of the following steps?

1) Please join the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and short stories email list, and get the upcoming short story, THE TRAITOR, for free! Sign up here.

2) Buy one of my Pastor Stephen Grant novels or short stories at Amazon.comor signed books at www.raykeatingonline.com.

3) Become a member of the Pastor Stephen Grant Fellowship, and get all kinds of FREE stuff, including each new book in the Pastor Stephen grant series. Check out the levels and benefits here.

Disney’s Purchase of Fox a Decision for the Long Run, Not a Short-Term Hit

by Ray Keating
Analysis
DisneyBizJournal.com
June 10, 2019

Accusations of businesses looking only at the short run usually are hurled by politicians, who, of course, specialize in short-run decisions. In reality, business owners and CEOs make decisions for a wide variety of reasons, and few, if any, are about trying to get a short-term kick at the expense of long-run well-being. 


The latest example is the purchase of Fox by Disney. We’re seeing via the box office that this acquisition wasn’t about boosting Disney’s bottom line in the short term.

When talking about 2019 Disney movies that were in the Disney column prior to the Fox merger, the House of Mouse is looking good in the short run, and for further building its brand and bottom line over the long haul. Disney is three for four so far, with the box office hits being Captain Marvel  (global gross of $1.13 billion), Avengers: Endgame ($2.73 billion, so far) and Aladdin ($607.6 million, so far), with Dumbo ($350.6 million) being the miss.

And it’s hard to see a miss coming among the pre-Fox-merger Disney line-up, with Toy Story 4The Lion King, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Frozen II and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker on the way through the end of the year.

However, the 20th Century Fox movies being released post-merger with Disney is a different story. Breakthrough offered a nice return with a box office take at $50.2 million on only a $14 million production budget. But it got ugly with the next two films. 

The botched Tolkien movie didn’t appeal to Tolkien fans, and hence it made a measly $7.7 million. 

And then there’s Dark Phoenix, the X-Men movie that just opened on June 7. It took in only $32.8 million domestically in its opening weekend, and a total global take of $136.6 million. Oh yes, and critics hate it, and audiences are less than pleased. With an enormous budget – widely reported at $200 million – Dark Phoenix is on its way to being a big box office bomb.

And the remaining Fox releases for 2019 look like a mixed bag. And while no one knows in the movie business what will hit and what will miss until the lights go down for audiences, the keys appear to be Ad AstraTerminator: Dark FateFord v. Ferrari and Spies in Disguise.

Ad Astra and Ford v. Ferrari particularly look intriguing. But we’ll have to see.

The sure bet, if you will, for Disney with the Fox deal was the acquisition of a wide assortment of IP that Disney will use, such as for its streaming service Disney+, and build on as well. For example, with Fox never having done anything well with the Fantastic Four and ending its X-Men run with two busts (Dark Phoenix and X-Men: Apocalypse) – while Logan was quite good, I’m not sure what to do with Deadpool, and who knows what will happen with The New Mutants – it will be Disney’s turn with these and a wide assortment of other properties to reboot and re-energize. 

That’s a long-run thing.

Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com, and author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels. He can be contacted at  raykeating@keatingreports.com.

If you enjoyed this article, and since I am the author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and short stories, can I ask you to take at least one (preferably more) of the following steps?

1) Please join the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and short stories email list, and get the upcoming short story, THE TRAITOR, for free! Sign up here.

2) Buy one of my Pastor Stephen Grant novels or short stories at Amazon.comor signed books at www.raykeatingonline.com

3) Become a member of the Pastor Stephen Grant Fellowship, and get all kinds of FREE stuff, including each new book in the Pastor Stephen grant series. Check out the levels and benefits here.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Look for “Toy Story 4” To Beat Out “Incredibles 2” and “Frozen”

by Ray Keating
Analysis
DisneyBizJournal.com
June 9, 2019

All of the early buzz on Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 4 isn’t just positive, but, well, over-the-top positive. Combine that with Disney cranking up the marketing effort between now and the June 21stopening of the film, and we’re talking a monster box office take.


Many are looking for an opening weekend between $100 million and $150 million. By the way, the current record weekend opening for an animated film is another Disney/Pixar vehicle – Incredibles 2– which earned $182 million in June of last year.

Incredibles 2 wound up pulling in a total of $1.24 billion at the global box office. 

In terms of the Toy Story franchise, the first film, Toy Story, earned $373.6 million in 1995, followed by $497.4 million for Toy Story 2 (1999), and Toy Story 3’s  global box office gross of $1.07 billion in 2009.

Many people questioned why we needed a Toy Story 4. The early quick takes on the movie have told us that, in fact, we did need another entry in the Toy Story franchise. As a result, and given the enormous popularity of Woody, Buzz and their friends, I think we’re looking at a bigger weekend opening for Toy Story 4 than was the case for Incredibles 2, and an eventual box office gross that beats out the current record holder (at least in nominal dollars), Frozen (again, Disney), which took in $1.28 billion.

Look for Woody and Buzz to go out on top – and Disney winding up on top in animation no matter what.

Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com, and author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels. He can be contacted at  raykeating@keatingreports.com.

If you enjoyed this article, and since I am the author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and short stories, can I ask you to take at least one (preferably more) of the following steps?

1) Please join the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and short stories email list, and get the upcoming short story, THE TRAITOR, for free! Sign up here.

2) Buy one of my Pastor Stephen Grant novels or short stories at Amazon.comor signed books at www.raykeatingonline.com

3) Become a member of the Pastor Stephen Grant Fellowship, and get all kinds of FREE stuff, including each new book in the Pastor Stephen grant series. Check out the levels and benefits here.

Friday, June 7, 2019

It’s National Donut Day, Including at Disney!

by Beth Keating
News/Analysis
DisneyBizJournal.com
June 7, 2019

Who knew?  Today (June 7th) is National Doughnut Day, and in celebration, we thought we would highlight a few of the new and unique doughnuts in the Disney ‘verse.


Not long ago, Disney debuted a very pink mouse ears headband, featuring the iconic ears styled as the cult favorite pink-sprinkled doughnuts. They were a “tip of the hat” to the original pink doughnut, but we suspect they are also an homage to the newer, GIGANTIC, bigger-than-your-whole-hand-maybe-as-big-as-a-child’s-head newer Mickey Celebration Doughnuts. Available in chocolate, vanilla or strawberry frosting at either the Lunching Pad or Cheshire Café in Magic Kingdom, these feed-a-whole family treats are only $8.99, and are so large they come in their own box for transport. A white doughnut with pink, white or brown frosting and rainbow sprinkles, these selections are a limited-time offering.  The creation is actually three doughnuts in one – one large central doughnut for Mickey’s head, with two smaller doughnuts attached to the top for Mickey’s ears.

In honor of the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Disneyland (California) also introduced a stunningly Instagram-worthy Star Wars themed doughnut.  A white doughnut with purplish, berry-swirl frosting, this is decorated with chocolate “rocks” that sparkle with iridescent color, and a white chocolate 3-D molded version of either R2-D2 or an X-wing fighter. They are available at the Grand Californian Hotel for $5.50, and are also a limited time offering.

Epcot has its own doughnut-cult offering in the form of the Croissant Doughnut.  Formerly found at Taste Track, it is currently available at the Electric Umbrella (since Taste Track is typically only open during Festivals). Look for it to potentially move back to Taste Track during Food and Wine Festival, but for now you’ll be handing over your $5.59 at Electric Umbrella. These lightly flaky renditions are usually topped with cinnamon sugar, but sometimes have a themed frosting reflective of the particular festival at hand.  

Just a hint, but since many Disney Doughnuts are snack credit eligible on the Disney Dining Plan, they make totally justifiable purchases as a breakfast replacement.  No need to waste a quick service or table service credit that early in the day… your call, of course. This is just a public service to help you make the best use of your dining credits and get a move on in your quest to be first in line for Mine Train.

If these sugar spectacles aren’t sweet enough for you, you could always search out one of the many park locations (such as Vivoli il Gelato) that will balance a doughnut on top of an ice cream shake …what a concept!  (It is a vacation, after all.)

Beth Keating is a regular contributor to DisneyBizJournal.

From Ray Keating: If you enjoyed this article, and since I’m the author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and short stories, can I ask you to take at least one (preferably more) of the following steps?

1) Please join the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and short stories email list, and get the upcoming short story, THE TRAITOR, for free! Sign up here.

2) Buy one of my Pastor Stephen Grant novels or short stories at Amazon.comor signed books at www.raykeatingonline.com.

3) Become a member of the Pastor Stephen Grant Fellowship, and get all kinds of FREE stuff, including each new book in the Pastor Stephen grant series. Check out the levels and benefits here.


Thursday, June 6, 2019

Disney Cruise Options for Holidays 2020

by Ray Keating
News/Analysis
DisneyBizJournal.com
June 6, 2019

How about a tropical Fall and Christmas holiday season in 2020? Sounds good to me. Of course, I’d like a tropical holiday in 2019, but when it comes to Disney and its offerings to customers, it takes time to plan. And the Disney Cruise Line has just announced its plans for Halloween on the High Seas Cruises and Very Merrytime Cruises in 2020.


Cruises will depart from New York, Texas, Florida and California bound for ports of call like Cozumel, Costa Maya, Tortola, Grand Cayman, Saint Thomas, Castaway Cay (Disney’s private island paradise), Nassau, Key West, Cabo San Lucas, Ensenada, Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán, Puerto Vallarta, Bermuda, Cartagena, Colombia, and the Panama Canal.

On the non-tropical fronts, there also will be cruises journeying to Canada’s Halifax (Nova Scotia) and Saint John (New Brunswick), as well as a sail across the Atlantic.

As for the Halloween on the High Seas Cruises, they will be departing between late September and late October. According to Disney, entertainment will include:

  • Mickey's Mouse-querade Party – Shiver in delight during a scare-a-bration alive with ghoulish games, trick-or-treating, dancing and some favorite Disney Pals bedecked in Halloween attire.
  • Halloween Activities – Unearth frightful fun for the entire family, including mask-making and pumpkin-carving.
  • Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas Sing and Scream – It’s “Season’s Screamings” during this interactive movie experience, followed by a meet-and-greet with Jack and Sally.
  • Haunted Stories of the Sea – Listen to a ghost story or two during an eerie campfire-style storytelling experience on deck.
  • Halloween Isn't Just for Kids – Shudder and shake at this adults-only party that includes a costume contest.

And on the Very Merrytime Cruises, leaving from November through the end of December, the fun will feature:

  • Mickey’s Tree Lighting Magic Ceremony – Kick off the season during this festive gala where kids can help light the ship’s Christmas Tree.
  • Mickey’s Winter Wonderland Ball – Join Santa and Mrs. Claus for a grand celebration in the atrium featuring Broadway-quality entertainment, Disney Characters and classic holiday tunes. Then, experience extra enchantment when a pair of royal sisters stops by and ushers in a flurry of “frozen” fun—plus a magical snowfall.
  • Deck the Deck Tropical Holiday Party – Candy-cane limbo, dancing and games—share in the yuletide magic of the season during this jovial celebration.
  • Santa Claus Meet-and-Greet – Share hugs and snap photos with the one-and-only Kris Kringle before he takes to the sky to deliver gifts to the children of the world.
  • Disney Character Greetings – Meet some beloved Disney Characters in jolly holiday attire and take one-of-a-kind pictures to cherish throughout the year.
  • Gingerbread House – Made completely from edible ingredients, the ship’s gingerbread house is a life-sized treat that you can photograph, but can’t eat!
  • Storytime with Mrs. Claus – Gather the children in the atrium to hear Mrs. Claus read well-known Christmas stories from her rocking chair by the tree.
  • Themed Activities and Crafts for Kids – Decorate stockings, create festive cards, embark on a holiday scavenger hunt and more—it’s Christmas cheer for the young and young-at-heart.
  • Youth Parties – Teens and tweens can party it up with new friends during music and dance extravaganzas that fill the air with joy.
  • Holiday Merchandise – Pick up exclusive, holiday-themed Disney Cruise Line gifts for family and friends—and make Christmas wishes come true.

Festivities on December 24 and 25 also will include “Cookies on Christmas Eve” and caroling.

According to U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 Best Cruise Lines rankings, the Disney Cruise Line ranked best for family cruises and Caribbean cruises. And out of the 167 ships assessed, the Disney Fantasy came in fourth best, the Disney Magic was sixth, and the Disney Dream and Disney Wonder tied for 15th.

Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com, and author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels. He can be contacted at  raykeating@keatingreports.com.

If you enjoyed this article, and since I am the author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and short stories, can I ask you to take at least one (preferably more) of the following steps?

1) Please join the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and short stories email list, and get the upcoming short story, THE TRAITOR, for free! Sign up here.

2) Buy one of my Pastor Stephen Grant novels or short stories at Amazon.comor signed books at www.raykeatingonline.com

3) Become a member of the Pastor Stephen Grant Fellowship, and get all kinds of FREE stuff, including each new book in the Pastor Stephen grant series. Check out the levels and benefits here.