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U.S. State Department Issues New Warning Against Certain Disney Vacations

u.s. state department warning to bahamas travel
Credit: Disney Parks/U.S. State Department/Canva

The U.S. State Department has issued an urgent warning for Americans that will have some guests rescheduling or completely canceling their dream Disney vacations.

airplane with mickey ears

Credit: Canva Creation

Some fans find room in their schedules and their budgets to take Disney vacations more than once a year. Others only enjoy a Disney vacation every few years, and some plan and save for years to be able to take a magical Disney trip for the very first time.

Nobody Likes Botched Disney Vacation Plans

But whether they book a Disney vacation once a month, once a year, or once in a lifetime, discovering that circumstances beyond their control will keep them from enjoying everything they’ve looked forward to in a Disney vacation can be extremely disappointing.

It might be the closure of a favorite attraction because of routine scheduled maintenance or the forever closure of a ride experience to make way for a new attraction.

Splash Mountain closed

Credit: Disney Parks/Canva

Sometimes, the closure is across an entire Disney theme park resort or a Disney Cruise Line experience in response to an active hurricane in the Atlantic basin. And though Disney works with guests to assist them in rescheduling their dream vacations, finding out that a Disney trip must be postponed or canceled entirely can be very upsetting.

More Serious Threats That Ruin the Magic

Occasionally, a much more serious–and far less understood–situation can lead to the cancellation of a Disney vacation.

In October 2023, the federal government issued a travel warning for Disney Parks guests and other Americans traveling outside the United States. Those affected by the warning included Disney Parks fans traveling to Disney’s international parks, including Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disney Resort, Shanghai Disney Resort, and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort.

hong kong disneyland castle of magical dreams

Hong Kong Disneyland/Credit: Disney Parks

The warning was initially issued by the U.S. State Department on October 19, 2023, in response to escalating tensions across the globe, especially in light of the Hamas-Israel conflict that had begun just 13 days earlier.

New Warning Issued Against Travel to Fan-Favorite Disney Destination

Now, a new warning has been issued by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs against travel to another popular Disney vacation destination.

The State Department has just issued a serious warning for Americans traveling to The Bahamas, which affects Disney fans boarding a Disney Cruise Line ship bound for the island country–and more specifically, to Disney’s private island destination, Castaway Cay. Per the advisory, travelers who proceed to The Bahamas despite the situation should practice extreme caution.

Castaway Cay

Disney

Per the State Department, the new warning against travel to The Bahamas is in response to violent crimes that have taken place since the beginning of the new year. In the month of January 2024 alone, according to law enforcement, 18 murders involving “gang-on-gang violence” have taken place in The Bahamas, but the risk of other violent crimes is present as well.

The warning from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs reads as follows:

Exercise increased caution in The Bahamas due to crimeThe majority of crime occurs on New Providence (Nassau) and Grand Bahama (Freeport) islands.

The U.S. Embassy in Nassau advises U.S. citizens to be aware that 18 murders have occurred in Nassau since the beginning of 2024. Murders have occurred at all hours, including in broad daylight on the streets. Retaliatory gang violence has been the primary motive in 2024 murders.

In Nassau, practice increased vigilance in the “Over the Hill” area (south of Shirley Street), where gang-on-gang violence has resulted in a high homicide rate primarily affecting the local population. Violent crimes, such as burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assaults, occur in both tourist and non-tourist areas. Be vigilant when staying at short-term vacation rental properties where private security companies do not have a presence.   

The State Department includes helpful tips and travel advice useful for any United States citizen who decide to proceed with travel plans that include The Bahamas:

If you decide to travel to The Bahamas:  

Affected Disney Vacation Itineraries

As of the time of this publication, Disney Cruise Line has 275 cruise offerings that include travel to The Bahamas.

Because the State Department’s advisory was issued in response to violent crime in the country, it’s not known how long it will remain in place or whether the risk level involved will increase, leading to stronger warnings or travel restrictions. It’s also unclear how many of the 275 Bahamas cruises currently offered by Disney Cruise Line will be affected by this travel warning.

Disney’s Bahamian cruises include stops at Disney’s Castaway Cay.

Disney Fantasy

Disney’s Castaway Cay/Credit: Disney Cruise Line

Castaway Cay is Disney’s private island in the Bahamas that serves as an exclusive port for Disney Cruise Line’s ships and is located approximately 73 miles north of Nassau.

Disney Cruise Line’s newest privately-owned island destination, Lighthouse Point, which is slated to open later this summer, is located on the southernmost part of the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas, approximately 81 miles southeast of Nassau.

Lighthouse point

Disney’s Lighthouse Point/Credit: Disney Cruise Line

As of the time of this post, the State Department’s travel advisory is still in effect for travelers to The Bahamas, but the warning can be updated at any time to include more information, a change in the severity of the threat level in The Bahamas, and other changes, should they arise.

As this is a developing story, more information will be shared as it becomes available.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!

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