On June 28, Disney’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to extend Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s contract by three years — so it now expires in 2026. Chapek’s contract renewal was expected, even as the embattled CEO has struggled since taking the reins of The Walt Disney Company in 2020. Not only has Disney stock steadily been decreasing, but Chapek also faced backlash for the company’s public dispute with Marvel star Scarlett Johansson, the increasing costs of a Disney vacation, and, most recently, the shocking firing of executive Peter Rice — who may have been considered competition for the CEO role.
However, with this contract extension, Chapek is hoping to put all of the negativity behind him. Just one day after he secured his role as CEO for another three years, Chapek was in Port Canaveral, Florida, for the christening of Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship, the Disney Wish. Chapek has been incredibly involved in every aspect of the creation of the Disney Wish, with many seeing it as “his baby”. A former colleague of Chapek’s spoke to Deadline about what the Disney Wish means to Chapek, and how he hopes this event will be able to “reset the narrative.”
According to Deadline:
Its development and construction overseen by Chapek during his stint running the company’s theme parks and resorts division, the Wish is the first new cruise ship to join the fleet in the past decade. It incorporates themed dining attractions and other extensions of the company’s potent Marvel, Frozen and Star Wars brands, plus a “1923” area dedicated to the year the company was founded. “This is really his baby,” a longtime former colleague of Chapek’s tells Deadline. “Welcoming this ship in the company’s centennial year will be his chance to reset the narrative. Parks, cruise ships — that’s been a real specialty. That’s where he feels comfortable.”
While the move to extend Chapek’s contract was seen as controversial by many, Disney’s Board of Directors said that they have complete confidence in Chapek’s leadership and the direction in which he is moving The Walt Disney Company. Susan Arnold — Disney’s Chairperson of the Board — made the following statement after the announcement was made.
“Disney was dealt a tough hand by the pandemic, yet with Bob at the helm, our businesses—from parks to streaming—not only weathered the storm, but emerged in a position of strength. In this important time of growth and transformation, the Board is committed to keeping Disney on the successful path it is on today, and Bob’s leadership is key to achieving that goal. Bob is the right leader at the right time for The Walt Disney Company, and the Board has full confidence in him and his leadership team.”
The Disney Wish will be a real feather in Bob Chapek’s cap if the experience is as good as Disney promises. The new ship will join Disney’s other four cruise ships — the Disney Wonder, the Disney Magic, the Disney Fantasy, and the Disney Dream — but will have a number of unique experiences. The Disney Wish will feature the first “attraction at sea”, the AquaMouse. There will also be unique dining experiences — including a Frozen one — as well as activities like The Incredi-Games.
The Disney Wish will set sail on its Maiden Voyage on July 14 and will head down to the Bahamas. Guests can book 3 or 4-night Bahamian trips that will include a stop at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. Those who travel during Halloween will be able to experience Halloween on the High Seas, and those who travel during the holiday season can enjoy a Disney’s Very Merrytime cruise.
You can learn more about the Disney Wish and book your own luxury cruise vacation by clicking here.