Disney Makes Big Progress on NEW $400 Million Private Island

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donald castaway cay

Credit: Disney

If you’ve ever been on a Disney Cruise Line vacation to the Bahamas, visiting Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, was undoubtedly one of the highlights for you and your loved ones.

castaway cay
Credit: Disney

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The cruise operator officially describes the port of call as:

Castaway Cay visitors find an island completely outfitted for premium family leisure. Ample amenities include sprawling beaches, sparkling lagoons teeming with curious sea life, splash-worthy water play areas, scenic walking trails, open-air BBQ dining locations serving complimentary meals, 2 shops featuring Castaway Cay gifts and souvenirs, free tram transportation around the island and more.

Be on the look-out for many popular Disney pals on Disney Castaway Cay.

Pluto at Tropical Winter Wonderland at Castaway Cay
Credit: Disney

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Soon, Disney Cruise Line passengers will have another private island to visit when they set sail on Caribbean itineraries. Last year, Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek confirmed that the company is still developing a second private island called Lighthouse Point.

The status of the project had been in question following the COVID-19 pandemic and the retirement of former Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde, who had been instrumental in Lighthouse Point plans. In June 2021, Chapek, however, said that Disney is excited about a “second island destination and three new ships”. This, of course, includes the new Triton Class Disney Wish cruise ship that will join the Disney Dream, the Disney Fantasy, the Disney Magic, and the Disney Wonder when she takes her maiden voyage in June 2022

lighthouse point artist rendering 2
Credit: Disney

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Now, there is an exciting update about progress at the Lighthouse Point site. A new report notes that Disney recently more than doubled the number of construction jobs the $400 million project will offer, which is exciting news for Bahamian workers.

Per the article:

Joey Gaskins, Disney Cruise Line’s Regional Public Affairs Director for The Bahamas and Caribbean addressing the Eleuthera Business Outlook yesterday.

Gaskins said: “We are actually looking at 300 construction jobs, more than double what we had promised.” Gaskins noted that the company had promised 120 construction jobs on the project, with an overall ratio of 80 percent Bahamians over the construction period. Gaskins noted that the development will also create at least 150 permanent jobs for Bahamians, inclusive senior management positions.

“We have asked for no other concessions other than what is set out in the Hotel’s Encouragement Act. We haven’t asked for anything special, just what everyone else gets. We have all the necessary approvals to begin construction, particularly on the land side,” said Gaskins.

lighthouse point artist rendering
Credit: Disney

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There had previously been concerns about Disney destroying the island’s wildlife and foliage during the construction process. Gaskins, however, assured the public that the company is focused on preserving the island’s natural state, not destroying it.

It is worth noting that another recent report about Lighthouse Point confirms that the Bahamas National Trust (BNT) is monitoring all of the work that Disney is doing from an environmental impact standpoint:

Lighthouse Point Concept Map
Credit: Disney

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Per the article, BNT Director Eric Carrey shared:

“From what I’ve read I would say that Disney put a lot of effort into making sure that they had a credible EIA, credible Environmental Management Plan (EMP). I think they were concerned about their brand, they didn’t want it to appear that they wanted to make any shortcuts and so they produced a quality document. We all reviewed it. We gave basic comments, but in the end the government of The Bahamas determined that the environmental impact assessment was done in accordance with law and the new regulations.”

disney cruise line lighthouse point concept art
Credit: Disney

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The Lighthouse Point location was first announced in 2019 at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California. At the time, Disney Parks Blog post about the project noted:

[The destination] will be located on the beautiful island of Eleuthera at a place called Lighthouse point. The new destination will celebrate both the stories and culture of The Bahamas, as well as the natural environment of Lighthouse Point itself.

As construction ramps up, Disney fans can expect more details about Lighthouse Point to be released over the course of the next year or so. The Disney Cruise Line destination is expected to open to Guests in 2024.

What do you think about Lighthouse Point?

Let the expert team at Academy Travel help you plan your next magical vacation to Walt Disney World Resort’s four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the Disney Springs shopping and dining district OR any Disney destination worldwide!

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