Why is the mouse roaring?

The “Disney Magic” isn’t working for thousands of passengers who had booked on the ship’s first cruises, scheduled to begin April 30. Disney has canceled 26 three and four night sailings on its first cruise ship, and has now set the first voyage of the Disney Magic for July.

The entertainment giant is blaming delays on Fincanteri Shipyards of Venice, but industry insiders are saying that the real reason for the setback is the numerous changes to the ship ordered by the Disney design team.

Whatever the reason, the delay is costing Disney an estimated $20 million in lost revenue, as up to 52,000 people booked on cruises of the Disney Magic are forced to change their plans. Disney is offering compensation in the form of a 25 per cent discount on new cruises for departure before July, 1999.

The Disney delay could prove fortuitous for competitors, who have experienced an upsurge in interest in “family cruises” as a result of Disney’s entry into the cruise market. Disney’s second ship, the “Disney Wonder”, is set for completion in March, 1999. Here’s hoping that Mickey’ s second ship sails on time.