By the time the Disney princesses and their friends set sail on the Magic Kingdom’s The Princess and The Frog on January 4, 2018, the seas around Florida had been thoroughly washed away by a combination of high tide and a hurricane.
But in the days that followed, the waters around Disney’s newest attraction were more than enough to make the ride a sensation.
“We really did a lot of research, but we didn’t really know what to expect,” says Jody Schoenfeld, the executive director of the Florida chapter of the National Park Foundation, which manages the Florida Keys.
“There were a lot more things going on in the water that we didn, in fact, know about.”
The ride opened on a small scale in 2014 and is now the most-visited attraction in the world, generating nearly $300 million in ticket sales and more than 100 million in sales, according to park officials.
But as a kid growing up in the early 1990s, it was impossible to imagine sailing on a boat on a big cruise ship.
But that changed last year, when a friend introduced Schoenfield to the Disney-owned cruise line, which specializes in luxury cruises that go around the world.
The company, owned by Disney Cruise Lines, has been operating around the globe since 2009, offering guests around the planet the chance to visit destinations from Alaska to Tahiti.
But the company has never been more important to Disney.
Last summer, Disney announced that it was pulling the plug on the company’s flagship cruise line.
“I don’t know how it’s possible that this is the moment that Disney’s done it,” says Mark Rabinowitz, a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and an expert on cruise lines.
“This is one of the things that makes Disney so valuable.
The combination of Disney and the cruise line is a very big deal.”
What’s more, there’s a lot at stake for both companies.
The Florida Keys have been in a state of disaster since the 2012 storm, with record levels of flooding and damage.
There’s also a lack of any kind of long-term planning for what to do when the next hurricane strikes, so the Disney line was going to have to make a huge decision.
The answer, Rabinovitz says, was simple: sell out the Florida Islands, the Disney Caribbean Islands, and even the entire Florida Keys if the Florida coast was destroyed.
“It was a no-brainer,” he says.
“What’s more important than what is in the future?
What’s most important?”
It was the last day of school, and the principal was already on the phone to a friend.
“Please, tell me the status of the ship,” he said, according the transcript of the call obtained by The New York Times.
“Are they in good condition?”
The principal asked the friend if the ship was going into the water.
“Yes,” the friend replied.
“Is it safe?”
The friend said, “You should take her in.”
That’s when things got really interesting.
The Disney cruise line was not only in dire straits, it had a contract to ferry the Princesses and the Goblins to Disney World.
If they weren’t going into Disney World, they were going to get into a very large container ship that was owned by the cruise ship company.
“At first, we were going in and out of the container ship every couple of days, but then we realized we would not be able to sail the Princess and then go back to the Florida islands,” says Schoenbach, who says she is now a member of the group that is helping to organize a rescue effort for the Princess.
“Once we realized that, we knew we had to go.”
The cruise line’s biggest worry was that the ship would not dock properly and could not be towed out to safety.
But it was all worth it, Schoenberger says.
The Princesses, which are based on the Disney property and are owned by Amblin Entertainment, are one of Disney’s biggest franchises.
They’re about the size of a small airplane, and they’re powered by a jet engine.
They float on a set of propellers, which spin at the top of the vessel.
“The ship is the same size as the ship, it’s just the propellers are smaller,” Schoenberg says.
This is how the ship is able to pull off a maneuver that would normally take years to execute.
The crew would go around their work stations to work on rigging and adjusting the sails, but they wouldn’t be able go back out.
The princesses are powered by the same technology as the engines on the cruise ships.
But when the princesses arrive on the ship from the Magic World in Florida, they are transported by jet engines, which take longer to get them out.
This can take several