Disney’s Magic due back at port

The Disney Magic returns to Port Canaveral today after more than three months in Europe, and resumes its Caribbean itinerary.

The Disney Magic left in May for Europe, where it ferried passengers from ports of call in Italy, Spain and France. Later today, the Magic will resume its seven-night Eastern and Western trips through the Caribbean from Port Canaveral.

"We are delighted by the success of our Mediterranean itineraries," Disney Cruise Line President Tom McAlpin said. "

The European cruises, which began with a trans-Atlantic cruise in mid-May, was considered a test for Disney Cruise Line, which will expand its cruise business by adding two ships, scheduled to launch in 2011 and 2012. There is the possibility one of the ships could be based in Europe or possibly in Los Angeles, where the Disney Magic will offer cruises next summer.

"We're happy to have the Magic back," Canaveral Port Authority Chief Executive Officer Stan Payne said. "Port Canaveral is the home port of Disney Cruise Line. There's a drop in passengers any time you don't have one of the cruise ships here. These cruise ships create so much economic spinoff, they're good for the county, the region and the whole state."

The still-unnamed new ships will be 122,000 tons and two decks taller than existing ships. Each will have 1,250 staterooms.

The Magic and the Wonder each weigh 83,000 tons and have 875 staterooms.

Contact Balancia at 242-3647 or dbalancia@floridatoday.com.

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