New Cruiser Joins Walt Disney World Resort’s Nautical Fleet

A new cruiser has joined the fleet of watercraft that transport guests around the Seven Seas Lagoon. Named the Tradewinds, this cruiser joined the fleet in conjunction with the arrival of the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort.

The new cruiser is named the Tradewinds. The name was chosen by Walt Disney World Imagineering and then voted on by cast members. The name refers to the “Trade Winds” that almost always blows across the equator. This seems appropriate as the cast members who will man this craft constantly have delivered remarkable guest service across both Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon since the fleet was launched in the 1970s.

Cast members helped with more than just picking the name for the Tradewinds though. They also offered feedback on things that would impact the design of the cruiser. This included where the pilot house was positioned and also the amount of cabin space for guests.

“We solicited feedback from cast members about the things they would like to see in a new motor cruiser, and we put it into the boat,” said Transportation Guest Experience Manager Collin Garton. “Everything about it was made to make cast member input a reality.”

These may seem like fairly insignificant changes for the Tradewinds versus the other three motor cruisers that the fleet has. However, they have fairly significant impacts on both the cast and guest experience.

“It’s a great addition to the fleet,” said Billy Carter, a Transportation Engineering Services cast member who made sure everything on the boat was primed and ready to go before its launch. “Everybody is really proud of it. I think it’s going to go over big time with the guests.”

The boat can easily be seen out on the water and recognized because of it is bright, yellow, white and teal colors. These colors were also chosen by cast members.

Ahead of the Tradewinds maiden voyage, cast members came together to christen the boat. This continuation of this nautical tradition marked the first time in nearly 30 years that a new motor cruiser joined the fleet.

“It’s a big thing, and the boat looks sharp,” Billy said. “Everybody’s done a great job on this one.” 

“This is a really big deal for our cast,” Collin agreed. “The last time we had an addition to our Resort fleet was 1993. The fact that we have this new vessel is huge.”

The arrival of the Tradewinds isn’t just a big deal for the on-stage cast members. It also is exciting for those who work behind the scenes tirelessly to get the Tradewinds operational and out on the water.

“The project team on this boat has been amazing,” said Greg Klesaris, the Facility Asset Management Project Planner in charge of Tradewinds. “From Transportation Operations to our engineers, everyone has come together to get the job done, and it’s been really great getting to collaborate with all of these people.”

What do you think of the Tradewinds? Have you seen it out on the water? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!

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