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Disney Cruise Line has a new president

(Photo: Walt Disney Co.)
Jeff Vahle assumes the cruise line's leadership as it's poised to grow with three newbuilds in 2021, 2022 and 2023
Twenty-eight year Disney veteran Jeff Vahle has been named president of Disney Signature Experiences, a new grouping that includes Disney Cruise Line, Disney Vacation Club, Adventures by Disney and Disney's Hawaii resort Aulani.

He succeeds Anthony Connelly, who became president of Disney Cruise Line and New Vacation Operations last fall, following Karl Holz's retirement. Disney did not tell the reason for Connelly's departure.

Fleet is growing to seven ships

He takes the cruise line helm as it is poised for significant growth with the delivery of three new ships in 2021, 2022 and 2023. This will bring the fleet to seven.

'There is tremendous opportunity to deliver magical Disney vacation experiences in new and exciting ways,' said Bob Chapek, chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products. 'Jeff is a talented leader with a strong track record of success and I’m excited to see what he and the team will accomplish together.'

In his new role, Vahle also leads Disney Vacation Club, the company’s vacation-ownership program, and Adventures by Disney, its guided group travel business.

He will continue to lead the Global Facilities Operations and Sourcing and Procurement teams, which focus on providing a safe, reliable and high-quality show environment at Disney theme parks and resorts around the world. Vahle started at Walt Disney World in 1990.

'Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to be part of an incredible team that makes magic for millions of guests every day at Disney destinations around the world,' Vahle said. 'I look forward to leading this creative, dedicated and hardworking team as we build on the success of these businesses during this unprecedented era of growth and innovation.'