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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Disney's partnership with TCM questioned as annual TCM Classic Cruise abruptly ends

Posted By on Tue, Sep 13, 2016 at 7:00 AM

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Despite selling out for the past five years, this year will mark the final voyage of the TCM Classic Cruise, according to the Orlando Sentinel. The annual cruise has been one of the signature pieces of the partnership between Turner Classic Movies and Disney. This year’s cruise was even bumped up to the larger Disney Fantasy; it had previously sailed on the Disney Magic. The first two TCM Classic Cruises were with Celebrity Cruises.

Turner Classic Movies has a strong alliance with Disney that ranges from ride sponsorships (The Great Movie Ride at DHS) to special Disney programming blocks on TCM to Disney-focused events at TCM film festivals. The cruise is one of the longer-running aspects of the partnership and one of the most high-profile.

Though it's on a Disney Cruise Line ship, the TCM Classic Cruise isn't offered via Disney Cruise Lines – unlike some other specially themed cruises, tickets are sold via Turner Classic Movies has issued a statement saying they were looking to “connect and engage with our fans in new and different ways” as the brand evolves. No official word has been offered on what that may mean for the future of their work with Disney.

This year's cruise will see a number of special guests, including Alex Trebek, Jerry Lewis and Kim Novak. Ports of call include San Juan, St. Marteen and Disney's private Bahamian island, Castaway Cay.

Though there's no clarity on the future of other aspects of the TCM–Disney partnership, there have been strong rumors that Disney will opt to not allow for a renewal of The Great Movie Ride sponsorship once the initial three-year partnership ends in 2018 when the partnership ends. That ride has been strongly rumored to be closing as part of a future update of Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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