Here is your latest News From the World of Disney for the period of January 26, 2017 – February 9, 2017. This news period was dominated by The Walt Disney Co. first quarter earnings call were several major announcements were made. There were also some major announcements regarding nighttime spectacular options at Walt Disney World.
QUARTERLY EARNINGS CALL
As always, the Walt Disney World Co. quarterly earnings call featured some great tidbits of info for Disney Parks fans:
- Bob Iger said got a preview of Star Wars: The Last Jedi and it’s ‘awesome’.
- Shanghai Disney will likely welcome their 10 millionth guest by its first anniversary.
- Pandora: The World of Avatar will open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom May 27, 2017.
- Star Wars Land will open in Disneyland and Walt Disney World in 2019.
- The first quarter saw a 5% decline over 1Q2016. However, 1Q2016 was the best quarter ever. 1Q2017 was the second best quarter ever.
- Even though there was a 6% growth in Parks and Resort this was below estimates due to the $70mm impact of Hurricane Matthew and the fact that one week of the holiday season will actually fall into 2Q2017.
- Disney Parks Resort occupancy was 91% for the first quarter
- Bob Iger comments on news reports, specifically a Wall Street Journal article, stating that he will not retire in 2018 as previously reported. “We will do what is in the best interest of the company – including staying on if necessary,” Iger stated.
- Pandora will include an “E Ticket” attraction.
- Iger said ticket prices will likely increase in 2017.
- Iger stated that broadcast ESPN will be around “for a while”.
WALT DISNEY WORLD PARKS NEWS
January 27 – For the 17th year in a row, Victoria & Albert’s has received the AAA Five Diamond award. (Link)
January 30 – As part of the launch of Club Penguin Island, the current Club Penguin platform will discontinue on desktop and mobile March 29, 2017. (Link)
January 30 – Disney is seeking a patent for a technology which will alter ride experiences depending on the emotion of the rider. The result could be increase or decrease in the intensity for the rider or even altering the rider experience depending the age of the guest. (Link)
January 30 – It’s official. DisneyQuest is closing on July 3, 2017 to make way for the new NBA Experience. (Link)
February 1 – A new character breakfast is coming to Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s Boardwalk. The breakfast will begin in late spring and will feature characters from Tangled and The Little Mermaid. (Link)
February 2 – The entertainers for the Garden Rocks concert series have been announced. They include Jon Secada, The Pointer Sisters, Plain White T’s, Night Ranger, Little River Band, Berlin, The Guess Who and Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone. (Link)
February 3 – A new VIP tour is coming to Magic Kingdom Park. The Ultimate Disney Classics VIP Tour is a four-hour tour which will allow you to experience up to 10 of the classic attractions in the park such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise. The cost is $199 per person. (Link)
February 3 – Dining packages for the 2017 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival are now available for booking by calling (407) WDW-DINE. (Link)
February 6 – The same model of drones used on the Disney Spring Starbright Holiday show were also used for the Lady Gaga halftime show of Super Bowl LI. (Link)
February 6 – How is this for an amazing 48 hours: you score three touchdowns a Super Bowl winning effort then you have a parade in your honor down Main Street, U.S.A. New England Patriot James White did just that. (Link)
February 8 – Doc McStuffins will begin greeting guests at Disney’s Animal Kingdom this month at Rafiki’s Planet Watch. (Link)
February 9 – A new stage show is coming to Disney Cruise Line. Fresh on the heals of the Tangled stage show, Beauty and the Beast will debut on the Disney Dream departing November 6, 2017. (Link)
February 9 – Rivers of Light, which will be debuting February 17 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, will offer a dining package which is currently open for reservations. Tusker House and Tiffins are the only two dining options currently available. Tusker House is a character meal. (Link)
February 9 – Wishes Nighttime Spectacular is being replaced on May 12, 2017 by a new show, “Happily Ever After”. The new show will feature the latest fireworks and pyrotechnics and state-of-the-art projection mapping technology. (Link)
February 1 – The city of Anaheim announced they welcomed a record 23 million visitors in 2016. This is a 2.3% increase over 2015. (Link)
WALT DISNEY CORPORATE NEWS
February 1 – Laurene Powell Jobs, wife of the late Steve Jobs, is no longer the largest single shareholder in Disney. After divesting herself of half her shares, Vanguard Group is now the largest single shareholder with 5.5% of the company’s outstanding shares. (Link)
February 1 – If you bought the Happy Holidays! Mickey Mouse Nightlight sold exclusively at Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Shop Disney Parks and the DisneyStore.com you are asked call 1-844-722-1444 for a refund as the product can leak liquid on the electrical outlet causing a potential fire hazard. (Link)
February 10 – Disney is seeking to buyout Kingdom Holding Co. to become the majority (85.7%) owner in Euro Disney. They also plan to invest as much as $1.6 billion in Disneyland Paris to improve financial conditions. (Link)
January 26 – Paddlefish (formerly Fulton’s Crab House) opened on February 4 at Disney Springs. (Link)
DISNEY MOVIE/ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
January 28 – The final Beauty and the Beast trailer was released and featured a few new scenes. (Link)
February 3 – Fandango is reporting that presales of Beauty and the Beast online tickets are outpacing Finding Dory which was the previous record holder for family-friendly fare. Still five weeks ahead of the March 17 premiere, there are already hundreds of sold out show times across the country. (Link)
February 5 – Guardians of the Galaxy Trailer (Link)
February 5 – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales released a new trailer. (Link)
DISNEY CRUISE LINE
February 6 – USA Today did a countdown of the Top 25 most beautiful cruise vessels. The Disney Dream Class (Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy) were #11 and the Disney Magic Class (Disney Magic and Disney Wonder) was #3. (Link)
DISNEY FUNNY OF THE WEEK
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Sue Nowicki is an alumnae of the 2014/15 Disney Parks Moms Panel. She splits her time between planning her next Walt Disney World vacation and being team mom to ten high-energy volleyball players where she fills the roles of secretary, navigator, head cheerleader, treasurer, athletic trainer and team psychologist. You can follow her on Twitter @JazzinDisneyMom.