Here is the latest News From the World of Disney parks and entertainment including Walt Disney World, Disneyland and Disney Cruise Line for November 3 – 16. We are even featuring a wrap-up of the 4Q 2017 Disney earnings call. As always, there are lots of tidbits of info and “aha moments” when listening to the call.
THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY EARNINGS CALL
This week featured the 4th quarter 2017 earnings call. As always, there is lots of Disney Parks and Entertainment info. Here are the updates:
- The 4th Quarter was adversely effected by three main things: the impact of Hurricane Irma, the canceling of the animated film Gigantic and the impact of the valuation adjustment at BAMTech
- Internationally, results improved led by growth at Disneyland Paris and Shanghai Disney. The growth at Disneyland Paris was largely due to the 25th anniversary of the resort.
- Shanghai Disney generated positive operating income in its first full year.
- The negative impact of Hurricane Irma was about $100 million.
- Attendance at the domestic parks was up 2% in the quarter.
- Domestic spending per room is up 4% while occupancy was down 3%.
- The Walt Disney Company will continue to invest in the park in 2018 especially in the two Star Wars lands. This will lead to $1 billion dollars in capex (capital expenditure) spending.
- Disney’s first Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) product will be an ESPN sports service called ESPN Plus. It will launch in the spring on 2018 and feature scores and highlights as well as sports programing and live sporting events.
- Disney will be leveraging BAMTech to launch another DTC product, similar to Netflix, which will feature Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars content as well as a Star Wars live-action series, a series based on Monsters, Inc., a High School Musical series and a Marvel series.
- Since 2008 the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe have delivered an average global box office of $840 million each.
- There are four Marvel movies schedule for fiscal 2018.
- Since the acquisition of Pixar, the average global box office of Disney animated films rose to $665 million and they won nine of ten of the Oscars for feature animation.
- Two Pixar movies will be released in fiscal 2018: Coco and The Incredibles 2.
- Disney closed a deal with Rian Johnson, director of The Last Jedi, to develop a new Star Wars trilogy.
- Star Wars lands in Disneyland and Walt Disney World will open in 2019.
- On the TV side, they are pleased with the performance of The Good Doctor and they have three dramas in mid-season replacements they are excited about including a Grey’s Anatomy spin-off.
- Disney isn’t closed to acquiring new properties such as Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars. He admitted they are always going to look to add to the number of film franchises they produce and own.
- Unlike Hulu, Disney is not planning on having commercials interrupt their DTC programming.
- Disney plans to launch their new DTC “pretty aggressively” and will be priced ‘substantially below’ Netflix due to less volume which will give them the opportunity to grow in volume and to have the pricing over time reflect the added volume as the product ages.
- Mark your calendar for November 18, 2018 for Mickey Mouse’s 90th birthday. They are planning a company-wide event with will include their Consumer Products division.
My favorite quote from the whole call was Bob Iger when talking about his optimism for future of Disney, “We’ll continue to invest for the future and take the smart risks required to keep moving forward.”
WALT DISNEY WORLD PARKS NEWS
November 5 – Hollywood & Vine has now switched over to the Minnie’s Holiday Dine. (Link)
November 6 – Who hasn’t been at Disney and wondered when the Disney Imagineers were going to design a way to protect Guests from extreme weather conditions such as the summer sun? Well it appears there is a plan in the works. (Link)
November 10 – The dates for the 2018 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival have been announced. The festival will begin on February 28 and run through May 28. (Link)
November 10 – Toy Story Land is coming along swimmingly. Jessie and Rex became the first “Toy Story” characters to be installed in Toy Story Land.
November 15 – Just like with Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will feature special PhotoPass opportunities. These opportunities feature a combination of MagicShots and props. (Link)
November 16 – Due to the new TSA procedures at Orlando International Airport, Disney’s Magical Express will now depart for the airport four hours prior to your departure. (Link)
THE WALT DISNEY CORPORATION
November 3 – Disney research is developing a technology called, Feeling Fireworks to help visually impaired Guests experience fireworks.
November 15 – Disney legend, Richard Sherman, has been inducted into the Hall of Fame of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA). (Link)
November 3 – Disney’s California Adventure appears to be temporarily readying for a Thor-inspired overlay. Permits show Hollywood Land will host Loki & Thor Heroic Encounter beginning on November 17, 2017 through February 17, 2017. (Link)
November 13 – Disneyland’s MaxPass seems to be a big hit. Here is a video Disney released to help Guests navigate the system.
November 13 – Disneyland After Dark is returning to Disneyland on January 18. The after-hours event will be themed “Throwback Night”. (Link)
November 14 – Johnny Depp is well known for visiting the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction but this week the force was strong with Star Tours when Mark Hamill showed up to surprise Guests. (Link)
DISNEY CRUISE LINE
November 3 – You can now reserve a time to meet your favorite Star Wars character on the Disney Fantasy for their Star Wars Day at sea before you even board the ship. (Link)
November 14 – There is some new fun spaces and experiences coming to the Disney Magic. The new spaces include a Tangled-themed family restaurant called Rapunzel’s Royal Table, while Vibe, the teen club, and the Cove Cafe, the adult only area, are getting a reimagining. (Link)
November 15 – Disney Cruise Line received the #1 spot in two categories of the U.S. News & World Report Best Cruise of 2018. The categories they won are Best Cruises for Families and Best Cruise in the Caribbean. They also placed 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th in Best Cruises from Port Canaveral. (Link)
DISNEY MOVIE/ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
November 8 – ABC, Disney Channel and Freeform will be airing Disney Parks Christmas specials during the holiday season beginning November 24. (Link)
November 15 – Thor: Rangarok is now in the top 10 movies of 2017 jumping past Dunkirk for 9th place with The Fate of the Furious in it’s sights only $5mm away. (Link)
November 15 – The wonder team behind the new movie Wonder are being tapped to lead the new Disney movie Prince Charming. (Link)
Refurbishments are now located on their own page.
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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.