This has been quite a week for The Walt Disney Company. It seems that they are now on a course that will strongly define their future. Whether it’s for the better or the worse, remains to be seen, however we’re confident they know what they’re doing. Let’s recap some of this week’s big announcements and changes.
Revised Offer to Acquire 21st Century Fox
It comes as no surprise to anyone that Disney revised their initial offer to acquire 21st Century Fox after Comcast placed their unsolicited bid. What is surprising, though, is that Comcast hasn’t presented a counter offer yet. Most analysts suggest one is coming, and we can only assume they are preparing a very compelling offer that will potentially lead to a full on bidding war.
Jennifer Lee and Pete Docter Named Chief Creative Officers
With the confirmed news that John Lasseter will be leaving the company at the end of the year, The Walt Disney Company named two Chief Creative Officers to oversee their studios. Jennifer Lee will head Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pete Docter will head Pixar Animation Studios. Lee was hired in 2011 for Wreck-It-Ralph while Docter’s been with Pixar since 1990.
Pixar Pier Opens at Disney California Adventure
On Saturday, June 23rd guests got to experience first hand the redesigned Pixar Pier. The land is now made up of four “neighborhoods” inspired by Pixar films and characters. Incredibles Park features the Incredicoaster; Toy Story Boardwalk is home to Toy Story Midway Mania and Jessie’s Critter Carousel (Opens in 2019) along with two new quick service locations; Pixar Promenade celebrates all of your Pixar friends and will be the place for treats this Summer once Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff opens; and lastly, we have Inside Out Headquarters. A new attraction, Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind is scheduled to open in 2019.
Incredibles 2 Breaks Box Office Record for Animated Film Opening
The Parr family returned to big screen after a 14 year hiatus and fans of the original were excited. In fact they were so excited to see the heroes back in action that they catapulted the film to a record breaking $182.68 million for the opening week. Incredibles 2′s opening is the highest grossing animated film ever, besting the former title holder (Finding Dory with $135 million) by more than $50 million. Talk about a Super smash…
Anaheim Minimum Wage Initiative On Ballot
This week the Anaheim City Council met and voted to put a minimum wage initiative on the November ballot. If it passes, the proposed initiative would increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour. This would impact hospitality workers that work for companies receiving economic assistance from the City of Anaheim. The wage increase would go into effect starting January 1st, 2019.
Toy Story Land Opens Next Weekend
On the other side of the country, Walt Disney World will officially unveil Toy Story Land on Saturday, June 30th. Guests will experience life in Andy’s backyard as they join his collection of toys on their fantastic adventures. Two new rides join the existing Toy Story Mania: Alien Swirling Saucers (similar to Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree), and Slinky Dog Dash. And let’s not forget dining! A sideways lunchbox is where Woody and pals will serve up sandwiches, drinks, and some tasty treats. This Spring, several ABC show hosts were part of special segments highlighting Toy Story Land. Check out their experiences in this article.
Other Stories of Note
ABC Orders Roseanne Spinoff: Roseanne Barr will not be involved in the 10 episode spinoff show currently titled The Conners.
Disney Parks Around the World Celebrated International Yoga Day: Hundreds of guests attended sunrise yoga sessions at five of the Happiest Places on Earth.
Disneyland’s Enchanted Tiki Room Anniversary: This beloved attraction turned 55 on Saturday, June 23rd. Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts had special merchandise to commemorate the occasion.
World Of Color Refurbishment Significantly Extended: World of Color has been under refurbishment since April of this year and was scheduled to return on June 22nd. However, two days prior to show’s return, Disney announced that World of Color will remain under refurbishment until later this year.
Disneyland Paris’ Phantom Manor Refurbishment Extended to 2019: Speaking of refurbs running long, Disney has announced that work on The Haunted Mansion-like ride will continue until early 2019. Originally the ride was scheduled to reopen this Fall.