Today was the 2019 Disney Meeting of Shareholders, where CEO Bob Iger made several exciting announcements to those in attendance and those listening at home.
There was plenty of news pertaining to the Disney Parks, movies, Disney Cruise Line and more. Here are some of the top stories coming from today’s Disney Meeting of Shareholders.
Galaxy’s Edge News
Of course, we’ll start with the biggest and most obvious news. Iger announced the opening dates for the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge lands coming to Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The Disneyland version will open on May 31 while the Walt Disney World land will open on August 29.
We also learned that these lands will open in phases, with the highly anticipated Rise of the Resistance attraction opening at later dates.
Disney is obviously aware of the massive crowds these lands will draw and announced a countermeasure to combat them. According to the Disney Parks Blog, guests "will be required to make a no-cost reservation, subject to availability, to access the land.” In addition, Disney will be attempting to keep wait times down for the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run attraction by not offering Fastpass. “Disney FASTPASS service, including access via Disney MaxPass, (at Disneyland park) and Disney FastPass+ service (at Disney’s Hollywood Studios) will not initially be offered at Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run,” the Disney Parks Blog says.
For more information on the newly announced Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge news, check out the full story here.
“Entire” Disney Library on Disney+
When asked about the offerings coming to Disney+ and movies locked away in the Disney Vault, Iger explained that the ENTIRE Disney library would be available on the service.
"At some point fairly soon after launch, it will house the entire Disney motion picture library,” Iger said. "The movies you speak of that have traditionally been kept in a vault and have basically been brought out every few years will be on the service."
It will be interesting to see if when Iger says the “entire” library, he really means the ENTIRE library. For example, will the controversial 1946 film Song of the South be available on the service?
Avengers: Endgame Clip
Those in attendance for the meeting were lucky enough to see a clip from the upcoming Avengers: Endgame. The clip was described to us by someone in attendance:
Warning: This description contains mild spoilers for Avengers: Endgame and Captain Marvel.
“Avengers sitting in the room from the first trailer. Captain Marvel is there. Nebula says that Thanos would go to ‘the garden’ after his plan. Captain Marvel says they will go there and use the stones to undo it. Rocket is piloting a ship and asks who has never been in space before.”
I have A LOT of thoughts about this, but I’ll keep it simple. What’s left of the Avengers have quite an uphill journey ahead of them and I can’t wait to see it happen. Avengers: Endgame will hit theaters April 26.
Second Disney Cruise Line Island
Back in October, the Prime Minister of the Bahamas made the official announcement that Disney had purchased the 700-acre Lighthouse Point. During today’s meeting, Iger confirmed that this new land will be used for a second private destination for Disney Cruise Line guests.
“We'll soon have a second island destination in the Bahamas for our cruise ship guests to enjoy,” Iger said.
This means Castaway Cay will no longer be the only private destination for the Disney Cruise Line ships. I don’t know about you, but I’m interested in checking out another island privately owned by Disney.
During the Q&A portion of the meeting, Iger was asked about potential changes coming to Tomorrowland at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Interestingly, the CEO had quite a bit to say on the topic.
"We've been working with the Imagineers to consider a number of different concepts for Tomorrowland,” Iger said. “They've got some great plans that we recently reviewed but nothing that we're ready to announce at this point. But expect that, in the years ahead, there will be a lot of Tomorrowland activity — a lot of Tomorrowland activity tomorrow."
We know the new Tron coaster is currently being built in this area of the park, but curiously Iger did not mention that new attraction. Instead, he chose to hint at plans we have not heard about yet. Ok, Mr. Iger, you’ve piqued my interest.
Also, While the question was specifically asked about Florida’s Magic Kingdom, Iger’s response never actually included the words “Walt Disney World,” so it’s possible these plans could be used in multiple locations.
A Potential Tribute to Dave Smith
Just a few weeks ago, Dave Smith, the founder of the Walt Disney Archives and former head archivist, passed away at the age of 78. A shareholder asked Iger about a potential tribute to Smith in the parks, perhaps a window on Main Street USA.
"Ah, well that's interesting," Iger replied. "I don't know specifically whether there are plans for a Dave Smith window but, if there aren't, it's a good idea — it's a very good idea."
For those who are unaware, the names painted on the windows on Main Street USA in the Disney Parks serve as credits to those who helped contribute to them. We could be seeing a Dave Smith window in the near future.
Keeping the ‘Fox’ Name
Iger was also asked about the potential changes following the acquisition of Fox, specifically, whether or not the Fox name would still be seen on movies.
"The company itself will be The Walt Disney Company, but there will be businesses within the company that will still have the Fox name on them," Iger answered. "We'll continue to make movies under the Fox brand, under the Fox Searchlight brand as well."
So there you have it, the Walt Disney Company will be making movies under the 20th Century Fox brand and the Fox Searchlight brand but in the end they will be Disney movies. Got all that?
To see how today’s 2019 Disney Meeting of Shareholders played out in real time, check out our live blog which covered the whole thing.
Mike is a writer that has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed “nerd.”