Disney is Returning to McDonald’s Happy Meals with New Alliance

After previously ending their relationship in 2006, today Disney and McDonald’s announced a new promotional alliance that will bring Disney properties to the fast food chain’s iconic Happy Meals. The partnership comes as McDonald’s has continued efforts to raise nutritional standards for their kid’s meals. This multi-year, non-exclusive deal will begin in June with Incredibles 2 followed by Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 in November, but will also include promotional tie-ins to select Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Disney Live Action, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm properties.

“McDonald’s and Disney are two beloved family favorites and together with this alliance, we will create memorable moments for families,” said Morgan Flatley, McDonald’s USA Chief Marketing Officer.  “As we continue to build a better McDonald’s, this relationship combines ingenuity in food and entertainment to encourage more balanced meal selections in our Happy Meals and inspire families in fun and innovative ways.”

“McDonald’s commitment to balanced Happy Meals allows our two companies to collaborate on new ways to bring the magic of Disney to McDonald’s consumers,” said Tiffany Rende, Senior Vice President, Corporate Alliances, The Walt Disney Company.

In 2006, Disney became the first major media company to establish nutrition criteria, associating its brands and characters with more nutritionally balanced foods. The guidelines, developed with national nutrition authorities and aligned to federal standards, promote the consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy while limiting calories, saturated fats, sugars and sodium. Disney expanded the initiative in 2012 by introducing new standards for food advertising on programming targeted to kids and families. All food and beverage products advertised, sponsored, or promoted on Disney-owned TV channels where more than 25 percent of the audience is ages 12 and younger, and online platforms that are directed to children and families, are required to meet Disney’s nutrition guidelines.

For a look back at some of the classic Disney Happy Meal toys of yesteryear, check out our compilation of videos and ads.