You may or may not know that I consider myself a huge Disney fan, so it probably doesn’t surprise anyone that I decided to sign up for the Special Topics class at Kennesaw State University this semester, which focuses on everything Disney :). As part of this class, we were asked to dig a little deeper and really think about Disney apart from just the fun movies and theme parks, which is what I will share with you all in this blog post.
Ever since I was a little Kid, I loved Disney. But I never really thought about how Disney became the magical company it is today. So this made me think…What are 3 major milestones in the development of the Disney Company?
1. I think one of the biggest milestones, if not the biggest, for the Disney company, was the opening of Disney World in Orlando, Fl. Disney World opened in 1971 and quickly became the happiest and most magical place on earth. I believe this to be a milestone because to me, Disney World, is the face of Disney. Whenever someone mentions Disney to me, I immediately think of the park and the fun times I had there as a child. No matter what age one is, visiting a Disney theme park is always so exciting. There’s a lot of planning involved in visiting a Disney park, which is why there are a ton of websites that can help one how to plan you best Disney trip yet.
2. Another major milestone for the Disney company was when it agreed to purchase Pixar. Disney realized that all of its recent animation movie hits came with the help of Pixar, so I find it very logical for them to purchase Pixar as it is such a successful company and really helped Disney in creating fun characters that everyone could fall in love with.
3. The third milestone that I believe made a huge impact on the Disney company, was the movie Beauty and the Beast. I find this to be a major milestone because Walt Disney himself dreamed of this movie coming to life, so in a way, I thought of Disney going back to what the founder thought of it when he created the company. In addition, Beauty and the Beast was the first animated film ever to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, which is simply the biggest achievement for any artist. I believe that Beauty and the Beast rescued Disney in a way and made people believe in the Magic again.
I also loved that Belle wasn’t your typical Disney princess since she didn’t want to marry the handsome guy and instead was a strong-minded woman who enjoyed reading books.
I must admit, that as a Disney fan, I never knew how many companies were under Disney’s belt, which really surprised me. I knew Disney had purchased Pixar and some other big companies as well as the rights to the Star Wars movies. But I never knew Disney also owned ESPN, Lucasfilm, A&E Networks, and so many many more… I feel like a was a disloyal fan for not knowing those things.
There’s no question that Disney is a very successful company, but how exactly have they been so successful for such a long time? According to Forbes, there are 5 main reasons why Disney is as successful as they are and other companies could certainly learn from those reasons as well. Disney prides itself in being honest, which has certainly paid off with its partnership with the late Steve Jobs. Disney also believes in Brands, such as the Marvel and Lucas films. Disney’s CEO, Robert Iger also says that although it is important to respect the past, it’s also important to focus on the future and be willing to change. Iger also trusts Disney employees and it has paid off as no sensitive informations have been leaked. Last but not least, Iger recommends that it’s ok to be competitive but one should not focus on the competition. I find the last tip very interesting, because many companies focus so much on their competition and mention them in their commercials and point out why their company is better. I believe if more companies would follow Disney’s guidelines, they could become more successful because they would stand out amongst their competition by being less competitive–the irony, I know…
With Disney being so successful, it is hard to say what their most valuable properties are. From a financial point, it is fair to say that ESPN is one of Disney’s most valuable properties. But I would argue that the parks are the most valuable properties for Disney. No matter where you are in the world, someone will be able to recognize the Disney font, logo, or those cute Mickey Mouse ears and usually will think immediately of the parks. The parks allow one to visit a magical place where they can just enjoy live and be happy. That is why I think that the parks will always be important to Disney, no matter how much technology changes and improves, people will always love to go to a Disney theme park. In my opinion, it is the parks that make the Disney magic truly come alive.
Now, with all the positive and magical things happening with the Disney company, there are potential challenges. I think Disney’s current CEO, Robert Inger, is an amazing leader and has definitely made a lot of positive changes. But I am afraid that Disney is simply becoming too big with all the companies it is acquiring. I hope that Disney will allow the brands it has purchased to stay true to themselves, such as Marvel, and doesn’t try to “Disneyfy” them. It is also important that all the companies that Disney has acquired, will represent Disney in a positive light by having good values and morales that matches those of the Disney company. But I do believe that Disney will be able to overcome any challenges that could possibly be coming their way, just like they have done in the past as well.
I believe that Disney has a bright future and that the next 10 years will bring lots of fun movies and help Disney grow even further. There is one particular attraction that Disney is currently working on, Avatar World, that I am really looking forward to.
I believe that Avatar World will allow for people to really step into another world and will attract even more people to visit Disney’s theme parks in Orlando. Avatar was such a successful movie and I can only imagine how exciting it will be once this attraction opens. I am also very optimistic about Disney’s future animation movies and the message they will deliver. In recent movies, such as Brave and Frozen, Disney has taken a new approach by showing young women that they can be strong and independent and do not simply have to wait on prince charming and their happily ever after. Although I love a wonderful love story, I like that Disney has taken a different approach by showing that there are other options and that it is ok to believe in something and to stand for it. I am also very excited to see how Disney will further improve the animation movie world by creating even more advanced technologies.
I would love to know what you guys think, what do you believe could be some of the challenges that Disney could face and where do you think Disney will be in 10 years?
Thanks for stopping by!