Notes from Disney’s Investor Day
Okay, Disney has stepped in it with some recent headlines. Still, we’re going to leave the politics out of today’s discussion.
Instead, we’ll focus on what we just learned from Disney Investor Day 2022, plus other park updates and one small DVC item.
Disney Projects Sleeping, Not Dead
Bob Chapek has had a strange week, and you probably know why. However, he did achieve a minor victory during Disney Investor Day.
Shareholders voted on the upcoming 11 members of Disney’s Board of Directors. All of the candidates, including Chapek, earned at least 94 percent of the vote.
So, while you may take issue with some of Disney’s recent decisions, he has the overwhelming support of the shareholders right now.
Chapek also discussed the lack of recent announcements at Disney theme parks. I’m confident you’ve noticed a lull in the action here.
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser just opened, and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is right around the corner. A recent Disney employee’s social media post suggests a Memorial Day opening for the roller coaster.
Still, after Tron: Lightcycle Power Run and the Moana water feature debut, Disney will have completed all its previously announced projects.
Chapek explained what’s happening, as did Disney’s Chief Financial Officer in a discussion on Monday.
Both commented on Disney’s dire financial straits early in the pandemic. As a result, Disney had its credit rating lowered to A-.
Until that changes, Chapek appears unwilling to commit to costly projects. He lamented that the proposed Mary Poppins attraction at EPCOT suffered because of this.
Disney has previously described this attraction as a generic flat ride, a spinner. Those attractions are ordinarily carnival-ish.
Chapek indicated a love for the Mary Poppins proposal, meaning that it must be better than we’ve heard thus far.
The CEO also mentioned that the Avengers Campus Quinjet attraction is on hold.
So, those two experiences aren’t canceled. Disney just cannot afford them yet.
The CFO noted that Disney must pay for the Disney Wish this summer, and it costs nearly $1 billion. The capital expenditures budget may loosen after that.
Park and DVC Updates
At Magic Kingdom, the beloved Festival of Fantasy Parade has returned after a two-year absence.
This parade has experienced some upheaval in recent years. You may recall that the Maleficent float suffered a catastrophe.
The fire-breathing dragon accidentally caught fire in a “Who could have seen that coming?” moment.
Disney modified the float for eight months before Maleficent returned in January of 2019. Fourteen months later, the pandemic closed the park.
During the downtime, some speculated that Disney wouldn’t bring back the Maleficent float due to ongoing safety issues.
I’m happy to report that these concerns proved baseless. Here’s a video of the entire show:
I’ve set the start time to the Maleficent float to show that the dragon still breathes fire.
However, you may want to go back and watch the whole thing. This is because Disney has changed some aspects of the show.
The new version has eliminated most of the dancers from the parade, which is a concession to the pandemic and Disney’s ongoing staffing issues.
We also lost Tick-Tock the Crocodile, the Brave float, and four characters from the Princess Garden section.
On the plus side, the floats look cleaner and fresher than I can ever recall. Disney gave the entire parade a spring cleaning and much-needed paint job.
By the way, starting tomorrow, the Festival of Fantasy Parade will join the Disney Genie+ lineup. You can book priority seating this way.
Similarly, Red Carpet Dreams at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will join Disney Genie+ as well.
Finally, this really doesn’t impact anything, but I want to make you aware of a modest DVC change.
Disney has updated Guaranteed Weeks with a new name. From now on, DVC will call them Favorite Weeks. I hope that didn’t require hours of Zoom meetings to rename.
Start planning your next Disney vacation TODAY! Book your next Disney vacation visit by browsing our current DVC Confirmed Reservation Specials, or use our DVC availability tool to see if the dates for your vacation are available. From there, you can start the booking process and one of our team members will reach out to assist!