As we’re closing out 2019, we decided to look back at all the magic, and craziness, that happened this past year! So, sit back, grab you some Mickey pretzels, and let’s dive into the top 10 Disney stories of 2019!
Number 10- The Man, the Myth, the Legend: Bob Iger
Let’s start with the Man, the Myth, the Legend… Bob Iger. Iger has been keeping the Chief Executive Officer chair warm for Disney since 2005; succeeding Michael Eisner. His leadership of the company has not been without some criticism. But there’s no denying Iger has accomplished many amazing things for Disney. Here’s the good, the bad and the Iger of 2019.
- Iger’s salary was heavily criticized last year after it was revealed that he brought home a staggering $65 Million Dollars. Disney heiress, Abigail Disney, chimed in during an interview discussing the vast difference in pay ratio between Iger and the median Disney employee’s salary, which is about 1,424 times that of the average employee. Iger defended his pay package explaining that the reason his salary was so high was due to a stock award, which he says “was a one-time grant, it’s not something that repeats itself year after year.” We wonder if Iger is looking to adopt any grown children. Hmmm… alas, we digress.
- Iger might be bringing home some legitimate bacon, but he’s also doing a job well done in many other ways! He was just named TIME’s 2019 Businessperson of the Year; which should come as no surprise considering the incredible year Disney has had! From opening Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge almost simultaneously in two coasts, closing the MEGA deal with Fox, and launching the successful Disney streaming platform, Disney+, just to name a few, we wonder when this man sleeps.
Congrats to you, Iger! We hope your successor has your Midas touch as well!
Number 9- Disney’s 2019 Box Office success
Disney has had the best year EVER at the box office in 2019, exceeding $10 BILLION dollars worldwide with 6 movies exceeding $1 Billion each… and maybe even a 7th Billion Dollar film if Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker continues to do well. Between the insane success of Avengers: Endgame, which beat the biggest selling movie of all time, Avatar, and all the other box office hits Disney has put out this year, we wonder what Disney is planning for 2020 to try and beat that. It’ll be interesting to see how they fare!
Number 8 – The Skyliner Launch, Crash, and Climb!
We all know how massive the Walt Disney World Resort is! If you aren’t aware, well it is roughly the size of San Francisco! So, for visiting guests, figuring out how to get around the resort is no small feat. From busses, to monorails, to Minnie Vans, oh my… the options are aplenty. However, Disney decided they wanted to offer an additional alternative.
This past September, Disney launched the Disney Skyliner, a gondola system that promises to whisk guests between select locations in a sky-high gondola car with stunning views and short travel times. Well, that last part didn’t exactly go as planned when the Gondolas first opened.
A few days after the Disney Skyliner took its first flight, there was an unfortunate crash at one of the stations, leaving all the guests that were onboard the system stranded upwards of three hours! YIKES! But, Disney being Disney, shut down the system, went back to testing to make sure that didn’t happen again, and now the gondolas are up and running again, in what we think is a really fun new method of transportation at the resort.
Number 7 – Crazy Disney Parks Guests
Staying at the parks for this next big story, or stories rather; let’s take a look at the umm…. loopy Disney guests that made the news.
Did you know CBD oil is not yet legal in all states? Looks like this poor grandma didn’t either. She had her little essential oil kit with her to relieve the potential stress that sometimes comes with theme park visits.
While going through the bag check line outside of the Transportation and Ticket Center, the CBD oil was found inside of her purse. She said she had a letter from her doctor for the oil, however, this was not enough for Florida deputies. Oops! Take note essential oil fans. And let us learn from this poor grandma!
Let’s travel to the west coast for this next crazy guest story. This past summer, two families got heated at the Disneyland Resort in California. Not just from the summer heat. No, they literally got into it with each other and it was all caught on tape!
The video quickly went viral and the families involved ended up facing charges. Even though, ironically, they denied the whole thing ever happened. Weird. We know! Maybe they could have used a little bit of grandma’s oil for their visit!
Last but not least, another viral internet story… Childless Millennials.
Once upon a time, a very frustrated mom took to social media to vent her frustrations about Childless Millennials visiting Disney parks. The mom was upset that a childless adult had a Mickey-shaped pretzel when her son did not (the line was allegedly very long). She posted a caps-locked-heavy rant flowered with expletives that let these Childless Millennials HAVE IT. But of course, they didn’t take it. And it turned into a thing. No really. Clothing lines emerged with Childless Millennial printed across them.
We think we should totally send this momma a fun new shirt and a Mickey pretzel. Unsalted. We think she’s got all the salt she needs.
Number 6 – D23 Expo’s Epcot Announcements
D23 Expo is the place to be for Disney fans! This biennial convention is chockfull of Disney fandom, Disney announcements, and all the fellow Disney fans you can surround yourself with. This year, they exceeded our expectations with the amazing announcements for Epcot!
During D23, we learned about a new Mary Poppins-themed attraction coming to the UK pavilion, the reimagining of Spaceship Earth, three new lands replacing Future World, a Moana attraction, and so much more. With this entire park overhaul, new attractions, firework shows, lands, a re-imagined entry, and more, we cannot wait to see how Epcot evolves!
Number 5 – Disney is the Safest Place to Be During a Hurricane
Florida is no stranger to hurricanes. But did you know that the Walt Disney World Resort is the safest place to be during a storm?
The Walt Disney World boasts some of the best infrastructure found in Hurricane Territory. Every window and doorway of every building is built to withstand hurricane-force winds. Every guest gets a room and everyone is asked to stay sheltered at their resort until the storm passes.
Matching the level of safety is the level of security. Walt Disney World is already known for its famous levels of security in its parks, and that doesn’t stop on account of rain. The doors stay locked. The parking lots stay gated. You will be safe. Your things will be safe. And we can’t think of a better place to wait out a storm. Have any plans next September? We know where we’re headed.
Number 4 – Disney goes to Target
A Disney/Target collab? YES PLEASE!
Our favorite place to shop got way more magical in 2019! Miniature Disney stores popped up inside Target this year and will continue to hit Targets near you really soon! 2019 saw Twenty-five Disney stores appear in Target stores and by October of 2020, 40 additional stores will be opened.
These mini-Disney stores are themed similarly to Disney Stores, with white shelves, castles and other Disney décor. So, grab your starbies and matching cup cozy and get your pixie-dust fix at your closest Target store!
Number 3- Disney+
With the success of Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and all the other streaming platforms that are available, it’s no wonder Disney decided to hop on the streaming platform bandwagon and grab a piece of that pie! A natural step for a company that produces so much digital content.
Disney+ was set up for success even before it launched. And it has proven to be true! With runaway original hits like The Mandalorian, access to fan favorites libraries from Marvel, Star Wars, and the unlocking of the infamous Disney Vault, fans have been flocking to the Disney-binging fun. 20-million plus subscribers can’t be wrong.
Disney+ won the internet in 2019. And we can’t forget our favorite part of Disney+… Baby Yoda. Cue the heart eyes!
Number 2 – Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
In an unprecedented Disney Parks effort, The Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts ventured to open two identical lands on each coast almost simultaneously. And not just any new land. The most highly anticipated land in the galaxy: Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
The hype was tangible. Fans had been waiting to plan trips to the theme parks to experience what this immersive new land would offer. Not without some fan disappointment, the land still exceeded the expectations of most.
Spanning more than 14-acres, the land holds a full-size, 100-percent complete Millennium Falcon, DIY lightsabers you can create and bring home, the Droid Depot, rebellion encounters, among so many other out-of-this-world experiences.
You can live your best Star Wars Life at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge; the largest-ever single-themed land in Disney Parks history.
Number 1 – Star Wars: The Rise of the Resistance
From Batuu, we bring you our NUMBER ONE story of 2019! Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, the brand-new, multiple ride system that is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced at Walt Disney World Resort… or anywhere else in the galaxy!
Currently open at the Walt Disney World resort and opening January 17, 2020 at Disneyland, this new attraction will captivate true Star Wars fans and Disney-goers alike! Opening to rave reviews, this attraction is breaking all the boundaries of theme park attractions, exceeding all expectations, and taking guests on an adventure they will never forget. We very much encourage you to visit to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in 2020! May the force be with you!
So, there you have it! Our top 10 stories of 2019. We hope you enjoyed this journey as we looked back at all the magic, the crazy, and the excitement that happened in 2019. Be sure to come back as we continue to bring you all your favorite entertainment news, stories, and exciting things happening at Disney and beyond in 2020!
Happy New Year 2020 and see ya real soon!