Disney Parks Rumored To Add Long-Running ‘Doctor Who’ to Parks After Latest Disney+ Reveal

in Disney, Television

David Tennant as the Doctor in the 60th anniversary special of 'Doctor Who', standing in the doorway of the TARDIS

Credit: BBC

It’s no secret that the Walt Disney Company is one of the largest media conglomerates in the world, with its acquisitions of LucasFilm, Marvel, and 20th Century Studios (formerly 20th Century Fox), as well as its partnerships that give it access to major hit shows like the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC) Bluey or the BBC’s Doctor Who.

With its streaming platform, Disney+, Disney is able to show series that it doesn’t necessarily own, like Bluey and Doctor Who. However, it now seems as though Disney is looking to add the long-running sci-fi show to its catalog more permanently. The BBC show has been a pop culture staple since premiering in 1963, earning it the title of “longest-running sci-fi show.” The initial iteration of the series ran from 1963 to 1989, was rebooted in 2005, and continues to be one of the most successful and popular shows in modern media.

David tennant and catherine tate as the fourteenth doctor and donna noble in the trailer for the doctor who 60th anniversary special
Credit: BBC

The show follows a Time Lord, called The Doctor, who travels through space and time in the TARDIS. The Doctor has a variety of companions that accompany them on their adventures. After a few seasons, the actor playing The Doctor is replaced, which is explained with an in-universe “regeneration.” Since its return to BBC in 2005, The Doctor has been played by Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi, and Jodie Whittaker, with Ncuti Gatwa set to take on the role as the Fifteenth Doctor coming next year.

Doctor Who Millie Gibson as Ruby Sunday and Ncuti Gatwa as the fifteenth doctor
Credit: BBC/Disney/Bad Wolf

David Tennant, known for roles on Amazon Prime Video’s Good Omens, Disney+’s Ahsoka, and Scrooge McDuck in Disney’s Ducktales, made the show a hit with his energetic and bubbly performance as the Tenth Doctor. His brief upcoming return as the Fourteenth Doctor was met with excitement and anticipation from fans ahead of the show’s approaching 60th anniversary. Since Disney gained the rights to air the show on its streaming platform, it’s been marketing the show’s 60th-anniversary specials, with the most recent release stirring some rumors and heated opinions.

“The doctor is officially a disney princess now,” @raggedydocs posted. “Disney plus originals has me eye twitching,” quipped @louisslegall. “cant wrap my head around the tardis being on the Disney logo omg,” replied @DrUnfuckable. “This just feels weird, not like it’s bad but I never thought I’d see the day where Doctor Who Episodes are referred to as Disney + original specials,” said @BillyParker2000.

The latest trailer for the 60th-anniversary episodes was released today and it not only boasts the new episodes being “Disney+ Original Specials,” but also advertises that “Disney+ is the home of new Doctor Who,” meaning that the upcoming season and new episodes will be found on the streaming platform going forward. This is creating some buzz about whether guests can expect to see Doctor Who gain a presence in the Disney parks anytime soon. “Seeing these worlds collide is pretty impressive as I have fond links to both. Wonder if all those Disney Parks start implementing merch and stuff into the shops the fanbase would go nuts #DoctorWho #Disney it’s very surreal,” @richard_price2 posted on X/Twitter.

David tennant as the fourteenth doctor in the trailer for the doctor who 60th anniversary special
Credit: BBC

Unfortunately, due to ownership rights, fans probably won’t be seeing the Doctor Who logo on anything in the parks anytime soon. It’s in a similar situation with Bluey, where the parks are unable to feature anything regarding the beloved blue heeler puppy and her family because Disney doesn’t own the show, the ABC does. Likewise, Disney doesn’t own Doctor Who, despite its “original specials,” the show is still owned by the BBC.

Rather than the House of Mouse taking ownership of the long-running series, the partnership between Disney+ and the BBC was made in an effort to bring Doctor Who to more fans and audiences around the world. Unfortunately, with this partnership, BBC America will no longer air the iconic show. However, Disney+ has one of the largest reaches of any streaming platform (despite losing several million subscribers earlier this year) and has now given the show a bigger home and wider reach, as well as a bigger budget.

So, for now, The Doctor and the TARDIS won’t be seen in Disneyland, Walt Disney World, or any other Disney park in the near future. However, for fans looking for a Doctor Who nod (or one near enough), look no further than Disney World’s EPCOT and the phone booths still scattered around the UK Pavilion (albeit red ones instead of blue). For this Whovian, it was more than enough to recreate some fun photos inspired by the Time Lord himself.

What do you think of the Disney+ special? Would you want to see Doctor Who have a presence in the parks one day? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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