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Brought to fans, investors, entrepreneurs, executives, teachers, professors, and students by columnist, economist, novelist, reviewer, podcaster, business reporter and speaker Ray Keating

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Dear Bob: Do You Have Leader-Storytellers Running Star Wars and Pixar?

by Ray Keating
Analysis
DisneyBizJournal.com
July 18, 2019

Dear Bob,

I’m starting to wonder if you have the right people in some key leadership posts at Disney.


Over at the Harvard Business Review, in an article titled “Building a Startup That Will Last,” the authors, Hemant Taneja and Ken Chenault, wrote:

Disney CEO Bob Iger has enabled the company to remain an innovative powerhouse by opening the process for creative decision-making to other leaders. As the company acquired widely recognized brands – from Lucasfilm to Marvel and Fox – he provided those leadership teams with autonomy so that they could thrive within the Disney ecosystem. Disney’s continuing success long after the passing of its iconic founder is a testament to the power of a system of leadership that endures over time. 

As someone who taught courses in innovation and entrepreneurship, leadership and strategic management for MBA students for a decade, I like this. But it also has to be understood that if the leadership team is not getting the job done, then there should be consequences. My question is: Does Disney have Disney-style leaders in place?

My concerns spring from recent films from the Star Wars/Lucasfilm and Pixar units. Each film – Star Wars: The Last Jediand Toy Story 4– fell far short of the quality storytelling that Disney needs to produce. Specifically, Luke Skywalker, and Woody and Buzz Lightyear – the key characters in the Star Warsand Toy Storyuniverses, respectively – abandoned qualities foundational to each character. 

We’re suddenly expected to believe that Luke succumbed to darkness and despair, abandoned his friends, and stood on the brink of killing his nephew. This was the guy who saw good in Darth Vader!? Come on, Bob. 

And Woody decided that his core belief that toys find their purpose in being there for a child, well, didn’t seem to be all that important. Instead, Woody seemed to succumb to a kind of mid-life crisis, and abandoned his family and purpose. At the same time, when Buzz managed to be wedged into Toy Story 4, he had regressed from where he was in the first three movies, and became, well, a bit of an idiot. Really? Gee, thanks for these unfortunate changes.

While the writers and directors must take the brunt of well-deserved criticisms here – especially Last Jediwriter and director Rian Johnson, who has shown no regard for Star Warsfans – the people in charge should not escape serious review. While the current heads of Pixar and Disney animation only came on board a year ago, given the Lasseter mess, perhaps they can be forgiven. But they need to be reminded of what was lost in Toy Story 4. As for Kathleen Kennedy, though, she has been alone at the helm of Lucasfilm since June 2013. And her track record raises serious questions, to say the least, given that The Last Jediarguably ranks as the worst Star Warsmovie, with the following film, Solo: A Star Wars Story, suffering the worst box-office showing.

One of the key requirement for leaders at Disney is that they must be more than managers and leaders. They need to be storytellers. At the very least, they need to recognize good and bad storytelling, especially when it comes to iconic franchises and characters. 

It’s time to do a review, Bob, to make sure that Disney has leader-storytellers at the top of each of its divisions. And if not, changes need to be made.

Thanks for the consideration, and have a magical day!

Sincerely,
Ray Keating
DisneyBizJournal.com

Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com, and author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels. He can be contacted at  raykeating@keatingreports.com.

If you enjoyed this article, and since I am the author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and short stories, can I ask you to take at least one (preferably more) of the following steps?

1) The new Pastor Stephen Grant novel – DEEP ROUGH – has arrived! You can order the Kindle edition, the paperback, or the signed book.

2) Please join the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and short stories email list, and get the upcoming short story, THE TRAITOR, for free! Sign up here.

3) Buy one of the other Pastor Stephen Grant novels or short stories at Amazon.comor signed books at www.raykeatingonline.com

4) Become a member of the Pastor Stephen Grant Fellowship, and get all kinds of FREE stuff, including each new book in the Pastor Stephen Grant series. Check out the levels and benefits here.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Disneyland at 64: 8 Interesting Facts About the Park’s Opening on July 17, 1955

by Ray Keating
Analysis
DisneyBizJournal.com
July 17, 2019

July 17thmarks one of the most notable dates in the history of the Walt Disney Company, and in the history of theme park entertainment. On July 17, 1955, Disneyland in Anaheim, California, opened.

Let’s take a moment to review some interesting facts about the magical – or less-than-magical, in some respects – Opening Day of one of the happiest and most successful places on Earth.

1. Walt Disney’s experience of financing, building and opening Disneyland was a true story of entrepreneurship. As noted in Dave Smith’s Disney A to Z: The Official Encyclopedia, Walt took his children to carnivals and small amusement parks; saw that only they were having fun; recognized an opportunity to create an experience where children and parents could be entertained together; and by “borrowing on his life insurance, selling his vacation home and getting money from several companies,” pulled together the $17 million investment to build and open Disneyland.

2. It’s good to know that some recognizable names of rides opened on July 17, 1955, survive in Disney theme parks to this very day, such as Peter Pan’s Flight, Mad Tea Party, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, and the Jungle Cruise.

3. Disneyland was built on 160 acres where 11,000 orange trees grew.

4. July 17 was for invited guests, with Disneyland opening the general public the next day. Among the notables at the park on July 17th, one columnist at the time, Eve Starr, highlighted “Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, Irene Dunne, Gale Storm, George (Superman) Reeves, Robert Cummings, George Gobel, and, of course, Fess Parker, who played Tennessee’s Davy Crockett in the Disney TV series.” (As noted in Aaron H. Goldberg’s The Disney Story: Chronicling the Man, the Mouse, and the Parks.)

5. As DesigningDisney.com notes, “The highly anticipated Opening Day festivities, including the dedication and a parade, were covered by ABC with a 90 minute live special, 'Dateline Disneyland', broadcasted between 7h30 and 9h p.m. EDT and hosted by television personalities Art Linkletter, Ronald Reagan and Bob Cummings. At the time, it was one of the largest and most complex live broadcasts ever. Ninety million viewers watched the coverage of the unveiling of the world’s most fabulous kingdom.”

6. History.com reported: “America watched as Disney presided over the official dedication ceremony, which included a benediction by a Protestant minister, a band playing the national anthem as military members raised the American flag and a flyover by the California Air National Guard. Then viewers took a virtual tour of the Magic Kingdom’s four realms—Frontierland, Adventureland, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland.”

7. Of course, as has been noted over the years, there were many problems on Opening Day. For example, History.com pointed out:

     Disneyland was overloaded with party crashers. The theme park expected a crowd of 15,000 people at the invitation-only opening, however, 28,154 passed through Disneyland’s gates thanks to counterfeit tickets. A few more even scaled a fence using a ladder erected by a makeshift entrepreneur who charged $5 a head.
     Even by southern California standards, the seven-mile backup to Disneyland on the Santa Ana Freeway was epic. Passengers baked in their cars, and kids were forced to take bathroom breaks on the side of the freeway and even in the Disneyland parking lot. Unprepared for the throng, Disneyland’s refreshment stands and three restaurants ran out of food, and sweating parents and thirsty kids abandoned many of the long lines.

8. Check out the entire ABC broadcast of Disneyland’s Opening Day...


Many – both inside and outside the Walt Disney Company – doubted Walt’s vision about Disneyland. He proved them all wrong in historic fashion.

Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com, and author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels. He can be contacted at  raykeating@keatingreports.com.

If you enjoyed this article, and since I am the author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and short stories, can I ask you to take at least one (preferably more) of the following steps?

1) The new Pastor Stephen Grant novel – DEEP ROUGH – has arrived! You can order the Kindle edition, the paperback, or the signed book.

2) Please join the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and short stories email list, and get the upcoming short story, THE TRAITOR, for free! Sign up here.

3) Buy one of the other Pastor Stephen Grant novels or short stories at Amazon.comor signed books at www.raykeatingonline.com

4) Become a member of the Pastor Stephen Grant Fellowship, and get all kinds of FREE stuff, including each new book in the Pastor Stephen Grant series. Check out the levels and benefits here.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Disney Skyliner Becoming Part of the Walt Disney World Experience

by Ray Keating
Analysis
DisneyBizJournal.com
July 15, 2019

Disney announced today that its new Walt Disney World transportation system – the Disney Skyliner – will open on September 29th


The Skyliner gondolas will fly guests from Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot to four resorts – Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and the new Disney’s Riviera Resorts, which is scheduled to open its doors December 2019.

The Skyliner looks like it will become an essential WDW experience in itself, with wonderful views on what presumably will be a relaxing journey. Plus, there will the fun of the cabins featuring graphics of Disney characters, movies and attractions.

Full credit to Disney, in a sense, in turning lemons into lemonade. That is, moving guests around the sprawling Walt Disney World complex and its various hotels ranks as a massive logistical and cost challenge. But true to form, Disney takes this seemingly mundane experience and transforms it into part of the Walt Disney World experience. No doubt, there will be guests staying at other hotels longing for a gondola flight.

In many ways, this is what Disney does so well, and other businesses should take note. No matter what the industry, is there downtime – whether standing in lines or riding from Point A to Point B – that can be transformed from a drudgery for your customers into a positive experience? Taking cues or lessons from Disney makes sense.

Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com, and author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels. He can be contacted at  raykeating@keatingreports.com.

If you enjoyed this article, and since I am the author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and short stories, can I ask you to take at least one (preferably more) of the following steps?

1) The new Pastor Stephen Grant novel – DEEP ROUGH – has arrived! You can order the Kindle edition, the paperback, or the signed book.

2) Please join the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and short stories email list, and get the upcoming short story, THE TRAITOR, for free! Sign up here.

3) Buy one of the other Pastor Stephen Grant novels or short stories at Amazon.comor signed books at www.raykeatingonline.com

Saturday, July 13, 2019

“Deep Rough” is the 11th White-Knuckle Thriller from Award-Winning Novelist and DisneyBizJournal.com Editor and Publisher Ray Keating

The Action Takes the Reader from Oppression in China to Espionage and Violence in the U.S. to Nail-Biting at Golf’s Major Tournaments 

Long Island, NY –Stephen Grant, the pastor at St. Mary’s Lutheran Church on Long Island, a former Navy SEAL and onetime CIA operative, returns in Deep Rough: A Pastor Stephen Grant Novel


One man faces challenges as a pastor in China. His son has become a breakout phenom in the world of professional golf. The Chinese government is displeased with both, and their lives are in danger. 

Stephen Grant has a history with the communist Chinese, while also claiming a pretty solid golf game. His unique experience and skills unexpectedly put him alongside old friends; at some of golf’s biggest tournaments as a caddy and bodyguard; and in the middle of an international struggle over Christian persecution, a mission of revenge, and a battle between good and evil.

The action spreads across the worlds of espionage and golf, featuring locales like the Monterey Peninsula, Taiwan, Long Island, China, Augusta, Georgia, and Washington, D.C.

Paperbacks from Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/107308843X



Author Ray Keating, who also is the editor and publisher of DisneyBizJournal.com, said, “This is another exciting ride for Stephen Grant and his readers, with the thrills coming whether Grant has a Bible, a gun, or a golf club in his hand.”

About Keating’s Pastor Stephen Grant thrillers and mysteries, one reviewer simply observed, “How I'd love to see Pastor Grant on Netflix!”

Paperbacks and Kindle editions of Deep Rough: A Pastor Stephen Grant Novelare available at Amazon.com, and signed books at RayKeatingOnline.com.

Keating’s previous Pastor Stephen Grant thrillers/mysteries – Shifting Sands (2018), Heroes and Villains (2018), Reagan Country (2018), Lionhearts (2017), Wine Into Water (2016), Murderer’s Row (2015), The River (2014), An Advent For Religious Liberty (2012),Root of All Evil? (2012)andWarrior Monk(Second Edition 2019)– have received widespread praise. 

Review copies, and author interviews and appearances are available upon request. 

Contact: Ray Keating
Phone: 631-909-1122
Twitter: @KeatingNovels
PastorStephenGrant.com
RayKeatingOnline.com

Monday, July 8, 2019

Disney and the Changing Movie Business

by Ray Keating
Analysis
DisneyBizJournal.com
July 8, 2019

Is Disney dominating in a declining industry? Yes and no. To be exact, Disney is dominating where the movie business is in decline, while working to position itself as a leader where growth looks promising. That’s a nice position to be in for any business.

With the Fox merger, and a collection of Disney hits versus flops from other studios so far this year, there’s been a good deal of chatter about Disney’s formidable market share in terms of the domestic box office. 

For example, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com, through the first six months of 2019, Disney claimed a whopping 36 percent of the box office gross. Consider how much things have changed from a decade ago, when for all of 2009, Disney raked in 12.1 percent of the domestic box office and ranked fifth among studios. So, the past decade has been good to Disney – right?

Yes, but there’s a reason why Disney is investing so much in its Disney+ streaming service launching later this year, as well as in Hulu. The movie theater business based on the number of tickets sold has been on a decline since 2002. (See the following chart.)


But there’s even more to this story than served up in this chart. Consider the longer haul. For example, there were approximately 3.1 billion movie tickets sold in 1950, 2.1 billion in 1960, 920 million in 1970, and then climbing back to just over 1 billion in 1980. After this period of dramatic decline, a return to growth occurred over a 15-year period of 1987 to 2002. But the movie business never got back to where it was in 1960, for example. And now, the industry is in the midst of a 15-plus-years slide.

Also, keep in mind that the U.S. population has more than doubled since 1950.

So, what happened and is happening?

Television arrived. In 1950, only nine percent of American homes had a television. That had jumped to 87 percent in 1960 and 95 percent in 1970. More people stayed home to be entertained, in their own living rooms, as opposed to journeying out to the theater. 

Also, a dramatic change occurred in the movie business as the Hollywood Hays Code broke down in the late 1960s, resulting in an unleashing of gratuitous sex, violence and language. For many Americans, that was an attack on their values. Consider that with the end of the code, movie attendance in one year, from 1966 to 1967, dropped by more than half. Yikes.

And in recent years, we’ve been in the midst of another dramatic change in video entertainment – just as dramatic arguably as during the dawn of television. Broadband, digital and computer technologies have transformed the creation, delivery and consumption of video entertainment. Obviously, mobile technology and enhanced in-home viewing have vastly improved convenience and quality outside the movie theater. 

This same technological revolution has expanded opportunities for creators and consumers of video content, while also boosting the quality and immersive nature of video games. So, competition has multiplied.

Finally, there is the cost factor of going to the movies. Tickets are expensive – hence the increase in revenue even as the number of tickets declined – as are the food and snack options at theaters. Consider that the monthly cost of Netflix or Disney+ is or will be around the same price as one movie ticket. Toss in cheaper beverages and popcorn at home, cheaper and better quality big screen televisions, and no (or far fewer than in theaters) rude people to deal with in your own living room, and the advantages of the theater experience continue to be diminished.

We’re entering the age of expanding options and opportunities for consumers and creators, with established studios and theaters working to adapt.

Indeed, this all converges into a kind of perfect storm for the movie theater business. Disney and others in the industry all recognize this by now. Some are positioned well to capitalize on such changes – with Disney arguably best positioned – while others seem to be struggling to find their place.

Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com, and author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels. He can be contacted at  raykeating@keatingreports.com.

If you enjoyed this article, and since I am the author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and short stories, can I ask you to take at least one (preferably more) of the following steps?

1) A new Pastor Stephen Grant novel – DEEP ROUGH – is coming very soon. You can pre-order the Kindle edition, or the signed book.

2) Please join the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and short stories email list, and get the upcoming short story, THE TRAITOR, for free! Sign up here.

3) Buy one of the other Pastor Stephen Grant novels or short stories at Amazon.comor signed books at www.raykeatingonline.com

4) Become a member of the Pastor Stephen Grant Fellowship, and get all kinds of FREE stuff, including each new book in the Pastor Stephen Grant series. Check out the levels and benefits here.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Brand Matters: The Disney Buses Example

by Ray Keating
Analysis
DisneyBizJournal.com
July 6, 2019

The Walt Disney Company understands the value of its brand or brands. There is a lesson in this for entrepreneurs no matter how big their businesses, as well as for individuals who should be building their own brand in their careers.


Consider the fact that a change in the buses transporting guests around Walt Disney World has made news. It was announced by Disney that these buses will be getting a new look during the month of July. The outside of each bus will feature one of the “sensational six,” that is, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy and Pluto. The interiors of the buses will be spruced up as well, including USB charging ports. 

As stated on the Disney Parks Blog: “The next time you are at a Walt Disney World Resort bus loop, be on the lookout for Mickey and his friends!... The new buses sure do bring a fun look to the complimentary Walt Disney World transportation that resort guests can enjoy throughout their vacations!”

That’s Disney advancing or reinforcing its brand, by providing fun quality service – in this case, working to expand the enjoyment of a Disney World vacation even via the buses shuttling people around – for their customers.

Now, consider the following point regarding one’s brand from an article at Entrepreneur.com:

Your brand is the sum total of your customers’ perceptions, notions and experience. It is the face, personality and the values espoused by your business – and everything in between.

More importantly, every single facet of your business – be it your social media profile, the tone of your voicemails or the way you present, market and deliver a service – captures the essence of your branding and sends an implicit message about how much you respect your own business.

Beyond that, your brand represents who you are, what you believe in and how you want to be perceived by your audience. That is why branding is so important to an organization.

Disney clearly gets this, and so should small business owners and individuals looking to grow and advance their enterprises and careers. How do people perceive you and your work? 

Noted a bit later in the Entrepreneur.com piece:

Your mission is to get them to see you as a dependable thought leader/influencer who addresses their needs or problems with panache, candour and hopefully, better than anybody else. 

Good thoughts. In the end, your brand matters – your own brand and your company’s. And that brand is communicated in so many different ways – even via buses shuttling people around a theme park.

Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com, and author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels. He can be contacted at  raykeating@keatingreports.com.

If you enjoyed this article, and since I am the author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and short stories, can I ask you to take at least one (preferably more) of the following steps?

1) A new Pastor Stephen Grant novel – DEEP ROUGH – is coming very soon. You can pre-order the Kindle edition, or the signed book.

2) Please join the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and short stories email list, and get the upcoming short story, THE TRAITOR, for free! Sign up here.

3) Buy one of the other Pastor Stephen Grant novels or short stories at Amazon.comor signed books at www.raykeatingonline.com

4) Become a member of the Pastor Stephen Grant Fellowship, and get all kinds of FREE stuff, including each new book in the Pastor Stephen Grant series. Check out the levels and benefits here.

Thursday, July 4, 2019


Walt Disney Quotes About the USA on Independence Day

by Ray Keating
DisneyBizJournal.com
July 4, 2019

I have great admiration for the entrepreneurs who drive the American economy forward. One of the great entrepreneurs of the 20thcentury certainly was Walt Disney. I also admire Lou Mongello, a current-day entrepreneur who launched the WDWRadio Podcast, ranks as a true Disney expert, and also is an author and a social media guru.


On this Fourth of July, I turn to a piece that Lou Mongello wrote several years ago titled “Top 10 Walt Disney Quotes About America.”

Here’s the list of quotes from Walt courtesy of Lou:

  1. “Disneyland would be a world of Americans, past and present, seen through the eyes of my imagination – a place of warmth and nostalgia, of illusion and color and delight.”

  1. “I’ve been selfishly indulging myself as an American… as a United States citizen… enjoying all privileges that one has as a citizen, and it’s only times like this that you sort of wake up to … what it really means to be a citizen.”

  1. “Actually, if you could see close in my eyes, the American flag is waving in both of them and up my spine is glowing this red, white, and blue stripe.”

  1. “I believe that this spiritual and intellectual freedom which we Americans enjoy is our greatest cultural blessing. Therefore, it seems to me, that the first duty of culture is to defend freedom and resist all tyranny.”

  1. “Laughter is America’s most important export.”

  1. “Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America… with hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.”

  1. “I get red, white, and blue at times.”

  1. “In my view, wholesome pleasure, sport, and recreation are as vital to this nation as productive work and should have a large share in the national budget.”

  1. “In America, we are guaranteed these freedoms. It is the constitutional privilege of every American to become cultured or to grow up like Donald Duck.”

  1. “Tomorrow will be better as long as America keeps alive the ideals of freedom and a better life.”

Thanks, Lou! And God bless, America!

Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com, and author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels. He can be contacted at  raykeating@keatingreports.com.

If you enjoyed this article, and since I am the author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and short stories, can I ask you to take at least one (preferably more) of the following steps?

1) A new Pastor Stephen Grant novel – DEEP ROUGH – is coming very soon. You can pre-order the Kindle edition, or the signed book.

2) Please join the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and short stories email list, and get the upcoming short story, THE TRAITOR, for free! Sign up here.

3) Buy one of the other Pastor Stephen Grant novels or short stories at Amazon.comor signed books at www.raykeatingonline.com

4) Become a member of the Pastor Stephen Grant Fellowship, and get all kinds of FREE stuff, including each new book in the Pastor Stephen Grant series. Check out the levels and benefits here.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Is There More than BBQ’d Burgers and Hot Dogs on July 4th? Yes, According to the Disney Parks

by Ray Keating
News
DisneyBizJournal.com
July 2, 2019

My idea of July Fourth food fare tends to be limited to the traditional grouping of hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken on the barbecue; potato salad and Cole slaw; corn on the cob; baked beans; a cool beverage; watermelon; and perhaps some, well, apple pie. Hey, that’s America, baby! But as we all know, there’s much more to American cuisine, and if you look to Walt Disney World and Disneyland, there’s much more for the patriotic palate on Independence Day.


Consider a few of the many items highlighted by the Disney Parks Blog that will be available either in Disneyland or in Walt Disney World on and/or around the Fourth of July.

At Walt Disney World...

• At the Magic Kingdom, through July 31st, the Plaza Ice Cream Parlorwill offer: “Red velvet cake topped with birthday cake ice cream, vanilla sauce, raspberry sauce, whipped cream, a cherry, and red, white, and blue sprinkles.”

• Count on Liberty Inn to get it right on Independence Day with the straightforward and beautifully patriotic All-American Burger, which is “1/3 lb Angus burger with Vermont sharp cheddar, smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, and pickle on a brioche bun with french fries.”

• And how about these two treats over at Epcot?

- Berry Shortcakeat Sunshine Seasons: “Fresh blueberries, strawberries, and whipped cream topped with patriotic sprinkles and a chocolate Mickey coin.”

- Fourth of July Cupcakeat Fountain View: “Yellow cake with buttercream and white chocolate mousse dome.”

• Count me in for the Ultimate Barbecue Platter at Animal Kingdom’s Flame Tree Barbecue, which includes house-smoked brisket, pulled pork, chicken, ribs, coleslaw, and beans. (Okay, now, I’m hungry.)

• And yes, I wouldn’t mind having an Uncle Slam at the Oasis and Barefoot Pool Bars at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. The Uncle Sam features rum blended with cream of coconut, pineapple juice, and strawberry purée with a floater of blue curaçao. Yes, God bless, America!

At Disneyland...

• The Sand Bar at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel will offer a “Wagyu beef dog with caramelized onions and homemade ketchup on a pretzel bun.”

• Disney California Adventure Park’s Hollywood Lounge will offer a Mojito with blueberries and strawberry popping pearls.

• The Red, White & Blue Cake Shake will be available at Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes. This marvelous concoction is a “vanilla shake with red, white, and blue cake slice, whipped cream, sprinkles, a cherry, and a vanilla frosted rim with red, white, and blue sprinkles.” As Keanu would say, “Whoa.”

• The Plaza Inn will serve up the following Dining Package Adult Meal: “Slow-roasted BBQ pork, fried chicken breast, smoked bratwurst with golden mustard sauce, fresh watermelon, corn on the cob, house-made cornbread, sweet baked beans, mac and cheese, and apple pie.”

I forgot about the cornbread. Love cornbread on July 4th!

Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com, and author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels. He can be contacted at  raykeating@keatingreports.com.

If you enjoyed this article, and since I am the author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and short stories, can I ask you to take at least one (preferably more) of the following steps?

1) A new Pastor Stephen Grant novel – DEEP ROUGH – is coming very soon. You can pre-order the Kindle edition, or the signed book.

2) Please join the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and short stories email list, and get the upcoming short story, THE TRAITOR, for free! Sign up here.

3) Buy one of the other Pastor Stephen Grant novels or short stories at Amazon.com or signed books at www.raykeatingonline.com

4) Become a member of the Pastor Stephen Grant Fellowship, and get all kinds of FREE stuff, including each new book in the Pastor Stephen Grant series. Check out the levels and benefits here.

July 4th Fireworks from the Magic Kingdom

by Ray Keating
News
DisneyBizJournal.com
July 2, 2019

Not going to be at Walt Disney World or Disneyland on July Fourth? Are you bummed out about it? Well, cheer up. 


The Disney Parks Blog will be livestreaming “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky” at 9:10 PM EST on July Fourth.

Fireworks and Mickey sounds fittingly patriotic.

Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com, and author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels. He can be contacted at  raykeating@keatingreports.com.

If you enjoyed this article, and since I am the author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and short stories, can I ask you to take at least one (preferably more) of the following steps?

1) A new Pastor Stephen Grant novel – DEEP ROUGH – is coming very soon. You can pre-order the Kindle edition, or the signed book.

2) Please join the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and short stories email list, and get the upcoming short story, THE TRAITOR, for free! Sign up here.

3) Buy one of the other Pastor Stephen Grant novels or short stories at Amazon.com or signed books at www.raykeatingonline.com

4) Become a member of the Pastor Stephen Grant Fellowship, and get all kinds of FREE stuff, including each new book in the Pastor Stephen Grant series. Check out the levels and benefits here.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Dear Bob: Stream Disney Theme Parks Live

by Ray Keating
DisneyBizJournal.com
June 28, 2019

Dear Bob,

With your company’s new streaming service, Disney+, coming soon, you need to seriously consider offering a few “channels” on this service that simply present live streaming views from each of the Disney theme parks. Trust me, Disney fans would love this.



I don’t know about you, but like many people, I always seem to have something “playing” on the television or on the computer in the background during my day – whether I’m working in the office, writing the next book on my laptop, or just getting some things done around the house. For me, often times, my get-things-done background (as I like to call it) will consist of either a baseball game, news and talking heads via CNBC, music, a podcast, beach views and sounds, or even a television show or movie that helps to spark a certain feeling. I listen as I’m doing something else, and along the way, I’ll occasionally and momentarily turn my full attention to this background stream. And then I get back to the task at hand.

Think about this for Disney fans. As they work, take care of the family, enjoy a hobby, or do some chores, how many would love to be able to flip on a livestream from a Disney theme park in the background during their day? They could enjoy the views and many sounds of the parks – such as music, crowd murmurings, and ride noises – while going about their business. 

Rather than having hosts chatting about anything, the park views and sounds do the talking, with perhaps a bar on the side or across the bottom of the screen serving up information about Disney, and offering all kinds of great deals on Disney merchandise, trips, et al.

Such livestreaming from the Disney parks (and resorts?) wouldn’t replace visiting the parks, obviously, but rather provide another reminder as to why one wants to visit the parks. As for costs, it’s hard to think of a bigger bang for the buck in terms of setting up a few, permanent camera spots around each park that would simply provide the streaming feeds – again, no need for a team of talking heads and accompanying production costs. We’re simply talking a few tech-savvy/creative folks to make sure the streams proceed as planned.

This would act as another enticement for people to subscribe to Disney+, and at a minimal additional cost for the company. As Disney’s CEO, you should love this idea, Bob.

Thanks for the consideration, and have a magical day!

Sincerely,
Ray Keating
DisneyBizJournal.com

Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com, and author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels. He can be contacted at  raykeating@keatingreports.com.

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