Welcome to DisneyBizJournal.com - News, Analysis and Reviews of the Disney Entertainment Business!

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

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Magic Key Program to Replace Annual Passes at Disneyland

 by Beth Keating

News

DisneyBizJournal.com

August 4, 2021

 

Disney is introducing a new annual pass replacement program called the “Magic Key Program,” and beginning August 25, Disneyland fans can start taking advantage of the new program at the California parks.



In making Tuesday’s announcement on the Disney Parks Blog, Michael Ramirez, Public Relations Director at Disneyland Resort, said, “We are pleased to introduce the Magic Key program, a new, guest-centric offering that will deliver choice, flexibility and value for park admission, special access to unique experiences, valuable saving opportunities and so much more. There will be four options of Magic Key passes, to provide our guests and their families with choices that fit various needs and lifestyle preferences for how they wish to visit the Disneyland Resort.”

 

The Magic Key pass allows guests to:

  • Make theme park reservations for ongoing visits
  • Hold more than one theme park reservation at a time for different dates
  • Save up to 15% on select dining
  • Save up to 20% on select merchandise
  • Enjoy special offerings just for Magic Key holders

 

There are four different levels of Magic Key passes available, with differing block out dates (see Disneyland’s website for specific dates.) Magic Key holders will also be treated to unique benefits, such as dedicated dining experiences, custom menu items at the Magic Key terrace, and special offerings at festivals.  Guests who join the program in the first 66 days (representing Disneyland’s 66th anniversary) and become charter members will also receive a limited time welcome package.

 

The four Magic Key levels include:

 

Dream Key ($1,399)

  • Reservation-based admission to one or both theme parks every day of the year.
  • Hold up to 6 theme park reservations at a time for different dates
  • Up to 20% off select merchandise
  • Up to 15% off select dining
  • Standard theme park parking included (excluding block out days)

 

Believe Key ($949)

  • Reservation-based admission to one or both theme parks most days of the year.
  • Hold up to 6 theme park reservations at a time
  • 10% off select merchandise
  • 10% off select dining
  • 50% off standard theme park parking (excluding block out days, and available for purchase at Mickey & Friends Parking Structure, Pixar Pals Parking Structure and the Toy Story Parking Area)

 

Enchant Key ($649)

  • Reservation-based admission to one or both theme parks select days of the year.
  • Hold up to 4 theme park reservations at a time
  • 10% off select merchandise
  • 10% off select dining

 

Imagine Key ($399; Only available for Southern California Residents living in zip codes 90000 to 93599)

  • Reservation-based admission to one or both theme parks select days of the year.
  • Hold up to 2 theme park reservations at a time
  • 10% off select merchandise
  • 10% off select dining

 

Monthly payment plans will be available for California guests (with a down payment). Head to the Disneyland website for all the specifics on the new program, including a calendar of the block out dates.

 

And in case you are a Disney World guest on the East Coast eagerly awaiting your turn to plunk down the big bucks for your chance at membership, today’s Disney Parks Blog offers, “For those wondering about Walt Disney World Annual Passes, new pass sales will become available in time for the start of the 50th anniversary celebration! Walt Disney World Resort will be sharing additional information and details later this month, so be sure to stay tuned to DisneyWorld.com and the Disney Parks Blog.”

 

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Beth Keating is a regular contributor to DisneyBizJournal.

 

Please support the efforts of DisneyBizJournal.com to bring news, analysis and commentary on Disney to readers such as yourself. Make a contribution right here via PayPal. Thanks!

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Disneyland about Love and Passion

Daily Dose of Disney with Ray Keating – Episode #105: Disneyland as a Work of Love – Walt Disney understood how love and passion play into creating an enterprise.


The “Daily Dose of Disney with Ray Keating” podcast serves up a Disney or Disney-related quote each day, with DisneyBizJournal’s Ray Keating offering brief, additional thoughts on how each dose ties in to life, career, business, entrepreneurship, creativity, storytelling, work, or just plain fun.

From "The African Queen” to the “Jungle Cruise”

 by Chris Lucas

Guest Column

DisneyBizJournal.com

August 3, 2021

 

In 1951, John Huston directed an action adventure film starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn about a mismatched duo who clash as they take a creaky old boat up an exotic river while fending off German foes.

 

The African Queen was a smash hit, won the Oscar for Bogart as Best Actor, and was one of Walt Disney’s favorite movies.



When Walt was designing Disneyland in 1954, a river cruise for Adventureland was one of the top items on his list. 

 

The look of the boats and even (slightly) the skippers' uniforms borrowed heavily from this movie and its World War I era setting.

 

Over the years, the attraction took on a more comic tone, with sight gags on the land and in the water and a string of puns from the skippers, but the African Queen motif still persisted even as another layer of storytelling, inspired by Indiana Jones, was added in the 1980s.



The 2021 Jungle Cruise movie is an homage to its seventy year old predecessor, and the attraction has almost come full circle with the newest updates, which is fitting.

 

Have you ever seen The African Queen movie?

 

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Chris Lucas is the author of Top Disney: 100 Top Ten Lists of the Best of Disney, from the Man to the Mouse and Beyond.

 

On the PRESS CLUB C Podcast, enjoy Ray’s discussion with Chris Lucas about his career as an actor, author and Disney expert. Tune in right here!

Monday, August 2, 2021

Walt Disney on Having Fun

Daily Dose of Disney with Ray Keating – Episode #104: Walt Disney on Having Fun – Walt Disney had fun watching others have fun. That’s worth imitating.


The “Daily Dose of Disney with Ray Keating” podcast serves up a Disney or Disney-related quote each day, with DisneyBizJournal’s Ray Keating offering brief, additional thoughts on how each dose ties in to life, career, business, entrepreneurship, creativity, storytelling, work, or just plain fun.

Marvel's Stan Lee Wrote for Himself

In case you missed it... Daily Dose of Disney with Ray Keating – Episode #102: Stan Lee on Writing for Yourself – Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee wrote for himself. A good idea unless it goes too far.


The “Daily Dose of Disney with Ray Keating” podcast serves up a Disney or Disney-related quote each day, with DisneyBizJournal’s Ray Keating offering brief, additional thoughts on how each dose ties in to life, career, business, entrepreneurship, creativity, storytelling, work, or just plain fun.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Star Wars George Lucas on Talent

Daily Dose of Disney with Ray Keating – Episode #103: Star Wars George Lucas Talks Finding Your Talent – Like George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, the key is to find your talent. 


The “Daily Dose of Disney with Ray Keating” podcast serves up a Disney or Disney-related quote each day, with DisneyBizJournal’s Ray Keating offering brief, additional thoughts on how each dose ties in to life, career, business, entrepreneurship, creativity, storytelling, work, or just plain fun.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Mask Use Returning to Disney Parks in the U.S.

 by Beth Keating

News

DisneyBizJournal.com

July 29, 2021

 

Like the rest of the world at large, Disney has been experiencing the forward-and-back dance that has become life in a COVID-19 world. 



Starting tomorrow (Friday, July 30, 2021), Disney World in Florida will be bringing back the use of masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status, as COVID numbers surge nationwide with the proliferation of the Delta variant. Masks will be required while “entering and throughout all attractions.”  Face coverings are still optional outside, and guests younger than 2 will not be required to wear a mask.

 

Prior to Friday, vaccinated guests on Disney World property were only required to wear masks while on resort transportation such as buses, the Skyliner, and monorails. Unvaccinated guests were required to wear masks upon entering and throughout all attractions, on transportation, and at all indoor locations, including restaurants, except when actively eating or drinking. 

 

The CDC’s latest recommendations on mask-wearing urges fully vaccinated people to wear masks while indoors in areas of high COVID-19 transmission.  (Orange County, Florida, where much of Disney World is located, is considered an area of high transmission, and has re-entered a state of emergency.) 

 

On the West Coast, in California, Disney says, “Beginning July 30, face coverings are required for all Guests (ages 2 and up) in all indoor locations, regardless of vaccination status. This includes upon entering and throughout many attractions and in enclosed transportation vehicles, including shuttles and buses. Face coverings remain optional for Guests in outdoor common areas.”

 

The U.S. parks are not the only locations experiencing COVID-19 changes in recent days. Disneyland Paris is now requiring proof of a COVID vaccine in the form of a Health Pass, or a negative COVID test before guests can enter the park.  The U.S. parks do not require vaccine proof. Additionally, all guests ages six and older are required to wear masks at the Paris park, except when actively eating or drinking. 

Stay tuned to Disney World’s “Know Before You Go” page as conditions continue to develop, and for specifics on the types of masks acceptable in the parks.

 

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Beth Keating is a regular contributor to DisneyBizJournal.

 

Please support the efforts of DisneyBizJournal.com to bring news, analysis and commentary on Disney to readers such as yourself. Make a contribution right here via PayPal. Thanks!

Eisner on Creativity Coming First

Daily Dose of Disney with Ray Keating – Episode #101: Eisner on Creativity Trumping Finances – Former Disney CEO Michael Eisner got it on creativity and finances.


The “Daily Dose of Disney with Ray Keating” podcast serves up a Disney or Disney-related quote each day, with DisneyBizJournal’s Ray Keating offering brief, additional thoughts on how each dose ties in to life, career, business, entrepreneurship, creativity, storytelling, work, or just plain fun.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Get Comfortable with Failure, But Not Too Comfortable

Daily Dose of Disney with Ray Keating – Episode #100: Get Comfortable with Failure, But Not Too Comfortable – Disney’s Bob Iger talks failure.


The “Daily Dose of Disney with Ray Keating” podcast serves up a Disney or Disney-related quote each day, with DisneyBizJournal’s Ray Keating offering brief, additional thoughts on how each dose ties in to life, career, business, entrepreneurship, creativity, storytelling, work, or just plain fun.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Marvel's Stan Lee on Creativity Being Fun

Daily Dose of Disney with Ray Keating – Episode #99: Stan Lee on Doing What Hasn’t Been Done – Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee on creativity being fun. 


The “Daily Dose of Disney with Ray Keating” podcast serves up a Disney or Disney-related quote each day, with DisneyBizJournal’s Ray Keating offering brief, additional thoughts on how each dose ties in to life, career, business, entrepreneurship, creativity, storytelling, work, or just plain fun.

Catch Up on Daily Disney with Ryan Gosling and Jack Kirby

Daily Dose of Disney with Ray Keating – Episode #97: Ryan Gosling on Walking Around in Disney’s Ideas – Actor Ryan Gosling has a fascinating way to be inspired by Walt Disney. Listen here!

Daily Dose of Disney with Ray Keating – Episode #98: Jack Kirby’s Refreshing Politics – Jack Kirby was a great comic books artist and writer, and his politics were pretty straightforward. Listen here!

 


The “Daily Dose of Disney with Ray Keating” podcast serves up a Disney or Disney-related quote each day, with DisneyBizJournal’s Ray Keating offering brief, additional thoughts on how each dose ties in to life, career, business, entrepreneurship, creativity, storytelling, work, or just plain fun.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Walt Disney Didn't Play It Safe

Daily Dose of Disney with Ray Keating – Episode #96: Walt Disney Didn’t Play It Safe – “Top Disney” author Chris Lucas notes that Walt never played it safe.


The “Daily Dose of Disney with Ray Keating” podcast serves up a Disney or Disney-related quote each day, with DisneyBizJournal’s Ray Keating offering brief, additional thoughts on how each dose ties in to life, career, business, entrepreneurship, creativity, storytelling, work, or just plain fun.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Disney Institute on Competition

Daily Dose of Disney with Ray Keating – Episode #95: Competition Remains Hot – The Disney Institute gets it right on competition.


The “Daily Dose of Disney with Ray Keating” podcast serves up a Disney or Disney-related quote each day, with DisneyBizJournal’s Ray Keating offering brief, additional thoughts on how each dose ties in to life, career, business, entrepreneurship, creativity, storytelling, work, or just plain fun.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Walt Disney Did Not Repeat Himself

Daily Dose of Disney with Ray Keating – Episode #94: Walt Disney Didn’t Repeat Himself – Movie critic Leonard Maltin reminds us that Walt Disney would not be making the same movies today as he did in 1941.


The “Daily Dose of Disney with Ray Keating” podcast serves up a Disney or Disney-related quote each day, with DisneyBizJournal’s Ray Keating offering brief, additional thoughts on how each dose ties in to life, career, business, entrepreneurship, creativity, storytelling, work, or just plain fun.

Disney’s “Black Widow” Decision Takes Hits from NATO and Other Critics

 by Ray Keating

News/Analysis

DisneyBizJournal.com

July 21, 2021

 

NATO is very upset with Disney. No, not that NATO. The National Association of Theater Owners.

 

NATO issued a press release earlier this week that praised Black Widow as “a well-made, well-received, highly anticipated movie.” But it also pointed out that the movie experienced “a surprising 41% second day drop, a weaker than expected opening weekend, and a stunning second weekend collapse in theatrical revenues.”



Indeed, the second weekend theatrical box office numbers for Black Widow dropped by 67 percent, which was the largest decline of any MCU movie. Disney also has been silent on Disney+ Premier revenues for the film after the opening weekend. For good measure, Black Widow ranked as the most pirated movie during its opening week.

 

NATO makes a case that Disney and the industry is leaving money on the table with the dual in theaters and at home release. NATO might be right … for now. But the movie business is in the midst of great change and experimentation.

 

Other than simply raising questions, the key NATO points were:

 

• “Based on comparable Marvel titles, and other successful pandemic-era titles like F9 and A Quiet Place 2 opening day to weekend ratios, Black Widow should have opened to anywhere from $92-$100 million. Based on preview revenue, compared to the same titles, Black Widow could have opened to anywhere from $97 to $130 million.” (See the actual opening numbers for Black Widow here.)

 

• “Premiere Access revenue is not new-found money, but was pulled forward from a more traditional PVOD window, which is no longer an option.”

 

NATO concludes that “simultaneous release is a pandemic-era artifact that should be left to history with the pandemic itself.” 

 

Of course, no one should be surprised that theater owners aren’t keen on home offerings like Disney+ or Disney+ Premier Access. And one can easily make the case that with more videos offered via streaming, including extra dollars from PVOD (premium video on demand), the movie business will face revenue losses and a rejiggering of business models. That process is well under way.

 

In a Deadline piece, the author, Anthony D’Alessandro, argued what “Disney’s CEO Bob Chapek, the studio’s Media and Entertainment Distribution Chairman Kareem Daniel, and Wall Street need to wake up to is that this Disney+ Premier theatrical model is a greater fugazi than Dogecoin itself, a means of decimating a great business model whereby consumers previously bought the same piece of IP twice: in theaters and later in an ancillary window. Those who purchased Black Widow on Disney+ won’t buy it again.” And he goes on berating Disney and others in the industry, noting, “The Napster millennials have grown up, Disney, and they’re used to getting their media for free. Is this really a road you want to continue on with future theatrical films?”

 

This is kind of funny. Mr. Alessandro, and many others in and around the industry seem to think that Hollywood CEOs are calling the shots. For their respective studios, they surely are. But entrepreneurs pushing technology forward, and consumers making decisions about options in the marketplace, are calling the ultimate shots. Companies like Disney are at least smart enough to see that vast changes are upon us, and business models must be adjusted, accordingly. The music industry failed to see what was happening, and it took Steve Jobs to save them. Newspapers never got it – with a tiny number of exceptions – and were decimated as a result. 

 

Fighting consumers and resisting technology are surefire paths to business oblivion. Streaming is here, and it is the future of the movie and television industries … for now, that is, until something else comes along to disrupt things. And that’s free enterprise, and it always has been. But now, in this high-tech, digital age, change simply comes a heck of a lot faster.

 

Yes, it’s a time of great experimentation in terms of how movies are presented to consumers. But make no mistake, it will be consumers who decide which model works and which doesn’t. If you’re in the movie business and that makes you uncomfortable, it’s time to pick another career.

 

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Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com, and author of the  Pastor Stephen Grant novels and assorted nonfiction books. Have Ray Keating speak your group, business, school, church, or organization. Email him at raykeating@keatingreports.com.

 

The views expressed here are his own – after all, no one else should be held responsible for this stuff, right?

 

Keating has three new books out. Vatican Shadows: A Pastor Stephen Grant Novel is the 13ththriller/mystery in the Pastor Stephen Grant series. Get the paperback or Kindle edition at Amazon, or signed books at www.raykeatingonline.comPast Lives: A Pastor Stephen Grant Short Story is the 14th book in the series. Again, get the paperback or Kindle edition at Amazon, or signed book at www.raykeatingonline.com. And order the 15th book in the series What’s Lost? A Pastor Stephen Grant Short Story – grab it at Amazon.com or signed editions at www.raykeatingonline.com

 

Also, check out Ray’s podcasts – the Daily Dose of DisneyFree Enterprise in Three Minutes, and the PRESS CLUB C Podcast.

 

You also can order his book Behind Enemy Lines: Conservative Communiques from Left-Wing New York  from Amazon or signed books  at RayKeatingOnline.com. His other recent nonfiction book is Free Trade Rocks! 10 Points on International Trade Everyone Should Know

 

Please support the efforts of DisneyBizJournal.com to bring news, analysis and commentary on Disney to readers such as yourself. Make a contribution right here via PayPal. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Who Left Darcy in Charge?

Daily Dose of Disney with Ray Keating – Episode #93: Who Left Darcy in Charge? – Darcy in ”Thor: The Dark World” is lost when in charge. What about you and your people?


The “Daily Dose of Disney with Ray Keating” podcast serves up a Disney or Disney-related quote each day, with DisneyBizJournal’s Ray Keating offering brief, additional thoughts on how each dose ties in to life, career, business, entrepreneurship, creativity, storytelling, work, or just plain fun.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Eisner and the Edge of Risk

Daily Dose of Disney with Ray Keating – Episode #92: Eisner and the Edge of Risk – Michael Eisner talks about creativity and the edge of risk. But it’s even beyond that.


The “Daily Dose of Disney with Ray Keating” podcast serves up a Disney or Disney-related quote each day, with DisneyBizJournal’s Ray Keating offering brief, additional thoughts on how each dose ties in to life, career, business, entrepreneurship, creativity, storytelling, work, or just plain fun.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Chris Evans is Captain America?

Daily Dose of Disney with Ray Keating – Episode #91: Chris Evans is Captain America? – What happens when the absolute right actor plays the absolute right role? What happens when a company does such a good job that they become the product?


The “Daily Dose of Disney with Ray Keating” podcast serves up a Disney or Disney-related quote each day, with DisneyBizJournal’s Ray Keating offering brief, additional thoughts on how each dose ties in to life, career, business, entrepreneurship, creativity, storytelling, work, or just plain fun.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Perspective from Star Wars Dave Filoni

Daily Dose of Disney with Ray Keating – Episode #90: Perspective from Star Wars Dave Filoni – Dave Filoni knows Star Wars, and he understands the mix that creates opportunities.


The “Daily Dose of Disney with Ray Keating” podcast serves up a Disney or Disney-related quote each day, with DisneyBizJournal’s Ray Keating offering brief, additional thoughts on how each dose ties in to life, career, business, entrepreneurship, creativity, storytelling, work, or just plain fun.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Walt Disney on Family and Business

Daily Dose of Disney with Ray Keating – Episode #89: Walt Disney on Family and Business – Walt Disney had his priorities straight.


The “Daily Dose of Disney with Ray Keating” podcast serves up a Disney or Disney-related quote each day, with DisneyBizJournal’s Ray Keating offering brief, additional thoughts on how each dose ties in to life, career, business, entrepreneurship, creativity, storytelling, work, or just plain fun.