Disney, a company famously associated with creating some of the most recognised works of fiction in its entire history. Founded by the world renowned Walt Disney, the company first started with characters like Mickey Mouse and Goofy and so on. In the beginning, these were just cartoons created by Walt Disney himself. With time, they became parts of animated shows and feature length films. From being a small company that published stories, Disney grew into a billion dollar empire that has reserved rights over so many characters and stories, its mind blowing. Just last year they earned a revenue of over $67 billion, this is no small number.
Disney now specialises in movies, tv shows, comics, video games, and so much more. They even have their own streaming services that were launched recently. As a streaming service, Disney+ goes head to head against streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon. In fact some would say these services are losing viewers because of Disney and other such streaming services. Disney also owns the rights to the world’s top two highest grossing films of all time. Marvel’s Avengers Endgame and James Cameron’s visual masterpiece Avatar. Both of these franchises are still ongoing in some fashion and are actively making Disney more and more money. But these are some of the common facts about Disney. Let’s dive into some surprising facts that we did not know about.
#1 Largest Private Employer
Disney is the largest private employer in the United States. Currently, it has more than 200,000 employees. This subsidiary of Disney even has employees from all over the world. In 2014, Disneyland and Disney World both employed about 60,000 people each. That makes for a total of 100,000 people working at Disney parks worldwide (not counting cleaning staff). It also gets thousands of guests every day. One of Disney’s most profitable theme parks is the Disney World in Florida. It served 1.49 million guests in 2017, making it the third most-visited water parks in the world.
#2 Walt Disney and World War II
During World War II, Walt Disney served as an Officer of Naval Intelligence for Army Intelligence and was assigned to England. His duties were to communicate military intelligence information to Rear Admiral H. Kent Hewitt, Chief of Naval Intelligence. He also assisted Admiral Ernest King, Chief of Naval Operations in wartime planning by providing “personal coverage” so that he could be reached at any time in case King needed to discuss an issue that was related to naval intelligence.
The Disney film Frozen, based on Hans Christian Andersen’s 1845 story of the Snow Queen and the Ice Giant, was the most-watched animated film of 2014 with over 25 million viewers. In addition to its commercial success, Frozen was also acclaimed by critics, receiving a near-unanimous “A” grade from film critics aggregating website Rotten Tomatoes. And now, it’s a hit musical on Broadway, in London’s West End, and touring throughout the United States.
#4 Theme Parks
Disney has over 37 theme parks around the world, including Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida – two of the most visited destinations in the world. The company’s first theme park opened in 1955 at Disneyland, which was intended as a temporary project until a new resort could be built for them. All employees dressed up as different characters are required to remain in character as long as they’re on active work hours and surrounded by guests. Disney is infamous for having some really strict rules for its employees.
#5 Imagineering Staff
At one point, the entire staff of Imagineering would gather several times a year to draw a wallchart of the park they had planned for the next year, leaving no doubt in anyone’s mind that the company was actually serious about their plans and not just one more pipe dream at Disney. It culminated in a drawing contest, where around 30 people each spent half an hour drawing either a Walt Disney theme park or its logo. The winner’s entry won a trip to Disneyland and $1000. You may need a place to stay when you won a trip, do check out some of the best Airbnb’s near Disney World.
Disney really goes all out when it comes to trying to be the best in the business. They’re one of America’s and the world’s most profitable companies and their most profitable assets are its media divisions. This includes companies like Marvel Entertainment, Lucasfilms, Pixar, and so many more. Disney has been very forward about acquiring brands that are successful in the entertainment business. A lot of these acquisitions have brought them the love and money they have today.
As sources of entertainment change and increase, Disney also seems to be sparking up, ready to spread its wings further and put out as many entertaining things as possible. Be it video games or comics, Disney’s got it all. If you’re an investor this is a company you’ve got to invest in and if you’re an average fiction lover, Disney’s got it all for you. With billions of dollars and ambition like no other, Disney is likely to remain one of the top companies ever to grace the world with its presence and entertainment.