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Today, the Walt Disney Company held their annual shareholders meeting virtually. The live streamed event covered aspects across the company.

While the final voting result tabulation is still pending, The Walt Disney Company believes that Disney’s full slate of 12 directors has been elected by a substantial margin over the nominees of Trian and Blackwells at Disney’s 2024 Annual Meeting of Shareholders today. Final voting tallies are subject to certification by the Company’s independent inspector of elections, and preliminary and final results will be included in the Company’s reports to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the coming days.

“I want to thank our shareholders for their trust and confidence in our Board and management. With the distracting proxy contest now behind us, we’re eager to focus 100% of our attention on our most important priorities: growth and value creation for our shareholders and creative excellence for our consumers,” said Bob Iger, Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company.

Iger spoke to shareholders following the business portion of the meeting sharing a look at the future of the company by highlighting upcoming films such as Mufasa: The Lion King, Inside Out 2, and Moana 2.

ESPN is always a big topic and in his presentation as the company is moving to a standalone option. More specifically, Iger talked about the company’s plans to offer ESPN as a unique direct-to-consumer service, which will launch in fall of 2025.

“We will make the full suite of ESPN’s channels available as a stand-alone and highly interactive digital destination,” he said. “This will give consumers the ability to stream their favorite live games and studio programming, and take advantage of an immersive, customizable sports experience that includes betting, fantasy sports, e-commerce, and more.”

Turning to Disney’s Parks and Resorts, Iger added that Disney continues to deliver experiences like no other for guests around the world, while generating “enormous growth for the company.” When discussing the theme parks, which often includes the mention of Disney Cruise Line, Iger included a sneak preview of a potential Pandora expansion at Disneyland in California.

Iger ended his presentation to shareholders without a specific mention of the expanding fleet (Treasure, Adventure, and Destiny) or the new destination Disney Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point. You can read more on his remarks here.

In the Q&A, a question was asked about the previously announced Disney Experiences segment’s $60 billion investment over the next 10-years which seemed like a perfect opportunity to mention the cruise line’s expansion.

SHAREHOLDER QUESTION

In September 2023, Mr Iger and Mr D’Amaro announced a $60 billion investment in the Disney Experiences division. This led to much excitement and speculation among Disney fans about what would change or what additions might come to the parks. So far, there has been no announcement of what the investments are. All we have been given is a lot of blue sky ideas at D23 and other events. Will there be any announcement soon of what we will see in the investments?

ROBERT IGER’S RESPONSE

You know, we have a lot of projects in development. Many of them are known to us, but we disclose these at a cadence and when we really feel we’re ready and we have something more tangible to show people.

Additionally, a shareholder asked a question regarding Disney plans to complete with Universal’s Epic Universe which is scheduled to open in Orlando in 2025.

SHAREHOLDER QUESTIONWith Epic Universe opening up in Orlando in 2025, why hasn’t Disney prepared anything or placed more than just a handful of attractions in the pipeline to be ready for this in 2025 at Walt Disney World?

ROBERT IGER’S RESPONSEWell, thank you very much for your question, but that just couldn’t be further from the truth.

We’ve been aware of Universal’s plans for a new park for more than a decade, and we have a sophisticated approach to analyzing needs of all of our businesses and strategically deploying capital.

But I just want to remind you of a few things at Walt Disney World during this same period, we opened Pandora, the world of Avatar and

Animal Kingdom, Toy Story lands, Star Wars, Galaxy’s Edge, and Mickey, and Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Hollywood studios, we also completed a multi year, multibillion dollar transformation of Epcot, which included, adding Remy’s ratatouille adventure, Moana’s journey of water, and a great attraction, Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind, and we opened TRON Lightcylce run at Magic kingdom.

So by staggering these major launches, we’ve been able to commercially and operationally optimize our new offerings over time, rather than our new offerings over time, rather than having to do it all at once.

And based on the guest experience that. That we’ve heard all about from all of these items that I just mentioned, we know that they are extremely popular and they’re serving our guests extremely well.

And by the way, the agreement we reached with the Central Florida tourism oversight district last week will actually enable us to pursue the kinds of significant actually enable us to pursue the kinds of significant investment in our Florida parks that you’re talking about.

We achieved a win win result with that deal in terms of our ability to pursue future development opportunities, but also in terms of the thousands of direct and indirect jobs and economic opportunity in the state that will come with our investment in new projects.

So, as we’ve discussed regarding our $60 billion capital expenditure plans, there’s much more coming to our parks around the world, including in Florida.

Overall, the presentation was not all that newsworthy, and the often entertaining Q&A portion was strange. The questions were pre-screened, read by the same voice then answered by Iger. The charm and emotion from shareholders asking questions was noticeable absent. I guess we now wait until D23 Expo this summer for major announcements.

There was one Disney Cruise Line statement issued. Over on the Disney Parks Blog, Josh D’Amaro, Chairman, Disney Experiences, shared a message about the continual turbocharging of Disney Experiences which included the following statement.

Our expansion is as active on sea as it is on land. Disney Cruise Line will continue adding to its reputation as the top choice for families as we open a new island destination this summer in the Bahamas, Disney Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point. Then in December we’ll set sail on the next ship to join our fleet, the Disney Treasure.

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