We all know of The Walt Disney Company, one of the world’s biggest entertainment companies. Whether through its movies, television shows, or theme parks, Disney plays a huge role in millions of children’s lives all around the world. Growing up a Disney fanatic, I thought I was updated on all the magical secrets of Disney. It wasn’t until recently, when I began applying for the Disney College Program, that I realized how much I had been missing out on. Whether you are a fanatic or not, these facts about The Walt Disney Company are sure to blow your mind!
1. The Walt Disney Company is the largest single-site employer in the United States.
The Walt Disney World Resort, in Orlando, Florida, employs over 62,000 people. That’s practically the entire town of Missoula!
2. Disney’s Annual Revenue has only decreased twice since 1991.
As shown above, the only time that Disney’s revenue decreased was in 2002 and 2009. Disney’s stock market price has gained over 48,000% in the past 50 years, even gaining over 180% in just the last 5.
3. Disney is an owner of some massive entertainment companies you wouldn’t necessarily expect.
It makes sense that Disney has ownership in entertainment companies such as Pixar Studios and Marvel Studios, but did you know Disney also has ownership in companies such as ABC Family, Hulu, and even ESPN?
4. Walt Disney holds the record for the most Academy Award wins AND nominations in history.
Walt was personally nominated 59 times and won 32 times in his career. He even once took home 4 Oscars in one night back in 1954!
5. Speaking of Oscars… On the year Walt Disney won the Academy Award for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs he received a special Oscar.
Just like the picture shows, Walt Disney was presented with one regular sized Oscar and 7 miniature Oscars the night he won the Academy Award for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs back in 1939. Awwww!
6. Only 2 out of Disney’s top 5 grossing films are animated.
Usually when people think Disney films, the first ones that come to mind are animation films. However, the top 5 grossing films for Disney are: Marvel’s The Avengers, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Toy Story 3, Iron Man 3, and Frozen.
7. Disney’s animators are notorious for hiding characters of its own movies in other films.
The picture above includes one of my favorite examples. If you look closely you can see that Boo from Monsters Inc. is giving Sully a Nemo toy. This is clever on Disney’s part, for the movie Monsters Inc. (2001) was actually released 2 years prior to Finding Nemo (2003).
8. Although Monsters Inc. was released 2 years earlier than Nemo, the ideas for both films actually came from the same lunchtime brainstorming session back in 1994. Other ideas that were plotted at this session included the films Wall-E and A Bug’s Life.
The original Toy Story had not even been released yet by 1994. It’s insane to think that all these films were crafted just a year after I was born.
9. Walt Disney was once the only animator in the world allowed to make films in color.
How is that possible you might ask? Walt Disney held the patent for Technicolor for two years in the 1930’s, which gave him the exclusive rights to making films in color.
10. Steve Jobs was Disney’s largest single shareholder at 7% and was on the Board of Directors.
If you look closely in the Pixar movie Cars, you will see the above car on the racetrack, symbolizing Steve Jobs. The 84 painted on the side represents the year the first Apple computer was released. Disney World also honored Jobs by flying its flags half-mast on the day of his death in 2011.
11. Disney World, which is about the size of San Francisco, was evacuated in just under 30 minutes on September 11th, 2001, as staff were concerned it could become another target for the attacks.
Safety is Disney’s number one priority and is taken very seriously. Disney staff members also worked through the night on September 11th to put up Fourth of July decorations in order to reopen the following day with a feel of national solidarity.
12. After September 11th, Disney also successfully established a no fly zone at both of its theme parks.
Disney isn’t kidding about its safety precautions! These are the only “planes” you are going to be seeing around their theme parks today. Disney has successfully established a no fly zone, extending out in a three mile radius from Cinderella’s Castle.
13. There is an exclusive club at Disneyland which is said to have a wait list of 14 years.
Club 33 is a private club located in New Orleans Square and includes a beautiful five-star restaurant. At one point, Club 33 was also the only place in Disney which served alcohol. It is rumored to have an initiation fee of $25,000 with annual fees of about $10,000! I highly suggest if you ever visit Disneyland to take a trip to New Orleans Square and get a picture with the famous door.
14. Wayne Anthony Allwine, who voiced Mikey Mouse for 32 years, ended up marrying Russi Taylor in 1991, the woman who voiced Minnie.
Talk about happily ever after! The adorable couple above stayed happily married from 1991 until Allwine’s passing in 2009.
15. Disney really is “The Happiest Place on Earth.”
This one may seem a bit obvious, but Disney Enterprises is the official owner of the trademark “The Happiest Place on Earth.” There is really no other company or place in the world like it.
This blog was written by Kayleen Woodin, a marketing student at the University of Montana. Kayleen has been a “Disney fanatic” her entire life, but was just recently accepted into the Disney College Program, where she will spend her next semester in Orlando, Florida at Walt Disney World .
Click to access WDFM_Oscars2013.pdf
6 Replies to “So You Think You Know Disney? Here’s 15 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know”
Interesting facts about a company with a pretty good reputation.
Learned a lot from this-facts were great. 🙂
It just demonstrates that business and pleasure can go hand in hand.
Thanks for sharing this — I am so impressed by the detail in Disney’s strategy. This is fantastic.
Excited to have you down at WDW! You’re gonna love working for the company!
Very cool! We want to come visit you when you are working:)
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