So, what exactly is The Walt Disney Company?
I’ve heard it too many times: “Let’s go to Disney!” or “Let’s do something Disney!”. Firstly, Disney is a person (so you can’t go to it) and secondly, what you mean is Disneyland and the company that it sits under is a lot more than you think!
DisneyExaminer is a site about The Walt Disney Company. And if you know The Walt Disney Company (TWDC as it’s internally known), then you would know that it’s more than just Disneyland or Star Wars. Back in 1923, a man named Walt Disney started this Company that has grown into the largest and most respected entertainment companies on earth.
It started with unheard of ideas like Disneyland and animated films. While those are still staples of TWDC today, the Company has a lot more other businesses that make magic happen for everyone.
So, we wanted to take the time to share all those businesses with you so that you know how vast the Company is and so you don’t say things that don’t make sense anymore.
TWDC is broken down into five (5) business segments: Media Networks, Parks and Resorts, Studio Entertainment, Disney Consumer Products, and Disney Interactive.
Media Networks comprise a vast array of broadcast, cable, radio, publishing and digital businesses across two divisions – the Disney/ABC Television Group and ESPN Inc.
It seems small, but within Disney/ABC Television Group and ESPN Inc. are individual television stations (KABC-7 Los Angeles), cable channels (ABC Family + Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD), ABC Network, ABC Studios (to produce ABC shows like “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”), and everything that’s needed to operate the largest sports news provider (ESPN anything).
Parks and Resorts
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is one of the world’s leading providers of family travel and leisure experiences, giving millions of guests each year the chance to spend time with their families and friends, making memories that last a lifetime.
Yes, Disneyland is included in this segment, but so is Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disney Resort, and the upcoming opening of Shanghai Disney Resort. 6 resorts total with multiple parks inside each, but that’s not all within this segment! It also includes Disney Cruise Line and its 4 award-winning ships, Disney Vacation Club, Aulani (Disney’s standalone resort in Hawaii), Adventures by Disney (worldwide itinerary-based vacations), and their own R&D arm Walt Disney Imagineering.
For nearly 90 years, The Walt Disney Studios has been the foundation on which The Walt Disney Company was built. Today, the Studio brings quality movies, music and stage plays to consumers throughout the world.
This is the oldest segment of the Company, starting with Walt Disney’s animated films with more memorable ones coming today (like Frozen). As all of you know, Disney’s studio churns out much more than animated films now. Thanks to current CEO Bob Iger, the studios also carries brands like Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm (plus all their iconic franchises including Star Wars, Toy Story, and The Avengers).
Did you know that Disney also owns Touchstone Pictures to distribute films worldwide? They’ve had a hand in helping share some well-known titles like Good Morning Vietnam and Dead Poets Society.
In addition to the brands, Disney puts out their own branded films like Pirates of the Caribbean and the upcoming Tomorrowland film. Disneynature is the Company’s nature film-focused putting out films that teach about nature like the recent Monkey Kingdom.
Disney Music Group is also included and is Disney’s music arm that contains brands like Hollywood Records and Walt Disney Records. They put out soundtracks and music from artists that started their career with Disney like Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato.
Last but not least, Disney Theatrical Productions also is folded under this segment and is responsible for Disney’s musicals and stage plays, “Newsies” and “The Lion King” to name a few of the award-winning productions they’ve created.
Disney Consumer Products
Disney Consumer Products is the business segment of The Walt Disney Company and its affiliates that delivers innovative and engaging product experiences across thousands of categories from toys and apparel to books and fine art.
With so many films and TV shows, you bet that TWDC wants to get merchandise out that relates to those things! That’s what this segment does. Disney does not manufacture its own merchandise, but licenses its brands out to product manufactures who help produce their vision. Disney Store is theirs though, giving the Company its own outlet to sell its own product in addition to selling to wholesalers and other retailers.
Disney Consumer Products also includes Disney Publishing Worldwide, which does the same thing that Disney Licensing does, but for books and other readable products (eBooks, magazines, etc.).
Founded in 2008, Disney Interactive creates high-quality interactive entertainment across digital media platforms, including blockbuster mobile, social and console games, online virtual worlds, and #1-ranked web destinations Disney.com and the Moms and Family network of websites.
We live in a digital age where online is the future of business and you can bet that Disney has a footing in this space as well. Disney Interactive creates its own games like Disney Infinity, Club Penguin (Disney’s online world for kids), and more. More games are created by outside companies (like EA’s Battlefront games) as well by licensing its brands out like Disney Consumer Products.
Disney also has tackled using online to engage their customers with their own Disney Blogs (like BuzzFeed for everything Disney) and leading online parenting blogging platform Babble.com.