Top 15 Disney Searches for 2020
The start of a New Year comes with a certain level of reflection on the one that just ended, even when it’s a tire fire like 2020.
Google Trends recently published its list of most popular searches for the nightmarish year. Some of the results surprised me.
Others reinforced what we learned as Disney fans over the past year.
Here are the top 15 Disney searches for 2020.
Okay, let’s start with a weird one. Many stories take on a life on their own because they’re so unusual.
For example, during the pandemic, some daredevils tried to enter facilities where they could never sneak past security in regular times.
One of them decided to go camping on Discovery Island, hoping to score some viral videos on YouTube along the way.
That crime didn’t require much detective work to uncover. But people definitely searched to learn additional details.
Disney Family Singalong
During the first month of the pandemic, Disney faced a crisis.
Coronavirus caused the cancellation of sporting events and prevented the filming of television series.
At the time, Disney desperately needed programming, while home viewers wanted a distraction from all the negative pandemic-related headlines.
Some enterprising individuals at Disney invented a solution.
This stunt episode worked perfectly, attracting more than 10 million viewers. You can watch it now on Disney+, too!
Most Disney trends involved the pandemic in some way. It wasn’t just Disney, either.
Breadmaking was one of the top searches of 2020. I am NOT joking.
We were all bored and willing to try new things. Disney fans aimed a bit higher than bread, though.
Disney sites thoughtfully posted recipes for several park favorites like Dole Whips and Churros.
People tried their hand at baking the items at home before realizing that eating ‘Ohana’s Bread Pudding is much more fun than making it.
You know the deal here. Disneyland should have reopened a few days after Walt Disney World.
Unfortunately, another outbreak in California prevented this from happening.
Six months later, we’re still awaiting good news about Disneyland’s reopening. People keep searching for potentially positive updates, though.
Face Masks at Disney
Somehow, this subject became a hot-button political issue during the pandemic.
Comedians wryly posted videos explaining the basics of face masks and the underlying science behind them.
Healthcare workers posted funny videos about how they’d worn face coverings for decades for medical reasons, not as fashion statements.
Some Disney fans expressed outrage regarding park requirements for face masks.
Others were just searching to find the cutest Disney-based face masks.
I fall into this category, and I got complimented on one of my Disney face masks today. My search paid off!
Five items on this list are movies, which speaks to how collectively bored we were as a people.
However, one film towered above the rest in terms of search traffic. It’s this one, the Disney+ performance of Hamilton.
When Disney purchased the rights to Hamilton, everyone understood it’d debut in theaters.
Thankfully, Disney improvised after the pandemic started, rewarding subscribers with a July 4th movie treat.
I’ve watched this movie more times than I can count, and I still get a chill every time Leslie Odom Jr. sings Wait for It.
This title received three different kinds of searches.
First, people tried to learn more about the theatrical release, which would have happened in March if not for Coronavirus.
Once movie theaters shut down, Disney promised it’d debut on Premier Access.
So, people had to Google what Premier Access is. Finally, everyone needed to know release date information for the Disney+ debut of Mulan.
This part happened twice, as it started on Premier Access three months before everyone else on Disney+ got it for free.
Mulan’s confusing release pattern increased its Google search volume, although it did the film itself no favors.
Disney+ officials quickly adapted to the Great Shut-In.
First, the service streamed Frozen II, the most popular animated movie ever, three months early.
Then, Disney went all-in on its streaming service by skipping the standard digital video cycle for Onward.
The Pixar film qualifies as the last potential blockbuster that debuted in theaters before the pandemic.
Coronavirus issues destroyed Onward’s box office potential. So, Disney cut its losses while again gifting Disney+ subscribers with something of value.
Onward debuted on Disney+ less than one month after it opened in theaters. Literally no one on the planet saw that coming at the start of 2020.
The odd circumstances led to many confused searches for explanations.
As Walt Disney World prepared to reopen, the parks changed their policies.
Historically, guests needed admission tickets to enter a Walt Disney World park.
The only potential sticking point involved capacity issues, and that usually came up only during late-December.
Then, COVID-19 safety measures forced Disney to limit capacity. So, the company introduced Park Passes.
For now, you need a Park Pass AND a valid admission ticket to enter a Disney theme park.
So, guests swarmed the internet in search of information about how the Park Pass system works.
Here’s the fourth Disney+ title of interest in 2020.
Pixar’s Soul was to be the studio’s second title of the year, released only a few months after Onward.
Alas, only one of those two movies ever gained theatrical release. The other debuted on Disney+ on Christmas Day instead.
Soul received plenty of searches about its Disney+ release. However, it also received a late push from people who watched the film.
These folks want to understand the film’s message and ending a bit better.
Virtual Disney Rides
Okay, this one amused me because I wrote several of these pieces during 2020.
MickeyBlog published articles like Let’s All Go to Disneyland! The premise of each one was to display ride videos for beloved attractions.
Disney fans took what we could get while all the parks were closed. Apparently, this phenomenon wasn’t exclusive to MickeyBlog, either.
Judging by Google Trends, people went nuts for virtual Disney ride videos in 2020.
Walt Disney World Reopening
This search mirrors the Disneyland one, although it has a unique wrinkle.
Walt Disney World actually reopened. So, people needed to learn about park changes and safety procedures in place.
Also, Disney Springs, Magic Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios opened on three different dates.
Guests needed to learn which date applied to which Walt Disney World tourist attraction.
Water Park Reopenings
We’re still waiting on these, as Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon remain closed.
However, Disney recently confirmed that Blizzard Beach will return on March 7th.
So, the water parks aren’t in the same limbo as Disneyland. They’ve stayed offline for the same length of time, though.
Blizzard Beach’s reopening will count as another milestone in Walt Disney World’s return to normalcy.
The final movie on the list is probably the one you know the least unless you’re A) under 20 or B) pay attention to your tween children.
These kids will tell you that Zombies is the hottest Disney franchise ever, and nothing could ever compare.
A few years ago, people said the same thing about Descendants, Teen Beach, and High School Musical.
Disney’s gotten cyclical about introducing new romantic comedies with musical elements.
Zombies 2 debuted on Valentine’s Day weekend, which means that most of its searches involve film facts, trivia, song lyrics, and the like.
Given this information, pretend not to be surprised when Disney announces Zombies 3.
Feature Image Rights: Disney