Top 15 Disney Searches for 2022
Every year, The Walt Disney Company provides the internet with thousands of headlines.
As the worldwide leader in storytelling and a Fortune 30 company to boot, Disney cannot help but create conversations.
Which stories intrigued people the most? Here are the top 15 Disney searches for 2022.
Fun fact: This list is 20 percent Bob-related!
You can tell how much people loved Betty White by the fact that she died on New Year’s Eve, 2021.
Despite that fact, she trended the most of any celebrity in 2022.
For that matter, people searched for more information about Betty White’s death than Queen Elizabeth II’s!
Part of that explanation stems from the fact that White got 12 months’ worth of searches, while the recently deceased Queen of England had less than four months.
Still, the data emphatically supports the notion that Betty White was one of the most beloved people who ever lived.
I presume that most of these searches fell in the bucket of, “Oh lord, what did Chapek do now?”
Still, there’s no such thing as bad publicity, right? Hmm, Chapek may have disproved that theory once and for all with his repeated blunders.
Anyway, with Chapek deposed as Disney CEO, I would imagine he trends 99 percent less in 2023. Won’t that be nice?
Conversely, Bob Iger somehow remained a part of the public conversation even after his tenure with Disney ended.
As usual, Iger masterfully manipulated publicity cycles to remind people what Disney was missing.
Whether he intended to return or not, Iger’s ability to keep himself in the headlines ultimately paid dividends.
Disney restored him as CEO, thereby raising the odds he’ll appear on this list again in 2023 and possibly beyond then.
I already mentioned Betty White and the Queen of England. Now, I can discuss the most popular male celebrity of the year.
The tragic death of Bob Saget obviously impacted fans around the world. Saget died on January 9th, but he remained a topical search for many months afterward.
People couldn’t deal with the fact that Danny Tanner from Full House had died.
Of course, that’s only part of the story. Part of the reason Saget remained in the public conversation was that so many of his friends published loving tributes.
Similarly, fans offered countless anecdotes about acts of kindness that Saget performed. He was truly a kind soul, and the world’s a little dimmer without him.
Disney Cruise Line
Technically, I could have counted Disney cruises three different ways. The Disney Wish and the Disney Dream also appeared on the list.
The sustained popularity of the Dream and the overall reputation of Disney Cruise Line (DCL) explain many of these searches.
After all, DCL holds a mortal lock on the title of the best family cruise line.
Still, I suspect that much of the explanation for DLC’s search popularity comes from its newest ship.
The Disney Wish has reset the standard in luxury family cruises. Its amenities and dining options have revolutionized the industry.
Where else could people dine in Arendelle and then spend the following night living out an Avengers adventure? Oh, and you can ride Disney’s themed attraction at sea as well!
For these reasons, we can all understand why Disney Cruise Line searches proved so popular this year.
Disney Cutie Cuffs
Some of you may be doing the puppy dog head tilt of confusion at this one. You either know, or you don’t.
Cutie Cuffs represent Disney’s latest merchandise line of furry stuffed animals. That’s not the only reason why they’re wildly popular, though.
Disney also built some mystery and scarcity into the process. At first, fans could only purchase Cutie Cuffs at the Target stores featuring Disney sections.
You can technically buy them on Amazon now, but you’re paying more since it’s a third-party vendor.
Also, Disney has turned each Cutie Cuff package into a mystery crate of sorts.
You don’t pick your Cutie Cuff. Instead, you open your package to discover which one you get out of 24 different possibilities.
So, some parents must buy multiple crates to acquire the Cutie Cuff their child wants.
For these reasons, Cutie Cuff searches border on a necessity for many parents.
Disney Annual Passes
This inclusion isn’t much of a mystery. Throughout 2022, questions arose about whether Disney’s American theme parks sold annual passes.
For the most part, they didn’t, which forced more searches. People needed to know when the items would go back on sale.
With so many fans craving updates, the suspense of Disney’s annual pass program kept people checking all year.
Disney Dreamlight Valley
Imagine Animal Crossing with Disney characters, and you get the gist of Disney Dreamlight Valley.
The popular game didn’t debut until September, which caused Disney fans to search for any and all information about its gameplay.
Now, these players continue to search for tips and tricks to earn Star Coins and perfect their villages.
If the game is anything like Animal Crossing, they’ll be stuck in this loop until the day they die. Signed, an Animal Crossing widower.
Disney during Hurricane Ian
Yeah, you know why this one proved so prevalent. Hundreds of thousands of tourists flock to Walt Disney World each week.
You can guess how chaotic these vacations become when hurricane systems develop and threaten the area.
With Hurricane Ian, we’re discussing one of the most violent storms ever to touch down in the continental United States.
So, people searched to verify the storm’s existence, how Disney and the airports were addressing the issue, and whether their friends/loved ones were safe.
Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
We’ve now reached the part of the list where Disney movies dominate the searches. Perhaps the only surprise in the MCU is what didn’t chart.
Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was always going to draw attention as a de facto sequel to WandaVision in addition to an actual sequel to Dr. Strange.
Still, I’m surprised this sequel made the list while Black Panther: Wakanda Forever did not.
I think this is the least surprising inclusion since Avengers: Endgame in 2019.
Obviously, Disney fans went nuts trying to find all the information they could about Encanto! It was THE Disney movie of the year.
Realistically, in terms of cultural significance/awareness, Encanto counts as the most impactful Disney release since Frozen in 2013.
The remarkable part is how few people realize this fact. Let’s say that you don’t use TikTok or listen to Apple Music or check Nielsen Streaming data.
In that case, all you know about Encanto is that it came out last Thanksgiving and didn’t do all that well in theaters.
Encanto earned less than $100 million in domestic box office – it finished at $96 million – and its global take of $230 million, which means it theoretically wasn’t profitable.
That’s what I would say if I still used the old ways of evaluating movies. As we enter 2023, we know better.
Specifically, we know that Encanto dominated Nielsen’s streaming charts, TikTok’s views, and Spotify’s playlists in a way we have never tracked in the modern era.
This title dominated all the emerging phases of pop culture in a way that I haven’t tracked as a movie analyst since Titanic. I’m not even joking.
Encanto claimed the combination of hit soundtrack and total views that signifies it’s mega-popular. Then, we have the viral video aspect.
If you’ve watched a clip of someone performing that song from Encanto, you know what I mean. It was even the showstopper performance at this year’s Academy Awards:
I strongly suspect that if Google listed all of Encanto’s various searches as one entity, it would have won the year for Disney.
You lived through the drama, so you know.
For a while, the quickest way to pull subscribers on YouTube was to go all-in on the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard trial.
The star of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise successfully sued his ex-wife for defamation.
While the entire situation should make us all sad for both of them, the inflammatory nature of the courtroom saga kept many people glued to the internet.
Depp’s near-total victory likely caused a sigh of relief for Disney executives, as they needed this whole thing over. It was drawing the wrong kind of attention.
Thor: Love and Thunder
What I said about Dr. Strange goes double here. I wouldn’t have expected Thor 4 to garner more searches than the Black Panther sequel.
Still, I appreciate the appeal of Love and Thunder. It features the return of an iconic character, hints at the character’s replacement by Lady Thor, and has Christian Bale as the villain to boot.
Obviously, there’s a lot of cause for intrigue here.
The presence of this title makes me happy, as it’s one of Pixar’s most understated but significant films.
Turning Red follows the story of a tween girl growing up in Toronto who suddenly…turns into a giant furry panda.
Sometimes, the best storytelling ideas double as the most ridiculous ones, and that’s definitely the case here.
Turning Red earned the wrong kind of headlines when another COVID-19 outbreak forced the title to debut on Disney+ rather than in movie theaters.
Still, its success speaks volumes about the perennial appeal of Pixar storytelling.
I fully expect multiple Turning Red sequels over the years, as it’s an idea with cross-generational appeal.
We Don’t Talk about Bruno
Sure, we already mentioned Encanto, but that’s really only telling half the story.
While Encanto as a whole gained acclaim as an instantly iconic movie, it’s the song that has stolen headlines throughout the year.
Performances of We Don’t Talk about Bruno repeatedly went viral on TikTok and other social media platforms, establishing this song as Disney’s most recognizable hit since Let It Go.
In fact, We Don’t Talk about Bruno became one of the most frequently played songs of 2022. In truth, it’s THE Disney icon of 2022.
Those are the top 15 Disney searches for 2022. What do you think about them? Let us know in the comments!