MickeyBlog News for May 22nd, 2023
A lot just happened, so we’re gonna go fast.
Buckle up for a wild ride in MickeyBlog News!
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Closing
Don’t let the Holy Trilogy fool you. Sometimes, the Empire wins.
Even Chewbacca and Rey couldn’t save Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser from dying an unexpectedly quick death.
On September 28th, 2023, the Star Wars Hotel will carry guests on an intergalactic cruise across the stars.
Once that cruise ends on September 30th, Disney will close Galactic Starcruiser permanently.
The interactive Star Wars experience has delighted guests since it opened in March 2022.
However, the high cost of operating this immersive vacation forced Disney to pass the prices along to customers.
Ultimately, after the first nine months of Star Wars fanatics with full bank accounts visited, demand plummeted precipitously.
Earlier this year, Disney took the unusual step of offering discounts for cast members, annual passholders, and Disney Vacation Club members.
Disney never offered such a deal to most customers, though. Instead, the company took a parallel approach by offering a discount for the rest of your Disney vacation.
The company just couldn’t justify slashing the price on a hotel that only hosted new customers two or three times weekly.
Staffing something like this 24/7 proved cost prohibitive at anything less than maximum occupancy, which the hotel had in 2022 but NOT 2023.
You cannot currently book Galactic Starcruiser for its remaining dates. On the plus side, you can speak with a MickeyTravels agent.
They’ll do what they can once the booking window opens again on May 26th. Demand may prove significant again for what will be the final voyages of the Halcyon.
Lake Nona? More Like Lake Nono!
The horrible wordplay is correct, though. Disney has canceled the Lake Nona headquarters the company had initially planned to open in 2023.
In 2021, then-CEO Bob Chapek agreed to terms with his then-ally, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, on a series of tax cuts.
In total, Disney would have gained $570 in tax incentives over 20 years. For that money, Disney forcibly relocated Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) staff to Florida.
Many rejected and resigned from the company. Others took new positions at Disney, jobs whose location would remain in California.
An unfortunate few loaded up all their worldly belongings and headed to the East Coast.
They were just in time to watch DeSantis’ relationship with Chapek disintegrate.
They were also just in time to watch Chapek’s relationship with Disney disintegrate.
Bob Iger never wanted the company to split WDI from Los Angeles, where Disney films many of its movies and television series.
So, Iger has chosen to close Lake Nona at the most convenient possible time for him.
Without ever mentioning DeSantis’ name, Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro made it clear that the company did this because of the governor’s “anti-business” practices.
Yes, Bob Iger got rid of something he hated started by someone he hated and managed to blame someone else he hated for the whole thing.
Bob Iger is really, really good.
Disney Lawsuit Update I
As you’ve heard, Disney is going to court. The surprise is that some of it won’t involve the Reedy Creek nonsense.
Earlier this week, the Local 272 Labor-Management Pension Fund accused Disney of misleading investors. Here’s the official legal claim:
“(Disney) repeatedly misled investors about the success of the Disney+ platform by concealing the true costs of the platform, concealing the expense and difficulty of maintaining robust Disney+ subscriber growth, and claiming that the platform was on track to achieve profitability…”
This lawsuit comes soon after a Wall Street Journal report that suggested Disney CFO Christine McCarthy went to Disney’s Board of Directors about this matter.
Presuming the reporting is accurate – and I have no reason to doubt it – McCarthy informed the board that Bob Chapek was hiding streaming losses.
Chapek took some streaming titles and placed their expenses under the profitable Linear Networks division to make Direct-to-Consumer appear more viable.
Since the Wall Street Journal published that report, a class-action lawsuit like this has appeared inevitable.
Chapek is personally named in the suit and has a lot of explaining to do. His actions, if accurately portrayed, leave Disney vulnerable to the court system.
Disney Lawsuit Update 2
Conversely, the other lawsuit is going swimmingly. Disney has filed the paperwork in federal court to dismiss everything DeSantis has done with Reedy Creek.
Late Friday, DeSantis’ team filed a request to change judges.
Justice Mark E. Walker has allegedly used the shameless antics of the governor as an example of malfeasance in other court rulings.
More importantly, Walker has previously ruled against DeSantis several other times recently.
So, the governor and his staff are setting up their excuse in case they lose the initial ruling on this case.
The filing actually refers to Walker as a “woke” judge. You’ll get more flies with honey, Ron.
Miscellaneous Disney News
Disney snuck in some other news while everyone was talking about Lake Nona and the Florida Feud. For starters, there’s this:
BREAKING: Fantasmic! at Disneyland will remain on hiatus through at least Labor Day.
Disneyland: "We are taking this time to evaluate the show and explore opportunities to add new magic and touches for Guests to enjoy." pic.twitter.com/VeLzRcZJLo
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) May 20, 2023
As MickeyBlog reported the other day, Maleficent has returned to her fire-breathing form during the Festival of Fantasy Parade.
Fantasmic! at Disneyland Resort won’t be quite so fortunate. Disney will keep it closed through at least Labor Day.
Speaking of Disneyland, I’m sharing the welcome news that you are now able to modify the date and/or theme park for your Park Pass! How great is that?
Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock also indicated that the Downtown District reconstruction should finish within the next 18 months!
While discussing the previously announced changes coming to Downtown Disney District, Disneyland President Ken Potrock said on Wednesday the new and enhanced dining and retail offerings will arrive "over the course of the next 18 months." pic.twitter.com/0rX2W6g36z
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) May 18, 2023
Also, Disney’s Pixar Place Hotel should be finished by this winter! And we got an update on Disneyland Forward’s economic impact!
Next, we had another fight break out near the train station at Magic Kingdom. Why didn’t these people just go see Mickey Mouse at Town Square Theater instead?
Finally, we had this bunch of idiots:
we literally got a police escort im crying
What a week!
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