Why Disney's Prospects Look Good Despite Disney World Losing Nearly $7 Billion This Year

Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff on Disney+

It’s been a long year, but it’s been a much longer year for some companies than others. Take The Walt Disney Company, which has dealt with layoffs, a loss of movie theater revenue and a loss of $6.9 billion in its theme parks bracket alone. And that’s not evening mentioning what happened to cruises. However, Disney’s stock is up and it’s prospects are actually looking pretty good, though Disney World has nothing to do with it.

Disney stock is up. This is especially true following the splashy investor call that Disney made last week which featured a slew of news, much of it about Disney+, the company’s new and very popular streaming service. In fact, Disney+ has already added 90 million subscribers in its first year. It has already becoming a major streaming player despite its infancy and now doubling down on its streaming game has led its stock profits to rise.

Streaming is not a stop gap for Disney; instead, this is the way (forward). Per a report at Bloomberg, the company’s stock is currently at an all-time high, despite a pandemic, and thanks to its plan to leave some big release for theaters -- the Black Widow’s of the lineup--and beaming beloved characters like Wanda Maximoff or Obi-Wan Kenobi straight into our homes.

If streaming is “the way,” to keep up with this Mandalorian metaphor, it’s seemingly a lucrative way. The latest projections have Disney believing it will be able to hit 300 million streaming subscribers by 2024. (For comparison’s sake, Netflix has a little over 195 million subscribers right now.) Of those 300 million streaming subscribers, Disney, who also owns ESPN and Hulu, 230 million will subscribe to Disney+. It’s a lofty goal for a streaming service in its infancy, but Disney has products a lot of people globally want.

With these announcements, Disney revealed it is going to bring people a lot of the products they want, while still maintaining relationship with its theatrical distributors, which is roughly the opposite of what Warner Bros. just did with its big HBO Max announcement. (Various people and organizations have been outspoken about that studio's decision.) It seems to be paying off, despite the fact that Disney has seen major revenue loss in 2020 with its theme parks and other divisions.

It is worth mentioning that the powers that be at Disney Theme Parks have managed to stem the tide. Though Disneyland is still shut down, late this year Walt Disney World in Florida was able to increase to 35% capacity. There have been layoffs -- with more coming -- and some of those have been tough on longtime Disney employees, including the famed orchestra from Disney World’s Grand Floridian Resort. However, with a vaccine on the way, domestic travel is expected to rise, and a lot of people haven’t gotten their Dole Whips yet this year.

We’ll keep an eye on the numbers in the coming weeks and we’ll be sure to let you know as soon as Disneyland finally eyes a reopening date. For now, that park is surviving by reopening its Downtown Disney shopping district.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.