It’s become one of the world’s worst kept secrets that Disney Parks has devised of a way to use drones in its nighttime entertainment offerings and is currently lobbying the FAA to allow them to do so. Almost on a weekly basis now, we are learning more and more of just how Disney is attempting to accomplish such a feat, pioneering methods and technology to do so.
We have been following Disney Theme Parks’ plans to incorporate unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) — or drones — into its nighttime entertainment experiences for years, beginning with the initial patent application through their recent filing to actually seek FAA permission to use drones at the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts.
The filing revealed that Disney plans on using 3DR quadcopters with a ‘flixel’ payload of no more than five pounds in weight, but until now, it was more or less assumed that it would be a simple screen, consisting of simple elements that would combine with other drones’ payloads to develop a larger picture, such as what Intel had recently shown, which was effectively simulating fireworks.
Back in summer of 2014, Stitch Kingdom broke news that Walt Disney Parks and Resorts was working on an intricate system using controlled drones to supplement its nighttime entertainment, proposing to: use drones to control massive marionettes (such as an exampled Jack Skellington) and/or use drones to carry screens that could act as what they dubbed ‘flixels,’ or ‘floating pixels.’
In late October of 2015, Disney decided to move ahead with these plans by filing an exemption from the FAA under section 333 which governs the commercial use of drones. The application was published on December 31 and has not yet been answered by the FAA.
The Toy Industry Association (TIA) announced today that it is will induct Robert A. Iger, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame in 2016. Iger was selected by members of TIA in recognition of his significant contributions to the industry and the impact his work has had on the lives of children worldwide. According to the announcement, Iger is ‘the steward of the world’s largest media company and some of the most respected and adored brands around the globe. He has grown Disney’s portfolio of beloved brands with the acquisition of Pixar (2006), Marvel (2009), and Lucasfilm (2012), three of the entertainment industry’s greatest storytelling companies. Always one to embrace new technology, Mr. Iger has made Disney an industry leader through its creative content offerings across new and multiple platforms.’
Marvel recently filed a trademark application for ‘Guardians of Infinity,’ for purposes it describes as ‘comic books; printed periodicals in the field of comic book stories and artwork.’ A cursory Google search failed to show anything remotely close to that title save for a completely unrelated computer game from the 190s in which the objective was to save President Kennedy from assassination — obviously.
Christine M. McCarthy has been named Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and Kevin Mayer has been named Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of The Walt Disney Company, effective immediately, it was announced today by Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
“Christine has done an incredible job as Disney’s Treasurer over the past 15 years, and her strong leadership and keen financial acumen make her an ideal Chief Financial Officer,” Mr. Iger said. “She is highly respected in the finance sector, and in this new role she will have even more impact on creating value for Disney shareholders.” Ms. McCarthy will report directly to Mr. Iger.
Leslie Ferraro has been named President, Disney Consumer Products, effective immediately, it was announced today by Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and Thomas O. Staggs, Chief Operating Officer, The Walt Disney Company.
A 16-year Disney veteran, Ms. Ferraro most recently served as Walt Disney Parks and Resorts’ Executive Vice President, Global Marketing, Sales and Travel Operations, where she was responsible for leading the marketing and sales teams in developing numerous highly successful consumer campaigns worldwide.
The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) Board of Directors today declared an annual cash dividend of $1.15 per share, up 34 percent, or $0.29 per share, from the previous year. The dividend is payable on January 8, 2015 to shareholders of record at the close of business on December 15, 2014. This is Disney’s 59th consecutive dividend payment to shareholders.
‘Disney delivered the highest results in its history in Fiscal 2014, reflecting the extraordinary quality of our creative content and the unparalleled strength of our brands,’ said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. ‘We achieved record revenue, net income and earnings per share for the fourth year in a row, and we are delighted to be able to increase our shareholder dividend by 34 percent while continuing to invest for future growth.’
The Walt Disney Company Board of Directors today announced that it has extended Bob Iger’s contract as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer through June 30, 2018. Previously, Iger was expected to step down from his current positions in 2016 after already having been extended from a planned leave next year, in 2015.
Although he had no shortage of words for Disney on his Twitter account in response to Disney’s move to block his trademark registration, he and his lawyers upped the ante earlier today by serving a cease and desist letter to Disney Interactive, claiming they were engaging in both copyright and trademark infringement.