We're closing in on Walt Disney's (NYSE: DIS) Investor Day. On Thursday afternoon, the media giant will make a financial presentation that, like Avengers: Endgame, will clock in with a running time north of three hours. There have been a couple of analyst upgrades and price target hikes in the days leading up to the event, so naturally the market is expecting this to be a fairly positive presentation.
Disney has a lot of ground to cover given all of its moving parts. Let's go over some of the things that may or may not be discussed during the event, which will be webcast so that everyone can attend virtually.
The only topic that we know Disney will certainly discuss is its upcoming streaming service. The brief description for Disney's Investor Day specifically states that it will focus on its "direct-to-consumer streaming services including the upcoming Disney+."
Disney expects to launch the service later this year, and we have already been treated to details of some of the original shows that will join the entertainment behemoth's massive and growing content catalog on the platform. We are unlikely to get an actual launch date, but a little more fine-tuning on that front wouldn't hurt.
Pricing is going to be a hot topic. Disney has said that it will be cheaper than Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX), and that was before Netflix boosted its monthly rates by as much as 18% earlier this year. If the launch date is close, it may be safe for Disney to begin talking about the price so it can start pumping up its value proposition.
Disney finally closed on its acquisition of key Fox assets last month, and this is the first time that it can brag about its haul without nervously eyeing antitrust regulators in the shadows. Since Disney+ will be the featured star of the evening, it's more than reasonable for details to emerge on how some of the Fox puzzle pieces will fit into the new service.
Will some freshly acquired shows like The Simpsons and The X-Files now be part of the upcoming service? Are any of the Fox properties being tapped for original shows, as has already announced for Lucasfilm and Marvel content? Disney has more intellectual property than anyone else in taking on Netflix later this year, but how will it use all of that ammo? Beyond Disney+, it would also be nice to hear more about how the entertainment juggernaut expects to play with its new toys.
3. Disney World and Disneyland
We already know that the first phase of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge will open next month at its original Disneyland park in California, followed three months later in Florida with Disney World's version. Crowds are expected to be massive at both resorts in the days, weeks, and likely even months after the highly anticipated attractions debut.
There are still plenty of other things going on -- particularly in Florida -- that Disney might be open to addressing on Thursday (because there's no way that it can spend 210 minutes talking about streaming video).
- Is there any more insight on Rise of the Resistance, the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge ride that won't open in the first phase? The potentially bar-raising attraction is expected to open later this year, but that will only make things more problematic for the lone ride that will be introduced in the first phase. After all, divide the park's daily attendance by the likely hourly capacity of Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and most of the people at either park on any given day won't be able to ride it. Rise of the Resistance can't open soon enough.
- Why is Disney so tight-lipped about Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway? The first Mickey Mouse-themed ride was announced two years ago with a 2019 opening date. Disney confirmed that the attraction will open this year back in February, but that was before it unveiled the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge in two phases. Will the replacement for the iconic Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios get pushed into early 2020 since the resort won't need extra ammo during the latter half of the year?
- Can Disney provide narrower windows for other upcoming rides and attractions? There is a lot of construction activity taking place in Florida as Disney gears up for the resort turning 50 in 2021. One addition -- the Skyliner gondola lift system that will whisk guests from select hotels to half of its theme parks -- is already testing without guests despite its stated fall opening.
Folks have never been as confused as they are right now in planning their next Disney getaways. Firming up some dates and details could help finalize travel plans.
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