Dazzling. Heroic. Galactic. These three adjectives are among many that could be used in a Disney press release about the amazing year that was 2015. It was the year that Walt's beloved Disneyland turned 60, Marvel and Star Wars reigned supreme (aside from those pesky dinosaurs), and the rest of the company began adapting to the changing landscape of both media and the realities of the world. Overall it was a banner year with many notable accomplishments, but these 10 items — for better or worse — made the biggest waves:
Disney Channel has pumped out its fair share of tween sensations over the years, but Descendants managed to check even more boxes than your typical DCOM. The story, which followed the offspring of some classic Disney villains, proved ripe with opportunity, selling dolls, books, and music along the way. In addition to the inevitable sequel being greenlit, the film has also spun off into an animated series which premiered in September. Plus, the book that serves as the movie's prequel — The Isle of the Lost — still has a spot on the New York Times' Best Seller list for "middle grade" novels.
9. Security changes affect Disney Parks
It was a tough year both here at home and abroad with tensions running high following a number of shootings and other attacks. Although Disney Parks often serve as an escape from the rest of the world, a piece of today's reality arrived in Walt Disney World and Disneyland this December as metal detectors were added to security checkpoints at both resorts. Disney hasn't said if these will be a permanent fixture, but it should also be noted that other theme parks, including Universal Studios and SeaWorld, added additional precautions on the same day.
8. Disney makes a deal for Spider-Man
Ever since the Marvel Cinematic Universe took off, it's been every comic book nerd's dream to have Spider-Man join The Avengers on screen. Unfortunately, deals that were in place before Disney's acquisition of Marvel meant that Sony had exclusive right to the web slinger while other characters (namely the X-Men and Fantastic Four) were tied up at Fox. Sony never seemed keen on letting one of their biggest franchises go and leaked e-mails even showed Disney's attempt to bring Spidey home to no avail. However, in February of this year, it was announced that a deal had been struck and Spider-Man would be making an appearance in an upcoming MCU film before returning to Sony where Kevin Feige would executive produce a (once again) rebooted Spidey franchise. It may not be a perfect scenario, but it's better than nothing.
For years, people have been asking for Disney to offer a subscription service giving fans access a boatload of Disney content all in one place. Disney finally began to offer the service... in the United Kingdom. While existing deals prevent Disney from offering their own version of Netflix in the United States, Bob Iger has said that, if it is successful, a Marvel Life and a Star Wars Life service could be offered in the future. While questions remain such as whether or not they will produce original content for the service and if it will ever come to the States, we can definitely see the appeal of having on-demand access to all the Disney films, music, and digital books — it is like an AP for Disney content.