6. Annual Passport restructuring
The success of Disneyland Diamond Celebration empowered Disneyland to do something they have wanted to do for quite some time. By dramatically raising AP prices (with a nearly unbelievable increase for the top level passes), Disney hopes to manage demand for the peak days that bring Disney the most revenue. In what is obviously the first step to dynamic pricing, Disney wants to reap more income while managing demand on peak days. Although Disneyland has been criticized for jacking up prices prior to closing several attractions to make way for Star Wars Land construction, most everyone would agree that the parks are too crowded even with its current capacity.
5. The Tale of Two Pixars: Inside Out vs. The Good Dinosaur
After taking a year off, Pixar returned, releasing two films this year — a first for the studio. The odd scheduling resulted from The Good Dinosaur undergoing some major changes that necessitated a later release date. While the studio has proven their Midas-esque ability to turn a troubled film around into box office gold, it seems their magic faded a little but with Good Dinosaur which disappointed both in reviews and in ticket sales. In fact, the film just barely passed $100 million domestically this past weekend.
Meanwhile, Pixar's earlier release this year — Inside Out — showed the studio at top form. This clever, funny, and ultimately tear-jerking film received rave reviews and closed with over $850 million in the bank. Even with a slew of sequels in the queue, Inside Out proved that Pixar isn't out of original ideas.
4. Star Wars increased presence in the Disney Parks announced
Ever since Disney purchased Lucasfilm (and maybe even before that), rumors have swirled about a Star Wars Land coming to the Parks — or perhaps even comprising its own park. Finally, at the 2015 D23 Expo (oddly during the "live-action films" panel instead of the Parks one), Bob Iger announced that Star Wars Lands were being built at Disney's Hollywood
Adventure Studios and Disneyland. Additionally, it was revealed that these lands would be preceded by special Star Wars-themed events dubbed Seasons of the Force.
The first Season opened at Disneyland in November, bringing a Hyperspace Mountain overlay and plenty of Star Wars treats and collectibles to the park. On the other hand, no official dates have been announced for the East Coast version, although Star Wars Weekends have been canceled indefinitely. Not much is known about either land aside from some early concept art shared at the Expo, so expect to see further details emerge over the next couple of years.
3. Marvel on Netflix
When asked about streaming services in a recent earnings call, Bob Iger said that Netflix was, "more friend than foe." Part of the reason for his statement is the positive relationship the two companies have had in creating original content. Marvel's first two shows for the platform — Daredevil and Jessica Jones— have both seemed to make an impression on fans and critics alike (although Netflix does not release any metrics or ratings to know for sure how many people are watching). In addition to showing how powerful his new form of media consumption can be, the Marvel/Netflix partnership has introduced a darker side of the comic book company that isn't necessarily shown in their Cinematic Universe and could attract a new set of viewers.