It's December 23rd and that can only mean one thing: Happy Festivus! As we've done in yearspast, we thought we’d celebrate the Festivus season by reflecting on the year in Disney in a way that would make Frank Costanza proud, including the traditional Airing of Grievances, the Feats of Strength, a celebration of Festivus Miracles and, of course, a traditional Festivus pole (or “poll” in this case). It’s a Festivus for the rest of us!
The Airing of Grievances
“I’ve got a lot of problems with you people! Now, you’re gonna hear about it!”
The tradition of Festivus begins with the airing of grievances. While we admire most of what The Walt Disney Company does over the course of a given year, there is always room for error and bad decisions. Here are some of the ways Disney let us down in 2017:
Running "Olaf's Frozen Adventure" in front of Coco
What, a TV special isn't good enough for you? Look, we love Disney and Pixar shorts as much as the next person, but 21 minutes is a bit much. It's hard enough getting kids to sit still during a feature film let alone a full movie and a TV show. Olaf eventually took his rightful place on ABC in the end, but not before annoying many moviegoers who went to see Coco in its opening weeks.
shopDisney's confusing branding
When the online side of Disney Store rebranded to shopDisney earlier this year, one might have assumed this was to replace the Shop Disney Parks app... but one would be wrong. Instead, now we have both a Shop Disney and Shop Disney Parks app, so good luck opening the right one on the first try. Also, Disney Store (or Disney store, apparently) changed their Twitter handle to @shopdisney even though Disney Stores are still a thing. Just, why?
Lack of communication about Hall of Presidents
Surely the Hall of Presidents has been a thorn in Disney's side this year, but they didn't do themselves any favors in their roll out. First, rumors ran rampant suggesting Disney was planning to close the show or revamp it so that President Trump would not speak. Eventually, Disney was forced to correct that, saying the attraction would reopen by the year's end with Trump in a speaking role. We then made it until December 18th before they said another word on the subject, and that was to announce it was open. Of course, now people are looking at the Trump AA and wondering how Disney spent a year on a figure that still doesn't look like the guy.
What was your biggest grievance this Disney this year? Be sure to vote in our Festivus Poll following the Feats of Strength.
The Feats of Strength
And now, as Festivus rolls on, we come to the feats of strength. 2017 was another great year for Disney overall as they flexed their muscles at home and abroad. Here are a few examples:
Continued Studio dominance
This week, Disney crossed $6 billion at the international box office for the year. Although that's south of the more than $7 billion they took in last year, it still marks the first and only time a studio has passed $6 billion twice. More than $2 billion of that figure comes from the domestic box office where Disney is leading Warner Bros. despite the fact that Disney released 8 films in 2017 and WB put out 19. Oh, and all of those Disney films were "Fresh" — except for another Johnny Depp one.
Streaming service announcement
While it won't debut until 2019, Disney caused a big stir this year when it announced it was starting its own streaming service. The blow to Netflix was even stronger when Bob Iger later shared that he had decided to make Lucasfilm and Marvel part of the same service as well. Obviosuly there's plenty of room for error here, but with BAMtech on board, the Disney library only getting larger, and a live-action Star Wars show (among other projects) announced for the platform, Disney's evolution poses a big threat to Netflix and others.
Disneyland is the most Instagrammed location
Of all the tourist destinations in the world, would you believe that more people posted photos of Disneyland on Instagram than any other place this year? It's true — Walt's original parks beat out the likes of Paris' Eiffel Tower, New York's Times Square, and the Las Vegas Strip for the honor. Additionally, Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, and even Disney California Adventure all made the list as well, proving once again how much people really love the Disney parks.
Our Festival Poll? What was your biggest grievance with Disney this year?
— LaughingPlace.com (@laughing_place) December 23, 2017
What other explanation can there be? These were truly Festivus miracles:
Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: BREAKOUT! is awesome
Okay, we'll admit that last year we had some things to say about Disney replacing Tower of Terror at Disney California Adventure. Alas, the Guardians themed attraction is fantastically fun and completely changes the ride (save the boiler room area). Therefore, we're happy to eat our words and declare this accomplishment a Festivus miracle.
X-Men and more may finally be in the MCU
A couple of years ago, we celebrated that Spider-Man was coming home to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After seeing his performances in Captain America: Civil War and the aptly titled Homecoming, that excitement was well placed. Well, now the impossible has become (nearly) possible once again as Disney plans to acquire 21st Century Fox, bringing characters like the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool to the MCU. So, while Infinity War and Avengers 4 may hurt a bit, we anxiously await what miraculous stories Kevin Feige has in store for the future.
Disneyland finally fixes Adventureland
It took losing an Indy store and turning a fruit stand into stroller parking but, hey, we can walk through Adventureland unscathed and eat our Bengal skewers in peace. Another Festivus miracle!