What comes to your mind when I say Walt Disney? Mickey Mouse? A movie studio? Disneyland? A man who never gave up on his dreams? Whatever you might think of, you are not wrong. Disney is all of this and more. From Cinderella to Captain Jack Sparrow, from cruise liners to futuristic cities, The Walt Disney Company is not just a multi-billion dollar corporate, it’s an icon. An icon in the life of every human being that has been a child in the last ninety years.
And so in today’s post on How Big Are They, we will dive deep into the ocean of nostalgia to discover just how big The Walt Disney Company really is!
As humans, we have relatively short memory spans. Considering this, it is extremely rare for a brand to not only stay relevant but continue to grow for even two or three decades, let alone almost a century. But that’s what Disney has done. In fact, Mickey Mouse, the most famous character that we still recognize today was created over 85 years ago. That’s a testament to the incredible longevity of this company.
And this longevity is reflected in numbers too. For starters, in 2015, The Walt Disney Company had a total revenue of 52.4 billion US Dollars. That’s four times more than the total revenue of Warner Bros. As a matter of fact, Disney had almost the same revenue as Warner Bros, 21st Century Fox AND Viacom combined.
The size of The Walt Disney Company is also reflected from the number of employees it has. Before that, let’s take a look at the figures of other major companies. Warner Bros has 8,000 employees. Viacom employs just over 10,500 people. 21st Century Fox provides a living to about 20,500 people. The Internet giant, Google has around 58,000 people working for the company.
Disney? Well, two times the number of employees than all of these combined. How many then, exactly? It is home to more than 180,000 employees, or cast members, as they like to call them.
This huge number shouldn’t be a surprise either as The Walt Disney company is not just limited to, well, Disney. This is because it also owns some of the biggest brands in the entertainment world, such as ESPN, Marvel Comics, Hulu, Pixar, ABC Network and The History Channel.
By now, you must have an idea of the incredible size of The Walt Disney Company. Well, hold on, there’s more! We haven’t even talked about Disneyland yet.
Here’s a short story: Walt Disney, the founder, was sitting in a park in Los Angeles where he observed that even though the kids had the time of their lives on the various rides, their parents had nothing good to do. Sitting on his bench, he wondered why couldn’t there be a theme park where both children and their parents can have the most fun they’ve ever had.
And this is the moment when Disneyland was born. In fact, that bench is still on display at Disneyland’s Opera House.
Today, both the Disneyland and Disney World are massive. In fact, Disney World is roughly the same size as the entire San Francisco or twice as big as Manhattan. It also purchases more explosives than anyone else but the US military in the United States. Also, if you plan to sleep in every room in the Disney World, it would literally take you a lifetime, or 68 years to be precise.
Disneyland is no small thing either. In fact, there exists a Disneyland in America, China, Thailand, and Paris which means that the sun, literally, never sets on the Disneyland! It is definitely the first of its kind.
Speaking of first of its kind, The Walt Disney Company can proudly claim to be the first to do many things that changed the entertainment industry forever.
For starters, it was the first studio ever to do the impossible, which was to synchronize different voices and sounds in a movie and play them all together, a concept we know today as “dubbing”.
Speaking of sound, it was also the first one to provide voice to an animated character. In 1928, Mickey Mouse became the first animated character ever to have his own voice. His first words? “Hot dog”.
And the innovations didn’t end there. See those 360-degree videos on Facebook now? Well, Disney basically invented it. They called it Circle Vision 360 and created special theaters that played these 360-degree videos before they were cool.
So, more revenue and more employees than major competitors combined, the first to various major breakthroughs in its industry, theme parks that offer something for everyone, it is safe to say that The Walt Disney Company is, indeed, an icon for multiple generations. And it doesn’t look like stopping anytime soon.
If you enjoyed this post, why not share it with your friends? I am sure they’ll be surprised to see just how big Disney is. What would you like me to write about next? Let me know in the comments below.
Till then, thank you for reading and I will catch you in the next one!
Liked this? Time to see How Big is McDonalds!