Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis lashed out at Disney executives on Tuesday — one day after the Mouse House condemned the governor’s signing of the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

After the introduction. News starts at timestamp 3:25.
Disney news starts at 8:52.

“For Disney to come out and put a statement and say that the bill should have never passed and they are going to actively work to repeal it — I think, one, was fundamentally dishonest. But two, I think that crossed the line,” DeSantis said at a press conference.

“This state is governed by the interests of the people of the state of Florida. It is not based on the demands of California corporate executives. They do not run this state. They do not control this state,” the governor added.

DeSantis signed Florida HB 1557 into law on Monday despite critics who decried the measure as harmful and discriminatory. The legislation bans Florida teachers from discussing LGBTQ topics like sexual orientation or gender identity with students unless they’re in the fourth grade or higher.

Disney released a scathing statement shortly after DeSantis signed the bill, declaring it “should never have passed and should never have been signed into law.”

“Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that,” Disney said in a statement.


Using smart wrist bands to improve and personalize customer experiences in Disney World resorts

Key facts

  • In 2014, Disney¹ launched multi-coloured RFID wristbands – Magic Bands – for guests visiting the Disney World resort that link to the company’s guest management system, MyMagic+.
  • MagicBands allow guests to manage their entire customer experience using the band; it enables them to make payments, manage reservations, access hotel rooms and enables staff to deliver a highly personalized experience.
  • The app allows guests to link their hotel reservations, credit cards, park tickets and personal details to their wristband.


  • The personalized MagicBands work in tandem with Disney’s analytics servers to create personalized itineraries based on preferences.
  • The bands provide a seamless experience while at the park by removing the need for multiple tickets, reservations or payments.
  • Links to park infrastructure enable staff to know who you are and what you need (e.g. pre-ordered food at park restaurants).


  • Increased footfalls from unique personalized digital experience throughout the period of stay.
  • 20% increase in Q4 2014 profits, driven at least partly by higher customer spending.
  • As of Feb. 2015, over 10 million visitors had used the bands with approval ratings in excess of 90%.
  • Access to direct user data allows Disney to make efficiency and process improvements, as well as develop customized experiences.


  • Initiative conceptualized in 2008-2009 as part of the Next Generation Experience project.
  • Disney brought on partners early in 2009 to support the development of the technology and set up an ideation lab to design and prototype the MyMagic+ and MagicBand concepts over the following five years.
  • $1 billion invested in the project to develop the necessary infrastructure and train employees.

Disney’s Magic Bands is one of more than 100 case studies identified as part of the World Economic Forum’s Digital Transformation of Industries initiative.  An overview of the DTI program can be found here. [Scroll to the bottom of this page, to see the content linked here.]

1. Sources: Fast Company,,, WEF/Accenture Analysis

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Members of the WEF, who are associated with Disney:

Thomas Spiller. Vice-President, Public Policy, Europe, Middle East and Africa, The Walt Disney Company
Nancy Schumacher. Senior Vice-President, National Geographic Expeditions and Adventures by Disney, National Geographic Partners
Brimbelle Grandcolas. Head of Diversity and Inclusion – Disney, Business and Sustainable Development Commission
Dan Shine. Curator, The Innovation Hangar.
Formerly: managed development of smart handheld products, Motorola; managed strategic alliances and special projects for theme parks globally, Walt Disney Imagineering
Jesse Schell. Chief Executive Officer, Schell Games. Formerly: 7 years as Creative Director, Walt Disney Imagineering Virtual Reality Studio, working on projects for Disney theme parks, DisneyQuest, Toontown Online, the first massively multiplayer game for kids
Tiffany West. World Economic Forum LLC.
Prior to WEF: was in strategic planning at The Walt Disney Company
Meg Whitman. Chief Executive Officer, Quibi Holdings, LLC. Has held executive-level positions at Hasbro, FTD, Stride Rite Corporation, Walt Disney Company and Bain & Company
Ben Nelson. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Minerva Project. President and CEO, Community Ventures; consultant instrumental in the launching of several ventures within large and emerging companies, including the launches of Disney Regional Entertainment, Walt Disney Company in Asia
Rosalin Abigail Kyere-Nartey. Founding Curator and Outgoing Curator, Dodowa Hub. She is Walt Disney Hospitality Leadership Fellow and worked as Guest Experience Manager at Walt Disney World, U.S.A
Samil Patil. Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Scroll Media. Samir is the founder of one of India’s leading digital news ventures. He is an entrepreneur who also founded ACK Media (2007-12). Under his leadership the venture expanded from a publishing house into a media company that created India’s #1 online destination for children’s programming, mobile games, TV shows, and films, in partnership with Time Warner and Disney
Elena Martynova. Managing Director at USM, a diversified international holding company, since 2012. She also serves as a member of the Executive Board of MegaFon and is a member of the Board of Directors at several USM companies including UTH broadcaster (Disney Russia and other TV channels) and Kommersant Publishing House
Michael Mendenhall. Formerly with Walt Disney Company: senior marketing positions including Executive Vice-President, Marketing and Communications, Parks and Resorts. Member of the Board: US Swimming Foundation; San Gabriel Valley Council of the Boy Scouts of America
Wang Danyang

Cooperated with external partner to negotiate the best advertising plan in 20 cities with less budget, enhanced branding awareness  Planned and executed more than 20 sponsorship of industry conferences per year and high level summits (Summer Davos, Boao, G20 summit, etc.), as well as the cooperation of solar projects with the Everest base camp, Disney, Peking University, Tsinghua University to raise the brand image  Organized Japan, Beijing press conference and other media events, planned and executed the cooperation with 5 industry associations to maintain good relations

Willmont Allen

At IFC, Wilmot was also Senior Advisor to the CEO on entrepreneurship in conjunction with the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Youth Unemployment and co-developed IFC’s early strategy for fragile states and conflicted-affected areas. Wilmot previously worked in technology M&A investment banking with JPMorgan Hambrecht & Quist, in venture capital with Commonwealth Enterprise Fund, in finance and strategy with the ABC Television Network (Walt Disney Company) and with the private placements and IPO groups of Merrill Lynch & Company

Vikram Somaya was previously Executive Vice President and Chief Data Officer at Nielsen, and Senior Vice President, Global Data Officer at ESPN. During the latter role Somaya led the company’s global data strategy and worked closely with Disney Media Networks to identify new revenue models and drive key sales strategies
Jonathan Reckford spent much of early career in the for-profit sector, including in executive and managerial positions at Goldman Sachs, Marriott, The Walt Disney Co., and Best Buy
Thomas Donaldson Consulting appointments with: AT&T, IBM, Disney, JP Morgan, Axel Johnson, Bankers Trust, IMF, among others
Matthew Davie is an elected board member at the Libra Association, a charter member of the Linux Foundation’s Social Impact Working Group, and serves as a senior advisor to ID2020. Matthew previously held senior executive roles at SEGA, Disney, and Playdom before joining Kiva
Lisa Caputo served as the President and CEO of Women and Co., a subsidiary of Citigroup, offering financial services for women. Before joining Citigroup, Caputo was a senior communications executive at the CBS Corporation and at the Walt Disney Company. She was also a contributing editor to George magazine, as well as an NBC and MSNBC political analyst, and has served as a co-host for CNN’s “Crossfire”, and CNBC/MSNBC’s “Equal Time”
Hugo Bara is the VP of VR at Meta (Facebook), heading the Oculus team. Prior to Facebook, Hugo was Vice President of Xiaomi’s Global division, responsible for the company’s products and operations in all markets outside of Mainland China. Before that, he served as Vice President of Android Product Management at Google, overseeing global development of the Android operating system. His first job was as a college intern on the DisneyQuest VR project at Walt Disney Imagineering
Keyvan Peymani serves as the Head of Startup Marketing for Amazon Web Services and is responsible for the global marketing strategy. He also served as Vice President of Direct to Consumer Business Planning and Operations at Warner Bros., where he led strategy, operations, planning and development. In addition, he oversaw three business areas, including mobile apps, and worked on industry-leading forays into OTT, the first fully digital movie apps, the first screenings of movies in Facebook, and the acquisition of Flixster. Prior, he was head of content acquisitions for catalog content and led the wholesales efforts at Netflix; he led alternative business development for Disney’s music group
Michael Froman Vice-Chairman and President, Strategic Growth, Mastercard, responsible for growing strategic partnerships, scaling new business opportunities, and advancing efforts to partner with governments and other institutions to address major societal and economic issues. Member of the Board of Directors, The Walt Disney Company. 2013-17
Kevin Ryan more than 15 years of business and financial experience. Former: Investment Banker, Prudential Investment Corporation, US and UK; positions with Euro Disney, France. Advisory Board, Doctors Without Borders. Member of the Board: Yale Corporation, Human Rights Watch; NYC Investment Fund
Jeff Shell Formerly: in Strategic Planning Group, Walt Disney Company; with Salomon Brothers; positions within News Corporation incl. President, FOX Cable Networks Group; CEO, Gemstar TV Guide International; President, Comcast Programming Group. Since 2011, President, NBCUniversal International, London. On the board of non-profit organizations, incl. National Constitution Center. Leader in organizations working on public school reform

More Coming….

An introduction to the
Digital Transformation of Industries Initiative

Shared from

The digital transformation of industries represents an immense opportunity to create value for both industry and society.

Rapid advances in digital technology are redefining our world. The plummeting cost of advanced technologies (a top-of-the-range smartphone in 2007 cost $499; a model with similar specifications cost $10 in 2015) is revolutionizing business and society. And the ‘combinatorial’ effects of these technologies – mobile, cloud, artificial intelligence, sensors and analytics among others – is accelerating progress exponentially. Technology is the multiplier.

Digital transformation provides industry with unparalleled opportunities for value creation. It used to take Fortune 500 companies an average of 20 years to reach a billion-dollar valuation; today’s digital startups are getting there in four. Digital technologies are creating new profit pools by transforming customer expectations and how companies can address them. 

At the same time, digitalization could produce benefits for society that equal, or even surpass, the value created for industry – the mass adoption of autonomous vehicles and usage-based car insurance, for instance, could save up to 1 million lives by 2025.

At present, digital transformation is not well understood, and a number of myths are obscuring the path to realizing its potential for value creation. We demystify some of the most common myths about digital, revealing, for example, the true extent of disruption by digital startups and how the impact of automation on employment is likely to be very different from today’s received wisdom on the subject.

Action will be needed to realize the benefits to society and industry of digitalization 

The importance of realizing the combined value of digital transformation cannot be overstated, given digitization’s central role in tackling many of the challenges we face today. The world’s energy and natural resource usage is unsustainable. Further increases in life expectancy are at risk without resolving the growing cost structures of overburdened health systems.

Yet the benefits of digitalization will not accrue automatically to industry or society, and there is a risk that the promise of digital transformation will go unfulfilled. Moreover, organizations do not always understand what impact their digital initiatives will have on different aspects of society – from employment to the environment and beyond – or what responsibility they should bear for addressing any unintended consequences of digitalization.

How can enterprises deliver ‘combined value’, maximizing benefits both for industry and society?

Our ‘value at stake’ analysis of more than 65 digital initiatives (see Figure 1) suggests that the combined value – to society and industry – of digital transformation across industries is upwards of $100 trillion over the next 10 years. To assess how enterprises can maximize the value of digitalization for industry and society, we also analyzed four cross-industry themes: digital consumption, digital enterprise, societal implications and platform governance. Individually and together, these themes represent dramatic shifts in the way demand is met by supply and the impact of digitalization on social outcomes.

From the nine DTI white papers that have been published this year, we have distilled our research and analysis down to a handful of key questions for industry leaders to consider and act on, to help deliver ‘combined value’.

Digital Transformation of Industries

Demystifying Digital and Securing $100 Trillion of Value for Society and Industry by 2025, an overview of the World Economic Forum’s Digital Transformation of Industries (DTI) initiative, is available here.

The DTI initiative has focused so far on six industries (automotiveconsumerelectricityhealt

hcarelogistics and media) and four cross-industry themes (digital consumptiondigital enterprisesocietal implications, and platform governance).

Disney’s ‘Avatar 2’ Collapses Nearly 60 Percent In Only Second Week of Release

OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.

The Walt Disney Co. appears to be on the path to another disappointing theatrical release with the new animated Avatar sequel. The film, “Avatar: The Way of Water,” earned around $56 million for the weekend that ended on Sunday, which represented a 58.2 percent decline from its debut a week ago.

While some caution that there could be mitigating factors that tempered movie attendance, such as the Christmas holiday over the weekend and the bomb cyclone that prevented much of the country from doing a lot of traveling amid bitter cold and snow, the poor second-week performance, nevertheless, likely has Disney execs on edge after a number of other high-profile flops this year.

“So far, Avatar 2 has grossed $279.7 domestically — a weak beginning for the most hyped movie of the year. The figure suggests the movie is having trouble generating the kind of repeat viewing that propelled the first Avatar to become the highest-grossing movie of all time,” Breitbart News reported.

The report added:

Globally, Avatar 2 has so far grossed $881.4 million. The movie had an estimated production budget of $460 million, which doesn’t include marketing costs, meaning it will have to gross between $1.5 billion to $2 billion just to break even.

Perhaps most worryingly for Disney, the movie is the latest in a growing line of Hollywood blockbusters to flop in China, bringing in $57.1 million on its opening weekend there, far below the approximately $120 million it was expected to earn.

The first Avatar film, released in 2009, was a major hit in China, where it grossed $200 million.

The entertainment giant has been taking financial hits for the past year, with many critics blaming the company for putting “woke” ideology ahead of what a majority of Americans actually want to see. The dismal performance led to the firing of CEO Bob Chapek, who was replaced by former CEO Bob Iger last month.

Chapek’s tenure has been marked with complaints of overtly “woke” content that has failed to resonate with audiences, falling stock prices, and bleeding profits, not to mention a political fight with Florida’s most popular elected official.

The Daily Wire noted as well:

Disney stock has fallen over 40% over the last year amid an ailing economy. It’s woes have been blamed on a series of decisions that have alienated its family-minded and in many cases, conservative, customer base. The company clashed bitterly with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over a law that prohibits public schools from teaching kids below the fourth grade about sexual orientation and radical gender theory.

The company was also criticized for featuring a lesbian kiss in kids’ movie “Lightyear,” showing a transgender man purchasing tampons in a TV series, and emphatically embracing the trend of Environmental, Social, and Governance, a strategy that courts investors by promoting a host of woke values within the corporate structure.

The Mouse House lost billions during the COVID-19 pandemic, including having its parks closed for much of the time. Chapek was charged with bringing Disney back to profitability, but instead, he caved to a small number of employees who opposed a piece of legislation in Florida barring trans and LGBTQ curriculum being taught to children between kindergarten and third grade.

Disney’s previous animated offering, “Strange World,” also flopped.

According to reports, the film, which includes an openly gay teenager, brought in a paltry $4.2 million during its Thanksgiving Day release, while earning slightly more than $11 million over the subsequent 5-day period. The film cost $180 million to make, Variety reported, adding that, when all is said and done, Strange World could lose north of $100 million.

“Even with proper attention on Disney+ and home entertainment platforms, box office experts suggest it’ll be difficult to get the big-budget film into the black,” Variety reported. “Since ‘Strange World’ cost $180 million to produce and tens of millions more in global marketing and distribution fees, the film needs to gross roughly $360 million to break even, sources say.”

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