From the story of a giant-sized bird that landed on the laguna, to the hotel and the plane, the Disney-owned chain of hotels is set to celebrate its 20th anniversary this year.
From the moment it opened in the mid-1970s, it was clear that this was going to be the best hotel in the world, said Walt Disney Co. chairman Michael Eisner, who made a name for himself by bringing Disney properties to the masses with The Haunted Mansion, Pinocchio, Mickey Mouse, Pocahontas and more.
The hotel became synonymous with the theme park, with its iconic blue sky, orange and gold decor and its golden Mickey Mouse sign.
It became a destination for families and visitors from around the world and a staple of the Disney family.
Its success at opening more than 100 hotels and restaurants, along with a massive expansion to its resorts and hotels, allowed it to overtake other hotel chains as the world’s largest hotel chain in the early 1980s.
With its $8.3 billion annual sales, the company is now the world leader in hotel bookings, with more than 2,000 hotels and more than 3,000 restaurants, hotels and eateries.
It has more than 4,300 restaurants in its portfolio and more are planned, according to Eisner.
The company’s growth has also driven down prices at some of its resorts.
At Walt Disney World Resort, a $500 ticket for a night in the popular park cost $11 in October and $5 a day earlier, down from $25 a night last year.
And the cost of a night at Disney Springs Resort and Disneyland Resort is down more than 60% since 2015, compared with the same period in 2017.
Eisner said it is an example of a company that has learned how to manage costs and the impact of competition.
“They’ve taken a lot of risks and built a very solid business model,” he said.
“We have the highest level of customer satisfaction in our industry and we have one of the best operating records.
We’ve been very lucky to have these franchises in our portfolio.”
The Disney brand was once synonymous with theme parks and the thrill of discovering the wonders of the world.
But the company’s history has been marked by controversy and financial mismanagement.
In the late 1980s, the resort chain was hit with a huge lawsuit by a group of former employees alleging that it mismanaged its finances and was a poor business model, leading to the departure of the company CEO.
The suit also prompted a series of audits and recalls of the resort and its restaurants.
The company eventually agreed to a settlement with the employees and the lawsuit was dismissed.
The court-ordered $2.2 billion settlement with former employees and customers in December 2000 also led to the resignation of the last CEO, Michael E. Eisner Jr., who took the helm of the business in 2002.
Disney has also faced a number of legal controversies in recent years, including a U.S. Justice Department investigation into whether the company misused public money and failing to pay its employees for health insurance coverage.