Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.


IDEAS: Alaska Airlines Unveils Disney Inspired Aircraft, ‘Mickey’s Toontown Express’

8 months ago

Alaska Airlines has unveiled its latest Disney themed aircraft, aptly named ‘Mickey’s Toontown Express,’ which has been inspired by Mickey’s Toontown in Disneyland Park.

Alaska Airlines Mickey’s Toontown Disney Livery launch
Credit: Joe Nicholson / Alaska Airlines

The Boeing 737-800, which is now flying routes across Alaska’s network, features Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto, Donald Duck and Daisy Duck, and saw artists spend 400 hours hand-painting the design onto the aircraft exterior.

Take a look at the time lapse showing the painting process below:

According to a release from Alaska Airlines, this is the eighth livery the carrier has created in collaboration with Disneyland Resorts, and will also see a selection of Disney themed activity books and snack packs offered on board, while supplies last.

Joe Nicholson / Alaska Airlines

“It’s heartening how much our Disneyland Resort-themed airplanes spark joy in our guests — young and young at heart. What makes this even more special is the return of Mickey Mouse on an Alaska Airlines plane since he made his debut on our fleet eight years ago,” said Sangita Woerner, Alaska’s senior vice-president of marketing and guest experience.

“Alaska’s long-standing relationship with the Disneyland Resort has helped to create unforgettable experiences for our guests and employees. As a family-friendly airline, it speaks to the care we strive to show everyday with these special touches.”

Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.


Disney CEO Bob Iger’s Surprise Possible Replacement Revealed

1 year ago

A shortlist of potential executives to succeed Disney CEO Bob Iger has surfaced, bringing a few surprises to the search for his replacement.

An unexpected inclusion, according to the list reported by Fox Business, is NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who is currently under contract with the basketball league through 2024.

Kevin Mayer, co-CEO and founder of Candle Media, a U.S. production company, is also on the list. A former Disney executive, Mayer left the company to head up TikTok’s operations in America after Bob Chapek initially succeeded Iger.

Dana Walden, currently the co-chief of Disney Entertainment, has also been listed as one of the possible replacements for Iger. While previous reports indicated a possible succession by Josh D’Amaro, Disney chairman, he was not mentioned in this potential list.

Iger recently reorganized the company, adding a Disney entertainment business unit to be overseen by Walden and Alan Bergman. D’Amaro remains in charge of the third division within the company, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.

Iger’s reappointment came with the stipulation that he would find his successor before retiring again in two years’ time. Disney has since set up a succession planning committee to help find the executive’s replacement, but there has been no indication of when Iger’s successor will be confirmed.


Disney Parks Chairman D’Amaro Mentioned Among Possible Successors to CEO Iger

2 years ago

Josh D’Amaro, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman, could become the next CEO of The Walt Disney Company.

The company on Sunday announced Bob Iger was returning to lead Disney as CEO, replacing Bob Chapek. Iger will work closely with Disney’s board to recruit the next person to lead the company after his two-year stint.

Now D’Amaro could be next in line, according to reports.

D’Amaro recently spoke at Skift Global Forum, where he discussed how the company will continue to thrive and push boundaries around storytelling and experiences.

Meanwhile, Reuters said Dana Walden, a former Fox television executive who leads Disney’s General Entertainment Content group, was another potential internal candidate.

Whoever takes over, a big challenge will be managing Disney+, the brand’s all-in streaming video strategy, according to Reuters.

Business Travel

Disney Cutting Business Travel and Meetings-Related Travel After Belt Tightening

2 years ago

The first tremors of economic slowdown are beginning to be felt in the travel industry: even though Disney Parks had a record quarter, the overall parent company had a disappointing quarter in its other businesses and is now planning a hiring freeze, job cuts and other expense cuts. As part of that, CNBC reports that in a memo sent by Disney CEO Bob Chapek today, the company is cutting back on business travel as well as travel for events and internal meetings.

From the memo: “In the immediate term, business travel should now be limited to essential trips only. In-person work sessions or offsites requiring travel will need advance approval and review from a member of your executive team (i.e., direct report of the segment chairman or corporate executive officer). As much as possible, these meetings should be conducted virtually. Attendance at conferences and other external events will also be restricted and require approvals from a member of your executive team.”

This comes as tech companies are going through a blistering round of layoffs that are starting to have first order and more downstream effects in the travel sector.


Disney Parks Posts Record Quarterly Revenue Even With Some Closures

2 years ago

The Walt Disney Corporation announced on Tuesday during its fourth quarter earnings call that its theme park division generated $7.42 billion worth of revenue, a division record and a 36 percent increase from the same period last year.

Disney’s theme parks posted record revenue for the quarter ending Oct. 1 despite Hurricane Ian forcing the closure of all Walt Disney World parks in Florida for two days in September and Shanghai Disneyland’s strict entry rules limiting the number of visitors. Disney Parks’ quarterly operating income of $1.5 billion was more than double last year’s figure. In addition, Disney also said its theme park division also set all-time records in both revenue and operating income for a full year.

However, Disney reported weaker than-expected-quarterly earnings in large part due to its streaming business losing $1.47 billion during the period. The company’s recorded $20.2 billion worth of revenue for the fourth quarter. Analysts had projected Disney to generate $21.27 billion of revenue.

Disney World entrance
Disney Parks posted record revenue for the fourth quarter despite the brief closure of Disney World in September. (Jrobertiko/Wikimedia Commons)