Video meeting technology like Zoom and Skype have proven to be a godsend during lockdown, enabling friends and family to connect remotely and chat to one another from the safety of their own homes.

To make such meetings more fun, the video communications software Zoom offers a virtual background feature, allowing users to display an image or video as their background during a Zoom call.

Both Disney and Universal have made photos from their parks available to Zoom users as video chat backgrounds.

Inspiring images from the popular theme parks are available as backgrounds, including Tokyo DisneySea, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Epcot, Pandora: The World of Avatar, Pixar Pier, Sleeping Beauty Castel at Disneyland, Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World, Shanghai Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, Castaway Cay and the Disney Cruise Line, the Studio Tour Tram, and other snaps of some of the most popular and iconic attractions at Disney and Universal resorts.



As the ongoing coronavirus pandemic forces people to stay at home, Disneyland Resort in California is showing Magic Happens parade videos over the internet.

With the aim of sprinkling a little “virtual pixie dust” on living rooms and home offices of Disney fans while the theme park is closed, these professionally produced 8-minute videos showcase the Magic Happens parade.

Views can enjoy watching floats with Disney characters from the most iconic stories, including Cinderella, Frozen, Coco, Moana, Sleeping Beauty, Sword in the Stone and the Princess and Frog. The floats are led by Mickey Mouse.

The Magic Happens parade had been performing along Main Street U.S.A for just two weeks when Disneyland closed on March 14 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The videos of the Magic Happens parade were inspired by the #HomemadeDisney attraction made by Disney enthusiasts as they stay at home during the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown.

In a blog about the new virtual viewing, Disney Parks wrote: ““We know Disney fans are searching for ways to bring magic and joy into their everyday lives and we’ve loved seeing some of you recreate your favorite Disney Parks experiences in your very own living rooms.

“In fact, you’ve inspired us to share #DisneyMagicMoments for you and your family, to enjoy at home.”



Frank Stanek, executive advisor with The Producers Group (TPG) and TEA Lifetime Achievement Award winner, is urging the attractions industry to “keep moving forward.”

In a recently released white paper, Stanek encouraged entertainment and attraction developers to continue planning and design projects in anticipation of an eventual recovery.

In an open letter to clients and partners of TPD, including the likes of Universal and Disney, Stanek noted: “Now is not the time to regress or ‘pull back’ from moving forward with projects that are tourism, entertainment or visitor-related. In fact, this is an ideal time to continue the development of well thought out projects, having attractive, market appealing concepts, sound business plans, and execution strategy.”

Stanek went on to remind that following a significant disruption or downturn, that higher growth within 6 to 24 months historically occurs.

Citing the “certain positive advantages to keep ‘moving forward’”, Stanek forecasts: “The current health and financial uncertainty will run through its cycle and in most cases, it will be of short duration but certainly, the situation will improve, financial markets will return to positive growth, health issues will be managed and solutions found and tourism and attraction visitation will return to normal dynamics.”

As we wait during these difficult times, the award-winning TPG executive advisor recommends that: “In these uncertain times those who move forward with their projects will gain the initiative over those who wait and be positioned to capture more than their market share when the cycle of uncertainty ends and tourism and visitor growth returns.”



The dedicated streaming app Disney+ has been launched throughout Europe, in the UK, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Switzerland and Spain.

The streaming service features TV shows and films from Disney, Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, the National Geographic and more, including over 500 films, 26 original series and movies, as well as thousands of TV episodes.

Due to its huge catalogue of older Disney films and large supply of family favourites, Disney+ is becoming a rival to Amazon Prime Video and Netflix.

On launching in Europe, Kevin Mayer, chairman of Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International, said: “Launching in seven markets simultaneously marks a new milestone for Disney+.

“We humbly hope that this service can bring some much-needed moments of respite for families during these difficult times,” Mayer added.

The launch of the streaming app in Europe comes at a time when many theme parks are temporarily closed due to the outbreak of coronavirus.

Disney has considered whether its current broadband infrastructure is sufficient to handle demand for the Disney+ app, which features a lower bandwidth utilisation by at least 25 per cent.

The Disney+ streaming service launched in Canada, the US, Australia, the Netherlands, Puerto Rico and New Zealand in November 2019.



Bob Iger has stepped down as CEO of the Walt Disney Company (DIS). The position is being filled by Bob Chapek, who recently served as chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.

Iger has assumed the role executive chairman, directing Disney’s creative activities, a position he will maintain until his contract ends on December 31, 2021.

In a statement about the announcement, Iger commented: “With the successful launch of Disney’s direct-to-consumer businesses and the integration of Twenty-First Century Fox well underway, I believe this is the optimal time to transition to a new CEO.”

Bob Iger added that he had the “upmost confidence” in Chapek and looks forward to “working closely with him over the next 22 months as he assumes this new role.”

Chapek said: “I am incredibly honoured and humbled to assume the role of CEO of what I truly believe is the greatest company in the world.

“Bob Iger has built Disney into the most admired and successful media and entertainment company, and I have been lucky to enjoy a front-row seat as a member of his leadership team,” Chapek added.

ob Iger is one of the most respected and credible CEOs in the United States. He took over from Michael Eisner as Walt Disney Company CEO in 2005. During his 15 years of leadership, Iger oversaw the acquisition of Pixar, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm, procurements that lead to the production of box office record-breaking films. Iger’s tenure also involved 21st Century Fox coming into Disney’s fold, a move which resulted in the company acquiring a new roster of intellectual property.

Last year, Iger unveiled Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Though in what’s described as being one of the most important achievements of his tenue, was the launch of Disney+, a streaming service that broadcast exclusive programs, rivalling Netflix.

Iger said he’s stepping down as CEO so he can concentrate on the more creative side of the business.

“I’ve been with the company for 45 years, and was in the CEO job for 15 of those years. It’s been a fun run,” said Bob Iger.