Back in January I got my email notification about the Disney Annual Stockholders meeting with all the proposals connected with the item’s we stockholders would need to vote on. I went online and chose to vote via the online option but then I noticed that the meeting was being held in St Louis. Wow never been to a stockholder meeting before. I figured being Disney it would be interesting. I was not disappointed.
I decided to take the day off and drove downtown to the parking area for the arena and Stifel Theatre. The parking was provided for free by Disney and as I drove in the amount of people driving into the garage was a lot more than I expected and you knew they were going to the meeting as they had their print outs in hand for entry.
Entering the front of Stifel the was quite a line to get in and in Disney fashion the true line length was hidden. As I walked in, I said “Hey I thought I had a Fast Pass” prompting some chuckles from the assembled crowd. There were tons of banners are art work some talking about the entry procedures and others with Disney artwork. First was the ID check where my printout was compared to my DL information then moving on I was queried about not having any cell phones or other recording devices. I then was scanned and ascended the stairs to the theatre entry lobby.
Arriving upstairs there were character photo ops happening. I got to meet with Mickey, and they took photos Disney PhotoPass style with a card given so I can download the photo later. I also met Captain America the new Marvel character whose movie comes out tomorrow, Buzz Lightyear and Woody from Toy Story were there as well but I decided I wanted to get seated and moved towards the entrance to the theatre itself Just outside there was refreshments and I helped myself to an excellent cup of coffee and sat down to choose my seat.
I picked out a nice aisle seat and sat down to get comfortable. On the screen was video of the character meets going on outside the theatre. This was to be a multimedia extravaganza. The house lights started to dim and a musical group D A Capella came out to perform they did 4 Disney songs centered around movies coming out or already in theatres. Hate to be critical but they were what I would say is um OK. Then Robert Iger the president of Disney came out. He did a quick up date on things and then turned it over to the lawyers for the real business meeting. Two nuns got up and gave two stockholder proposals about some social justice things and then they counted the votes. Makes you feel a tiny bit small when you hear there are over a BILLION outstanding shares of stocks. The votes were not even close with both stockholder proposals defeated.
Then the president got up and briefed on new things coming to the parks including a Star Wars addition to Disneyland and Magic Kingdom. We saw backstage footage of the areas OMG it’s going to be awesome. He then presented several movies coming out starting with Captain America. The trailers were just incredible, and some were before they have been released any where else we were the first to see them. We also got a brief preview of the to come Avatar movie that is actually a Fox property that will be coming to Disney with the merger. After being blown away by all the great looking movies coming out this year the President started taking questions from the crowd.
This was kind of strange as some of the questions seemed set up. The presentation included a lot of information about Disney + the new streaming service that is about to be put in place and one of the questions was asking about how that would work and they had already pretty much told us all about it. Still others were very self-serving for Disney, but I could have gotten up and asked a question if I had desired.
We were thanked for coming and I headed for the door. As we left, they were passing out free posters for Captain America I grabbed one on impulse. Outside all the displays had been taken down and all the exits so unlike when we came in only one way there were several ways out. A very Disney thing to do.
I was surprised when I got back to the car and turned the cell on that the whole thing had taken less than 3 hours. I headed back to head home and have some lunch. I found the whole experience just great and impressive. Though my number of shares is very modest it felt great to have some belonging to such an successful organization that is Disney and the idea that anybody who was a shareholder could come and ask and participate in the meeting. I am very glad I had the opportunity to attend.