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Disney+ will blend physical and digital experiences

Illustration by Kate Walker

Disney+ will blend physical and digital experiences


The Future. Somehow, someway, Disney refuses to let Disney+ just be a normal film and TV streaming service. CEO Bob Chapek is laying out the vision for Disney+ to be a gateway to people experiencing park attractions right from home. It’s an effort to bring Disney parks into people’s homes… which may drive even more customer demand to visit the parks and other branded experiences IRL.

Waitlist & Watchlist
Speaking with Deadline, Chapek said Disney+ is in the early stages of transforming into a platform that embodies “both the physical things that you might be able to experience in a theme park, but also the digital experiences that you can get through media.”

Here’s what that may look like:

  • Called “Next Generation Storytelling,” Chapek said users may be able to virtually ride Disney attractions like Haunted Mansion or Space Mountain, potentially through the use of VR goggles.
  • Also, Disney hopes to curate Disney+ recommendations based not only on what you’ve previously watched but also from what you’ve experienced in the parks (both IRL and virtually).

The goal, according to Chapek, is to “reach the 90% of people that will never ever be able to get to a Disney park.”

Spread the magic
Disney has been laying the groundwork for this expansion over the past year.

  • It’s working on an entertainment/consumer product service modeled after Amazon Prime (dubbed internally as “Disney Prime,” of course).
  • It released its first AR-enabled short film, “Remembering,” on Disney+ last week. It requires an iOS device to unlock the AR features, but connected glasses may be on the horizon.

And the company is in the early stages of building a metaverse…which will most likely be an evolution of the Next Generation Storytelling initiative.

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