My Lessons from Walt Disney’s The Lion King

I absolutely love Disney’s The Lion King.  While experiencing the stage play at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, it occurred to me how Disney turned his dream into something truly magical.  And a cash cow!

Most of his characters began as concepts on paper that eventually entertained audiences on a TV or movie screen.  Their ultimate destiny was either stage or ice.  Long after the performances are archived, the characters live on in the minds and hearts of fans through theme parks and merchandise.   Or, they lead parades in cities all over the world.  And cash continues to flow.

I just wanted to share how Disney has made billions of dollars from me and millions of others with The Lion King.  This is only one character.  Imagine how much money he has made from all of the characters and movies he’s ever created.

Let the register began.

The Lion King first graced audiences in movie theaters.  Shortly thereafter, Simba and friends became family members on VHS.  A little while later they were on DVD.  For a long time, there was a Lion King 1 and 2, but Disney’s genius kicked in yet again and 1 ½ came out on DVD.  Yep, I bought that, too.  I love them all and I have them on VHS and DVD.  And there is audio to go with the CDs.

I just checked Amazon as I wrote this and they have The Lion King (Disney Special Platinum Edition).  What does this mean exactly?  More money for Disney.  Apparently, they’ve added a couple more songs to justify the platinum presence.

A few years later, Simba and friends traveled the world performing on stage.  Now, they’re back on several stages at the same time AGAIN.  I’m not sure if they’ve been on ice yet, but that’s the next step after the stage.  They’re so hot on stage they may not have to go to ice.

And let’s not forget the merchandise.  There is a Lion King store in Mandalay Bay in Vegas.  How many more such stores exist?  And even with closing of some Disney Stores across the country, I’m sure they are not hurting much…even in a recession.  And eBay is every collector’s dream so I’m certain merchandise can be found on there.

There are several points to my story.

First, The Lion King has been making Disney rich for years.  Second, Walt Disney shows how many ways you can profit from one idea – even in a recession.  Third, Disney has left a legacy that will continue to live for generations. Lastly, his magical empire began with a rabbit that he gave away.

What is your favorite Disney movie? How many ways has Disney taken your money?