After months of cuts, lawsuits, layoffs, and streaming woes, it seems we finally have some exciting news from the Walt Disney Company.
Disney CEO Bob Iger has dealt with a lot of negative news recently. We’ve seen the company’s ongoing feud with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the resulting cancelation of its $1 billion Imagineering campus in the state. We’ve seen Iger lay off over 7,000 Cast Members in budget cuts. And recently, we’ve seen Disney pull entertainment from its Disney+ and Hulu streaming services, incurring a $1.5 billion impairment charge in the June quarter.
Now, though, Disney fans have an announcement that is sure to bring an ‘apple-lause’.
Though the recent employee cuts eradicated previous Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s metaverse team, it appears Disney is set for a tech-heavy year with its announcement this week.
During Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC23) on Monday, June 5, Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger revealed that Disney would be partnering with Apple. Citing the combination of “extraordinary creativity with groundbreaking technology to create truly remarkable experiences,” Iger announced that Disney is partnering with Apple on its new Vision Pro mixed-reality headset.
During the highly anticipated presentation, Bob Iger said that he looks forward to sharing more Apple Vision Pro content details in the upcoming months ahead.
At Monday’s Worldwide Developers Conference, Iger stated that Disney believes that “Apple Vision Pro is a revolutionary platform that can make our vision a reality,” adding:
“The first time I tried Apple Vision Pro, the thing that struck me the most was how it allowed us to create deeply personal experiences that bring our fans closer to the characters they love, and more deeply immersed in our stories. This platform will allow us to bring Disney to our fans in ways that were previously impossible.”
To demonstrate what Disney fans can expect from the Apple VR headset, Disney released a teaser of the experience, depicting brands such as Marvel, National Geographic, ESPN, and Star Wars in all new ways. Wearers of the Apple Vision Pro can watch a scene from “The Mandalorian” on Tatooine, change viewing angles courtside at ESPN football or basketball games, and see the world “from their couch” with NatGeo.
For fans of Disney’s theme parks at the Disneyland Resort in California and Walt Disney World in Florida, the trailer revealed a magical part of the virtual reality experience. The reel showed the popular Main Street Electrical Parade heading toward the Cinderella Castle with fireworks high above Magic Kingdom – all coming to life in the user’s house.
It’ll be interesting to see how far this Disney Park virtual reality goes considering how we imagine Disney will still want people to pay to visit the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme parks in real life.
Iger also revealed that Disney+ will be available on day one of the Vision Pro, which Apple said would start shipping “early next year.” The immersive Apple headset will let you watch movies, TV shows, and more on a virtual screen and will support 3D, like Meta’s Quest headsets.
If you want one of these nifty bits of tech, however, you’d better start saving your pennies now. Apple’s Vision Pro will cost a whopping $3,499 when it launches in 2024. Compare that to Meta’s upcoming Quest 3, which will cost $499.
Apple touts Vision as a revolutionary “spatial computer” that seamlessly blends digital content with the physical world while allowing users to stay present and connected to others. You can watch Iger’s Apple announcement video here: