When you think of Disney you think of cartoon characters like Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Disney theme parks, and more recently, the Disney+ streaming network. What you may not know is that Disney is one of the biggest companies in the world. So how did Disney get started? Who owns Disney? More importantly, what does Disney own? Let’s first answer the question of who owns Disney and go from there.

Every company Disney owns

Who Owns Disney?

Disney is owned by multiple corporations. The largest shareholder in the company is Vanguard Group Inc. (7.1%) The Vanguard Group Inc. own 127 million shares in Disney; other large shareholders are BlackRock Inc (4.1). and State Street Corp.

The individuals that own the most stock are as follows: Bob Iger an Executive Chairman at the Walt Disney Company, Christine M. McCarthy the CFO at the Walt Disney Company; and Alan N. Braverman the general counsel of the Walt Disney company.

Who is Disney’s Current CEO?

The current Disney CEO is Bob Iger. He was the CEO from 2005 to 2020, then stepped into an Executive Chairman role at Disney. But now (once again) has become the Disney Chief Executive Officer.

Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger
Bob Iger

Before Bob Iger took on the role, Disney didn’t have as many brands, franchises, and companies under them as they do now.

Bob put a lot of time into acquiring businesses to grow Disney’s portfolio and get them to their size today.

He also has a book out called The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company and teaches a Masterclass which you can see the trailer for here:

Who Was Walt Disney?

Who Was Walt Disney
Walt Disney’s Walk of Fame Star in Hollywood

The Disney empire got its start with Walter Elias Disney who was born in 1901 and died in 1966. He got his start as a cartoonist working for a local newspaper in Chicago. He was the original creator of Mickey Mouse in 1927. This was back in the days of black and white television. Other characters followed and the Disney empire blossomed with many cartoon shows that were eventually in color. Then came the Mickey Mouse Club, Disneyland, Disneyworld, and more.

Walt Disney circa 1946
Walt Disney circa 1946 | Credit: Wikipedia

The focus was always on family entertainment. You may remember cartoons such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Mary Poppins. By this time, Walt Disney was a film producer. The ethos of the company has always focused on family and entertainment for children.

What Was Disney Originally Known As?

Disney was originally known as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio from 1923–1926 when the business was first created. They moved onto The Walt Disney Studio for the next three years, from 1926–1929.  Between 1929 and 1986 the company operated under the of Walt Disney Productions. Now Disney is known as The Walt Disney Company or simply Disney. 

Now that we’ve talked about what Disney owns, let’s talk about who owns Disney. 

Is Disney Owned by the Disney Family?

Who Owns Disney? The Disney Logo

Disney is no longer owned by the Disney family. After the death of Roy Disney in 1971, Donn Tatum became the first non-family member to become CEO and Chairman of the Board of the company. Prior to this appointment, he had a 25-year tenure as a senior executive. 

Who is Disney’s Biggest Shareholder?

Here we break down the top 10 shareholders in Disney. The top 3 shareholders currently are The Vanguard Group Inc with 127 Million share options. BlackRock Fund Advisors following up in second with 76 Million shares. 

Finally, SSga Funds Management is third with 70 Million share options. Scroll a little further to see the top 10 shareholders in Disney:

Total value ($)
The Vanguard Group, Inc.7.3%129,173,00622,737,032,516
BlackRock Fund Advisors4.1%77,296,01513,605,644,560
SSgA Funds Management, Inc.3.88%70,559,30212,419,848,338
State Farm Investment Management …2.10%38,198,8496,723,761,401
Geode Capital Management LLC1.54%27,929,4764,916,146,366
Fidelity Management & Research Co…1.47%26,665,1494,693,599,527
Northern Trust Investments, Inc.(…1.26%22,982,4424,045,369,441
T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. (I…1.17%21,179,0523,727,936,733
Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (…0.96%17,475,8173,076,093,308
Norges Bank Investment Management0.93%16,814,3312,959,658,543
Top 10 shareholders in Disney

How Many People Work at Disney?

As of early 2023, the number of people working for the Disney corporation was 220,000. This is an increase of 15.79% from the previous year.

This is only going to grow and grow, judging by the success of recent acquisitions and the projects they have coming up – exciting times for Disney ahead.

What Does Disney Own?

The Disney empire has grown exponentially since the 1960’s. Not only has the company grown, but it now has many different subsidiaries. Below is a breakdown of what companies Disney currently owns and the stake Disney holds within each:

  • ABC
  • ESPN (80%)
  • Touchstone Pictures
  • Hulu (60%)
  • Marvel
  • Lucasfilm
  • Touchstone Pictures
  • A&E (50% equity holding with Hearst Corporation)
  • The History Channel (50% equity holding with Hearst Corporation)
  • Lifetime (50% equity holding with Hearst Corporation)
  • Pixar
  • Hollywood Records
  • Vice Media (10% stake)
  • Core Publishing
  • GoPro
  • FX
  • 20th Century Fox

The Disney+ streaming service (Disney’s rival to Netflix and Prime) was launched in November 2019 so it’s still a pretty new venture. It has proven to be very popular with family audiences. As you can see, Disney has its hands in many pies.

The Companies Disney Owns – TitleMax.com – Infographic
Developed by TitleMax.com

The infographic above gives a detailed breakdown of Disney’s portfolio. 

What Film Franchises Does Disney Own?

Disney owns a lot of your favourite film franchises. My favourite is Star Wars. It was an acquisition Star Wars fans potentially thought would destroy the brand, but they’ve produced incredible films and have added to the legendary film franchise. The Disney franchises currently include:

  • Star Wars
  • The Muppets
  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe
  • The Simpsons
  • Family Guy
  • Disney Princesses/Princes 
  • The Chronicles of Narnia Franchise
  • The Pirates of the Caribbean Franchise
  • Pixar Films (such as Toy Story, The Incredibles, and Cars)
  • The Winnie the Pooh Franchise
  • The Indiana Jones Franchise
  • Grey’s Anatomy

These acquisitions have helped propel Disney into the company it is today.  

What Studios Does Disney Own?

Disney is known for their film studio division known as The Walt Disney Studios, and these include the following film studios: 

Does Disney own all of Marvel?

Marvel is a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company and was acquired by the Walt Disney Company on August 31, 2009, for $4 billion. This included all of the Marvel Universe subsidiaries:

  • Marvel Custom Solutions division
  • Marvel Brands, LLC
  • Cover Concepts, Inc.
  • Marvel Games
  • Marvel Worldwide, Inc.
  • Iron Works Productions LLC
  • Incredible Productions LLC 
  • Marvel Characters, Inc.
  • Marvel Characters B.V.
  • MVL Rights, LLC
  • Marvel International Character Holdings LLC
  • Marvel Property, Inc.

This acquisition meant that the Marvel shareholders would receive $30 and approximately 0.745 of Disney shares for each share they owned within Marvel.

Does Disney own Pixar?

Yes. Disney bought Pixar in 2006 for $7.4 billion in 2006. This acquisition meant that Steve Jobs became the largest shareholder of the company and a member of Disney’s board.

At the time, Disney’s CEO, Bob Iger, had the quite controversial idea that Disney would buy Pixar. This was due to the opinion that Disney’s animation arm was significantly behind the competition’s.

Does Netflix own Disney?

Netflix does not own Disney. They are direct competitors in the streaming world, and Netflix wrestles with Disney daily to keep its crown at the top of the streaming world. Netflix doesn’t have the financial power to buy Disney. In the meantime, they battle it out to see who can get the most subscribers.

Is Shrek from Disney?

Shrek is not from Disney. Shrek is owned by DreamWorks Animation. DreamWorks Animation is Disney Pixar’s main competition. Since Shrek has been so successful, Disney would love to have this one on its books.

Does Disney Own Warner Bros?

This one comes up often, “Does Disney own Warner Bros?.“ The simple answer is no. Disney does not own Warner Bros.. Likewise, they are not owned by Warner Bros. either. 

In the first part of 2021, they considered buying the DC Comics umbrella of Warner Bros, but that fell flat. It would be an interesting move if they could’ve pulled it off since Disney owns Marvel Comics. 

Warner Bros is currently owned by WarnerMedia Studios & Networks Group.

Does Disney Own Dreamworks?

The quick answer is no. Disney does not own DreamWorks. ​​For reference purposes: 

  • DreamWorks Animation is a subsidiary of Universal
  • Universal is a subsidiary NBCUniversal, owned by Comcast

Therefore, Disney has no ownership stake in DreamWorks.

Does Disney Own Universal Studios?

No. Disney doesn’t own Universal Studios. Universal Studios is owned by NBCUniversal. Universal Pictures actually was founded before Disney back in 1912. In fact, Universal had a rights battle with Walt Disney over the character Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. This actually made Walt Disney go out and create Mickey Mouse

Does Disney Own HBO?

HBO is known as Home Box Office, Inc. Is a premium American TV network that’s not owned by Disney. It’s owned by WarnerMedia Studios & Networks. 

Does Disney Own Harry Potter?

Disney does not own Harry Potter, nor do they have any licensing agreements for Harry Potter. Warner Bros. owns Harry Potter which is why the Harry Potter series is not currently on Disney Plus. 

However, Disney did try to land the Harry Potter World theme park but the deal never materialized.

What Does Disney Own From 20th Century Fox?

Disney purchased the whole of 20th Century Fox on March 20, 2019. They acquired the following from the acquisition: 

  • 20th Century Fox
  • Fox Family
  • 20th Century Fox Animation
  • Blue Sky Studios
  • Fox Searchlight Pictures
  • Fox 2000 Pictures 
  • Fox Studios Australia
  • Fox Stage Productions
  • Boom! Studios (minority stake)
  • Regency Enterprises (minority stake)
  • 20th Century Fox Television
  • The original iteration of 20th Television 
  • Fox Television Animation
  • Fox 21 Television Studios
  • Fox Networks Group
  • FX Networks
  • FX Productions
  • National Geographic Partners (73%)
  • Fox Networks Group Latin America
  • Fox Networks Group Europe
  • Fox Networks Group Africa
  • Fox Networks Group Asia Pacific
  • Star India
  • Hulu (30%)
  • Tata Play (30%)
  • DraftKings (Small %)

How Much Did Disney Buy 20th Century Fox For?

The purchase price was $71.3 billion. Disney bought 20th Century Fox on March 20, 2019. This acquisition was huge for Disney and allowed them to own some big-name franchises, including Family Guy and The Simpsons.

Does Disney Own Hulu?

Disney has a large stake in Hulu but it doesn’t own Hulu outright. Disney owns 30% of Hulu. They acquired this as part of the March 20, 2019 acquisition of 20th Century Fox.

How Much Did Disney Buy Star Wars For?

Disney bought Lucasfilm (including Star Wars) on October 20, 2012. The purchase price was $4.05 billion. Disney paid for this half in stock and the other half in stock. Not a bad deal for Disney in the long run. They’ve taken Star Wars to the next level and have produced some great films.

Is Harry Potter On Disney Plus?

Disney Plus has a plethora of programs for you to watch. But unfortunately, the Harry Potter series is not one of them.

Is Nickelodeon Owned By Disney?

Disney doesn’t own Nickelodeon. Nickelodeon is owned by Paramount Global. Paramount owns Nickelodeon through their domestic network division.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many companies are owned by Disney?

Disney owns over 200 companies. These companies range from movies, TV shows, video games, and even cruise lines. 

Who is Disney Owned by 2023?

Disney is traded on the U.S. Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol NYSE: DIS. Institutional shareholders own 62.25% 0.88% is owned by Disney Insiders, and 36.86 is owned by retail investors. Michael D. Eisner is the largest individual shareholder owning 14.02M shares representing 0.77% of the company.

Is Disney owned by China now?

Fifty-seven percent of the Walt Disney Company is held by Shanghai Shendi Group which is a joint venture of three companies owned by the Shanghai government.

What is Disney’s 2023 worth?

As of December 6, 2022, Disney’s net worth is $174.94 BILLION!

Final Thoughts

Disney is a truly global company, with billions of dollars in annual revenue and operations spanning six continents. Through their expansive network of products and services, they continue to create unforgettable experiences for people around the world.

So there you have it! As you can see, Disney has a massive stake in not only the film and entertainment industry, but the news industry with the purchase of several Fox channels within the 20th Century deal. 

What do you think is next on the agenda for Disney ownership! Let us know in the comments below.

One Comment

  1. Disney is the consummate origination of what an idea can become in AMERICA. Congrats to the Disney company. James B Fodor III

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