3 Dates for Disney Investors to Circle in December

There's never a dull moment -- much less a dull month -- when it comes to Disney (NYSE: DIS). It's hard to think of a more newsy company among the universe of consumer discretionary stocks, and the House of Mouse probably wouldn't have it any other way.

Disney will make plenty of waves. A key piece of Disney+ content, one of its most important new theme park ride openings in years, and the theatrical release of what should be this year's highest-grossing movie are all on tap in December. Let's take a closer look. 

Scenes of classic Disney characters projected on buildings during a nighttime Disney's Hollywood Studios show.

Image source: Disney.

Dec. 3

Disney+ has been a hit since its Nov. 12 launch, and between a deep vault of classic content and buzz for its Star Wars spinoff The Mandalorian, there's a lot on the streaming video platform to keep its 10 million initial subscribers busy. 

Disney isn't going to shut off the spigot. One of the more intriguing pieces of content to hit Disney+ this month will be Tuesday's debut of One Day at Disney. The Disney+ media event offered a taste of the documentary that follows 75 Disney cast members worldwide on a typical day, and there's even a behind-the-scenes coffee table book to accompany the piece that will air exclusively on the new premium service. 

It's a genius move. The documentary is naturally tilted in Disney's favor. Elevating its employees across various tasks in telling their stories, and turning everyday people into documentary stars, could increase the allure of working for the media giant. So it's a self-serving piece, and it's one that probably only Disney could pull off among the leading streaming services. 

Dec. 5 

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge was supposed to be a game changer. The most significant addition to Disneyland in California and Disney World in Florida in more than 20 years hasn't lived up to the initial hype. Disneyland has posted year-over-year declines in attendance in the first two quarters of availability, but thankfully the trends are kinder at Disney World. 

The silver lining for Disney is that guests are only seeing the first phase of the new land. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance -- a ride that by most accounts is superior to the Millennium Falcon flight simulator that opened earlier this year -- rolls out at Disney World on Thursday. Disneyland's version will begin taking on riders next month. 

There's a lot riding on the new attraction. If it fails to raise the bar -- or, at the very least, turnstile clicks -- Disney will be hard-pressed to continue with its annual ticket price increases. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance can't afford to be a disappointment. A media event will take place the night before, but Dec. 5 is when the first wave of guests will get to experience the new high-tech and immersive addition.

Dec. 20

There's no shortage of debate among diehard Star Wars fans on the direction the franchise has been heading under Disney's watch, and that's not going to chance when the ninth and final installment of the iconic saga hits theaters later this month. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker premieres on Dec. 20.

Disney doesn't have to please everybody, but expectations are high for the move to set box-office records for the franchise. If it performs poorly, it could eat into the anticipation of the next Star Wars trilogy that won't hit theaters until 2022. A sloppy finish to the series could also eat into consumer interest for any spinoffs for movies or Disney+ shows. Disney's lucrative ecosystem often has a hit theatrical release set everything else in motion, and this film has no choice but to be a ticket sales smash.

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Rick Munarriz owns shares of Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Walt Disney and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $60 calls on Walt Disney and short January 2020 $130 calls on Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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