At a time when Orange County is quickly becoming an arid news desert, readers of all things Disney aren’t dying of thirst. Between a Toon Town brawl, an uncrowded Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and summer discount tickets for annual passholders, Disney theme-park tales accounted for five of the Orange County Register’s six most popular stories at one point last week.
How deep does the Register’s Disney obsession go? This Mouse Muckraker surveyed three months’ worth of stories to find out.
With Galaxy’s Edge nearing its soft opening, the newspaper published 45 Disney stories online in April, the overwhelming majority of them noncontroversial. Hype for the new land accounted for 18 of them. That tied the Register’s news, crime and feature stories about Anaheim outside the parks, which tallied 18 for the month.
In May, Disney coverage topped out at a whopping 72 articles—good for more than two per day! Of course, with Galaxy’s Edge opening on May 31 to parkgoers with reservations, the Register went into hyperdrive, covering every imaginable angle. Galaxy’s Edge stories alone accounted for 64 of the 72 Disney write-ups that month, leaving coverage of the rest of Anaheim in the dust with 27 such stories by comparison.
The Register began easing up on Galaxy’s Edge in June with headlines such as “This is What International Yoga Day Looked Like at Disneyland,” “Main Street Electrical Parade Is Coming Back to Disneyland” and “Disney Fans: An Extra Hour of Soarin’ Over California, Just for Annual Passholders.” In all, 45 stories about Disneyland were published online last month, the only critical ones of the bunch highlighting the short-lived Main Street Cinema gift-shop controversy. Galaxy’s Edge articles fell to just 27, the same as that of Anaheim coverage.
It’s official: The Register is in a Disney daze. With the newspaper lean on staff and page count, Disney stories definitely appear more prominently these days. And since we’re on the subject, in these past three months, Knott’s Berry Farm enjoyed all of 10 Register write-ups.
Won’t somebody show Snoopy some more love?