The top dog in family media hit new highs in 2015, and that was before this past weekend's Star Wars: The Force Awakens shattered box office records.
Let's take a closer look at The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) and some of the best headlines that propelled the original Mickey Mouse company to higher ground throughout the year.
Disney kicked off the fiscal 2015 year in strong fashion, posting better-than-expected quarterly results in early February. Revenue climbed 9% since the prior year to hit $13.39 billion, twice the growth that Wall Street was targeting.
The news was even better on the bottom line, where analysts were only holding out for 4% in year-over-year improvement, but Disney came through with a 23% surge.
The stock popped into the triple digits, hitting a new highs following the report. It was the first of many times that it would go on to set a new high-water mark.
The media giant hosted its annual shareholder meeting in March. When you have a company with so many moving parts, every annual meeting can offer new insight. Disney admitted that it will be renaming Disney's Hollywood Studios, its least visited theme park in Florida.
Disney also broke the news that Rogue One -- the first spinoff of the Star Wars franchise -- will be released next year. It also revealed that the next installment of the series will hit theaters during the 2017 Memorial Day weekend.
Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) has helped push several Disney properties into digital monetization through its namesake streaming service in the past, but the stakes were raised when Daredevil made all 13 episodes of its first season available exclusively on Netflix.
Netflix would go on to push out another Marvel original series -- Jessica Jones -- later in the year, but Daredevil was the one that kicked off the Marvel and Netflix partnership in strong fashion.
Disney's fiscal second quarter was another winner, sending the stock up to yet another all-time high.
Milking more money out of its Lucasfilm acquisition, Disney announced this summer that it will release a Han Solo origin film during Memorial Day weekend of 2018. It had announced earlier in the year that bounty hunter Boba Fett would be getting his own flick.
The movie covering Solo's early days as an emerging smuggler with Chewbacca and the Millennium Falcon should prove popular. Famed screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan -- having helped write Raiders of the Lost Ark and a couple of Star Wars films including Star Wars: The Force Awakens -- will work on the script. The team behind The Lego Movie will direct.
We knew we would be getting some theme park news in mid-August when Disney's D23 expo had its parks and resorts presentation before a crowd of diehard fans. It didn't disappoint. Disney unveiled plans to open Toy Story Land at Disney World's Disney's Hollywood Studios. It would also open 14-acre Star Wars Land areas on both coasts.
Disney didn't reveal a timeline for the expansion projects to open, but it did announce later in the year that it would be breaking ground on Disney World's Star Wars Land in 2016.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens hit a multiplex near you on Thursday night. There were never any doubts about its inevitable success, but it still went on to shatter box office records in its debut weekend. The Force is strong in this one.
Rick Munarriz owns shares of Netflix and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Netflix and Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.