Impact of 9/11 on The Walt Disney Company

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On September 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked four planes within The United States of America and killed thousands of innocent civilians. State and federal government buildings such as the World Trade Center was destroyed as well as parts of The Pentagon. It remains the deadliest attack on American soil, and the day was named Patriot Day in honor to pay respects to the lives lost from the disasters that occurred that day.

Media in the entertainment industry had been significantly affected from the events. Companies mainly reacted by removing or altering scenes in films and television to rid of the scenes that could have been interpreted as being in bad taste.

The following is a list of things that had affected The Walt Disney Company as a result of the attacks:


  • Carolyn Beug - former Senior Vice President of Walt Disney Records; killed on-board American Airlines Flight 11 upon impact of crashing into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
  • Don DiFranco - WABC-TV (ABC7) engineer and technician; killed while working at the Channel 7 transmitter site on the 110th floor of the North Tower on the World Trade Center; employed under ABC Owned Television Stations, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company through American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.[1]


  • Lilo & Stitch - the third act of the movie was edited from a scene where Stitch flew a Boeing 747 jet downtown Honolulu to save Lilo, and eventually then to a scene where Stitch would instead fly Jumba's spaceship through Kauai's mountains. This edit has been done by replacing the CGI models, and only a few scenes had to have been re-animated.
  • Armageddon - when it premiered on ABC sometime around April 2002, the scene where the World Trade Center was hit by a meteor and caught on fire was edited out.
  • An Extremely Goofy Movie - a scene which revolved around Max and Goofy saving Tank from a tall burning and collapsing replica building of ESPN's X-Games was cut from television broadcasting due to the striking resemblance of the attacks.
  • Monsters, Inc. - the film was originally going to feature a scene where a building exploded as part of a decontamination effort against human children, but was instead replaced with a plasma attack.
  • Bionicle 2: Legends of Metru Nui - a scene where Vakama encounters a vision and witnesses the coliseum explode then collapse with smoke was cut from the final film due to the coliseum looking too reminiscent of a tall tower. In the final film it was instead skipped with a scene that depicts the coliseum still standing with some lightning and a cloudy atmosphere. The movie was released internationally by Miramax Home Entertainment through Buena Vista Home Entertainment but received a Polish Walt Disney Home Entertainment branded release in the Czech Republic. Miramax was originally owned and operated under Disney until 2010 when they had it sold off to another company.


  • View from the Top - originally scheduled for release on Christmas 2001, but was delayed due to the film centering around a flight attendant on several planes. The movie was released by Miramax Films through Buena Vista Pictures. Miramax was originally owned and operated under Disney until 2010 when they had it sold off to another company.
  • Big Trouble - originally scheduled for release on September 21, 2001, but was delayed due to the film centering around the film's comedic take of smuggling a nuclear device onto an airplane.
  • Bad Company - originally scheduled for release sometime around late 2001, but was delayed due to the film centering around a criminal mastermind who was planning to detonate a bomb within the Grand Central Terminal.
  • Gangs of New York - originally scheduled for release on December 21, 2001, but was delayed due to the film containing shots of the Twin Towers. The film makers had been debating on whether or not to digitally remove them, but in the end, they remained in the final film.



  • The Timekeeper - for the New York City scene, the Timekeeper was changed from visiting the city from 2001, to being pushed back to 2000 in an updated version of the attraction due to the appearance of the World Trade Center.


  • Disney's Pop Century Resort was originally planned to open in 2001, but due to the reduction in tourism after 9/11, its opening was delayed to 2002. It was once again delayed until it eventually opened in 2003. Additionally, the original plans for the resort included a "Legendary Years" section themed to the 1900s-1940s, which would have resided across the lake from the "Classic Years" section, but these plans were scrapped following 9/11. As of 2012, the area that would have become the "Legendary Years" section is now home to Disney's Art of Animation Resort.


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