- McDonald's is once again partnering with Disney to bring properties from the House of Mouse back to the Golden Arches.
- The partnership comes more than a decade after Disney severed ties with the burger brand.
- The two parted ways at a time when childhood obesity rates were rising and there was widespread concern over children's meals at fast food restaurants.
- In mid-February McDonald's said that it was revamping its Happy Meal menu to offer selections that were lower in calories, sodium, saturated fat and sugar.
The partnership will bring the House of Mouse back to Happy Meals more than a decade after Disney severed ties with the burger brand.
The two parted ways at a time when childhood obesity rates were rising and there was widespread concern over calorie-laden children's meals at fast food restaurants.
In mid-February McDonald's said that it was revamping its Happy Meal menu to offer selections that were lower in calories, sodium, saturated fat and sugar. This meant ditching cheeseburgers and chocolate milk from the kids' menu.
While these items are still available for purchase, McDonald's will not list them on the menu, thus making less likely that these items will be ordered, it said.
"McDonald's commitment to balanced Happy Meals allows our two companies to collaborate on new ways to bring the magic of Disney to McDonald's consumers," Tiffany Rende, senior vice president of corporate alliances at Disney, said in a statement Tuesday.
Disney first developed its nutrition guidelines in 2006 and expanded the initiative in 2012. The company seeks to promote the consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy, as well as limiting the number of calories, saturated fats, sugars and sodium consumed.
Disney has also issued new standards for how food is advertised to kids and families.
McDonald's expects to be in-line with Disney's nutrition guidelines by the summer just in time for the release of "Incredibles 2." The burger chain plans to promote "Wreck-It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet" in November.
This isn't the first time that McDonald's has tinkered with its Happy Meals. In recent years, the company has cut the size of its fries, ditched antibiotics from its chicken nuggets, added fruit options and removed soda from the Happy Meal.
Since 2013, McDonald's has seen a 14 percentage point increase in Happy Meals ordered with water, milk or juice as their beverage, the company says.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated sales trends related to Happy Meals over the last four years. It also misidentified a wire service as the source of that incorrect information.