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Bob Iger Named Disney CEO Effective Immediately


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I was just talking about the travesty of the parks with my parents last weekend in Magic Kingdom and Disney Springs. Chapek really took out the values and installed high priced corporate greed. Not a huge fan of Iger, but hopefully he could move things in a positive direction. 

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Im happy about the change, and as someone who used to absolutely go above and beyond to be pro Mouse I hope for some great things in the future of the company, but here is the problem I see.  If one would speak to the masses and ask them the three things they dislike the most about the company, they will say "Cost, crowds, and Genie+".  Out of those three things, we all KNOW there is absolute 0% chance that the price hikes for tickets, food, lodging etc will be brought down, we also have seen proven that said hikes have done little to nothing to reduce crowds... its just been a different demographic who CAN afford it.... and removing Genie+ to reinstate Fastpass would only make the Fastpass time slots fill more quickly.  In other words, as much as I LOVE seeing Chapek out, I see little changing to bring back the Magic lost.  I could be completely off-base here, Im just looking at it through my eyes and seeing the things that would bring me back that I know wont/cant happen.

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What will be interesting to see what happens once Universal opens their new gate down there.  Will we ever see Disney build a fifth gated park?  Given the crowds, I would think they could certainly cash in on that.  But they can`t half bake a new park, otherwise they would have to do what they did to the original Animal Kingdom and add in a lot of attractions after the first season.  A new park isn`t cheap.  But Comcast certainly thinks it is worth the money.

I will be going to WDW in March.  It will be my first trip back to WDW since 2013.  Granted, I have been to Disneyland twice (2015 and 2016) since then.  This will be our first visit with kids, so it should be fun.

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If they were to do a 5th park, I am curious to see what direction they would go.  Would they build a type of park that would expand on the initial Fairy Tale themes and attractions made popular for decades at MK?  A park that would be a form of "EPCOT 2.0" utilizing themes and attractions to predict life and entertainment for future generations?  A park designed and themed towards adults who may desire a highly themed thrill park?  Id be truly interested to see what thoughts and designs they may come up with.

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While attendance is currently "up" at the Disney parks - I wonder if that is due to some sort of knee-jerk Covid syndrome.  No doubt the price hikes appear to have had little effect on attendance, but the real test will be in coming years.

Parks are still rebounding from the Covid pandemic - meaning a lot of the high attendance could be attributed to families postponing their trips/visits until now. 

However, given the lackluster reviews Disney parks are getting from guests these days (too crowded, bad merch, food quality poor, customer service in toilet, lathing of Genie +) that could cost Disney in the long run.  Guests flooding the parks now may walk away with a general dissatisfaction and a feeling of no value for their money.  In addition, price hikes may limit the frequency of return visits.  A family that visited every two years may now only be able to afford a trip every 5 years.  Families that visited every 5 years may not return for another 10... etc.

I was at WDW this past April.  I can attest firsthand that the quality, and overall enjoyment of the parks just wasn't where it needed to be.  For the first time in 40+ years of attending Disney Parks, I left with a "meh" feeling.  Also, for the first time in 20 years I stayed off-property (because on-property room rates were literally jaw dropping expensive.) I can count on 3 fingers the amount of merch I bought - and those were purchased at Disney Springs (in past trips, I have been forced to have merch items shipped to me because there were so many to choose from.)  I encountered not one, not two, but three ummm.... "lackluster" employees.  You could tell they were not happy in their jobs and were blatant in their bad attitudes with guests.  Frankly, one particular cast member at the Liberty Tree Tavern should have been fired on the spot. 

And I have to tell you, Genie+ - while good in theory - essentially serves the purpose of ruining your day.  At least one (or more) persons in each party spends all day navigating their phone - its confusing, aggravating and frustrating.  The sad thing is, they have forced it on guests - so they have no choice other than use it.  

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13 minutes ago, IBEW_Sparky said:

If they were to do a 5th park, I am curious to see what direction they would go.  Would they build a type of park that would expand on the initial Fairy Tale themes and attractions made popular for decades at MK?  A park that would be a form of "EPCOT 2.0" utilizing themes and attractions to predict life and entertainment for future generations?  A park designed and themed towards adults who may desire a highly themed thrill park?  Id be truly interested to see what thoughts and designs they may come up with.

I'd be curious as well. Considering the direction they've been going with IP related rides, they might try and assemble a completely IP themed park. Personally, I've always enjoyed their park original ride themes better. When my favorites come to mind (Space Mountain, Big Thunder, Pirates of the Caribbean, Expedition Everest ,etc.), they all were created with an original idea or story, rather than being built around an existing stories. I also agree with the Half-Baked Problem. With the increased price in everything, and considering the last few parks (California Adventure, Walt Disney Studios, Animal Kingdom) sort of feeling lacking at first, that leaves myself a bit worried about the outcome of a new park.

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I recently went to WDW in September and stayed at Riverside. This was my 7th time staying at this resort and my 6th time staying in building 38. This trip gave me the same “meh” feeling that Shaggy described above. There were dead trees, roof tiles, and trash just laying around in different garden areas. It remained that way during the 6 days I was there. The pool and pool area was visibly needing maintenance work done. Their food court area is beyond needing a refresh and a deep clean. 

You could just visibly see that things were not being maintained or cared about while Chapek was in charge.

 

I was actually debating even renewing my AP next month, but I guess this news gives me a better reason. 

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Some speculation has circulated that Bob Inger will attempt a merger with Apple during his limited two year re-run as Disney CEO.  Inger and Disney are busy deigning, and dismissing, these reports as idle rumors.  Time will tell:

https://variety.com/2019/digital/news/disney-apple-merger-bob-iger-steve-jobs-1203341956/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/dereksaul/2022/11/28/disney-ceo-iger-shuts-down-apple-merger-rumors-sticks-by-hiring-freeze/?sh=45343ab59ec2

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3 hours ago, Leland Wykoff said:

Some speculation has circulated that Bob Inger will attempt a merger with Apple during his limited two year re-run as Disney CEO.  Inger and Disney are busy deigning, and dismissing, these reports as idle rumors.  Time will tell:

https://variety.com/2019/digital/news/disney-apple-merger-bob-iger-steve-jobs-1203341956/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/dereksaul/2022/11/28/disney-ceo-iger-shuts-down-apple-merger-rumors-sticks-by-hiring-freeze/?sh=45343ab59ec2

It wouldn't make any sense for Apple to do that.

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I think a Disney merger with Apple was possible 10 years ago, but not today.  Steve Jobs would likely have been a required piece to make this happen.  When Steve Jobs died in 2011 he was Disney's largest shareholder due to his investment in Pixar and its later acquisition by Disney.  Bob Iger was CEO of Disney and also a member of the Apple board of directors at the time.

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I'm glad Chapek is out. I'm not sure what Iger plans to do but at this point I think everyone can agree about anyone is better than Chapek. Disney has been failing under his leadership especially since the pandemic. Disney + while we love it, is losing tons of $, the parks have lost their magic and have been reduced to just ordinary theme parks that cost triple what others cost, and the movies for the most part have been kinda lack luster too. I'm not going to voice my political views because that's not what KI Forums are about but I think it's a bad idea for any theme park to get political about things that don't even concern them. Like when was the last time Kings Island made a big political statement. I've never seen if they did. Amusement Parks are a place where people from many places, ideals, backgrounds, etc can come together and make memories and have a great time. I'm not sure if Iger can restore Disney as a company to it's former magical glory but surely something can be improved. Even if its just the return of magical express or fast pass or perhaps having great employees for a change. I was there in 2021 and we had a list going of bad employees. I was honestly disappointed because my sister and I FINALLY convinced my parents to go with us (we'd been in 2017&2018 without them) and my dad spent $7k on what to me was a lackluster Disney. I think he and my mom had a blast but agreed that financially they would not be able to afford it again however, I was disappointed knowing how much better it was the other times I had been. When my dad is in awe over a character float I'm thinking yeah whenever I went it was an entire parade or when my mom thinks it's so nice that they gave my aunt a lightning lane for being evacuated from splash mountain I'm thinking, yeah but in 2018 they would give you like 4 fast passes. (My uncle didn't fit on Avatar Flight of Passage in 2018 and they literally did give him and everyone in our group four fast passes a piece) So hopefully some of the "customer first" mentality comes back with Iger at the helm instead of our one and only focus is HOW DO WE MAKE AS MUCH $ AS POSSIBLE! I said that CEO Mickey got axed during the pandemic and they elected Scrooge McDuck to be CEO and his business motto was let's make money and bah humbug!  

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Without getting too political, the reason Disney+ is failing has a lot more to do with the President of Lucasfilm and the Marvel titles than Chapek. The large majority of people tuning in are not interested in woke content. Kathleen Kennedy has been trying to steer Star Wars in that direction, which is not going over well. The reason that SW has had any success is due to Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni. I don't really know enough to comment on the managing of the Disney parks.

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1 hour ago, KIBeast said:

Without getting too political, the reason Disney+ is failing has a lot more to do with the President of Lucasfilm and the Marvel titles than Chapek. The large majority of people tuning in are not interested in woke content. Kathleen Kennedy has been trying to steer Star Wars in that direction, which is not going over well. The reason that SW has had any success is due to Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni. I don't really know enough to comment on the managing of the Disney parks.

You don't understand Disney+ either.  The content appears to be fine since Disney+ is seeing massive growth.  They hit 164 million subscribers to Disney+ in 3 years, when it took Netflix 8 years to reach a similar milestone.  At the rate Disney+ is growing they could pass Netflix in subscribers in the next 2 years.  But that growth has been fueled by basically burning money.

Also understand the losses are for the entire direct to consumers division, not just Disney+.  That also includes 2 other streaming services, Hulu and ESPN+, which are also likely not making money.  The problem is largely down to the amount of money the streaming services are spending on new content.  The division as a whole spent $16 billion on content last year.  Total across the entire company Disney spent $30 billion on new content.  That means Disney spent more money on direct to consumer, than all the other Movies and TV Shows they made, combined.

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19 minutes ago, Kenban said:

You don't understand Disney+ either.  The content appears to be fine since Disney+ is seeing massive growth.  They hit 164 million subscribers to Disney+ in 3 years, when it took Netflix 8 years to reach a similar milestone.  At the rate Disney+ is growing they could pass Netflix in subscribers in the next 2 years.  But that growth has been fueled by basically burning money.

Also understand the losses are for the entire direct to consumers division, not just Disney+.  That also includes 2 other streaming services, Hulu and ESPN+, which are also likely not making money.  The problem is largely down to the amount of money the streaming services are spending on new content.  The division as a whole spent $16 billion on content last year.  Total across the entire company Disney spent $30 billion on new content.  That means Disney spent more money on direct to consumer, than all the other Movies and TV Shows they made, combined.

Spot on. 

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3 hours ago, Kenban said:

You don't understand Disney+ either.  The content appears to be fine since Disney+ is seeing massive growth.  They hit 164 million subscribers to Disney+ in 3 years, when it took Netflix 8 years to reach a similar milestone.  At the rate Disney+ is growing they could pass Netflix in subscribers in the next 2 years.  But that growth has been fueled by basically burning money.

Also understand the losses are for the entire direct to consumers division, not just Disney+.  That also includes 2 other streaming services, Hulu and ESPN+, which are also likely not making money.  The problem is largely down to the amount of money the streaming services are spending on new content.  The division as a whole spent $16 billion on content last year.  Total across the entire company Disney spent $30 billion on new content.  That means Disney spent more money on direct to consumer, than all the other Movies and TV Shows they made, combined.

If they're "just fine", how did they lose 100 million on it's latest movie Strange New World and also is down 27% overall?

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A true measuring stick is how other animated movies been doing at the theaters post-pandemic.  I would also venture to guess many movie goers assumed an immediate release to Disney+.

2022 has not been kind to the market.  If Disney being down 27% is better than other entertainment companies than being "just fine" could be interpreted as "better than most".

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