Disney fires Chapek, brings Iger out of retirement

Posted | Contributed by BrettV

The board of the Walt Disney Company ousted Bob Chapek as chief executive on Sunday after concluding that various missteps had done irreparable damage to his ability to lead and abruptly announced that Robert A. Iger would return to run the company, effective immediately, for two years.

Read more from The New York Times.

Jeff's avatar

It makes me deeply uncomfortable to make jokes about marginalized communities, even in the context of whatever this is, a few days after someone shot up an LGBTQ club and killed five people. I would very much appreciate it if y'all stopped.

Last edited by Jeff,

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Jeff's avatar

The bloggers have gotten to LA TV about reservations, and how Iger should be their savior from them. Again it's "inconvenient" and "doesn't do what Disney says it does." And again, I look at the insane holiday period, and I'm seeing Magic Kingdom is out Wednesday and Saturday, but tell me more about how limited you are.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

I assume their point is why have a reservation system if there are readily available openings during the busy time?

eightdotthree's avatar

I think the article covers most of what people are complaining about.

Recently, Stella tried to get a theme park reservation to meet up with a friend but couldn’t, even during the perceived “offseason” when the parks typically aren’t busy.

“I’m not super against the reservation system if it is needed to manage crowds,” Vaughn said. “It just doesn’t seem to be the case these days that it’s a huge benefit for the guests.”

“If they are going to keep reservations, maybe the exchange would be to keep the crowds lower, especially on days when people are paying the most to go,” Vaughn said.

We are doing Disney's work for them and not seeing any benefit.


ApolloAndy's avatar

No, no, no. They mean other people. It should keep other people out.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

Jeff's avatar

eightdotthree:

We are doing Disney's work for them and not seeing any benefit.

What work is that?


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

I'm good either way, but that is a good point. If reservations are here to stay, it seems like a cumbersome waste of time to "get your spot" when they are readily available 95% of the time and the parks are still bat**** crazy crowded. Same with the no hopping until 2pm and having to tap into your first park to just exit and go where you want to go.

Maybe the answer is "to enter prior to 2pm you need a reservation" and you can hop anytime, as long as you login and make another reservation.

Jeff's avatar

The variable the public isn't considering is that "capacity" is elastic based on the ability to staff the parks. That's why the system held on even after masks came off and the distance lines on the ground were pulled up. My understanding is that staffing is still challenging. A wave of good ol' fashioned flu could change serviceable capacity. I mean, just ask Universal, where food service is terrible as ever (trip report forthcoming). They're only limiting crowds to the extent that they can service them.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Jeff:

A wave of good ol' fashioned flu could change serviceable capacity.

But if a significant chunk of the reservations are booked weeks or months out by out of towners, would that really matter?

To play devil's advocate, none of the other parks and park chains have felt the need to do this since 2021, and staffing is challenging everywhere. From a purely "good customer service" standpoint, it's one of the least customer friendly things Disney has ever done.

I know it’s a bit tired but Disney really wants to control their guests more than any other park. Their Fastpass system, new rides, and even visit require reservations. No other park is doing this.


2022 Trips: WDW, Sea World San Diego & Orlando, CP, KI, BGW, Bay Beach, Canobie Lake, Universal Orlando

Fafolguy's avatar

Based on the still outstanding attendance figures, it sounds like maybe the vast majority of guests want to be controlled, or are willing to be in exchange for the product the parks provide.

Speaking to the speed of Chapek's ouster, I read that there were some accounting shenanigans discovered that he directed. Not sure his overall goal with the obfuscation, but my limited knowledge of corporate finance tells me that at a company with halfway decent audit controls, that'll get you fired every time.


I sing sometimes for the war that I fight, 'cause every tool is a weapon, if you hold it right. -Ani Difranco
ApolloAndy's avatar

This may sound like a loaded question, but it's not: Does it benefit the guests in any way? The only time I've been post-pandemic was the last week in Sept. during a hurricane. Needless to say, the parks were not crowded and reservations were plentiful (so much so that you could book Epcot, get the VQ, then switch to wherever you were actually going). If reservations help distribute guests and help keep the parks from overcrowding wall-to-wall, then I'm sort of okay with it.

Incidentally, the only time we had trouble with reservations was the day after the parks opened up post-Ian. I had stupidly cancelled my reservation earlier in the week, seeing basically unlimited access. By the time the hurricane blew past and I tried to reserve, all the parks were drastically limiting re-opening capacity and I couldn't get one. I had to refresh for 3 hours before I finally got an AK, the least desirable (because it re-opened the latest). I hear there was decent availability the morning of, but I can see how Disney would use reservation systems to finely tune crowds in this hyper specific case.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

Fafolguy, where did you read that? That's a pretty significant accusation to make without linking the article.

I have a hard time believing this as their CFO Christine McCarthy is still there (and extraordinarily well respected and serves on several boards including P&G), as is their Treasurer (Carlos Gomez) and their Controller (Brent Woodford)

I imagine at super crowded times reservations would be great to have. I know this is old but we made the mistake of travelling to Disneyland during the week between Christmas and New Year's in 2005. Two of the three days we were there Disneyland was at capacity and wasn't letting guests in until guests left. Reservations would have been great then but I'll also never be visiting a Disney park during that time again.

OhioStater's avatar

^^

If you google "Chapek cooked the books" you will find plenty of sources making that claim, but none of them seem credible; just blogs and news sites that all say..."according to a new report"...with nothing to back anything up.

If the number of reservations available fluctuate with regards to staffing per Jeff, I would say that's a good idea, and certainly has an impact (per Andy) on guest experience. But based on how insanely busy everyone makes the parks out to be, I'm guessing staffing problems aren't a thing.

Last edited by OhioStater,

Promoter of fog.

Are you talking about this?
https://www.reddit.com/r/movies/comments/z4rc8x/bob_chapek_shifted_...e_disneys/


"I've been born again my whole life." -SAVED
Jeff's avatar

BrettV:

But if a significant chunk of the reservations are booked weeks or months out by out of towners, would that really matter?

Those aren't the people complaining about trying to book last minute though, right? If I know I can't schedule enough people Saturday, and I've got more reservations than I can handle, I don't want more people.

Is it customer hostile? Apparently not enough to keep people away and renewing their passes.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

OhioStater:

But based on how insanely busy everyone makes the parks out to be, I'm guessing staffing problems aren't a thing.

Staffing is a huge issue right now. Turnover is high and they are nowhere near the front line workforce numbers from 2019 and before. I know of many former co-workers still with the company that have routinely been on mandatory six day weeks and/or mandatory 10-14 hour days for well over a year now. As guest demand retuned (and then exploded) following vaccines and return to normal habits, the ability to staff did not.

Jeff:

Is it customer hostile? Apparently not enough to keep people away and renewing their passes.

It's not customer friendly, but really there is only one park I can think of that's actively customer hostile

Jeff's avatar

The algorithm keeps pushing me nonsense from the bloggers. As you would expect, they're all wondering why Iger hasn't "saved" the company yet. More hilarious is that seem to feel even more entitled during this, the two busiest weeks of the year. DL passholders are crying into their keyboards about not being able to go on New Year's Eve.

I want to trade life problems with these folks.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

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