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Bob Iger Stepping Down, Bob Chapek New CEO

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
Oh BOY how I know ... There's still a big gap between how fixing things internally, and how they are perceived externally. For me, as an example, I can't imagine how George K still has a job at Disney... but they like him, he's been a good Cast Member, so they kept him around. I can't imagine that his responsibilities are all that vital to the development process, but I can say with certainty that if he were fired or let go, it would be perceived as one of those "Chapek doesn't understand the business" type decisions that would be lambasted online.

So at the same time, Disney can be extremely proud of their culture and legacy, their family, all the while it is still weighing them down.

I tend to think that people don't appreciate those hard decisions when they launch into the classic old Eisner/Iger/Chapek debate.
But they haven’t made those tough decisions which is why costs continue their spiral. And when one of their published metrics starts to look the slightest bit negative there is all out panic resulting in widespread cuts. This isn’t a case of some patriarchal leader desperately trying to keep everyone on board. They do not know the business and do not understand the business. They do not know how to address the ongoing problem of wildly increasing costs, instead trying things like just redoing attractions or developing a multibillion dollar scheme to somehow convince people to do less and spend more. They are not willing to defend small, momentary downturns in financial performance that are common in the industry.

Iger has also insisted that a Parks person replace him as CEO since about that time.
No, he has not. He didn’t even let a parks person run the parks until the very end.
 
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flynnibus

Premium Member
So what's the answer? Sell off WDI? Fire all the Imagineers and start over? Dare to tell them they have to spend less?

Putting a GotG coaster in EPCOT was a strategic decision, and I know it's debatable as to whether it was a good one or not, but $450 million is really inexcusable.

Turn to a competitive bid system... even spin out wdi teams into their own groups that need to win to survive. Dissolve the garden of eden and make people live hand to mouth.
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
Turn to a competitive bid system... even spin out wdi teams into their own groups that need to win to survive. Dissolve the garden of eden and make people live hand to mouth.
It’s kind of hard to get great, new design with a competitive bid process. Even then, it is already part of the process in many ways. Architecture and engineering is all bid. Many vendors bid. Even materials are procured differently. General contractors are not typically bid, but going to a design-bid-build process removes many of the advantages of fast-track (which Disney does use) and integrated project management that get the contractor involved earlier in the process to help ensure the design is better aligned with how it will actually be built.
 

Brer Oswald

Well-Known Member
Are there any parks-centric business leaders out there who might actually have a shot at stepping into leadership at Disney?
You basically need a creative and ambitious business leader that is open to taking risks in more unique mediums of entertainment. But you also need a partner executive to keep the other one grounded.

That was Walt and Roy. That was Eisner and Wells. That dynamic worked so well because that’s what the company built its success on.
 

flynnibus

Premium Member
It’s kind of hard to get great, new design with a competitive bid process. Even then, it is already part of the process in many ways. Architecture and engineering is all bid. Many vendors bid. Even materials are procured differently. General contractors are not typically bid, but going to a design-bid-build process removes many of the advantages of fast-track (which Disney does use) and integrated project management that get the contractor involved earlier in the process to help ensure the design is better aligned with how it will actually be built.

My comment doesn't necessarily mean bid all the way through construction. The bid process could be used to make the design and management process more competitive and cost concious. People will get more creative in how to achieve things on a budget when they must balance both cost AND still meet the result agreed to.
 

el_super

Well-Known Member
But they haven’t made those tough decisions which is why costs continue their spiral. And when one of their published metrics starts to look the slightest bit negative there is all out panic resulting in widespread cuts.

Two sides of the same coin? We have a scenario where Eisner saw the costs spiraling out of control and started saying no no no to everything... and then Iger coming in, trying to separate from Eisner, allowed them to spend whatever they wanted.

So now you have examples where Eisner didn't spend enough money on attractions, much hated by the fan community. And examples where Iger let them spend hog wild on attractions, which are much hated by the fan community.

So is it a matter of the fans just never being happy or is one extreme over the other preferable? What about from a business POV? Wouldn't it make more sense in the Eisner method of spending little and fixing later, than spending billions initially?

I also wouldn't necessarily say they haven't TRIED to reign in costs. They spent a billion dollars on Star Wars land, and then started pushing projects like Mission Breakout and Frozen Ever After to see how quickly WDI could turn a project around...

Is there a good example of a project in the middle that wasn't a money pit and also well received?


No, he has not. He didn’t even let a parks person run the parks until the very end.

Rasulo, Staggs, Chapek... all went through parks to have a shot at CEO. Maybe they didn't start off as Jungle Cruise skippers, but how many CEO candidates have those credentials (and do they really matter?).

It's still a far cry from bringing in someone from Facebook.
 

el_super

Well-Known Member
Turn to a competitive bid system... even spin out wdi teams into their own groups that need to win to survive. Dissolve the garden of eden and make people live hand to mouth.

You're not wrong, but @lazyboy97o is right too: if you make the deliberate decision to fix the spiraling costs, you are trading off having a consistent design philosophy across projects. Disney Parks would become more like a movie studio, working with different directors and production companies, and producing attractions that have a wide range of designed look and feel.

Not necessarily a bad thing, but is that what the fans really want? Probably not.
 

flynnibus

Premium Member
You're not wrong, but @lazyboy97o is right too: if you make the deliberate decision to fix the spiraling costs, you are trading off having a consistent design philosophy across projects. Disney Parks would become more like a movie studio, working with different directors and production companies, and producing attractions that have a wide range of designed look and feel.

You mean like SW:GE vs Toy Story Land vs EPCOT?

When you bid work for design considerations - it would still be Disney picking and providing feedback. The point is to break up the single hive and break up the protection schemes into something competitive.
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
Wouldn't it make more sense in the Eisner method of spending little and fixing later, than spending billions initially?

While this certainly isn't ideal, it probably is the better method. The bad stuff from Eisner's era was not that hard to fix (relatively speaking) because of the way they were built. The bad stuff from Iger's era would probably have to be bulldozed entirely to fix -- I don't think there's any way to improve Toy Story Land significantly without just starting over, for example.
 

corran horn

Well-Known Member
While this certainly isn't ideal, it probably is the better method. The bad stuff from Eisner's era was not that hard to fix (relatively speaking) because of the way they were built. The bad stuff from Iger's era would probably have to be bulldozed entirely to fix -- I don't think there's any way to improve Toy Story Land significantly without just starting over, for example.
Why do you think they'd think there's anything there needing improvement?

From their perspective, it's got the second-most in-demand ride in the whole park.
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
Two sides of the same coin? We have a scenario where Eisner saw the costs spiraling out of control and started saying no no no to everything... and then Iger coming in, trying to separate from Eisner, allowed them to spend whatever they wanted.
You’re buying into the rewriting of recent history. Even if you refuse to believe the attempt to jettison the parks, Iger’s early big projects were the result of others demanding the investment and results that were promised. Iger was even part of the executive team that lied to Hong Kong.

So now you have examples where Eisner didn't spend enough money on attractions, much hated by the fan community. And examples where Iger let them spend hog wild on attractions, which are much hated by the fan community.
How much is spent is not what makes something good.

So is it a matter of the fans just never being happy or is one extreme over the other preferable? What about from a business POV? Wouldn't it make more sense in the Eisner method of spending little and fixing later, than spending billions initially?
Yeah, Eisner’s method probably was better. The bones were pretty good. Parks generally needed more and to be fleshed out, building on the existing infrastructure.

I also wouldn't necessarily say they haven't TRIED to reign in costs. They spent a billion dollars on Star Wars land, and then started pushing projects like Mission Breakout and Frozen Ever After to see how quickly WDI could turn a project around...
It’s a song and dance. It does nothing to address the root problems in the process.

Rasulo, Staggs, Chapek... all went through parks to have a shot at CEO. Maybe they didn't start off as Jungle Cruise skippers, but how many CEO candidates have those credentials (and do they really matter?).
It should be clear by now that Iger was never serious about leaving. That he was considering Jay Rasulo should make that clear. Jay and Tom are also veterans of Strategic Planning, so the very guys who helped mastermind most everything hated about Eisner’s later years. Which gets to the larger issue of Iger can hardly be considered a huge change from Eisner when he kept the most hated of Eisner’s people.

You're not wrong, but @lazyboy97o is right too: if you make the deliberate decision to fix the spiraling costs, you are trading off having a consistent design philosophy across projects. Disney Parks would become more like a movie studio, working with different directors and production companies, and producing attractions that have a wide range of designed look and feel.

Not necessarily a bad thing, but is that what the fans really want? Probably not.
You don’t have to lose the design philosophy to fix the costs. The biggest problem is the indecision. Too many cooks in the kitchen who wait until the last minute to decide.

You mean like SW:GE vs Toy Story Land vs EPCOT?

When you bid work for design considerations - it would still be Disney picking and providing feedback. The point is to break up the single hive and break up the protection schemes into something competitive.
This is done is some respects. They don’t do design competitions but they’ll outsource some of even the earliest work.

Why do you think they'd think there's anything there needing improvement?

From their perspective, it's got the second-most in-demand ride in the whole park.
Very poor use of space. It is a physically massive land with very little capacity and not much room in its current boundaries for expansion. The new restaurant should have easily fit within the existing boundaries of a 12 acre land with so few venues.
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
Very poor use of space. It is a physically massive land with very little capacity and not much room in its current boundaries for expansion. The new restaurant should have easily fit within the existing boundaries of a 12 acre land with so few venues.

Slinky Dog Dash is the problem. It takes up a massive amount of space that probably can't be ever be used for anything else without tearing down the ride. I don't know what they were thinking. It takes up almost as much space as Smuggler's Run and Rise of the Resistance combined.
 

RSoxNo1

Well-Known Member
Slinky Dog Dash is the problem. It takes up a massive amount of space that probably can't be ever be used for anything else without tearing down the ride. I don't know what they were thinking. It takes up almost as much space as Smuggler's Run and Rise of the Resistance combined.
Not integrating a Speedway style attraction in and around Slinky Dog or otherwise making that space a multi use space was a mistake.
 

Sirwalterraleigh

Premium Member
Slinky Dog Dash is the problem. It takes up a massive amount of space that probably can't be ever be used for anything else without tearing down the ride. I don't know what they were thinking. It takes up almost as much space as Smuggler's Run and Rise of the Resistance combined.

Not integrating a Speedway style attraction in and around Slinky Dog or otherwise making that space a multi use space was a mistake.

Half built/equipped minilands in a park that didn’t have enough any day of its existence could never be a “problem”, could they?

No way
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
Not integrating a Speedway style attraction in and around Slinky Dog or otherwise making that space a multi use space was a mistake.

Indeed. There were things they could have done to make it multi-use, as you said. Since they didn't, they're stuck with what's there. I don't think it would be possible to turn it into a multi-use space now, but even if it was, it would require closing SDD for a long time as they did whatever construction was necessary.
 

RSoxNo1

Well-Known Member
Indeed. There were things they could have done to make it multi-use, as you said. Since they didn't, they're stuck with what's there. I don't think it would be possible to turn it into a multi-use space now, but even if it was, it would require closing SDD for a long time as they did whatever construction was necessary.
I think the ship has sailed. While not quite "move it's a small world to EPCOT", I've long been a proponent of moving the Speedway style attraction to DHS. I think the real estate in MK is too valuable.
 

Sirwalterraleigh

Premium Member
I think the ship has sailed. While not quite "move it's a small world to EPCOT", I've long been a proponent of moving the Speedway style attraction to DHS. I think the real estate in MK is too valuable.

The current construction would have been a great reason to end it...or the previous land reconfiguration.

How much better could that area be to house things that can eat crowds?

It was a no brainer.

So that means controlling/accommodating crowds is not really the goal. Sherlock Holmes
 

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