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In defense of Bob Chapek

SplashZander

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Since the moment Chapek was announced as CEO, he was greeted by almost overwhelming negativity on these boards. There's no denying that he has made questionable decisions, especially in the eyes of Disney purists, but he probably has done more good than bad.

One of the more major complaints of Chapek is IP integration but I'm not going to open up that can of worms.

On the board, many considered Galaxy's Edge a failure, or at the very least, a letdown in the eyes of the company and guests.

Here was Chapek at a conference:

"One is really about more immersive storytelling, using technology to better tell a story, increase the sense of realism without having the technology be apparent. And you are and I, before we started, were chatting up, the Galaxy's Edge, the Star Wars Land, and the Rise of the Resistance. And that is a perfect example of using technology to tell a story. There's a million lines of code in that in that program that runs Rise of the Resistance, which makes it extremely complicated, but it also makes it extremely immersive storytelling. And so we imagine that that's sort of the world going forward."

There are two primary noteworthy things in this excerpt. The first is in the first sentence where he outlines using technology without "having the technology be apparent." Admittingly, it is very ironic given the current Harmonious oil rigs be the most apparent use of technology possible, but it is still a good thing to hear.

Secondly, Chapek says Rise of the Resistance-style attractions is what could happen going forward. This is good news for almost everyone. I'm sure there's a group of people out there that hate Rise, but the majority of people I've come across were absolutely blown away by it.

Going outside of the conference, the Roy D. Moore Disney S.E.A. Disney+ series was almost certainly greenlit by Chapek. The fact the villain of most Disney fanatics greenlit a show that sounds like a pipe dream should not go unnoticed.

Ultimately, time will show what will actually happen. I'm not suggesting you should become a Chapek fanboy by any means, but I would be cautiously optimistic at the very least.
 

TikibirdLand

Active Member
Interesting take... The immersion of GE and Pandora is a plus, just don't think it met bang-for-the-buck measures. Videos of ROTR is truly an impressive immersive experience -- when it works. I'm a bit concerned of how "brittle" this ride truly is. Indeed, we're going on 2 years with it in testing using boarding groups. I'd prefer a bit of a dialed back experience for higher up-time.

As for Disney+, it needs a lot more new quality content. I hope that MK story series reaches D+...
 

the.dreamfinder

Well-Known Member
Chapek was never meant to be CEO nor is he CEO material.

He, like Iger, is not the only reason why the parks aren’t in a great place from a product/artistic standpoint, but he certainly hasn’t helped with IP and basically disregarding the art of themed entertainment for pushing BRANDED interaction points.

Chapek is Iger without the carefully controlled image/PR. (Hi Zenia! 👋)
 

VJ

Well-Known Member
Going outside of the conference, the Roy D. Moore Disney S.E.A. Disney+ series was almost certainly greenlit by Chapek. The fact the villain of most Disney fanatics greenlit a show that sounds like a pipe dream should not go unnoticed.
do you have proof?
 

mightynine

Well-Known Member
Since the moment Chapek was announced as CEO, he was greeted by almost overwhelming negativity on these boards. There's no denying that he has made questionable decisions, especially in the eyes of Disney purists, but he probably has done more good than bad.

One of the more major complaints of Chapek is IP integration but I'm not going to open up that can of worms.

On the board, many considered Galaxy's Edge a failure, or at the very least, a letdown in the eyes of the company and guests.

Here was Chapek at a conference:

"One is really about more immersive storytelling, using technology to better tell a story, increase the sense of realism without having the technology be apparent. And you are and I, before we started, were chatting up, the Galaxy's Edge, the Star Wars Land, and the Rise of the Resistance. And that is a perfect example of using technology to tell a story. There's a million lines of code in that in that program that runs Rise of the Resistance, which makes it extremely complicated, but it also makes it extremely immersive storytelling. And so we imagine that that's sort of the world going forward."

There are two primary noteworthy things in this excerpt. The first is in the first sentence where he outlines using technology without "having the technology be apparent." Admittingly, it is very ironic given the current Harmonious oil rigs be the most apparent use of technology possible, but it is still a good thing to hear.

The Riddley Ring shows that Chapek is full of something in that statement, and it ain't pixie dust. Also, Disney has used technology to tell a story since Disneyland opened. It's a nothing statement.

And since people are so concerned about people being negative, I think Rise is an amazing experience and reminded me that Disney can still make 'em when they don't budget cut 'em to death.

Going outside of the conference, the Roy D. Moore Disney S.E.A. Disney+ series was almost certainly greenlit by Chapek. The fact the villain of most Disney fanatics greenlit a show that sounds like a pipe dream should not go unnoticed.

I mean, every company is going to have to create a ton more to keep people interested in these streaming services. I'm not sure why I should give Chapek a gold star here.

Ultimately, my biggest concern with Chapek as a CEO is he's a retail guy. In his mind, your touchpoint with Disney were the Disney stores or Disney products. His goal was to get you to open your wallet. Now, he's over a theme park empire where the wallet has already been opened - by quite a bit with what they're charging these days - and I'm afraid that mindset is going to be how much we can charge you on-top of what you've already paid. The after-hours parties, the "festivals" at DCA where you're paying them to pay them to eat, drink and take selfies, the lazy repetition of IP across the parks, delivering a slightly different but still similar experience where everything starts to feel same-y - that's not an exciting proposition to me.

But who cares what I think, I'm just a customer, not a shareholder.
 

Marden

Active Member
Could things be worse? Absolutely. Things can always be worse.

Are the parks in great shape? Is the Parks brand, on its own, healthy? Is the experience worth the price of admission? Highly suspect.
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
Secondly, Chapek says Rise of the Resistance-style attractions is what could happen going forward. This is good news for almost everyone. I'm sure there's a group of people out there that hate Rise, but the majority of people I've come across were absolutely blown away by it.
This is bad news for everyone. Disney’s costs are wildly out of control while capacity has been driven down for years. Only building huge and expensive attractions means less attractions, less capacity, more hesitancy, more risk aversion.
 

Mac Tonight

Well-Known Member
No.

Truly, he is just a meat puppet at this point, ensuring that the Iger-era "Disney" lives on.
A few quality products might squeak out here and there, but one wonders how long it will take for him to create a segment of the parks to be henceforth known as "Shareholderland".
 

Crazydisneyfanluke

Well-Known Member
GE and Pandora are very immersive into the movie. It was great for them to be brought into the parks, but there should have been more thought and a larger variety of A-C ticket rides. When I say more thought, I mean, you shouldn't be going back stage for a over flow queue.

Disney can create some of the best and immersive rides and experiences out there, but then you get the big blue boxes. (Tron at MK , Guardians and Rat at EPCOT)

Should I mention Harm? or Innoventions? What about original story telling like Horizions, ROE, POTC, JIYI, HM. or is original story telling telling the same story from an IP?

Both Bob's are responsible for both, but the lowered standards are becoming the standard.

IMHO, if you support the Bobs, you support lower quality products that lack theming into the surrounding areas with IP shoved down your throat.
 

WillWrambles

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
Since the moment Chapek was announced as CEO, he was greeted by almost overwhelming negativity on these boards. There's no denying that he has made questionable decisions, especially in the eyes of Disney purists, but he probably has done more good than bad.

One of the more major complaints of Chapek is IP integration but I'm not going to open up that can of worms.

On the board, many considered Galaxy's Edge a failure, or at the very least, a letdown in the eyes of the company and guests.

Here was Chapek at a conference:

"One is really about more immersive storytelling, using technology to better tell a story, increase the sense of realism without having the technology be apparent. And you are and I, before we started, were chatting up, the Galaxy's Edge, the Star Wars Land, and the Rise of the Resistance. And that is a perfect example of using technology to tell a story. There's a million lines of code in that in that program that runs Rise of the Resistance, which makes it extremely complicated, but it also makes it extremely immersive storytelling. And so we imagine that that's sort of the world going forward."

There are two primary noteworthy things in this excerpt. The first is in the first sentence where he outlines using technology without "having the technology be apparent." Admittingly, it is very ironic given the current Harmonious oil rigs be the most apparent use of technology possible, but it is still a good thing to hear.

Secondly, Chapek says Rise of the Resistance-style attractions is what could happen going forward. This is good news for almost everyone. I'm sure there's a group of people out there that hate Rise, but the majority of people I've come across were absolutely blown away by it.

Going outside of the conference, the Roy D. Moore Disney S.E.A. Disney+ series was almost certainly greenlit by Chapek. The fact the villain of most Disney fanatics greenlit a show that sounds like a pipe dream should not go unnoticed.

Ultimately, time will show what will actually happen. I'm not suggesting you should become a Chapek fanboy by any means, but I would be cautiously optimistic at the very least.
nice knowing ya, pal.
 

mgf

Well-Known Member
Setting aside all the Disney specific stuff --- Listening to him speak about his role and about the company genuinely gives the impression that he does not expect to head the company long-term. There is lukewarm passion, little effort to "story tell" vs just present facts, and little effort to create a narrative or set expectations for his own tenure. I recently saw him try to land "his favorite quote from Walt" only to end up clearly glancing down and stumbling through it from a binder of notes. I get the sense he does not expect to be more than a transitional CEO. He could cash out at some point and land a gig at a smaller company and be just fine for life.

I think Iger needed someone who would work next to (or perhaps one step behind) him for the foreseeable future. He didn't want a true replacement -- yet.
 
"as an executive rising the ranks, he earned praise for cost-cutting and a focus on the bottom line"

"he is not among those workers who describe themselves as having “pixie dust in the veins.” At a company where employees regularly quote founder Walt Disney in meetings “like he’s the Dalai Lama,” said one former executive, Mr. Chapek is less beholden to the past."

"more likely to ask about budget items on an attraction than the thematic motivation behind it."

"To Mr. Chapek, concerns like talent relations and the company’s public image were secondary to making money for shareholders."

"After taking over Disney's theme park division in 2015, Mr. Chapek raised prices—and started charging even more on holidays and other popular times that strained capacity at the parks. The division’s profits grew at a rapid clip, even if die-hard Disney fans complained about the higher ticket prices.
“He’s done well because he’s able to make those unemotional decisions,” said one colleague who worked in consumer products at the time.

these are all quotes from a Wall Street Journal profile of Chapek last week. if you're a shareholder only concerned about money I'm sure this all sounds great, but for someone like me, who has interest in the history of the company and it's creative future, they don't sound particularly promising.
 
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Mmoore29

Member
No.

Truly, he is just a meat puppet at this point, ensuring that the Iger-era "Disney" lives on.
A few quality products might squeak out here and there, but one wonders how long it will take for him to create a segment of the parks to be henceforth known as "Shareholderland".
Well, Iger in many ways is the continuation of Eisner-era Disney as well; Eisner wasn't just solely "a creative visionary who only focused on original stories" or "a micromanaging egocentric idiot who crated the stock price." Iger continued all of the good things Eisner did and learned from Eisner's mistakes. And Chapek is continuing in that.

BTW, Eisner insisted on executives only wearing Disney ties to meetings; that seems pretty self-aggrandizing, like when a band wears its own T-shirts during concerts. That's not needed, and it's often not a good sign.

Speaking of, here's an alternate history timeline that might be worth all your time: it's not specifically about Disney and Eisner, but they feature heavily in it: https://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads/alternate-history-timeline-thread-involving-disney.971997/
 
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