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Josh D'Amaro - One of the greats?

nesboy43

Well-Known Member
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The Stardust improvements are all examples of someone doing their groundwork. Not sure if it is him or not but a lot of those issues should've been addressed years ago and it was great to see them all worked on.
 

Darkbeer1

Well-Known Member
I have met Josh multiple times. Once for a long conversation, partially one on one, then Mayor Sidhu came up and we had a group conversation before I let the two of them talk alone. This was at the Barton Park KABOOM! Build. Polo Shirt, no suit jacket. Actually worked along side other CM's in building the playground (Got his hands dirty). No Name Badge either.

The other times were a quick hello, where he used my name. Also sat in a presentation he was a part of for S.O.A.R. Those were Suit Jacket and Name Badge. Has a good set of knowledge and speaking skills.

It was clear one of the reasons he got the job was to improve relationships with the City of Anaheim and the political base. And he has done that very well.

Also I have heard good things from CM's (both active and retired). The term Genuine is a good one, he is hands on and shows he cares.

He does also rely and works with his team. He knows nobody can do it all by themselves, but he has good leadership skills.

As someone who also knows Matt Ouimet, both at Disneyland and Cedar Fair, a lot in common, and I would rate them as good, aka truly above average.
 

Disney Analyst

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I have met Josh multiple times. Once for a long conversation, partially one on one, then Mayor Sidhu came up and we had a group conversation before I let the two of them talk alone. This was at the Barton Park KABOOM! Build. Polo Shirt, no suit jacket. Actually worked along side other CM's in building the playground (Got his hands dirty). No Name Badge either.

The other times were a quick hello, where he used my name. Also sat in a presentation he was a part of for S.O.A.R. Those were Suit Jacket and Name Badge. Has a good set of knowledge and speaking skills.

It was clear one of the reasons he got the job was to improve relationships with the City of Anaheim and the political base. And he has done that very well.

Also I have heard good things from CM's (both active and retired). The term Genuine is a good one, he is hands on and shows he cares.

As someone who also knows Matt Ouimet, both at Disneyland and Cedar Fair, a lot in common, and I would rate them as good, aka truly above average.
I get the same sense for him as I did during Matt’s time. Mind you, maybe that’s just always the result of anyone taking over during a time of growth and change?
 

SuddenStorm

Well-Known Member
Have recently talked to a few CM's about D'Amaro. His name instantly brings a huge grin to their face, and invites stories of him taking the cast shuttle around the resort instead of his private golf cart. Or him picking up trash as he walks around the resort.

My favorite? Apparently he spends an hour each day inside Disneyland interacting with guests, cast members, or just observing.

By all accounts he's a great guy and really embodies what you'd want the president of the Disneyland Resort to be.
 

Darkbeer1

Well-Known Member
S.O.A.R. is one of the members/table sponsors, and I will be at that table...


But there are Student Tickets available for $40.

 

Darkbeer1

Well-Known Member
I will write more about the event, and the CSU Fullerton Woods research paper on the Economics Impact of the DLR later.

But for anyone who attended, you got a very nice $400 parting gift.... 2 1 day Parkhoppers.

Robert Niles got an early copy and released an article the same time the meeting started.

Entertainment was the Dapper Dans....
 

SuddenStorm

Well-Known Member
I will write more about the event, and the CSU Fullerton Woods research paper on the Economics Impact of the DLR later.

But for anyone who attended, you got a very nice $400 parting gift.... 2 1 day Parkhoppers.

Robert Niles got an early copy and released an article the same time the meeting started.

Entertainment was the Dapper Dans....
Excited to hear about the event!

Looked into going but had to work instead.... Though after hearing about the $400 worth of free tickets I may have been justified in calling out. Especially since I qualify for the $40 student ticket.

Also looked into that Kaboom thing, but have work during that time as well.
 

Darkbeer1

Well-Known Member


 

TP2000

Well-Known Member


Really good stuff there @Darkbeer1!

It's obvious that Disneyland continues to be a giant jobs and prosperity engine for Orange County specifically, and SoCal generally. But for Anaheim in particular it's the goose that continues to lay golden eggs year after year after year.

I've said this on message boards for years, maybe decades, but... without Disneyland, Anaheim would just be Stanton with better freeway access. (If you aren't from OC, Google Stanton. It's bleak. And next door.)

If Walt had built his park in the San Gabriel Valley instead, Anaheim would be drastically different today. In the 1950's Anaheim would have continued to gobble up orange groves for tract homes, in the 1960's the orange groves would be gone and replaced with suburban sprawl, and in the 1980's those aging tract homes and corner strip malls would become dowdy and worn and taken over by working class families as the middle class families of 20 years earlier moved south to Irvine and Mission Viejo. And by the 1990's Anaheim would be nothing more than another Stanton or Santa Ana - a sprawling flatland of aging tract homes with few public parks but plenty of corner liquor stores and an increasingly violent gang problem. Not to mention you'd never have an Anaheim Convention Center, and a major league baseball team in OC would have been delayed by a decade or so and ended up in Irvine or Costa Mesa instead.

Instead, in 2019 Anaheim proper still has a giant inventory of 1950's/60's tract homes, but the streets and schools and libraries and parks and infrastructure have been continually invested in thanks to tens of millions of extra tax dollars pouring in every year from the Resort District.

Just look at what Anaheim has done in the last 20 years with undergrounding all of its utilities across those old western neighborhoods of 3 bed/2 bath tract homes; a beautification program that improves property values and boosts investment. Stanton can't afford to do that. Garden Grove can't afford to do that. Heck, even City of Orange can't afford to do that. But Anaheim can afford it, and it has significantly minimized the impact of its aging housing stock and lack of public spaces and parks.

The story of Anaheim without Disneyland would be a very, very different story. Likely unrecognizable to us.

Back OT about Mr. Damaro. While it's apparent Mr. Damaro is a very nice guy and noticeably more enjoyable to be around than Mr. Colglazier was, I don't think you can give too much credit to whichever blow-dried corporate figurehead occupies TDA's executive suite for three or four years at a time. The story of Anaheim and Disneyland is a story that arcs over decades. The revolving door of TDA's executive suite seems to be a casual footnote to that ongoing story, and he or she merely serves as the generic face that shows up at public events and schmoozy cocktail parties for a few years before being replaced by another generic face. Thank goodness they wear plastic nametags so we know that the blow-dried executive has been replaced with a new one every 3 years, and we can call him by name.

Mr. Damaro just seems to be one of the more likeable ones.
 
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Darkbeer1

Well-Known Member
.

Back OT about Mr. Damaro. While it's apparent Mr. Damaro is a very nice guy and noticeably more enjoyable to be around than Mr. Colglazier was, I don't think you can give too much credit to whichever blow-dried corporate figurehead occupies TDA's executive suite for three or four years at a time. The story of Anaheim and Disneyland is a story that arcs over decades. The revolving door of TDA's executive suite seems to be a casual footnote to that ongoing story, and he or she merely serves as the generic face that shows up at public events and schmoozy cocktail parties for a few years before being replaced by another generic face. Thank goodness they wear plastic nametags so we know that the blow-dried executive has been replaced with a new one every 3 years, and we can call him by name.

Mr. Damaro just seems to be one of the more likeable ones.
What a day today, and tonight...

Just finishing up with the Menstrual Cup thing (Google Sacramento Blood in a news search.) A lot of bills on the line today, some still are on the edge. Voice mails and e-mails, oh my!

I was fortunate to get a minute with Josh before the presentation, and then a couple more after the presentation. It is just weird to be someone that the DLR President seeks out to throw out an idea or two....

But then, going back to my other senior exec relationships, I am not surprised. But in the past, senior Disney folks tended to not be social outside of their circle of Friends. My best relationship was Tim O'Day, who figured out what I had to offer, and we worked together.

Matt Ouimet, at the DLR stayed in his circle, but got out of it at Cedar Fair and became a bit more approachable, my past connections at CF before he joined the company helped him to reach out, but not that much/

And at SF, I am treated as a colleague, which also confuses folks, especially front line employees.

Today's event was so much positive news, a day of everyone in the room in a good mood (Well, there was a side discussion totally unrelated to Disney at my table re Sacramento that wasn't fun).

Things are looking up, Union 50 is making at least $15 a hour, plus great benefits.

$10 million for CM Child Care.

More good news, $21 million in community donations, another KaBOOM! build at Julianna Park in a couple of weeks.

Next week is the Anaheim Health and Citizenship Fair, an amazingly totally free event started by Harry Sidhu and a group of Doctors 13 years ago. I mean FREE, and things like free dentures, free glasses, and other amazingly complex health issues done that weekend. No need to fill out financial forms, no insurance needed, etc. Disneyland helps fund it.

Every time I interact with Josh, one on one, in a small group. and otherwise, he impresses me. He was given a tough job, but he talks about the Three C's, Cast, Community and Commercial. And he just doesn't talk about, he does it.

He talked highly of the cast, and brought up some great stories. As for community, he spent time about CHOC, how Walt Disney was part of the team that got CHOC started in 1964. Stories about the Turtle Talk with Crush at CHOC. And more, plus the $5 Million plus for the Homeless issue, and all the school support, etc.

As for Commercial (aka making a profit), he brought up MaxPass, and how it is a win-win, something guests willingly pay for, and feel they get more than the charge they pay. And how Disney benefits. Also Mobile Ordering and other guest enhancements that also benefits the company's bottom line.

It is after midnight, and I am meeting a State Senator in the AM (Well, now maybe due to the blood fiasco)...

I will share more later, and a few photos
 

Darkbeer1

Well-Known Member
One more thought.

When Josh came out after being introduced, he claimed he wasn't going off a script, which was a big white lie, as the event was clearly rehearsed and contained interviews and videos, along with prepared slides. But he pulled it off, showed he was a performer, plus wasn't afraid to make fun of himself.
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
What a day today, and tonight...

Just finishing up with the Menstrual Cup thing (Google Sacramento Blood in a news search.) A lot of bills on the line today, some still are on the edge.
Uh... I'm scared. :oops:

I was fortunate to get a minute with Josh before the presentation, and then a couple more after the presentation. It is just weird to be someone that the DLR President seeks out to throw out an idea or two....

But then, going back to my other senior exec relationships, I am not surprised. But in the past, senior Disney folks tended to not be social outside of their circle of Friends. My best relationship was Tim O'Day, who figured out what I had to offer, and we worked together.

Matt Ouimet, at the DLR stayed in his circle, but got out of it at Cedar Fair and became a bit more approachable, my past connections at CF before he joined the company helped him to reach out, but not that much.
This is nothing new, at least not in the past 20 years. Ever since Jack Lindquist was replaced with Pressler and Disneyland began a revolving door presidency with a new President every 3 years like clockwork and a lower level executive ranks who were kept in check out of fear, the Disneyland Resort senior execs haven't been known as people who mesh well with local OC movers and shakers. They are unknown in OC and only met with tight smiles and polite small talk once they leave Disneyland property.

Don't get me wrong, the Disneyland Resort is consistent in doling out big checks to local hospitals and building playgrounds and remodeling Boys & Girls Clubs, the money and resources flow freely very consistently. Their recent investments in Cast Members are overdue but very admirable. Matt Ouimet was a great President, it sounds like Josh Damaro is in his league too, but they were only here for a few years and then moved on out of town and out of state and never looked back.

The various Disneyland Presidents are not OC locals, they don't act like it, and they don't socialize like it. That has been a long-standing criticism among OC movers and shakers, and a valid one I feel, of the long list of Disneyland Resort Presidents of the last 20 years. No one knows their wives. No one knows their kids. None of them are from here. No one ever sees them at the Balboa Bay Club or Segerstrom Hall or any Christmas party of any importance.

The Disneyland President Du Jour is merely a temporary figurehead whose impact in the OC community is simply smiling and standing next to Mickey Mouse holding a big cardboard check.

Some are nicer than others, some are more fun to be around. Josh Damaro sounds like he's one of those, which is a nice change of pace. But let's not forget that he is not from here, no one knew him before he arrived, and 3 years from now he'll be gone and replaced with another smiling suit holding a big cardboard check at the Children's Hospital.

And at SF, I am treated as a colleague, which also confuses folks, especially front line employees.

Today's event was so much positive news, a day of everyone in the room in a good mood (Well, there was a side discussion totally unrelated to Disney at my table re Sacramento that wasn't fun).

Things are looking up, Union 50 is making at least $15 a hour, plus great benefits.

$10 million for CM Child Care.

More good news, $21 million in community donations, another KaBOOM! build at Julianna Park in a couple of weeks.

Next week is the Anaheim Health and Citizenship Fair, an amazingly totally free event started by Harry Sidhu and a group of Doctors 13 years ago. I mean FREE, and things like free dentures, free glasses, and other amazingly complex health issues done that weekend. No need to fill out financial forms, no insurance needed, etc. Disneyland helps fund it.

Every time I interact with Josh, one on one, in a small group. and otherwise, he impresses me. He was given a tough job, but he talks about the Three C's, Cast, Community and Commercial. And he just doesn't talk about, he does it.

He talked highly of the cast, and brought up some great stories. As for community, he spent time about CHOC, how Walt Disney was part of the team that got CHOC started in 1964. Stories about the Turtle Talk with Crush at CHOC. And more, plus the $5 Million plus for the Homeless issue, and all the school support, etc.

As for Commercial (aka making a profit), he brought up MaxPass, and how it is a win-win, something guests willingly pay for, and feel they get more than the charge they pay. And how Disney benefits. Also Mobile Ordering and other guest enhancements that also benefits the company's bottom line.

It is after midnight, and I am meeting a State Senator in the AM (Well, now maybe due to the blood fiasco)...
:oops:
I will share more later, and a few photos
Like I said above, Disneyland Resort is a huge tax and jobs generator, plus has a hugely succesful company behind them who can write very big checks to local charities and good causes. It truly is the golden goose, and any city in America would KILL to have them in their community. Bravo Disneyland! :)

And it sounds like Mr. Damaro is a genuinely nice guy who plays the traditional Disneyland reputation well.

But let's not forget that 3 years from now he'll be gone and replaced with another suit reading from a script.
 
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TP2000

Well-Known Member
I should note that the great irony, and unfortunate exception, to the out-of-towner rule above for Disneyland Presidents is Cynthia Harriss. She was one of the worst Presidents Disneyland has had, and yet she's maintained a home in Laguna Beach ever since she left Disneyland in '03 while her career took her up to San Francisco and other places.

Of all the ones to stick around, it's her! :D
 

Darkbeer1

Well-Known Member
Uh... I'm scared. :oops:



This is nothing new, at least not in the past 20 years. Ever since Jack Lindquist was replaced with Pressler and Disneyland began a revolving door presidency with a new President every 3 years like clockwork and a lower level executive ranks who were kept in check out of fear, the Disneyland Resort hasn't been known as someone who meshes well with local OC movers and shakers. They are unknown in OC and only met with tight smiles and polite small talk once they leave Disneyland property.

(Although I do know that Michael Colglazier got involved with the UCI Business Roundtable a few years ago, and was met with varying degrees of success from local OC CEO's; some tolerated him, and a few I've heard saw right through him and thought him a thumping bore.)

Don't get me wrong, the Disneyland Resort is consistent in doling out big checks to local hospitals and building playgrounds and remodeling Boys & Girls Clubs, the money and resources flow freely very consistently. Their recent investments in Cast Members are overdue but very admirable. But the actual TDA exec who stands next to Mickey Mouse behind the giant cardboard check at that ceremony has long been thought of as an out-of-towner who no one really knows and who never gets involved in the community personally. Matt Ouimet was a great President, it sounds like Josh Damaro is in his league too, but they were only here for a few years and then moved on out of town and out of state and never looked back.

The various Disneyland Presidents are not OC locals, they don't act like it, and they don't socialize like it. That has been a long-standing criticism among OC movers and shakers, and a valid one I feel, of the long list of Disneyland Resort Presidents of the last 20 years. No one knows their wives. No one knows their kids. None of them are from here. No one ever sees them at the Balboa Bay Club or Segerstrom Hall or any Christmas party of any importance.

The Disneyland President Du Jour is merely a temporary figurehead whose impact in the community is simply smiling and standing next to Mickey Mouse holding a big cardboard check.

Some are nicer than others, some are more fun to be around. Josh Damaro sounds like he's one of those. But let's not forget that he's not from here, no one knew him before he arrived, and 3 years from now he'll be gone and replaced with another smiling suit holding a cardboard check twice a year at the Children's Hospital.




Like I said above, Disneyland Resort is a huge tax and jobs generator, plus has a hugely succesful company behind them who can write very big checks to local charities and good causes. It truly is the golden goose, and any city in America would KILL to have them in their community. Bravo Disneyland! :)

And it sounds like Mr. Damaro is a genuinely nice guy who suits the traditional Disneyland reputation well.

But let's not forget that 3 years from now he'll be gone and replaced with another suit reading from a script.
I know the 3 year thing, and yes, he might be gone...

But Josh started as a TDA Suit at Disneyland when he joined the TWDC world in 1998.

Lisa just came out to get me to go to bed..... Adios and sweet dreams
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
Just for fun, and off the top of my head, here's a list of Disneyland Resort Presidents, their tenures, and where they went after they left Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom...

Cynthia Harriss, 2000-2003 - Left Disney to work at The Gap
Matt Ouimet, 2003-2006 - Left Disney and went to work at Starwood Hotels
Ed Grier, 2006-2009 - Left Disney and went to work as a College Dean at Virginia Commonwealth University
George Kalogridis, 2009-2013 - Moved back to Florida to become WDW President (still there, nearing retirement)
Michael Colglazier, 2013-2017 - Promoted to be President Disney Parks in Communist China


(Okay, I had to Google up Ed Grier's gig, and confirm it was Starwood and not Hilton that Ouimet left for)

Three left Disney entirely, the last two got varying promotions within Disney theme parks. The average stay is three and a half years. No wonder the OC locals don't give them much thought.
 

AJH219

Well-Known Member
That's more than George K. I don't think he'd be caught dead minglinging with the commoners.
 
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