I still can’t believe they ran Ouimet out of the company. THAT is something that would be a deep dive on “Imagineering”!While he still had pet projects, Eisner’s creative involvement decreased following Wells’ death and his heart attack. It is how we get to him dropping f-bombs after riding Journey Into Your Imagination. He became obsessed with making sure he was making the right business decisions, looking for affirmation from the Strategic Planning Group and other senior executives, people who would hold titles like President and COO or CFO. He wasn’t alone in pushing divisions to low-cost, low-quality products and for his last five years he had a chief operating officer in charge of making all of that happen.
While maintenance at Disneyland really declined in the early 00s, that decline at Walt Disney World happened much more after the Happiest Celebration on Earth. The decline in maintenance started with Pressler but continued under Jay Rasulo, ultimately resulting in two deaths at Disneyland. As Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Pressler and Rasulo had the same boss, the same man who would fire Matt Ouimet who, in less than a year, took Disneyland from a place that was literally falling apart to one that sparkled like new just in time for Disneyland’s grand 50th anniversary celebration.
Iger may not have ever decreed the style of Mickey Mouse to be used in Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railroad, he has made it very clear that he would not consider anything else. The shorts are the current franchise and therefore the only style that would be approved. Excepting Jay Rasulo’s stint in Paris, he also has never allowed the parks be run by a person with any prior experience running a theme park.
You say a nuance is needed, but it seems nuance would mean including a look at who was in charge of running Disney when it was so grim under Eisner as well as how much was continued for some time afterwards.