The Big problem with Bob Chapek.

June 21, 2021, 1:05 PM

Most of you are by now aware of CEO of the Walt Disney Company: Bob Chapek. Personally I do not like this man, he has sent prices sky rocketing, created lands which are the quality of six flags (sorry six flags fans 😅) And ruined the Dismey live entertainment industry. In DCA new land: Avengers campus he has created a shockingly bad arcade style attraction which while I would love to go on it, it just isn't realistic. The live entertainment here is silly. What could of been a beautiful, stunning show with Dr strange where the room around you transforms and if you feel as if your immersed, we got a broken apartment and a party clown. Yay. I really hope Bob Chapek was temporary as I'm dissapointed. Let me know you're thoughts down below:

Replies (23)

June 21, 2021, 2:43 PM

I agree since Chapek took over the parks 6 years ago its been a mixed bag with mostly negative. The way he handled the pandemic I think was good, Disney really seemed to have their act together when re-opening and took the pandemic seriously even though they were losing tons of money. I think capping attendance and bringing things back slowly turned out to be a good idea as it managed the crowds and the costs. By far best thing that has hapenned in the parks under Chapek is getting rid of FP, I don't know much he had to do with that but hopefully whatever queue management systems they try next doesn't completely ruin the experience like FP did. In general I really like the modifications Disney has made to their ops over the past 1.5 years as things are way less complicated and more enjoyable now when visiting.

But that's about where the good ends with Chapek. Before the pandemic he was stark raving mad about making his numbers no matter what tasteless nonsense had to go with it and i'm sure it will go back to that with due time. Here are a few examples off the top of my head
-The in park cabana's/white tents looked ridiculous and there was no excuse for something like that to be done in a Disney theme park.
-The upcharge park-to-park bus thing was the last thing in the world WDW needed at that time. They were already short on buses and short on drivers so taking buses out of normal operation to offer an upsell may as well be slapping regular visitors in the face.
-And speaking of slapping people in the face whoever came up with the idea of adding upcharge After-Hours events when EMH had become notorious for being overcrowded deserves a good slap in the face. Also tons of resort people look at "After Hours" event and think its EMH.
-While I understand uber/uber eats/instacart may have killed the whole purpose of why they started DME, permanantly discontinuing that service that tons of people still used before the brightline train is even built, while also instituting a daily parking fee at the hotels, is another thing. I would never stay at a Disney hotel nowadays its just a flat out ripoff.
-Also, at least in my opinion, Marvel at DLR was totally botched. Disney purchased Marvel 12 years ago, the Avengers movies are all in the top 10 highest grossing films of all time, yet somehow the best they could do were some generic looking structures with a relatively lame dark ride. When the opening if your biggest hollywood blockbuster IP lands make the fans go "meh" that's an epic fail especially considering how the reaction was to Harry Potter in 2010. The best new lands (Cars, Avatar) were built before he went into parks and the "meh" lands (Star Wars, Marvel) have Chapek's fingerprints on them. While I understand that they just opened one of the most insane attractions ever with Rise and they need to spread out the investments they still shouldn't open such a huge thing like Marvel Land after 12 years of hype and allow it to be lackluster IMO. And Pixar Pier is just...not good.
-And the proposed expansion of DLR with all those minilands is ATROCIOUS. I'm all for major expansions, and i'm all for expanding the current parks instead of building a new one, but you can take a good thing too far and having so many lands be based off specific franchises is too much. There has to be some original ideas every once in a while and they are making the parks like you walk from one movie franchise to the next movie franchise with no originality whatsoever. I'm all for it in doses but it shouldn't be literally all they do.

June 21, 2021, 6:48 PM

Star Wars land is "meh"?

Darn it! Now I'm going to have to cancel my Christmas vacation at Disney so I won't be disappointed.

June 21, 2021, 7:35 PM

I wouldn’t book a Disney hotel, buy tickets and get a park reservation for the Ride of the Resistance lottery. The biggest miss of Galaxy’s Edge is the Cantina which should have had walk around aliens like in the original movie, something Disney could have knocked out of the park. It’s just a Star Wars bar.

June 21, 2021, 9:30 PM

Anyone who says Disney is building Six Flags quality lands has most likely never stepped foot in an actual Six Flags park.

Edited: June 22, 2021, 6:38 AM

A few quick points:

First, the title of the thread is "The Big (sic) problem with Bob Chapek." The tense is singular and the tone is definitive -- as if the author is going to identify the one "big" problem with Bob Chapek. And yet the article at the commencement of the thread doesn't identify Mr. Chapek's singular problem (or, I guess, shortcoming [?]) as an executive manager. Rather, the author just lists a bunch of theme park features that he believes are substandard.

Second, the_man writes: "There has to be some original ideas every once in a while and they are making the parks like you walk from one movie franchise to the next movie franchise with no originality whatsoever."

Me: Are we still talking about Disney?

Third, when Mr. Chapek took over I was very critical of his characterization of the pandemic as a "bump in the road." That was a terrible rookie mistake. Since then, I believe that he has found his stride -- especially with the management of Disney+ (more than 100 million subscribers). In my opinion he will likely stay at the helm of Disney until around 2026/2027 (unless the Delta variant creates a second nightmare). I also credit him for grooming his likely replacement: Kareem Daniel, the current chairman of Disney Media and Entertainment Division.

I'm sure Chapek probably has a lot of challenges ("problems") sitting on his desk. He will likely have more in the future. But right now, he's doing fine.

June 22, 2021, 6:53 AM

The success of Disney+ has almost nothing to do with Bob Chapek. And what he has contributed, like having Soul and Luca pulled from theaters and going straight to Disney+, has angered the people who worked on those films. I’m sure that decision has helped Disney+. But if they continue to make people at Pixar mad, they may leave Pixar/Disney and find jobs elsewhere. Disney is nothing without the people who make their movies, attractions, TV shows, and other entertainment. Chapek needs to learn that or else Disney will become a creative and financial mess.

Edited: June 22, 2021, 7:38 AM

Randy Keith: "The success of Disney+ has almost nothing to do with Bob Chapek."

Me: Uh-huh.

Randy Keith: "And what he has contributed, like having Soul and Luca pulled from theaters ..."

Me: Sounds like those are two examples of Mr. Chapek having something to do with the success of Disney+.

Randy Keith: "... and going straight to Disney+, has angered the people who worked on those films."

Me: (In my Seinfeld voice) Who ARE these people?

Randy Keith: "I’m sure that decision has helped Disney+."

Me: Which means, by your own logic, the moves made by Mr. Chapek have helped Disney+ succeed. Yay.

Randy Keith: "But if they continue to make people at Pixar mad, they may leave Pixar/Disney and find jobs elsewhere."

Me: When? Also, they "may" not.

June 22, 2021, 7:13 AM

Pixar scheduled releases:

'Turning Red' - March 11, 2022
'Lightyear' - June 17, 2022
Untitled film - June 16, 2023

Of course these release dates assume that there isn't a mass exodus of Pixar peeps because they are all spittin' mad that 'Soul and 'Luca' were released on Disney+


Edited: June 22, 2021, 9:24 AM

"Me: (In my Seinfeld voice) Who ARE these people?"

If you worked at Pixar, the Gold Standard of CGI feature films, and the movie you spent 4+ years on was released solely on standard Disney+ (no additional charge), but a colleague working at Disney got their movie released on Disney+ Premier Access (necessitating additional charge to view in addition to a Disney+ subscription) alongside a theatrical release, you'd probably be pretty ticked off.

The way Disney is treating Pixar like a second-rate film studio, while giving other Disney films a more elevated platform is pretty messed up. However, I don't think Chapek really has anything to do with these decisions, so to lay this at his feet is a bit unfair.

June 22, 2021, 9:37 AM

Russell: "... you'd probably be pretty ticked off."

Me: Unless you weren't.

June 22, 2021, 9:45 AM

Well, Variety and other industry publications have indicated that numerous Pixar employees are pretty frustrated and "demoralized" by Disney's recent strategy in releasing their films. There are no doubt some within Pixar that don't care, or are indifferent about how their work is released, but the dichotomy between Disney's release strategy of Pixar and Disney animated features has undoubtedly ruffled some feathers within the award-winning studio. Pretending that this doesn't exist won't make it go away.

June 22, 2021, 9:57 AM

Russell: "Pretending that this doesn't exist won't make it go away."

Me: And assuming anyone actually is Hulk-level annoyed by this situation, what exactly would be the hellfire, scorched earth, end of days, dogs and cats living together impact?

Edited: June 22, 2021, 10:56 AM

It's still noteworthy that there are confirmed reports of "demoralized" employees within Pixar, especially in an era where the power within businesses is slowly shifting to employees. Pixar and Disney have gone through some bumpy stretches over their history, but Iger had kept the noise to a minimum as the studio cranked out blockbuster after blockbuster. Now original Pixar releases are akin to "direct to video" films that aren't even worthy of a small upcharge on Disney+, let alone a theatrical release.

It's certainly not hellfire and scorched earth, but the situation between Pixar and Disney right now is definitely not rainbows and lollipops. This is something to keep an eye on as Disney tries to expand the appeal of Disney+ while still returning to a more routine theatrical release schedule. Pixar is an important asset, and if Disney continues to disrespect the work of their most critically acclaimed division, it can't possibly end well for this relationship.

Edited: June 22, 2021, 11:43 AM

RM: "It's still noteworthy that there are confirmed reports of "demoralized" employees within Pixar ..."

Me: I'm sure it's "noteworthy" to some people. And I am equally sure there are demoralized people at Warner Brothers, Sony and Universal as well for a bunch of reasons.

So what?

From 'Variety' (05/12/21): "The changing power dynamics and issues that Chapek face are similar to the ones confronting other media companies. Streaming has upended the old ways of doing business, with consumers spending more money on subscription services like Netflix and less on cable and big-screen movies. That’s led to an onslaught of new challengers to Netflix such as Comcast’s Peacock, WarnerMedia’s HBOMax, and the Disney-owned Hulu, ESPN Plus, and Disney Plus. It’s also prompting media companies to reshape their operations (Like Disney, Universal and WarnerMedia have also recently undergone reorganizations), and that’s led to a sense of displacement for movie and television business veterans. 'Studios don’t look like studios anymore,' sighed one producer."

Every studio is changing its approach. And those changes were accelerated and, most likely, altered even further during a pandemic that shut down movie theaters.

But let's cut to the chase, find one quote from a Pixar employee who specifically decries how slighted they feel that Disney+ subscribers pay an upcharge for Oscar winner Emma Stone's 'Cruella' (Variety headline 06/06/21 - "6 Thoughts on ‘Cruella,’ Starting With: It May Be the Best Movie of the Year So Far") rather than forking out the same amount for 'Luca'.


June 22, 2021, 12:09 PM

Just want to say, that Mr.chapek Has everything to do with everything in disney. Whether avengers campus (aka the chapek land) or the substantial growth of disney plus. I love all things disney and disney parks so I don't hate them, it's just as a consumer I can say if I like something or not. Saying that I would love to go to avengers campus! But I have to agree with the pixar problem.

June 22, 2021, 1:59 PM

The "Pixar problem"? What about the Country Bear Jamboree problem? CM Casey doesn't think it's fair that Robert gets to wear a name tag that says he is from Manhattan, New York when everyone knows he's really from Scarsdale. She feels disgruntled and demoralized and her attitude is spreading across Frontierland.

June 22, 2021, 3:28 PM

Every time we get into these arguments about whether Bob Chapek (ok so far) or Bob Iger (pretty doggone good) or Michael Eisner (good start, lousy finish) is/was a good CEO of Disney and whether or not their decisions matter to the company, I always think of New Coke.

Executive decisions matter.

June 22, 2021, 7:04 PM

That was a fun back and forth. And as for Mr. Chapek, he's doing fine.

Also Disney Springs is a theme park, right T.Hill?

June 23, 2021, 6:30 AM

I'm on the bus with you, TH. What started out as a joke in the Volcano Bay discussion actually makes a lot of sense.

June 29, 2021, 10:43 PM

Chapek: "I was a businessman... doing business".

To investors, he's a saint. To us, he's... well mainly in it more for the money than pushing the boundaries of what a theme park and attraction can do. Leave that up to Josh D'Amaro.

Edited: June 30, 2021, 11:52 AM

Anyone gotta guess, on the average, how much it costs to operate the Walt Disney World resort every day?

June 30, 2021, 2:58 PM

I've seen stuff online suggesting it's at least $5-6 million per park, depending on size/attractions/guests.

June 30, 2021, 7:55 PM


I guess it's a good thing that Mr. Chapek is "mainly in it more for the money.

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