That's potentially bad news for Disney, as Emmer was a theme park lifer, a guy who understood Disney show and guest service and knew how to "manage up" the corporate food chain to make needed repairs happen.
Disneyland faced significant problems earlier this decade, after years of management by people with no theme park experience led to peeling paint, crumbling facades, diminished attraction capacity, longer lines, stale attractions and two fatal accidents that were entirely the park's fault -- something almost unheard of in the theme park industry.
Under the leadership of Emmer, former park president Matt Ouimet and new Disney CEO Bob Iger, Disneyland changed direction, made itself over in a spectacular fashion for the park's 50th anniversary in 2005 and drew up plans for a series of exciting new attractions, both at Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure.
Here's hoping Disney finds a theme park pro to replace Emmer, or if Lutz' theory is right and Emmer quit out of frustration with Disney managers, makes the changes necessary to bring him back. Disneyland has again become one of the top theme parks in the country, if not the very best, over the past four years. Its fans deserve to see that welcomed progress continue.
Douglas Shachnow CTC CTIE
Hemispheres SANDA Publications
Boca Raton, Florida
Disney closes attractions that are unpopular because they cost money to keep open. Most can be pretty expensive to operate and maintain, so it doesn't make sense to keep them running empty all day. Disney wants to put staff and resources where the guests spend their time, not on attractions that no one has cared about for years. I know it's sad when an old favorite goes away, but it has more to do with customer behavior than anything else.
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.