Women promoted to top spots for Disney Parks in Paris and Hong Kong

December 12, 2018, 12:14 PM · Walt Disney Parks and Resorts has promoted two women executives to its top leadership positions at the Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland resorts.

Natacha Rafalski takes over for Catherine Powell at the Disneyland Paris Resort. Currently the Chief Financial Officer for Disneyland Paris, Rafalski previously worked on the Shanghai Disney Resort negotiation team. She is a native of Montreal who grew in Paris and attended college and graduate school in California.

"I am incredibly honored and excited to assume this position at such a transformational time for the resort," she said in a release from the resort. "France holds a special place in my heart, and I'm looking forward to leading and growing the business as we continue to build on and expand the promise of Europe’s top tourist destination."

Powell earlier this year moved up in the Disney Parks hierarchy to become President of the Disney Parks Western Region, overseeing Disneyland Paris, Walt Disney World, and Disneyland.

Rafalski and Young
Rafalski, left. Young, right. Photos courtesy Disney

Stephanie Young has replaced Samuel Lau as Managing Director of Hong Kong Disneyland, which is co-owned by Disney and the Hong Kong government, unlike Disneyland Paris, which is now owned by Disney. Young comes to Hong Kong from Disneyland in California, where she worked as Senior Vice President for Operations. She previously worked in Hong Kong as the resort's Chief Financial Officer and holds a degree from Baylor.

"I am thrilled to return to Hong Kong and work with the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort team to further grow the business,” Young said. "The city played an important part in the life of my family and I look forward to returning to work with the Hong Kong tourism industry in reinforcing its position as a premier tourist destination."

Lau will move to an as-yet-unspecified position at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Just so everyone is up to speed now, here's who is running what at Disney Parks.

Disney Parks Management

The Tokyo Disney Resort is owned by the Oriental Land Co. and operated under license from Disney. Its President is Kyoichiro Uenishi. Disney's liaison with OLC is Andrew Bolstein, whose title is Vice President and Executive Managing Director of Walt Disney Attractions Japan and Disneyland International.

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