Park of the Week: Islands of Adventure

Disney juggles its top theme park management

September 25, 2019, 12:38 PM · Turns out that Catherine Powell's departure was just the first step in a major management reorganization at Disney's theme park division. Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Bob Chapek today dropped the other shoe by announcing staffing changes throughout the Disney resorts.

Walt Disney World President George Kalogridis moves to a new position as president, Segment Development and Enrichment. "In this new position, he will be responsible for developing strategic and operational business initiatives while developing and scaling best practices across sites and lines of business. He will also lead the Disney Institute, and serve as strategic advisor to park operators," Disney said in its press release announcing the changes.

To replace Kalogridis, Disneyland President Josh D'Amaro will move back across the country to become the new president of the Walt Disney World Resort. D'Amaro has been in charge in Anaheim for just 18 months, after holding several management positions at Walt Disney World, where he worked as vice president of Disney's Animal Kingdom; senior vice president, Resorts and Transportation, and senior vice president overseeing marketing strategy, sales and business development.

Disney is pulling a TV executive into the parks division to replace D'Amaro. Rebecca Campbell will be the new president of the Disneyland Resort, coming over from The Walt Disney Company's Direct-to-Consumer & International segment, where she president for Europe, Middle East and Africa. She formerly served as president of the ABC-Owned Television Station Group and ABC Daytime.

With the dissolution of the Disney Parks West Region group that Powell had overseen, East Region President Michael Colglazier now adds the Disneyland Paris Resort to his portfolio, becoming president and managing director, Disney Parks International. Disneyland Paris president Natacha Rafalski will report to Colglazier.

Replies (10)

September 25, 2019 at 1:04 PM

Mister Iger, please look at the office next to you, it's Bob Chapek, fire him.

September 25, 2019 at 1:05 PM

"In this new position, he will be responsible for developing strategic and operational business initiatives while developing and scaling best practices across sites and lines of business."

In layman's terms, he's in charge of cutting costs and increasing revenue.

Something tells me that despite the increase of revenue that the Parks and Resorts Division has seen, they are not meeting more lofty internal goals dictated by Lord Iger. I guess so much for the free-spending, risk-taking, creative House of Mouse we had seen over the past 3-5 years. I anticipate more stalling and cancellation of announced projects along with a scaling back of attractions that fans have been anticipating (IOW, a carousel might be the only hope for a Mary Poppins attraction in EPCOT). What looked to be an unprecedented period of renaissance across the Disney Parks (which in turn forced competition to also step up investments) is quickly pumping the brakes and considering a u-turn back to Eisner-ville.

September 25, 2019 at 3:22 PM

I clearly remember Eisner pushing "The Disney Decade" in 1991 with scores of ideas of rides and attractions at all parks and many looking amazing. Then the combo of rough economy, Euro Disney poor start and Frank Wells dying derailed it.

My worry has been them overreacting to GE (just as they did to Euro Disney's slow opening) and even listening too much to the mantra of "It's a total failure" that's taken hold (I swear, some sites act like the entire land is about to be shut down and demolished any day now) and making them gun-shy about some future stuff,

September 25, 2019 at 3:46 PM

Funny. You’d think that lowering admission prices to get more people inside and spending money would help revenues. But what do I, an average consumer, know?

September 26, 2019 at 12:12 AM

/\ Because Disney and every other company that sells expensive products purposely makes less money than they could by having high prices...because...reasons.

These management "shakeups" are pre-planned sometimes 5+ years in advance. It's no accident that Josh D'Amaro has had like 5 different executive level jobs in the past 7 years, he was being groomed for this job. And its no accident they're keeping George K in Florida even though Disney Parks is headquartered in California, because he's there to make sure Josh handles the transition smoothly. Just like Meg got that unnecessary job created for her a few years before she retired, George is getting this unnecessary job created for him. I bet he will be retired within the next 3-5 years.

September 26, 2019 at 6:41 AM

Somebody please finally ditch the requirement that I have to pre-plan my WDW vacation 60 days out and micro-manage it on a cell phone once I am there. Remember going to WDW should be about fun with your family and not an exercise in how to develop OCD.

September 27, 2019 at 9:20 AM

I agree with JC VanHouten... Going to Disney now requires pre-planning the vacation. Not doing that requires wasting a LOT of time in line. People like some of the rides/shows more than other people. When almost everyone likes a ride (such as Flight of Passage), the line becomes so absurd that everyone complains. Pre-planning is no longer just a good idea. It's essential. I was talking with a family from England this week (at the Animal Kingdom). They are on a 14 day vacation, and didn't get fast passes. So, they won't get to ride the Flight of Passage. What message will that send back to England?

September 27, 2019 at 9:21 AM

Management shake ups? Maybe they should move all the offices from California to some new location. Maybe build a new DisneyLand someplace where they can expand.

September 29, 2019 at 9:38 AM

That's a bunch of BS that they won't get to ride Flight of Passage because they don't have Fastpass. ALL of the parks have EMH every single morning for two months now and that will still be going on for another few months. Every park (except the Star Wars are of DHS) has been completely dead for at least the first hour of its operation every day for two months.

Also if they are at WDW for 14 days there's no reason they can't wait in line at least once, its an extremely well themed line and moves pretty fast you can easily wait in line for it no matter how long and still do everything at DAK in one day.

September 30, 2019 at 5:59 AM

JC VanHouten, you speak my language. Agree 100%. Infact, I will have an official word with Plastic Bob and get you in as VP. Disney need you more than they realise.

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