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Iger Stepping Down, Chapek Replaces

SkiBum

Veteran Member
Dec 14, 2012
1,680
Cincinnati, OH
The unfortunate part of all this is that everything will really depend on Disney earnings and Wall Street responses and not necessarily how Chapek directs the parks to be run. Yes, if the parks go downhill too much, guests might decide to go elsewhere and thus impact earnings. Right now, it just seems that Disney could charge whatever unreasonable amount they wanted and the place would still be packed solid. I think that a combination of high prices, lack of new rides, and maybe further deterioration of service will start to erode the parks' profitability and, if Disney+ stumbles or falls, that is what it would take to remove Chapek. However, stockholders and the board are looking at profitability as one of the meain measures of job performance and I don't see things falling apart any time soon. Plus, it would just be more of the same as I think that it would take such a shift on policy, including a parks-driven focus and rethinking attraction implementation. I don't see it happening and I don't see any major management changes anytime soon.
 

Jerroddragon

V.I.P.
Jun 27, 2017
2,878
While people complain about the parks literally two AP's just sold out one on both coasts

People may not be happy with prices of the parks but they seem to like to go and complain later...lol
 
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Cup_Of_Coffee

Veteran Member
Aug 7, 2018
5,507
Not trying to be a homer (no pun intended) for Universal, cause it does seem rn Disney can charge whatever the f they want and get away with it, but I genuinely ask others here, do we think Epic Universe will finally be the straw to break the camels back with Disney prices? IF., again, IF crowds really show up at universal and decide to do universal instead of Disney for once, I don’t see how the majority of people will be upset with Universal pricing compared to Disney’s.

I just can’t imagine Disney can continue on this awful nickel and dime trend, I feel some extremely serious competition, aka EU, could shake things up. What are others thoughts on that? From a business side I know Disney will never “lose” but Epic Universe just feels like their biggest “threat” they’ve had, and like, based on rumors and such there doesn’t seem to be a major response coming from the WDW parks.
 

OrlandoGuy

Contributing Member
Sep 29, 2014
742
Chicago
Not trying to be a homer (no pun intended) for Universal, cause it does seem rn Disney can charge whatever the f they want and get away with it, but I genuinely ask others here, do we think Epic Universe will finally be the straw to break the camels back with Disney prices? IF., again, IF crowds really show up at universal and decide to do universal instead of Disney for once, I don’t see how the majority of people will be upset with Universal pricing compared to Disney’s.

I just can’t imagine Disney can continue on this awful nickel and dime trend, I feel some extremely serious competition, aka EU, could shake things up. What are others thoughts on that? From a business side I know Disney will never “lose” but Epic Universe just feels like their biggest “threat” they’ve had, and like, based on rumors and such there doesn’t seem to be a major response coming from the WDW parks.
I actually don’t think so. And for reasons beyond just the obvious “they keep raising prices and people still keep coming anyway” fact.

One thing I’ve noticed moving back to Orlando (and I dont know if this is new because of COVID or just something I never noticed because I didn’t pay as much attention) is that a considerable subset of Orlando locals view being a Disney AP as a status symbol…that’s why the merch sells inexplicably well. Then I have to figure that this extends to out-of-town folks too, who are in the same experience-based economy Floridians are and can leverage Instagram pictures at Disney into a “look how great my life is” badge of honor. This was probably exacerbated in this post-COVID world where international travel is still a little shaky.

Universal, regardless of the quality of product they’re offering, just doesn’t seem to offer the same cache. Even with great new Instagram-friendly offerings Epic is sure to have, the name “Universal” or “Epic Universe” doesn’t have the same value to the types of people that revolve their lifestyles/annual vacations around theme parks.

Just my observations, not necessarily my personal opinion/endorsement.
 

Palutena

Newcomer
Jul 30, 2018
77
Not trying to be a homer (no pun intended) for Universal, cause it does seem rn Disney can charge whatever the f they want and get away with it, but I genuinely ask others here, do we think Epic Universe will finally be the straw to break the camels back with Disney prices? IF., again, IF crowds really show up at universal and decide to do universal instead of Disney for once, I don’t see how the majority of people will be upset with Universal pricing compared to Disney’s.

I just can’t imagine Disney can continue on this awful nickel and dime trend, I feel some extremely serious competition, aka EU, could shake things up. What are others thoughts on that? From a business side I know Disney will never “lose” but Epic Universe just feels like their biggest “threat” they’ve had, and like, based on rumors and such there doesn’t seem to be a major response coming from the WDW parks.
As it directly relates to prices? No, I don't think Epic Universe or Universal's continual growth changes much. What I do expect to happen is another 'Harry Potter" moment, where Disney is caught scrambling mostly to build and replace things to justify their own prices. One factor in play is that as has been mentioned by others wrt Epic Universe, folks only have so much vacation time, and the average vacation length for at least Americans is getting shorter. There's likely still the perception amongst Disney that something like Epic Universe will generate more tourists for everyone, but there's obviously a limit to that, especially if one only has 4-5 days or less to have a vacation and the whole intent of something like EU is to lengthen stays at Universal and lessen temptation to fill the rest of your days with disney parks. But even with regards to this, I expect Disney's response to mostly be finding ways to "lock in" guests to their resort even more than now rather than lowering prices.
 
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Nick

Staff member
Moderator
Sep 22, 2011
25,671
Orlando
lack of new rides
I don't think the average guest sees Disney as having a lack of new rides. With COVID keeping out many foreigners for over a year, Ratatouille, Runaway Railway, AND Galaxy's Edge are likely seen as new to most guests still.

I know all of these aren't expansions and many have taken a long time to build, but with a schedule like this over the past half decade, I think the average guest is seeing Disney as having a consistent flow of new rides, tbh...

2016 - Frozen Ever After
2017 - Flight of Passage, Na'vi River Journey, Miss Adventure Falls (Typhoon Lagoon)
2018 - Slinky Dog Dash, Alien Swirling Saucers
2019 - Millenium Falcon: Smuggler's Run, Rise of the Resistance
2020 - Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway
2021 - Remy's Ratatouille Adventure
2022 - Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
TBA - Tron: Lightcycle Run

Add on things like new fireworks shows at MK and Epcot and it's not an insignificant amount of stuff.
 

Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
20,519
Pittsburgh area
I don't think the average guest sees Disney as having a lack of new rides. With COVID keeping out many foreigners for over a year, Ratatouille, Runaway Railway, AND Galaxy's Edge are likely seen as new to most guests still.

I know all of these aren't expansions and many have taken a long time to build, but with a schedule like this over the past half decade, I think the average guest is seeing Disney as having a lot of new rides, tbh...

2016 - Frozen Ever After
2017 - Flight of Passage, Na'vi River Journey, Miss Adventure Falls (Typhoon Lagoon)
2018 - Slinky Dog Dash, Alien Swirling Saucers
2019 - Millenium Falcon: Smuggler's Run, Rise of the Resistance
2020 - Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway
2021 - Remy's Ratatouille Adventure
2022 - Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
TBA - Tron: Lightcycle Run

Add on things like new fireworks shows at MK and Epcot and it's not an insignificant amount of stuff.
Agree completely. Fan stalwarts on theme park forums see things in a different light than the general public. The GP will generally check out a park's
status just a few months, if at all, before a visit, which may be many years between visits. Forum fans look at this stuff constantly, so their view is really distorted compared to the out of state and international tourists that are the prime moneymakers for the parks.
 

Palutena

Newcomer
Jul 30, 2018
77
Agree completely. Fan stalwarts on theme park forums see things in a different light than the general public. The GP will generally check out a park's
status just a few months, if at all, before a visit, which may be many years between visits. Forum fans look at this stuff constantly, so their view is really distorted compared to the out of state and international tourists that are the prime moneymakers for the parks.
As an international tourist, who up until this year hadn't visited since 2014, but who is obviously also a "forum fan' to add my perspective. Yes, especially compared to when I last visited, Disney has added a lot and I personally give them a lot of credit for that. In fact especially given when I went I can say I had a great time, almost all my actual issues for the most part end up on the operational side of what Disney is doing right now. However I did walk away from my trip basically thinking "Okay, well see you again in 7 years!", but looking ahead I can say there isn't as much in the future that is as appealing as coming back to the parks with Avatar Land, Star Wars Land, Mickey & Minnie , etc all built (and it's not really fair to expect that output necessarily either), especially if I have to deal with boarding groups and genies and lightning lanes for every new thing built. But I do think even as slow going as it was at times we can't discredit what has been built in the past 7 years or so.
 
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Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
20,519
Pittsburgh area
As an international tourist, who up until this year hadn't visited since 2014, but who is obviously also a "forum fan' to add my perspective. Yes, especially compared to when I last visited, Disney has added a lot and I personally give them a lot of credit for that. In fact especially given when I went I can say I had a great time, almost all my actual issues for the most part end up on the operational side of what Disney is doing right now. However I did walk away from my trip basically thinking "Okay, well see you again in 7 years!", but looking ahead I can say there isn't as much in the future that is as appealing as coming back to the parks with Avatar Land, Star Wars Land, Mickey & Minnie , etc all built (and it's not really fair to expect that output necessarily either), especially if I have to deal with boarding groups and genies and lightning lanes for every new thing built. But I do think even as slow going as it was at times we can't discredit what has been built in the past 7 years or so.
I'm basically of the same mindset. I love the WDW parks. But I dislike the operational philosophy of the past decade.
 
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Surfster

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
715
Not trying to be a homer (no pun intended) for Universal, cause it does seem rn Disney can charge whatever the f they want and get away with it, but I genuinely ask others here, do we think Epic Universe will finally be the straw to break the camels back with Disney prices? IF., again, IF crowds really show up at universal and decide to do universal instead of Disney for once, I don’t see how the majority of people will be upset with Universal pricing compared to Disney’s.

I just can’t imagine Disney can continue on this awful nickel and dime trend, I feel some extremely serious competition, aka EU, could shake things up. What are others thoughts on that? From a business side I know Disney will never “lose” but Epic Universe just feels like their biggest “threat” they’ve had, and like, based on rumors and such there doesn’t seem to be a major response coming from the WDW parks.
Funny enough, I do think everything Disney is doing currently is a response to EU - just not the response we want. Market share doesn’t matter if they are getting the same/more revenue for less. They know they can’t sustain another park currently. They are opening enough new rides to wet an appetite, but they are offsetting costs by cutting perks/atmosphere/staffing.

As long as profits continue growing, losing a day to Universal doesn’t matter. It actually benefits Disney by keeping crowds low, and making the experience “more enjoyable.”
 
Nov 7, 2021
26
Not trying to compare but what looking at Chapek vs Mark Woodbury who replaced Tom Williams at Universal now Universal hired another person with Michael Hightower taking over at Universal Creative as President who has the edge right now in terms of both hires at the resorts?
 

Surfster

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
715
Not trying to compare but what looking at Chapek vs Mark Woodbury who replaced Tom Williams at Universal now Universal hired another person with Michael Hightower taking over at Universal Creative as President who has the edge right now in terms of both hires at the resorts?
Not to be that guy, but each company has their own goals. We can speculate on what they are, but promotions and hirings are means to those goals. There is no edge. Each person has their own positives/negatives as it relates to the fandom/general public reception/stockholder value. There’s really no point in us trying to give people a point tally. Their work will speak for itself.
 
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Cup_Of_Coffee

Veteran Member
Aug 7, 2018
5,507
Not to be that guy, but each company has their own goals. We can speculate on what they are, but promotions and hirings are means to those goals. There is no edge. Each person has their own positives/negatives as it relates to the fandom/general public reception/stockholder value. There’s really no point in us trying to give people a point tally. Their work will speak for itself.
This is true, different companies with different goals.

Disney itself is a brand and staple, so they want to cut costs to maximize profits, hire Chapek.

Universal is more drawn by Potter or whatever their “new” thing is, so they need more creative to keep the pressure up, promote Woodbury.

It makes sense for both companies (To a degree with Disney) but from a business perspective alone I find Epic Universe to be fascinating.
 
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tielo

Veteran Member
Nov 9, 2013
2,383
The Netherlands
I just can’t imagine Disney can continue on this awful nickel and dime trend, I feel some extremely serious competition, aka EU, could shake things up. What are others thoughts on that? From a business side I know Disney will never “lose” but Epic Universe just feels like their biggest “threat” they’ve had, and like, based on rumors and such there doesn’t seem to be a major response coming from the WDW parks.
Disney is cooking it's customers already for decades and the frog still doesn't care it's getting cooked. They will willingly slide into the new standard and defend the obscene amount of $$$ they spend and keep going. And to be honest I'm fine with that. I don't want the stroller pushing wine moms ruining Universal.
 

SkiBum

Veteran Member
Dec 14, 2012
1,680
Cincinnati, OH
This is true, different companies with different goals.

Disney itself is a brand and staple, so they want to cut costs to maximize profits, hire Chapek.

Universal is more drawn by Potter or whatever their “new” thing is, so they need more creative to keep the pressure up, promote Woodbury.

It makes sense for both companies (To a degree with Disney) but from a business perspective alone I find Epic Universe to be fascinating.
I would also suggest that the two are also very different positions. One is CEO of the entire company where the other is CEO of a division. A better comparison would be Chapek against the CEO of Comcast. Mark Woodbury would be better compared against WDW's CEO position or something similar.
 

Cup_Of_Coffee

Veteran Member
Aug 7, 2018
5,507
I would also suggest that the two are also very different positions. One is CEO of the entire company where the other is CEO of a division. A better comparison would be Chapek against the CEO of Comcast. Mark Woodbury would be better compared against WDW's CEO position or something similar.
This is true, however I should’ve clarified I’m comparing Chapek’s reign at the parks, but this is also very true currently.
 
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SkiBum

Veteran Member
Dec 14, 2012
1,680
Cincinnati, OH
This is true, however I should’ve clarified I’m comparing Chapek’s reign at the parks, but this is also very true currently.
The company life cycle stage is what I think about some as well: product development, market introduction, growth, maturity, and decline/stability

Universal is probably in "Growth" phase still yet. Disney is in the "maturity" or harvest phase. Yes, Disney still has parts of the first three phases at times but right now it appears to be mostly maturity/harvesting. Disney+ is probably their market introduction/growth area. MyMagic progressed through the phases and now they are starting to charge for it (eg. Maturity/Harvest) They will slip into decline if they are not careful.
 

Surfster

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
715
The company life cycle stage is what I think about some as well: product development, market introduction, growth, maturity, and decline/stability

Universal is probably in "Growth" phase still yet. Disney is in the "maturity" or harvest phase. Yes, Disney still has parts of the first three phases at times but right now it appears to be mostly maturity/harvesting. Disney+ is probably their market introduction/growth area. MyMagic progressed through the phases and now they are starting to charge for it (eg. Maturity/Harvest) They will slip into decline if they are not careful.
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