Bob Iger is out of touch. There. I said it. I know we are supposed to be “yay Iger is back” because Chapek was truly awful but honestly, Iger isn’t any better. He pays lip service to listening to us, but does he really?
Related: Is the Honeymoon Phase Over For Bob Iger?
At yesterday’s Annual Shareholders Meeting he made it abundantly clear how out of touch he is. During the question and answer portion he confirmed that one Annual pass- the Premier Pass will never return. That may be true. With airfare as it is, I don’t know how many people want to go to both Walt Disney World and Disneyland often enough to justify an annual pass to both. However, he completely failed to address the elephant in the room: single destination passes. There’s interest in those, there’s no way to claim otherwise.
Related: Chapek’s Message Is Clear: Annual Passholders NOT Welcome
If interest was the only thing preventing the return of the Premier Pass then Walt Disney World Annual Passes should be on sale yet they remain unavailable. California had had more luck with its Magic Key program. The West Coast version of the Annual Pass has gone on (and off) sale several times since reopening after the pandemic. Walt Disney World guests have not been so lucky.
The part of this story that is so maddening though is the realization that Iger is just Chapek with good PR. When Chapek called Passholders “an unfavorable attendance mix” we were angry. However, when Iger glossed over the matter entirely and touted lack of interest in an obscure pass rather than addressing the concern most interested parties had, we were livid. At least Chapek called a pig a pig and didn’t try to put lipstick on it. When the news was bad, Chapek was a straight shooter. Sure, he left you angry but you knew where you stood. Iger tiptoes and obfuscates, and uses gentle words to mask the real meaning. This is nice if you don’t think about it too hard. What would you rather have? Someone you could depend on for the truth, even if it’s uncomfortable or someone who pretends to listen and does what they want anyway? I would take the honesty every time.
Currently the only people eligible to purchase a Disney World Annual Pass are Florida residents leaving many of us frequent out of state visitors out of the equation entirely. Even Florida residents are limited to only the lowest tier pass. This lack of logic is baffling to me. Why not open up the highest tier Incredi-Pass and get more money (the lowest tier Pixie Pass is $399, the Incredi-Pass is $1399)? More money, more passholders spending money in the parks and more frequent (and loyal) out of state visitors. It’s a win-win that neither Chapek nor Iger would consider.