Disney CEO Bob Chapek Will NOT Attend Destination D23 — Fans Cite His Growing Unpopularity

Bob Chapek
Credit: Disney

From November 19 through November 21, the Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World will host Destination D23, the biggest Disney fan event of the year. Destination D23 will be celebrating 50 years of Walt Disney World magic with special presentations from Disney big-wigs, a Disney World trivia challenge, and even a fun ugly sweater party!

Destination D23

Credit: D23

While a number of Disney executives and Imagineers that fans are familiar with will be at the event, one will be noticeably absent — Disney CEO Bob Chapek. Chapek was originally scheduled to open the event but has been pulled from the itinerary. Disney spokeswoman Jacquee Wahler shared a statement with Disney Dining about the change in scheduling, saying:

“Bob has a conflict in LA on Friday night and couldn’t make it back to Orlando on time”

Mr. Chapek will be making a statement tomorrow, November 18, about his need to pull out of the D23 event

While Disney is saying that Chapek has a conflict of interest, some are speculating that the embattled CEO is not attending due to his growing unpopularity within the Disney community — even fearing that he may be booed if he were to go up on stage.

Credit: Disney

Iain MacKinnon (@MackinnonPlus) compared Chapek’s pulled D23 appearance to that of David Benioff and DB Weiss — the creators of the popular HBO series Game of Thrones, who faced a ton of backlash for the show’s final season — not appearing at San Diego Comic-Con.

Bob Chapek last minute cancelling his D23 appearance feels very similar to David Benioff and Dan Weiss cancelling their SDCC appearance last minute! Rich people running scared of fans who might hold them to account for bad decision-making!

TheMaxRebo doesn’t seem to buy the conflict of interest and pointed out that famed Disney Imagineer Joe Rhode was able to make events at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World on the same day in the past.

Funny how 20 years ago John Rohde could make the openings of Pandora in Florida and Mission Breakout in CA on the same day … Guess transportation isn’t what it used to be

A petition on Change.org demanding the CEO’s firing is close to reaching the 75,000 signature mark, and fans are unhappy with Disney eliminating its free FastPass system for a paid-for one called Disney Genie+. Chapek is also dealing with the fallout from Disney’s CFO stating that potentially instituting smaller food portions at the Parks would be good for some Guests waistlines.

Credit: Disney

While Bob Chapek will not be in attendance for Destination D23, Josh D’Amaro — Chairman Disney Parks, Experiences and Products — will be sharing what is new and what is coming next to Disney Parks around the world. Destination D23 will also feature the popular Disney acapella D’Capella, some of the filmmakers of Disney’s newest movie, Encanto, as well as an appearance by Michael James Scott, who is most well-known for playing the Genie in Broadway’s Aladdin.

What do you think of Bob Chapek canceling his appearance at Destination D23?

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!