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Bob Iger Makes Big Reversal In Chapek-Era Changes

Bob Iger Parks
Images Credit: Disney / Canva

On November 20, 2022, the former (and very popular) Disney CEO, Bob Iger, once again took to leading The Walt Disney Company. Iger’s return immediately followed the abrupt firing of Bob Chapek — who had been in charge for less than three years.

The Chapek-Era

During Bob Chapek’s short time as CEO, he struggled to get in the good graces of Disney fans. Between his public fumbles with the Scarlett Johansson lawsuit and Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill, his extreme price increases, the addition of Genie+, theme park reservations, park hopping restrictions, and more… Disney fans felt like they were left in the dust and discontent ran rampant.

Bob Chapek

Credit: Disney

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Of course, Bob Chapek was CEO during the COVID-19 pandemic, which would be difficult for any leader of a massive industry to bounce back from.

But, unfortunately, Chapek was known for always looking for ways to increase profits while cutting costs, something most CEOs prioritize. However, Chapek’s ways of cutting costs angered many who saw the quality in Disney’s theme parks go down while prices shot up.

Guests frequently complained about rides and attractions being in disrepair and trash overtaking some areas.

Disney World trash

Credit: Kringle Kai Twitter

Iger-Era Returns

While Mr. Chapek was seemingly constantly taking money away from Disney Parks, in December 2022, Bob Iger was quick to share he planned to do the exact opposite.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Disney revealed it was increasing spending by 37% in 2023 — going from $4.9 billion to $6.7 billion. Disney fans were elated that more money would be spent on Disney theme parks.

Fast forward to September 2023, Disney revealed plans to expand park investment further by doubling capital expenditures over 10 years. The Walt Disney Company reported:

The Walt Disney Company is developing plans to accelerate and expand investment in its Parks, Experiences and Products segment to nearly double capital expenditures over the course of approximately 10 years to roughly $60 billion, including by investing in expanding and enhancing domestic and international parks and cruise line capacity.

bob iger looking fondly at mickey mouse, magic kingdom in the background

Credit: Disney, Canva

Related: Disney CEO, Bob Iger, Promises to Build “Modern Disney” Before He Exits the Company

It is important to note that this additional money may not necessarily mean more attractions, but it could mean that more money will be spent on improving things already in the parks, which would still be a nice change of pace.

There have, however, been big expenses unfolding for the Disney Parks, such as the opening of TRON Lightcycle/Run at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT’s Journey of Water – Inspired by Moana attraction, the massive EPCOT construction overhaul, and Tiana’s Bayou Adventure (formerly Splash Mountain) at both Disneyland Park and Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.

TRON Lightcycle Run at Night

Credit: Disney

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Chapek-Era Changes

Not only has the current CEO, Bob Iger, held Town Hall-style meetings with Disney Cast Members to share how happy he is to be back and to look at the bright side of the future of the company, but in the Disney fandom is celebrating Chapek-era changes as recent as January 2024.

January 9, 2024, marked a big day for Disney fans, as many restrictions were shifted or removed altogether, such as the abolishment of the 2 p.m. Park Hopping rule at Walt Disney World. Additionally, there is now more flexibility to visit the parks without theme park reservations (with some exceptions) and even opportunities for guests to take advantage of the Disney Dining Plan once again.

More Work to Do

bob iger angry, mickey mouse says goodbye, bob iger making mistakes

Credit: Disney, Canva

Alas, Mr. Iger… there is more work to do!

Could we see changes to Disney’s Genie+ expense that Chapek instated to take the place of the free FastPass+ system? Could more Disney Resort benefits return, such as Chapek’s removal of free resort guest MagicBands and free transportation to and from the Orlando International Airport with Disney’s former Magical Express? Only time will tell!

Mr. Iger is set to remain in the CEO role through December 31, 2024, and a new CEO will take over in the New Year.

Have you been pleased with Iger’s reversal of the Chapek-era changes? Let us know in the comments!

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!

5 comments

  1. Chapek put in a lot of things that Iger had already developed and approved like Genie+. He did enough wrong on his own but ended up being the fall guy for Iger’s bad decisions.

  2. I would like to see the Geni + go away and the old fast pass program be reinstated. Disney is losing site of Walt Disney’s dream for famlies having a pace to spend time together at a resonable price, not to put a price tag on family funs. Reervations are
    out dated and Annual Pass Holders or Magic Key Members need to valued just like any other ticket holder. It was an insult to spend money for an Annual Pass or Magic Key and then be called an undesirable guest. We send just as much money or more that a guest who comes one time ever or once a year as we are thert two or more times a month and purchased new merchandise at every visit. Think about this for awhile and do the right thing. GET RID OF THE GENI + and bring back the old FAST PASS SYSTEM.

  3. We were all conned into buying the never expire tickets and then told that they weren’t worth what we got them for and downgraded to water parks. Maybe we all don’t want to do water parks all the time. I spent a lot of money to buy them and now they aren’t worth anything. Thanks a lot. And besides that, if I want to use them for the parks at all, I can’t come in without a reservation. Thanks for all the caring about the customer. Vacation will be elsewhere.

    • Disney is no longer available to a lot of families as the admission price are no longer within their reach. As a 20 year visitor I cane no longer afford admission on my social security. They need a plan for seniors as my 940 ss can’t support it

      • Shirley McConnaughay

        I agree with Patricia Meelich. I travel alone because at 86, I have outlived most of my family and friends. I can still travel, even though my mobility is limited and I use a scooter. Disney was a place I enjoyed visiting at least every few years, if not annually,, but now can’t afford to go at all.

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