Bruce Vaughn Returns to Walt Disney Imagineering as Company Restructures Continue

Former Chief Creative Officier of Walt Disney Imagineering, Bruce Vaughn, is set to return to his position for the first time since 2016. The former Disney Parks executive will reassume office on March 20, 2023, and share authority over the creative division with WDI president Barbara Bouza.

Since last year, the Walt Disney Company has undergone many significant changes, most importantly the removal of former CEO Bob Chapek as head of the enterprise in favor of reinstating CEO Bob Iger, whom Chapek originally took over for. The decision came as a result of growing contention over Guest service in the Parks, the need for cost-cutting measures, and significant losses during Chapek’s first year as revealed in the Q4 quarterly earnings call.

Bob Iger and Bob Chapek

Credit: Disney

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Since then, Iger has returned to bat and one of his first moves back in charge was to announce a reorganization of many company divisions, reversing decisions made by Chapek, which placed control in the hands of executive boards and investors rather than creative leads. Now, the creative teams will once again take priority, and Iger has already begun quietly removing some officials from their positions, either permanently or by promoting them to other departments, etc.

One such example is the return of Vaughn as the CCO at WDI, which the Company revealed to its Cast Members through an internal memo sent by Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro, as reported by theme park journalist Ashley Carter. Previously, Vaughn held the position for nearly ten years after his start in 2007.

Walt Disney Imagineering

Credit: WDI

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Since then, Vaughn has returned with new experience gained as CEO of Dreamscape Immersive and Vice President of Experimental Creative Products at AirBnB. In fact, on the change, D’Amaro said:

With significant developments under way and more on the horizon, this dedicated focus toward creativity and innovation will help us deliver next-level experiences well into the future.

Disney 100

Credit: Disney Parks Blog

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Of course, he will take the helm alongside Bouza as projects such as the transformation of Splash Mountain to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort gets underway. In addition, his expertise will serve to guide the completion of the Kingdom of Arendelle land at Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland’s World of Frozen, and the Fantasy Springs expansion at the Tokyo Disney Resort, plus the Shanghai Disney Resort’s new Zootopia-themed land.

Follow along at DisneyDining for more updates on the Walt Disney Company restructure during the 100 Years of Wonder anniversary celebration.





About Spencer Johnette

Spencer is a lifelong lover of theme parks, princesses, and Disney history that recently relocated to Northern California. She completed her undergraduate studies at UCLA, where she was the founder and first president of the campus Disney Club. A former Cast Member still mourning the loss of the Disney Store, she now haunts the Walt Disney Family Museum halls and shares her opinions with anyone who will listen @gothelsflower.