Walt Disney famously said that Disneyland would never be complete “as long as there is imagination left in the world.” The same can be said about any Disney Park around the world. Disney Imagineers are constantly thinking of new and exciting things to bring to the Parks. They live to be creative and want to give Guests the best theme park experience possible. Unfortunately, many people have started to believe that imagination has fallen by the wayside and that Disney Parks are not the extraordinary places they used to be.
Bob Chapek, Disney’s new CEO, has taken the brunt of the anger from Guests and Disney fans alike. Many consider the CEO a “cost-cutter” and feel that he is more focused on the bottom line than he is on keeping the magic of Disney alive. Petitions have circulated online to have him fired, and many Disney shareholders are saying that they will not vote for him to retain his seat on Disney’s Board of Directors. However, simply removing Chapek from his seat may not be enough to bring Disney back to its glory days.
Disney has 11 members on its Board of Directors, and not one of them has any experience working in a creative field. They are all former executives, CFOs, and financial analysts. Granted, the people on the Board of Directors have to be voted on, which makes one wonder: have any creative people ever been nominated for a Disney Board position?
Many die-hard Disney fans are claiming that the magic is just gone, especially at Walt Disney World. Disney Genie+ is getting a lot of criticism, as is the food being served at all four Parks, and Guest behavior seems to be on the decline. While someone like a Disney Imagineer becoming a Board member wouldn’t solve those problems right away, it would signal to Guests and fans that Disney is serious about its commitment to being a top theme park and retaining the magic.
Walt Disney World’s biggest competition is Universal Orlando Resort, which is only about 20 minutes away from The Most Magical Place on Earth. Universal recently announced that Mark Woodbury, the current President of Universal Creative, would become CEO of Universal Parks and Resorts. The Orlando theme park is also garnering a lot of praise for its newest attractions like Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure and Jurassic World: VelociCoaster.
If Disney wants to make Guests feel that they are truly invested in creating a high-quality product and experience, and in keeping the magic alive, it’s time for Disney to focus on installing board members who have that creative focus.