On October 26, a nearly one-year-old petition to fire Disney CEO Bob Chapek went viral when it was shared on social media by some former Disney Imagineers. In less than 24 hours, the petition garnered over 30,000 signatures. While the number of people signing the petition has slowed down, they are still signing away, and the petition has now passed a major marker. As of November 18, more than 75,000 people have signed the petition, and it is now one of the most signed petitions on the website.
According to the Change.org petition, which was started by an anonymous person:
Bob Chapek became the Chairman of Parks and Resorts for Disney in 2015. He has consistently made decisions that decrease the quality of what is put into the parks, and also ones that favor using Intellectual properties instead of original attractions. He consistently put himself and money above the product, and quality of the company….
Normally you would think to keep the quality of the parks during a time of decreased revenue, but he is concerned about what will make him the most money quickest. Maintenance at the parks has also gotten its worst under Chapek, and is not getting better. Chapek has proven he doesn’t care about the quality and legacy of Disney.
While the petition was started one year ago, when many Disney Parks were still closed due to the pandemic, things have not gotten much better for the CEO. All of Disney’s theme parks are now open, but Chapek has only seemed to have become more unpopular with diehard Disney fans. Fans have commented that Disney attractions are not being kept up the way they should and that the quality of the experience is declining, but the prices are only increasing.
Walt Disney World fans were especially upset when Disney announced that it would be eliminating the free FastPass system and implementing a paid-for system, much like the MaxPass system that was in place — and very popular — at Disneyland. However, some more popular rides would require Guests to pay an additional fee to get to the front of the ride because they were not included with Genie+ — including Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.
Despite the troubles he is facing, Chapek is maintaining a positive attitude, recently sharing that Disney+ is still incredibly popular and more people are signing up for the streaming service every day. Chapek also revealed that nearly one-third of Walt Disney World visitors are purchasing Disney Genie+ — the new paid-for FastPass program.
Bob Chapek became CEO of the Walt Disney Company right before the world was forced to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic. He has had to deal with numerous Park closures, employee strikes, figuring out how to keep Guests visiting the Parks safe, and more. While the world is still chaotic now, things are starting to slowly get back to the way they were, so we can only wait and see how Chapek’s business strategy may change as life once again begins to feel more and more normal.