The Decline (and Eventual Fall) of Disney Parks

One of the pretenders to Iger’s throne, namely Bob Chapek has been in charge of Disney Parks and Experiences for a little while now. If the BOD and the stockholders don’t get their way and hedoes takes over for Iger, you can count on things getting worse at Disney.

Every single decision he’s made since taking over has made the experience of going to a Disney Park worse.

The deal with Disney World used to be that you paid big time upfront and that was it. Unless you were trying figure out ways to chisel every nickel and dime, you could check into your on property hotel and not spend another cent for a week unless you wanted a three dollar Coke or a twenty dollar balloon.

Not so anymore. Every time you turn you turn around you are digging out your wallet. Want to bring your own car? Be ready to pay $24 dollars a night to park it. Think an Annual Pass is a good idea, think again and think hard about it because finding the financial sweet spot that makes that a good idea is becoming a lot harder. The Boardwalk pool was closed so that all of the references to performing elephants could be ripped out. The list goes on and on.

Here is the 2007 version of the Halloween fireworks show

And here is the new version

Did you see the difference?

Yep, fireworks ARE expensive. As somesone who has gotten involved in his community I gaurentee you that the old show was probably about $55,000 per show. The new one while flash and bit boomy is about fifteen thousands less.

Also Halloween starts in the last week of August now but I suppose I can give that a pass since that seems to be the deal everywhere else too.

A while back I said that Disney Parks as an institution were by their nature SJW Resistant. The reason being:

SJW Resistant:  Organizations whose internal culture is resistant to entryism by it’s nature.  Any place where everyone has to start at the bottom and work like hell just to get a foot in the door.  Lower level corporate culture provides considerable protection.

(*Surprise*) Example: Disney Parks, “Yeah I know it’s 94 degrees and you are wearing a forty pound bear suit.  NOW DANCE MORE SPRITELY YOU FAGGOT!”  Entryism in these cases are the result of top down pressure, when it can be managed at all.

Sadly, I said, resistant not impregnable. It’s being managed. Slowly but surely the guys at the top are destroying Disney Parks. The disaster of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge is major and the executions have gotten underway. This is called restructuring and it happens to little people when the untouchable boss makes a huge mistake.

The folly of it was stunning.

They built an entire park without bothering to find out if anyone wanted to come.





8 thoughts on “The Decline (and Eventual Fall) of Disney Parks

  1. For many reasons but emphatically NOT poverty, I actually never made it to a Disney park until 2009 (age 27), when I had to go down to Orlando for a week for a conference and I flew in the Friday before specifically to hit them. I had a great time, the rides and atmosphere are (were?) world-class, I’ve been back many times since, and I know I’ll be back again because MrsUNIVAC is a massive fan and she literally can’t wait to bring SonOfUNIVAC there.

    I have to say though, battling huge crowds and long lines in sweltering heat really isn’t my personal idea of a relaxing vacation. I’m a sip-drinks-on-the-beach kind of guy. That said, I COMPLETELY understand the appeal. Especially if you went there as a kid. If I could have met Pinocchio or Gaston when I was a kid, I would have lost my shit.

    This isn’t the first time this has happened, either. California Adventure was a penny-pinching disaster until Eisner woke up and fired the guy responsible. It seems like it does OK now.


  2. The whole Galaxy’s Edge fiasco really baffles me. Why did they do the same design at both parks? Why not do Rebels at one park and Empire at another? Have spy missions going on at each location. Also, as someone pointed out, they should have had a fighter pilot academy with flight simulators. You get to battle people at the other location. There seems to be a total lack of imagination and only a concern about how to make it as cheap as possible.


    1. @Chris Lutz
      Holy crap those are great ideas. How did those get missed? Why are you not a parks director already? Are u not circumcised or otherwise unqualified?


  3. If you want to see just how much of a disaster the Galaxy’s Edge theme park rollover was, check out GeneralFriendliness’ posts on the following Star Wars board:

    His report starts on page 500 and continues on for several pages. It starts with a report about the depressing opening ceremony (which looked like a funeral more than an opening ceremony for a theme park.) And them it talks about the various shops, characters, and distinct lack of crowds. Should keep you busy for awhile.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We had a family vacation week at Disney World in the mid-90s. Paid one price for the week, all attractions, X meals, non-alcoholic drinks, and perhaps paid a bit extra for some special perks – babysitter one night, daughter got a specially autographed BW sketch from a retired animator. Left some tips for especially good service or extra help. This was a great help, because the vacation was one chunk of money we could plan for and set aside. We thought about returning in the early oughts, but schedules got in the way, and we began seeing and hearing about changes in price and included meals and services. Waited another year, think it was ’05, and looked again: yep, paying more for far less. We went camping instead for three weeks at about the same total price to include meals, sunk costs at home for utilities, etc., activities, and T-shirts and stuff. We had a great time, and didn’t really think seriously about Disney again. I looked at packages the other day, and after applying the inflation adjustment, it’s our inclusive price then for lodging only now. Big Rat lost a customer, and I’m asking others to look first at the poisoned bait.


  5. The wife made me go to Disney world on our last trip down to universal Orlando. I think I paid more for the one day admission to just magic kingdom than I did for the 3 day all parks pass at universal. The price difference between the 2 parks is astronomical. The food was twice as expensive and half as good. I’ll admit that the performers are way better at Disney but bang for your buck is heavily sided to universal.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s