Bob Iger Makes Negative Comment About Expedition Everest, Takes to Social Media, Quote Then Changed by Media Outlet

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In an interview published yesterday with Barron’s, Disney CEO Bob Iger provided a rather interesting quote:

The quote seemed to be referring to Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom as “some nondescript coaster somewhere, that maybe is [themed like] India or something”. This quote and others in the story that seemed to disparage the creation of attractions not based on existing franchises (or IPs), enraged many Disney Parks fanatics on twitter and other social media outlets over the last day or so.

After hours of Disney fans taking to social media to defend Expedition Everest (including Imagineer Joe Rohde who headed up that Animal Kingdom project and his seemingly passive aggressive post) and voice their displeasure with the current direction of the Parks and Resorts, Mr. Iger took the time to reply to a single tweet (something his does incredibly rarely):

Mr. Iger certainly could have meant something else, and whether he did or he did not, he felt the need to defend his quote. Things, however, have gone a step farther…

Today, Barron’s went so far as to alter the quote in their story:

The quote was changed from “some nondescript coaster somewhere, that maybe is [themed like] India or something” to “some nondescript coaster somewhere”. If just the words in the brackets had changed, that might be understandable as those were created by the author, but the words “India or” also vanished. Not being in parenthesis, the story indicated that these words were without doubt spoken by Bob Iger in this interview.

I’m sure some of you are asking why this matters. Well, altering a quote is extraordinarily unethical in the world of journalism, unless the quote was made up or dubiously altered by the author. If the quote from the person being interviewed was made up by the author, well, you typically would relieve that writer of their duties for making such an unethical decision. What actually happened here is anyone’s guess, but the sensible line of thought would be that Disney asked Barron’s to alter the quote to combat the backlash that it was receiving. This tells us that someone in the Disney organization was upset with what was said.

Mr. Iger should know that this is “a big no-no” in the industry as he attended the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College. I’m sure the Media Law and Ethics classes at Ithaca College are based on the same principles as those taught anywhere else, but I can’t speak from experience.

So, what happened? Did Disney pressure Barron’s to change the quote? Was Iger misquoted? Did Iger accidentally indicate that an IP-based overlay (similar in concept to California Screaming’ becoming the Incredicoater) is coming during the upcoming, unannounced refurbishment of Expedition Everest? Or did Iger just say something nasty about an attraction based on an original concept at a Disney theme park? We’ll probably never know.

Well, what do you think?

About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]

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Jordan
Guest
Jordan

I’m scared for the future of Disney parks and the possibility of getting a new non-ip based ride anytime soon. This is sad news.

Dave
Guest
Dave

You can go to Ferrari land or Universal or 6-flags for rides. Disney is and always were about stories, that’s what most Disney fans want.

I think it’s very positive that Disney finally has enough IP to make the parks 100% Disney instead of random rides, as amazing as they were.

Cory Gross
Guest
Cory Gross

The parks were already 100% Disney. The Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Enchanted Tiki Room, Jungle Cruise, Country Bear Jamboree, Space Mountain, It’s a Small World, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad… All 100% Disney.

You know what’s NOT 100% Disney? Marvel. Star Wars. Pixar. Muppets. Avatar.

Dave
Guest
Dave

I disagree. They are exactly the Disney values.

Many of the rides you’ve mentioned have felt for a long time like they were made when Disney didn’t have enough IP of their own, and had the come up with ideas to fill up the park.

Nostalgia aside, I’d love to see most of them replaced with story based themes. Stories I’m passionate about, stories I’m invested in.

Jim
Guest
Jim

It’s all fun and games until they turn the Yeti into Elsa’s snow monster

Dave
Guest
Dave

I honestly wouldn’t mind. I have zero emotional connection to the yeti.

Elsa has been a virtual member of my family for a while.

Aaron G
Guest
Aaron G

Iger said “or something” after “India” implying that he was not speaking about any attraction in specific. I don’t know what to say about Barron’s changing the quote; however, I’m sure they got Iger’s permission to change the said quote. All he was saying is that the new IP based attractions are bringing in new guests for their parks, compared to non-IP based attractions, which don’t bring in as many new guests. No insults to any attraction, just simply stating the facts about the causes of increases in attendance and revenue that correlates with the introduction of new IP based… Read more »

Austin
Guest
Austin

Attendance is increasing in general, I would hope non ip’s would bring in just as many guests.

TK
Guest
TK

Attendance only increasing by offering Florida residents huge discounts, and large groups free ticket and dining (thus the dining plan, thus poorer and poorer quality food, when it’s basically a gimmick to convince people to come to the poorly run and overly crowded parks). Disney World is having problems. You can only treat it like a trashy call girl so long, w/o expecting guests to see that the goal is not them having a good time, it’s the they’re ripped off.

Amy
Guest
Amy

Frankly, even if he was talking about Everest, is that a really big deal? We know Disney is going IP all the time now.

T. Swart
Guest
T. Swart

Who cares?

Jim
Guest
Jim

I think Iger’s time is passed, very similar to Eisner. However, Bob capek is not the man to take over.

Aaron G
Guest
Aaron G

Bob Chapek is not even being considered to take over. They’re looking externally. Iger has brought historic growth to disney parks, and will likely continue to do so.

Brian
Guest
Brian

With everything needing a reference to an IP then what about the two year refurb to Spaceship Earth. Is it going to be a car ride through the death star or something? All you have to do is put a dish on the exterior and you’d be set.

Ben
Guest
Ben

I was literally commenting yesterday about how much I loved the theming in the Asia area of Animal Kingdom, comparing it to Toy Story land. Everything is put together so nicely and subtly that it actually took my mind away to a different part of the world, all while sitting in the middle of Florida. Toy Story Land, on the other hand, has some initial “ooh!” factor, but not much beyond that. I am looking forward to returning to Animal Kingdom much more than I am Hollywood Studios based on the way it made me feel, and not because there… Read more »

Steve Mlenak
Guest
Steve Mlenak

The author of the article shortened the portion of Iger’s quote he choose to include in the story. The author did not, however, alter the words that Iger used. There is no doubt this was done due to the brouhaha caused by the quote, perhaps at Disney’s request, but there is nothing unethical about it from the author or from Barron’s.

stadalberts
Guest
stadalberts

It’s time for Iger to go! He’s been in charge at Disney toooooooooooooooo long now. He is worse than Eisner ever was!

Aaron G
Guest
Aaron G

Really?! We saw creativity and quality thank under Eisner in his last years. With Iger, we’ve seen this increase. We saw Disney’s stocks and value tank under Eisners last years. With Iger, continuous growth, with even more in store. We saw Eisner intentionally antagonize Pixar to destroy the deal in his final years. With Iger, he fixed that deal and succeeded in numerous others. Eisner did great, but in his last years, not so much. Theres a reason Roy E. Disney, walt’s nephew, singlehandedly got Iger as CEO and ousted Eisner. Theres a reason Iger has continuously been ranked as… Read more »

Brandon Sterk
Guest
Brandon Sterk

Really?! Based on what? His historic and monumental growth of the company?

Tonya
Guest
Tonya

No, buy not doing anything exceptional except trying to buy other companies who are successful. Disney on their own has been a complete failure. Their stocks compared to Comcast show this. As do their decreasing theme park admission prices…sure…base rate goes up but nobody is paying that. Brazilians in groups larger than 25 get free tickets and food. Florida residents can buy cheap tickets at gas stations. Silly. Iger needs to go. He never saw theme parks as more than a way to advertise movies. Period.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Simple. Disney PR asked the quote to be amended. Editors agreed. Happens every day in PR. Not a big deal.

TimP
Guest
TimP

The Seven Dwarfs coaster continues to be much more popular than Everest and the animatronics still work. The Disney fan community always overreact, which hurts their credibility. Iger should be credited for the new Disney parks expansion instead of being attacked for stating a fact. IP is what pays the bills.

SJames
Guest
SJames

Oh PLEASE no more overlays! Leave AK alone and “refurbish” Iger with someone who actually gives a darn!

Luke
Guest
Luke

I’ve really tried to keep a positive outlook about the parks, and there is still plenty to be happy about. But, Iger has routinely shown that he is purely a suit who lacks the passion essential to Disney’s leader. Say what you will about Eisner, but you can’t deny that he had vision and drive to create something unique. Iger just cares about positive cash flow.

John
Guest
John

Your an idiot, the disney companu has never been positioned in such a great way. Its because Iget does gove a dsmn.

Brandon Sterk
Guest
Brandon Sterk

That’s his job. You want to hire a CEO to run your billion dollar company who doesn’t care about cash flow.

Jacob
Guest
Jacob

Why does this not surprise me that he’d insult one of the lingering few original rides? And a beautifully crafted one at that? I believe Iger is currently crafting an immersive attraction called ‘Let’s repeat Eisner’s failures in the name of the all powerful dollar sign’. I’m very interested in riding this one, the final product is sure to be entertaining, if not tragic. Hold on to your hats and glasses folks, this here’s sure to be the wildest ride in recent Disney history. This is partially tongue in cheek. Don’t take it too seriously, I’m not looking for a… Read more »

Aaron G
Guest
Aaron G

How is stating the fact that IP based rides bring in more new guests to Disney parks an insult. Plus, he didn’t specifically speak about any ride. There are roller coasters based on “India or something” at Disney parks all across the globe.

Marc Shutt
Guest
Marc Shutt

Some non descript ride, India….. hmmmm, sounds very similar to a park in Dubai that may or may not be doing well.

Jessie
Guest
Jessie

Isn’t the Sinbad ride in Tokyo Disney India based? I love the concept of the ride but if you’re looking for “nondescript India themed ride” that’s what I think of. Whatever the case, it was a dumb move.

Stephen Licata
Guest
Stephen Licata

I think people need to freakin’ relax. Disney has a process that’s been amazingly successful in entertaining the heck out of us. That process has been evolving as we consumers have. Let them be. They’re amazing.

tanea berry
Guest
tanea berry

Bob Iger is where emotion goes to die if there’s something you love it Disney and it makes you feel Joy he will take it away I can’t stand Bob Iger

Bob Iger
Guest
Bob Iger

You’re breaking my little heart.

Don
Guest
Don

I think everyone is forgetting how Disneyland started. Walt had all his rides and shows somehow connected to a Disney property. Why else would you go to a Disney park if not to experience Disney. Otherwise you could go to any amusement park.