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Disney Cites Schedule “Conflict” As Reason Bob Chapek Won’t Attend Destination D23, States WDWNT Has “Stooped to a New Low”

As expected, Disney has reached out to WDWNT.com and several of their preferred news outlets to update guests on why Bob Chapek won’t be attending Destination D23 this weekend at Walt Disney World:

Bob has a conflict in LA on Friday night and couldn’t make it back to Orlando on time.  Your post is ridiculous and you’ve really stooped to a new low by making this up.

Jacquee Whaler, Disney spokeswoman

As is the the norm in these situations, Disney’s public affairs and PR departments have become incredibly aggressive when a mess needs to be cleaned up. You may recall the sometimes rather nasty manner in which they handled the Scarlett Johansson lawsuit a few months ago as well. We expect no less from them at this point.

It is unclear as to why Bob’s removal from the schedule was kept a secret if it was just a simple conflict. It is strange to have removed him quietly from all of the press releases and such weeks ago but never communicating the schedule change to those who paid to attend the event. Another thought also comes to mind: Surely the CEO of the biggest entertainment company in the world has access to a jet that can get him from LA to Orlando relatively quickly.

Based on the responses to this journalist’s tweet, I’d say the public isn’t buying the story:

Disney apparently released this statement in response to the piece we ran this morning with the speculation as to the real reason why he won’t actually be at the event: that Disney fans would heckle or boo him when he takes the stage.

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  1. Oh yes, the old nondescript last minute scheduling conflict. Disney has stooped to an equal if not lower low if they think we’re not gonna look at this as a slight to fans after all the changes and cuts that have been made over the last year. It’s clear that fans don’t matter anymore and it’s just the casual vacationer that they are targeting now.

  2. HA that’s funny
    also love how much effort disney went into an article to say that you were lying

  3. I think Ms. Jacquee Whaler is attempting damage control and has her head VERY deep in the sand to justify her comment. Get out and talk to the real Disney fans and see how they feel. Not just the board of directors and bean counters,,,

    Lets go Bob!

  4. Is this really that way Jacquee Whaler, Disney spokeswoman responded? If she did, she needs to be fired ASAP. Terrible, but it doesn’t surprise me with Disney leadership.

    1. Tbh I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s just doing her job and passing on the official message from her higher-ups

  5. There’s so much distain for Bob I’m not surprised he canceled out. He’s a chicken and doesn’t want to face the music. PR departments are the absolute worst.

  6. It is sad to see your personal agenda has become obscured actual reporting that WDWNT once was. Once upon by a time you were above this.

      1. Amen. If they would go back to basics and get rid of all their poor current leadership we may spend money there again someday.

    1. Your comment is way off base, Eric. If I didn’t know any better I’d say you sound like someone on the take for Disney.

  7. It’s not surprising. Disney has been a pretty nasty company since Chapek took over, classless even.

    Perhaps they’re too busy watching people’s wastelines in hopes of saving a few pennies to notice that almost every one not on Disney’s payroll (and probably a lot on it) dislike its CEO and management.

    If the event were viewed as important, it would take priority over anything in California.

    If WDWNT got it wrong, OK, but a new low? Sorry, Disney’s in the business of storytelling, but nope. The only low I see is from their classless spokesperson. Disney used to respond with class, never with aggression. The truth hurts, perhaps that’s why they get so defensive? Even then, a Disney spokesperson would never talk like this in Disney’s past.

    1. The man who had total control, vs a small news outlet? You need to take a seminar on how to make a decision. One helped bring back ohana noodles, the other raised the price of everything and cut services. Do u work for Disney?

  8. WDNT has not stooped to a new low and what a ridiculous statement by that PR person. I don’t believe their convenient excuse at all.

  9. I wonder if the conflict is that he didn’t cut enough park food portion sizes to save up enough to fuel his private jet…

  10. Well then. Just a schedule conflict.
    Ok Disney, then you’ll eventually be willing to put Chapek in front of the serious fans who rightfully despise him.
    That’ll be fun to see.
    I’m sure WDWNT will be there to document it. Can’t wait.

  11. It is very true that he may have had a conflict in his scheduling… but if that was the case, why not announce it, why try to remove things on the sly and hope people didn’t notice..

    if you see someone trying to hide against a while Kronk style, you will notice, but someone just walking past is ignore.. when you try to act shady, people know you are being shady

    1. So they have to publicly announce an explanation for any schedule change of events over time? That’s how silly this article was. They publicly said he wasn’t coming. Confirmed it, and yet are being falsely portrayed as trying to hide it.

  12. Well Tom and WDWNT team,

    Hope there are no recriminations for printing the articles. And, you are probably correct in stating that his absence is a dodge to avoid a potentially embarrassing scene at D23.

    I’d just as well have Chapek leave the company, but he has more fortunes to make.

  13. Just goes to show that his lack of focus on guests or the fans that keep the cash coming in aren’t as important to him as his other priorities. Eisner and Iger were approachable and made guest events and interactions a priority. He, simply does not. 🤷🏻‍♀️

  14. I am continually surprised by Disney’s overly defensive and childish responses when anyone (especially WDWNT) questions their motives. All it does is throw more gasoline on the “distrust fire”. They’ve got PR problems and they’re not handling them very well.

  15. He may very well have a scheduling conflict. That by no means means that he would not get booed. He would. Disney is in denial. Disney fans hate him….accept it.

  16. A wise woman once told me the golden rule in PR to get a story to die: Never complain. Never explain. Disney is doing both in excess which is just drawing more and more eyes to their disgusting PR response and spineless Chapek. As a former CM at MK I was there when Cheapek was head of MK and he was even nickel and diming back then.

  17. Ok, friday isn’t good for you…
    How about Saturday… mmm… no?
    Sunday then!!! What’s that ? Can’t hear you, caus’ the booing.

  18. Funny that this nondescript scheduling conflict appears out of nowhere and takes a higher priority than the D23 event

  19. I hate Chapek, worst possible choice that could have been made. Personification of greedy ignorance.

  20. LOL, Disney acting like Chapek is incapable of appearing via a LiveStream if he had to attend to business in another location. I can’t believe their PR person put out such a poorly conceived statement…. It only takes 30 seconds to completely debunk it. At least puts some creativity into the lies and make it a little harder to disprove next time.

  21. Chapek needs to go immediately. Useless, and has killed anything magical about Disney. Catering to the rich and his numbers people. Has jacked prices to the Parks that the every day Joe can not afford any more. He has officially priced me out. $30 to park a car. Get over yourself. Iger, Eisner where are you? So sad. Mr Walt Disney never envisioned his parks to become what they have. He would fire the whole lot of you.

  22. The response of Disney’s PR department to your article is a typical ‘meet negative comment with aggression’ response when panic sets in – but by so doing amplifies the fact that what was originally written is probably true! For a company that should project a ‘family friendly’ image this is very poor and unsatisfactory. Maybe Chapek should look at his PR department when deciding on his next cost cutting measures.

  23. Im glad y’all are trying to make their shenanigans known. Chapek and his crew are truly ruining the parks and the morale of the parks cast members. Im glad that some of the criticism is at least getting heard in this way.

  24. I would sue the robotics department cause they dialed up the self consciousness and petty response programming and forgot to include the chip that told him that investing in the parks will bring in more money than budget cuts ever could because he is, in fact, a robot.

  25. For quite some time I have felt that the content of WDWNT has become increasingly critical of WDW and seems to only report on problems and scandals. WDWNT is slowly eroding the marvelous magical quality of Disney being a place to escape the stresses and strains and constant conflicts of the “real world”. You are chipping away at the magic. We visited WDW many many times between the 70s abnd 2000s. We did not thank God have something like WDWNT has become to make it just another place to go with no magic–with fighting and conflict and ugliness no different than anyplace else. Thanks a lot for nothing.

    1. You can stick your head in the sand over at Disney Food Blog then. I’m sorry, we’re not going to pretend everything is amazing like some sort of sociopath.

      1. Read my comment again. I said it is not special any more. And that’s largely because of headline chasers and clickbait generators like wdwnt. it is sad that the magic is gone. Doesn’t that bother you? Thanks.

        1. So you would rather blame a news outlet than the company cutting away entertainment, offerings, and guest amenities while charging you more? I may need to read it again, because that’s pretty insane.

          1. It’s pointless to blame anyone. What Disney used to be is gone. It’s time came and went. And it will never be the same. It will be something different. And whatever that is will be no different than any other media/entertinment juggernaut existing today. Also–I hope whoever runs the food blog doesn’t see what you said about them. Does everybody there but you have their “head in the sand”? Thanks.

        2. all WDWNT is doing is reporting what Disney is actually doing. Disney’s changes, including Chapek, are what is doing the damage. You’re shooting the messenger, Meirose.

      2. Hey now, that is not very nice. AJ and DFB don’t deserve the slander just because they focus on the positive aspects of Disney parks today.

        1. Yeah, “focusing” on only the aspect you want to is dishonest. This is done to keep Disney happy and maintain media credentials and perks. Just being honest, sorry.

  26. It is pathetic, that Chapek’s mouthpiece couldn’t write a reason why the scheduling department did NOT notice this in July when it was announced. Or as I and thousands of others are thinking, BS!!!

  27. Tom, this is why we love you! No matter what is in that trench, your willing to “stoop as low” as it requires and slop through all the mess, in order to give us the realness! Let the legacy live and grow… oust the FINK Chapek!

  28. Honestly, Chapek’s best move (besides resigning) would be to lean into being the bad guy and accepting the boos.

    Just be like Roger Goodell on draft night. Go out on stage, take your boos, and go home to your mansion and millions of dollars. Roger is a corporate stooge, but he accepts and owns that. Bob is also a corporate stooge, but he’s refusing to face the feedback on his decisions.

  29. under the cheapact regime, disney inc. has stooped to new lows. including it’s stock price. just a fact. hey tom, what is the fire chapek petition up to now?

  30. As long as the company’s profits keep going up, they’re not about to fire Bob. As long as park reservations are hard to get because so many people are going, they’re not going to fire Bob. People can complain all they want but as long as the parks are still accepting rising levels of guests, and profits keep going up, Disney is not ABOUT to fire the guy, and internet petitions calling for him to be fired are useless as long as people keep going to the parks. But as long as you keep going to the parks and subscribing to Disney+, he’s still going to be the CEO.

    If you want him gone, speak with your wallet — not some useless internet petition. If you sign it and still show up, you just relegated your signature as useless because you told them that you didn’t mean it.

    Unless people stop spending money on Disney, and Disney sees profits drop (instead of rising in a weird time that precludes some from visiting), your signature on that petition means nothing to Disney.

    I love Disney (though I haven’t visited since about a year before the pandemic hit), and want them to do better. But I find these calls for Chapek’s head ridiculous..Not gonna happen as long as people keep spending money on Disney, packing the parks, and making them more profits, even during a pandemic. The only way to get Chapek fired would be to stop going, stop buying merch, and stop attending special events.

    But most of you will not do that, because you care more about your Disney fix than you do about Chapek (and hey, not judgement there, I get it).

    But you cannot have it both ways, supporting Disney financially while disparaging the CEO.

  31. He’s probably meeting with his Directors to think up more new ways to charge us extra fees. If we trIed to cancel our trip to Disney World within 29 days, Disney would charge us a $200 cancellation fee. It really is starting to look like like they should change their logo to DI$NEY.

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