Bob Chapek discussed the fans of Disney Parks at The Wall Street Journal’s Tech Live conference today.
When moderator, and the Journal’s Editor in Chief, Matt Murray, brought up the passion and occasional criticism of the fans, Chapek noted that he ran the parks for seven years, adding that he was “quite familiar with how passionate they can be. If we move a churro cart ten feet, it’s a big deal.” He then claimed that when Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission BREAKOUT! replaced The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney California Adventure, some complained, but “the lines went from 30 minutes long to 6 hours long…”
Despite brushing off fan concerns, Chapek added that Disney tries to “make everybody happy all the time,” but he realizes that achieving that isn’t really possible. He then said that his own personal feelings about Disney aren’t what’s important, but what is how people feel about the company. Previously, Chapek has been openly resentful about being called a “bean counter” by fans.
He also pulled out of an appearance at Destination D at Walt Disney World last year, citing a last-minute schedule conflict. Rumors indicated he was afraid of being booed on stage, which did happen at D23 Expo last month.
Chapek succeeded Bob Iger as Disney CEO in 2020, right before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the company to close its theme parks worldwide. Previously, Chapek was Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts before being promoted to Chairman of the Parks, Experiences, and Products division.
Do you think Chapek is being too dismissive of fan criticism? Are fans complaining too much to have any real impact? Share your thoughts in the comments!