100 Years: New Chapters or Old Problems?

100 Years: New Chapters or Old Problems?

With Disneyland’s kickoff of the 100 years of Wonder celebration this weekend, we have the opportunity to pause for just a moment to see if events that have unfolded over a century’s worth of time aren’t happening again in some form or another. We’ll look at three such issues, which focuses on competition, Cast Member buy-in and wolves on Wall Street. We’ll also look at how Disney needs to grasp its heritage and learn from it. Otherwise, it will spend the next 100 years simply repeating it. There are so many wonderful things ahead for The Walt Disney Company, but it must not allow itself to keep making the same mistakes. Join us for 100 Years: New Chapters or Old Problems?

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We cover three issues, and a major opportunity for improvement:


In the 90’s Disney stated that the competition wasn’t local but was entities like Las Vegas, the cruise line business and Bronson, Missouri. But these days, one wonders if the local competition isn’t really the problem as Universal seeks to take a bigger slice of the theme park pie.

Sources: Amusement Business Magazine, Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and Economics practice at AECOM.
Sources: Amusement Business Magazine, Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and Economics practice at AECOM.

2. Unsettled Cast Members

In 2018 Disney paved the way for a $15 dollar wage. They also created Aspire to give employees a chance to get a higher education for free. And they have added 1300 new affordable apartments on the borders of their property in Flamingo Crossings. All this while many companies are laying off as the threat of a recession looms. Still in the wake of a pandemic and higher inflation, Cast Members are frustrated by what they make and the conditions in which they work.

Depiction of Disney’s efforts to build reasonably priced housing in the community.
Depiction of Disney’s Lake Nona Campus in Orlando, Florida.

3. Outside Wolves.

Just as in 1984 when forces on Wall Street nearly tore apart The Walt Disney Company, there are private and public sector organizations who are trying to infiltrate the organization. Disney’s answer is greater accountability and transparency, not less.

Disney’s Biggest Challenge: A Sense of Heritage

Disney needs to not only maintain its institutional knowledge, but be able to harken back to its own heritage. Even in its own celebration at Disneyland, one wonders if they are connected to that very history.

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J. Jeff Kober

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