Podcast #15: A New Era of the Disney Parks

Podcast #15: A New Era of the Disney Parks

Finally! A new podcast! And a new blog post! I know we’re overdue, and we’re very sorry it’s taken so long. The great news is the business is good! The bad news is that business is good! And because it’s been busy, I haven’t had many windows to showcase new content and to keep the podcasts and blogs alive. My apologies! But the work goes on!

New Organization at the Top

This podcast episode focuses in on life since Bob Chapek took over Disney attractions. After a brief history of the evolution of parks to this point, we chat about the major change made a few months ago with a reorganization of Disney into four major channels:

  1. Direct-to-consumer streaming platforms & International
  2. Media Networks—Disney/ABC Television Group
  3. Studio Entertainment/Disney Animation & Live Action, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, Disney Theatrical & Music Group
  4. Bob Chapek—Walt Disney Parks & Resorts and consumer products

Nickel & Diming
From there we talk about the largely failed efforts in recent years to nickel & dime guests in order to increase per cap. This includes:
  • Overall Hikes in Tickets, Food & Beverage
  • Preferred Parking
  • Buses taking you directly behind the park
  • Minnie Vans
  • Charging Nightly Fees for Parking at Resorts
  • New Club Level FastPasses
  • MaxPass
A “Minnie” van. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Major Expansion
From there we go onto the major expansion activities that are now happening throughout the world. This includes:
  • Completion of Shanghai Disneyland and its Toy Story Expansion
  • Build out of Disney Springs
  • Building out two Star Wars Lands
  • A Star Wars Resort Plus Other Resort Additions at Disneyland and Walt Disney World
  • Purchase/ownership of Disneyland Paris & Major Addition to Walt Disney Studios Paris
  • Major Overhaul of Hong Kong Disneyland
  • Big Additions for Tokyo Disneyland
  • Building on the Avengers Brand in Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland
  • Millions spent on improving the infrastructure—To Include Gondola System
  • 3 Billion in Epcot Expansion
  • Technology—Mobile Ordering
  • Moving to Double the Cruise Line

Conquering Retail

We then discuss Chapek’s touch as it comes to aligning merchandise and the parks through the following:

  • Banshee & Other Pandora Products
  • Retail Product for Guardians
  • Pixar Fest—Shopping Bags & Disney Parks Toy Story Merchandise
  • New Retail Concepts for Galaxy’s Edge
  • Lifestyle Brands: Partnering with big brands like Pandora, Tommy Bahama as well as Dooney & Bourke
  • Disney reimagining its Disney Stores to be More Like a Vacation—Going back to an Adult Focus with Ethan Allen furniture and a $350 denim jackets plus Disney items

Innovation in F&B

We also highlight food & beverage concepts that are happening:

  • Mission Space Restaurant
  • Club 33
  • Dole Whip Inspired Doughnuts
  • Pixar Fest Foods
  • Red Rose Taverne

Signature Experiences

Since that time a major change has occurred with Jeff Vahle being over Signature Experiences, which includes:
  • Disney Cruise Line—3 new ships in ’21, ’22, and ’23
  • Disney Vacation Club
  • Adventures by Disney
  • Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii

Your Take Home Souvenirs:
From all of this, we offer the following applications back to your business:
  • Provide Signature Experiences for Your Most Loyal and Affluent Customers
  • Break the Pricing Mold
  • Don’t Nickel & Dime—Truly Add Value
  • Think Long Term—Not Short Term

So as you see, there is lots we’re discussing in this episode. Please take a listen. If you like it, please subscribe and share with others.

For more of this type of content, check us out at DisneyatWork.com or follow us on Twitter here.

J. Jeff Kober

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