Comments for Disney Parks President steps down amid low Galaxy’s Edge attendance

Catherine Powell president of Disney Parks West

Credit: ERIC PIERMONT/AFP/Getty Images

129 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Shawn

    Seems to me like she’s being scapegoated. A Disney Parks executive of 15 years, she oversaw not only (the highly immersive & enjoyable) Galaxy’s Edge, but Pandora & Cars Land as well. To borrow a line from the original Star Wars trilogy, “how will the Emperor maintain control without the bureaucracy?” She is hardly to blame for the land’s lackluster attendance. Consider instead the ever-increasing prices of Disneyland & Walt Disney World. Consider instead how the land opened with only one attraction on both coasts & the only other things you could do (build a droid, lightsaber, buy food or merchandise) involved spending even more money. Consider the efforts of the Disney hype machine scaring away locals & their practice of blocking out annual passholders. Consider instead that it’s not the 6 year olds who might be into Star Wars Resistance & other juvenile fare who are paying to get into the land, but their parents & other generations of adults who grew up with nearly 40 years of love & appreciation for characters like Darth Vader, Yoda, Luke Skywalker & others who are nowhere to be found in the land, unless you want to buy a $200 bust of their heads. Consider that Iger, who has done little more during his entire tenure than buy IP after IP, has done nothing but dilute the Star Wars brand as a means to get rich quick, please shareholders & line his own pockets as he inches ever closer to his exit. Consider all of these things & still blame the woman? I don’t think so.

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      Ela

      Very nicely said. Couldn’t have said it better myself. I totally agree with you. I have been a Disney fan and vacationer for years. My family and I used to go to Disney up to three times a year. The last few years we hardly gone once a year. Due to the outrageous price increases, and all these new rules on the park passes they have rolled out only to go there and not really get to do what you want any more since you only get 3 fast passes a day in only one park. I think Bob Iger should have stepped down.

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      ERRM

      I think you are right on the money! And would also offer this up to you as an addendum; Disney used to be more about a quality experience or a quality item and that is what made people willing to pay such high prices. They trusted they were getting a magical experience & that their customer service would be impeccable. But Iger has slowly been doing away with all of that. Which has been evidenced with the overly-expensive-for-what-you-get build your own light saber experience. Many reports coming back show they break extremely easily & Disney has had return/replacement issues because you built it so it’s one of a kind. How can that be replaced?

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      Crystal Howard

      I agee with Shawn. As a long time supporter of Disney, I don’t want to think about the 10s of thousands have spent with them over the years, but I don’t like these recent changes. I plan to dial it back…WAY back!

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      David Spencer

      I was raised going to Disneyland as a child and have gone ever since. Now 65 years old and still have an AP. That however seems to be on the back burner in the future. Disney has made some really lame decisions in the past few years. The poor lady is the scapegoat for Iger and the Board. I have recently attended D23 where I was a “Sorcerer”. I paid big money for a VIP experience that never happened. 90% of the Sorcerers were so very upset with Michael Vargo and his crew. It was horrible to have paid that much money and be treated like scum. There was no magic in D23 at all. The no AC in the gondolas, like the monorails in CA, no AC. I was in one recently and it stopped over the submarine lagoon. We sat there for 25 minutes and the sun was beating down upon us in there. It was horrible. This past summer during the lack luster attendance at Disneyland they stopped running the Monorails during the lunch time due to heat. Where is the company’s commitment to safety? I was in the D23 mosh pit, as we later called it, on the first 2 days of D23. There were hundreds of people running to the Mickeys of Glendale for pins as they opened the doors. I had to finally get out of there as I was getting a panic attack. I watched as Disney leads just stood there and did nothing. Security didn’t show up for 20 minutes. 3 fights broke out and there was much foul language going on. This repeated itself the 2nd day also. A cast member got a broken ankle in the Dream Store due to poor attention to safety. Now the Skyliner breaks down after only 6 days of opening. This is NOT the Disney of my youth or the Disney that Walt would be proud of. Disney has turned into a greedy bunch of business people looking for the dollar rather than the magic.

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      Rach

      So true, everything I’ve seen so far of GE is a huge waste of time and excessive money. A family of four after paying huge money just to get in the park then has to pay up to $800 just to get a lightsaber you make? As usual greed is drowning out the happiest place on earth.

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    Kelvington

    So it was “this” person’s fault, not the budget cuts, not the removal of free roaming droids, and action pieces set in the land, but this actual person’s fault. I find this very hard to believe. What’s the term? Oh yea scapegoat! They needed a head for the chopping block, and her’s was it. When they change Star Wars Land over to Aladdin Land, who will they blame then? LOL

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      frostysnowman

      And let’s not even consider that the increased expense of park tickets and all the things in Star Wars land might have also contributed. Nope, that can’t possibly have anything to do with it, either.

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        Mark

        Blame iger or chopek everyone says then the true person steps down… should prove not to put foots in mouth!
        Besides swge has low attendance bc dl doesnt have the space for anything wdw has and wdw is still crowded but not as much bc people are waiting to see full experience once the other attraction opens i still dont get it but who am i but a fan whom was once a manager!

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          Jeanie Anderson

          I’m going to WDW in November. I was given the opportunity to reserve a place at each of the three venues that require reservations in Galaxy’s Edge. The only one that I bothered to reserve a spot for was the cantina. Charging $100 to just enter the other two, whether or not you want to build a droid or a lightsaber is ridiculous!

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            Steve Bauman

            We are going this winter; I bought my kid a light saber off of Amazon for like $15. I figured I can’t afford the Disney ones; at least he can have one at home.

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            Laura

            you are not charged just for entering the other two locations, this is incorrect. if you wish to build a droid, you are charged, and you can bring a guest into the build space with you, and other guests can watch from over the railing. we did this, my kid loved it, and it was money well spent for a whole building experience for something you could easily drop the same amount of money on at target. i can’t speak to the lightsabre experience but my understanding is the paying guest gets one free guest as well. i’m not banging the drum for GE, there are a lot of flaws, but this is not one of them.

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            Jaymz

            I was in both shops. No admission fee.

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            Michelle D

            I am completely in agreement with you! I also had the same chance and only booked Oga’s..and not even for the purpose of drinking since I’m not an “adult beverage” fan. The entire land looks like I’ll spend, maybe, two hours in it, and then leave since I’m not interested in shopping, especially when it cost me over a thousand dollars to get my annual pass (which I won’t be renewing, by the way, due to the increases in annual passes). It is honestly too expensive.

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        Katie

        Truth- I’ve been going to Disney for 35 years, and a habitual annual pass holder- they have virtually made it impossible to continue to go as it is now completely unaffordable with the price hike. Totally disappointing.

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        I so agree I almost had heart failure when I renewed my ap yesterday. And how expensive the stuff in GE and how cheaply it is made.

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        Jim L

        IMO it is not all her fault. I think people are looking at other types of vacations. They seam to be getting to expensive for some people.

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      Bob

      We are going next year, cant wait, but build a droid for a hundred bucks and lightsaber for 200 bucks is ridiculous, only DIEHARD fans will pay that price, im a diehard fan since 1977, but im not paying it. Disney has gotten really expensive to go to the parks and its to a point where people wont pay to go. If walt only knew, he would not be happy. The happiest place on earth has now tured into the most expensive place on earth

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        Laura

        the droid experience, especially if you have kids, is very cool. for the same price you could buy the toy at target at christmas as a gift, but they actually get the whole experience of building it from start to finish. i’m in no way a die-hard fan, but i thought it was money well spent. lightsabre, i wouldn’t pay that.

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        Sue

        I agree… the price to just get in is deterring me from going as often a we used to!

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      Yaya Social Freak

      Like I’ve been saying for months; getting rid of the smoking sections was a huge mistake. I’m not a smoker, but work with tons of them (mostly people who vape.) They won’t go places where they can’t have an option to take a break and have a vape or smoke. I know it’s very popular for the soccer moms to throw a parade about the no-smoking sextion. However let’s be real. Soccer moms bring their own food and drinks, don’t spend money on stuff at the park and have lots of other stuff going on with family to even go to the parks. While people who smoke usually spend more money when they are enjoying their total experience. That’s why vaping has become a Billion dollar industry. Plus it’s very popular in other countries. So people who come here as tourist would rather go to other amusements where they are free to do as they like. The small crowds all started when they banned smoking at the parks. I said it then and I’m saying it again.

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        Michelle D

        As a soccer mom, I have to say you are actually not as correct as you think you are. I am an annual pass holder, even though I live over a thousand miles away. I go and spend several days when I travel, and stay as Disney hotels. I buy the dining plan – the deluxe dining plan sometimes, and stay at a variety of places – from All Stars to Contemporary. I save my money and spend it on things I believe give me value. I want a magical experience, so I’ll pay for it after saving up for it. Those who smoke likely do the same. Those who want to bring food into the parks are allowed to do so, but most people end up not doing that. The only moms I’ve seen with food have had Cheerios and Goldfish crackers with them since Disney doesn’t sell either of those on property. Disney makes a LOT of money off soccer moms. The fact is that Disney makes a lot of money off ANYONE who visits. But the lack of attendance in Disneyland was actually something else entirely. Disney figured on huge crowds so the annual passholders were all blocked for the opening days and most pass holders couldn’t get in all summer. When you keep out the locals from Disneyland, you lose a LARGE percentage of business. Once they were in the park, they already had a negative feeling about things, so it is no wonder they report about negatives at Disneyland, leading friends and others who see their vlogs or videos or read their tweets to declare the Star Wars land is not worth visiting.

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      Dave

      At $32 for two drinks, the place sucks. RIP off the customer with a bad taste

  3. Avatar

    Herb

    Star Wars Land was a major disappointment. The whole concept failed. I don’t want to see Batuu. I want to see places and characters from the movies—especially the original trilogy. Get rid of the Batuu concept. Make it “Star Wars Land” and bring in stuff from all the movies. Put more rides, characters, droids (especially from the original trilogy).

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      Kitty

      Or just convert it to an Aladdin themed Agrabah. It’s all just a bunch of stores anyways so it’s an easy fix.

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        Brittany

        I think that ticket prices are a huge reason as well as what some others have said. Star Wars land as it is currently designed isn’t attractive on its own.

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        UsedToLoveDisney

        I think Disney overcompensated for their botched attempt to land the Harry Potter rights years ago and built an attraction only diehard fans wanted. Face it, Star Wars as a franchise has peaked. Add to that multiple food and ticket prices this year as well as the recently announced live entertainment cutbacks, and it’s no wonder attendance is down. Don’t even get me started on how poorly Disney treats their annual passholder now….

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        UsedToLoveDisney

        I think Disney overcompensated for their botched attempt to land the Harry Potter rights years ago and built an attraction only diehard fans wanted. Face it, Star Wars as a franchise has peaked. Add to that multiple food and ticket prices this year as well as the recently announced live entertainment cutbacks, and it’s no wonder attendance is down. Don’t even get me started on how poorly Disney treats their annual passholder now….

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        UsedToLoveDisney

        I think Disney overcompensated for their botched attempt to land the Harry Potter rights years ago and built an attraction only diehard fans wanted. Face it, Star Wars as a franchise has peaked. Add to that multiple food and ticket prices this year as well as the recently announced live entertainment cutbacks, and it’s no wonder attendance is down. Don’t even get me started on how poorly Disney treats their annual passholder now….

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      Julie

      YEEEEESSSS!!

    3. Avatar

      It wasn’t her fault for the low attendance. I think Disney in general is getting lower turnouts. They have gone down a road that is hard to travel back. The only reason it has not smacked them in the face yet is because they raised the prices for tickets, food, special events. Once people get sick of the high price for the tickets and food and rooms the attendance will go down even more. I think there are many factors hitting Disney. Customer service is not what it used to be. People have changed that work for Disney. You can do all the marketing you want but word of mouth is the best advertisement. Disney offended many disabled people. And I’m not talking fraud people but real disabilities. Think about it —- it’s 100 degrees out and your really disabled and on some really hard core meds would you want to walk to an attraction get a time and then find something to do for an hour???? How much can you eat? Shop??? So people sit in the heat they don’t feel well and leave. Why pay all that money when your physically not able to enjoy the rides and park. Or the poor parents of children with a cognitive disability. Would you want to stand in a line with them as they scream for an hour. When all you had to do was let the child on the ride and they would be content. I visited Star Wars before it opened. It was ok the millennium falcon was a newer version of star tours. Disney needs to get back to listening to its consumers and making them happy and want to go to the happiest place on earth. Right now people are not happy and you can see it by attendance and soon profits.

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      Laura

      i read there were supposed to be more interactive elements, a stage show, a third ride, all cut. bad move.

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    TimG

    Blaming the wrong person for this failure. Bob Iger and Bob Chapek are still there. Iger wanted no Original Trilogy in Star Wars Land. Chapek cut all entertainment. Iger didn’t want any advertisement. Chapek thought short lines means it’s a success. They gotten exactly what they wanted and now it’s a failure and someone else is stepping down. Hurray. Another problem solved. Not yet, but the advertizing blitz will continue.

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    Curtis

    Totally agree with Herb about the misguided concept of creating a “new Star Wars world.” What makes the Harry Potter worlds work so much is that people get to step into the real places that make the story/movies special. Walking down Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade is special because it puts us in the places where those loved characters have walked. If Harry Potter world launched with some wholly imagined new place that had very loose attachments to the story the way that Batuu is to Star Wars, it would have done very poorly. I would have loved to see an ambitious, entirely indoors (and climate controlled) death star land. Or, if it had to stay in the desert dystopia setting, make it Jakku.

    Other reasons for the lack of attendance: expensive add-on prices for experiences, fear of crowds, lack of having the signature ride open and impending recession fears.

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      frostysnowman

      Exactly.

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      Laura

      add to this choosing to open the florida land right at the start of low crowd season. and opening it incomplete. they should have just waited until thanksgiving, which i think was the original target anyway. the move to open early was a huge miss, but not her fault unless she herself came up with the idea, which i doubt. all of your other points are also valid. stepping into a location you’ve seen on screen is totally different than stepping into an unknown.

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      Michelle D

      Thank you! This is the real problem – the initial concept was a failure. I want to see a Star Wars movie land. Much like the fact I’m willing to pay a lot for a meal in a castle with a dining area that looks like a ballroom from an animated movie (think about that for just a moment-a recreating of one scene in a movie leads me to spending twice or more for food for my entire family), I want to experience the movie from inside it…not from a world like it.

    4. Avatar

      Spider

      You can have Harry Potter and insane lines! But restless for it no thanks…heard and talked too many people about Harry land..lol staying with Disney thank you!

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        Lesley

        We have just spent the last two weeks at the Disney World Parks and they have all been rammed, the busiest I’ve ever known. I really enjoyed the Star Wars section but then again I am not a star wars die hard fan and so had no expectations. I saw Darth Vader and storm troopers several times and only had to wait 40 minutes for Millennium Falcon because there are no fast passes. I was very frustrated with the fast pass system this time around. Not staying at a Disney resort all the tier one rides were gone when I tried to book 30 days prior to my visit and I wasn’t prepared to wait 2 hours for Avatar and the like.

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    Darlene

    Well, you have to blame someone, guilty or not, right? And they certainly won’t blame Iger.

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    Mitch

    I think it’s bob overs fault he built them

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    Joan

    Once again Disney has moved away from updating on or expanding on the iconic rides and attractions at the parks and sunk billions into things that aren’t actually Disney. Or maybe they should focus on the fast pass system which is a fail, you only get 3 fast passes a day and its only at 1 park. They push park hoppers option but you can’t have fast passes at multiple parks until you use the 3 up at 1 park and there is no way to get main attraction fast passes by then because they are always out. The old way was better. So many great rides need attention, fix the yeti, fix pirates, fix the air/water machines at Mickeys Philharmagic and the Little Mermaid.

  9. Avatar

    Kitty

    Kathleen Kennedy demolishes the most beloved franchise in the world yet she gets to keep her job?

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    Jackie

    Read the book which should have released way before batuu opened it paints a beautiful picture for batuu! It introduces you to it all and shares a true love of both sides…
    No one gets batuu i first didnt till i read the book!
    The concept is vague yes but its our star wars experience there isnt supose to be black and white no experience at wdw its always colorful! You want black and white go visit plot hole hp land and leave the magic alone!

    1. Avatar

      Tom

      Nah!
      If you need to buy additional works (book, video game) to enjoy something (movie, land), then that something is bad.
      Additional works should just be bonus material, not required content.
      Just like the Extended Universe from the original Star Wars saga. You don’t have to know it to actually understand the movies, it’s just bonus.
      But in the new trilogy, for example, you need to buy and play Battlefront II to understand how the Resistance got the blueprints of the First Order ship. That’s one of the points that makes it a bad movie (in my opinion). Because you need external material to understand it.

      A land, just like a movie, should be sufficient on its own.

      1. Avatar

        Jackie

        Just bc your lazy uneducated and dont want to read dont knock the book its an amazing book! If you do not want to be fan bc of everything wdw bc of whats going on w sege then your not a true disney fan so just be quite your bothering the rest of us!

        1. Avatar

          Alex

          You’re*

          Don’t accuse someone of being uneducated if you aren’t going to communicate effectively. Also, no, I don’t need to read Bambi, Aladdin, Snow White, Cinderella, etc. to enjoy Disney World, all other Disney parks don’t rely on anything other than the Disney source material, why should this one be any different?

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          Tom

          Wow, calm down, Disney’s white knight!

          First, don’t call me lazy and uneducated when you can’t write properly, even though I can understand anger can make you write in a way that doesn’t make sense.

          Second, I never said the book was bad. I just said a land shouldn’t rely on anything else to be enjoyable.

          Third, I never said I was a “true” Disney fan, and if being a “true” Disney fan means liking everything as long as there the Disney name on it, then no, I’m absolutely not a Disney fan.
          Liking something for the only reason that it was made by Disney is naive and shows that you do not have the ability to objectively criticize what is presented to you.

          See? I responded calmly, I did not insult you, and I argued my point.
          It is possible, even on the internet! You should take a deep breath and try it, you’ll see, it’s amazing, and sometimes leads to constructive conversations!

          Have a nice day.

    2. Avatar

      Shawn

      Isn’t the point of Studios to “Ride the Movies?” Not obscure books that most don’t know about.

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        Michelle D

        I think that is Universal’s tag line from the ’80’s 🙂

    3. Avatar

      Alice W

      I didn’t renew my Annual Pass for the first time as of last year. I live two states away, but still made 4-6 trips down to Dland annually. Bob Iger’s gross $65MM *bonus* after arguing not to increase base pay for Cast Members to $15/hr (that bonus would have covered that whole wage for all staff at the parks for a year!) was gross and greedy and summed up the current park vibe. The magic is down to one bar of strength. The energy throughout the parks has really changed. I feel like a walking wallet and not a guest. I’m seeing similar comments on lots of fan boards.
      As for Batuu… my daughter’s bday is May the Fourth, and my first ever drive in movie was Star Wars, BUT, look at Dland and DCA from Google Earth and you’ll notice one thing really doesn’t look like the others. A dusty, dry outpost when it’s 100F is a less appealing option. Something more varied, might have been more Disneylike. Meanwhile, Bob Iger’s behavior is very un-Disneylike. He is breaking things.

  11. Avatar

    Sixdee

    Should have added more than 2 rides.
    Also price increases of AP was most likely the reason. Hype didn’t help either.

    1. Avatar

      Tom

      Should have opened both of them on opening day.
      I mean, a land with a single, Start Tours-like, not-so-special ride? No surprise guests aren’t satisfied…

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      Chris

      Totally agree on the AP increase as the reason. It was ridiculous! Those are your most devoted Disney fans and you do that to them?!! I couldn’t renew mine and will have a tougher time affording the costs of getting back there. This has nothing to do with this woman and no way she should be resigning over a drop in sales.

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    Jen

    They were also banking on visitors being nerdy enough to go along with the new language. At our house, every time we read or hear the words “bright suns” we roll our eyes. This isn’t seriously a land that’s a repeat destination unless you’re a hardcore fan.

    Aside from that, the parks have outpriced us, and we are a fairly high income family. We had been going 2-3 times a year for the last 12 years. Now I can’t figure out how to get myself and two of my kids there for a quick visit by year’s end. It’s just so unreasonably expensive to enjoy the happiest place on earth.

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      Gene child

      Ditto!!

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      Laura

      yeah i think that was a swing and a miss too. we had a little fun with a couple CMs when we went, asking us about our incredibles shirts we were wearing, and another offering to buy my kid’s droid, but having to use a language you’re unfamiliar with, and having no legible signage around the land is a big miss. it could be fun, if you prepare, and that shouldn’t be necessary. the photopass photographer (at least they still had a few) acted like he didn’t know the word “photo”, which was awkward. even their nametags- these are no scenarios you want in an emergency situation (lost child or something).

    3. Avatar

      Buck Solo

      This, to me, is the biggest issue all the way around. The steady (and high) price increases that have been going on for years. You’d think Disney would know better than to just trust the economy is growing, when really only the rich have gotten richer over the past several years. We’re heading towards a recession, but some good that may come of it is Disney finally having to come back to Earth and try to find some semi-reasonable prices again.

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    Robert

    The concept is there and the future developments, story lines, and immersion should help. It was a crappy roll out. Think by next fall they will be where they thought they should be.

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    Dee

    How about opening up dates before January for ALL AP holders! We’re blacked out for Hollywood Studios until January.

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      Jeff

      You sound excited for Galaxy’s Edge. You’re really not missing anything it’s pretty disappointing. Unless you’re a super hardcore fan it’s just ‘Meh’. The ride just isn’t that great unless you’re a video gamer and you get to sit up front as a pilot where you can control the ship. The only problem is that they put little kids up front because they can’t see from the back, so when they do you just sit back and watch it crash over and over. It’s the same for if they don’t speak English.

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        Shibby

        Galaxy’s Edge is exciting, innnovative and beyond gorgeous. People that live & breathe SW will whine and moan that it’s nothing like the movies but who cares?! Put the movie details behind you and appreciate what’s in front of you.

        1. Avatar

          I completely agree with you. Batuu is a beautiful land. I love that it was designed to be a place for guests to create their own story. The last thing I would want is just scenes from the films. Universal’s HP land allows guests to have their own experience in the world. There are no characters from the films walking around the land there either. I am no way a die hard SW fan yet I really enjoy visiting Batuu and playing along with the story. Sure Galaxy’s Edge needs its big E-Ticket ride to make it feel more robust, but its a land, not a world. If it is going to be compared to HP, it would have to be double the size and have double the attractions. I love HP, but I feel that there is more than enough HP at Universal and certainly doesn’t need to be more HP at the new park. With all the changes coming to the Disney Parks, it‘s no surprise to me that people are holding off their trips till 2021.

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      A

      Agree. I have to go to Orlando for work often and have the FL resident pass you do that’s blocked out. They want more people spending $ in Galaxy’s Edge? Don’t block us out for 4 months.

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    KenR

    2 Billion dollars for what amounts to 4 rides (once all opened), light saber and droid building stores, some food courts, and desert planet scenery and only 1 person is fired? I think they may want to keep going. I was there when it opened and purposely stayed away due to the projected crowds. I think the term “land” is getting a bit overused. Two rides that will have 2 hour+ waits and little chance of a fast pass are not going to draw me to Hollywood Studios. I go there to ride the Tower of Terror, check out the stores, and leave. for a billion dollars, they could have built 5 rollar coasters, a water ride and 4 dark rides and had money to spare. How do you spend a billion dollars on a comparatively small section of a park with 2 rides?

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    Mike

    Should of have Jabba The Hut live action party . Mix the old with new make it like you time travel to different parts of Star Wars Movies

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    Tomasita Carmona

    I think it is premature to conclude anything requiring anyone to be the scapegoat. Hurricane Dorian’s bizarre visit seriously impacted numbers for September because it scared everyone away.

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      Laura

      dorian only impacted about 4-5 days max. what’s the excuse now? opening at the start of the lowest crowds of the year was a big miss. had they waited until Thanksgiving when crowds are peak with both rides running, which i think was the original plan, they would be singing a different tune.

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    Jill Cotich

    Disney World has taken family out of the picture. The theme park prices are outrageous and everything else is exorbitant. How can anyone afford to go?

    Disney executives need to have their salaries slashed way back and cut the cost of tickets back to an affordable amount.
    Walt is rolling in his grave seeing the family cut out of going to his greatest achievement that he made for families!!

    SHAME ON YOU DISNEY EXECUTIVES !!

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      Laura

      until the attendance actually reflects that, keep dreaming. people need to actually choose not to go. we just got back and for september it was more crowded than i have seen for that time of year.

  19. Avatar

    Scott

    My family has gone a couple,times a year for the past 15 years, we love Disney. However, they have priced themselves out of what the trip is worth to us. Disney keeps removing shows, live performers, etc. and raising ticket prices and upper managements salaries. Seems like contrasting interests to me. 10 years ago a ticket cost $79, today $159 (normal inflation would have that ticket for $94), it is out of control.

  20. Avatar

    Tracy

    She was one of few women in a high position in the company, and the diversity and inclusion champion. Disney is a boys club.

  21. Avatar

    Bruce

    Economic times and generational attitudes have been very good for WDW during recent years but they may not be well positioned for future trends. Any economic slowdown will translate in to reduced numbers because visitation costs have grown and the WDW deluxe hotels are horrifically overpriced compared to other luxury properties nearby, many with free parking and free shuttles that help avoid the high parking costs on WDW. A recession or fear of one will cool attendance numbers. Additionally, people are increasingly weary of crowds and lines when there are always other entertainment and travel options that require far less hassle. The Disney model of people being expected to hover over their computers or phones to do battle at booking meal and ride reservations or event tickets that all sell out in minutes is getting worn out. People shut out of entry and left with nothing but standing in lines will grow tired and walk away entirely. It has been these growing trends that are partially responsible for low numbers at WDW and Disneyland Star Wars attractions, not one person.

  22. Avatar

    Eileen

    Igor needs to cut his salary if cuts are being made , pricing is cutting out a lot of families from being able to even attend the park. The whole crowd build up was put out by Disney and now they are feeling it in their pockets . Deep cuts in the amount of days that pass holders can attend also caused lower attendance to the parks which is what they wanted but it is now biting their wallet. As my son put it “ Star Wars is out dated , with no new fan base “ and a billion dollars for a ugly , hot land with one ride 🤦‍♀️. Just admit it Disney you screwed up as a company not just one person made all of these decisions. Stop gouging the customers you still have !

  23. Avatar

    Valerie

    Lets blame the constant hike in ticket prices, food prices. How does a family afford to go? Not everyone likes Star Wars. They’re taking away our favorite attractions. I understand you need to add new things but Disney is princesses, Small World, what Walt Disney built. You’re turning it into another Universal studios. Even removing the Sorcerers hat at HS, why? We are frequent visitors from PA. Not happy with the new Disney at all. Keep your high ticket prices and cutting entertainment watch you ruin a great thing. Let’s not blame this woman for low attendance.

    1. Avatar

      Laura

      the hat was not an original park feature. i personally always hated it and the fact it blocked the chinese theater.

      1. Avatar

        Buck Solo

        I liked the hat (Sorcerer Mickey is my favorite Mickey) but yeah, the placement was odd to say the least.

  24. Avatar

    Gus

    That is such bs, the real ‘star’ of Galaxy’s edge is going to be, Rise of the Resistance. After Toy Story, ‘land and Carsland openings they freaked out. So they gave us the ‘d’ ticket ride instead and wondered why people didn’t show?? Surely there was a better strategy? I imagine Rise if the Resistance sitting there all ready to go, and they have no clue how to handle this.

    If Hagred’s can get 10 hour waits, no clue why someone would wait that long? Shouldn’t Disney be embracing, rather than running sacred of their ‘vision’?

    It’s all good, Mr. Eiger, we will be back for the whole package anyway, just don’t try and ‘fleece’ us too much, please, from now until then. More ‘rewards’ and perks would be great! I am a pass holder from the DLR and when I was in Florida, they would’nt give me my pass holder discount they would have given me on a sweatshirt, just because I wasn’t a ‘Florida’ passholder. That’s the kind of inconsistencies they are going to have to address before I become a pass holder again.

    I dipped out on a pass the past two years because of the zoo anticipated from Galaxys Edge.

  25. Avatar

    Maz

    Know someone who keeps track of attendance there. Attendance is fine media is the ones blowing it up acting like attendance is low or a problem

    1. Avatar

      Jim K

      Oh, please. I’ve been to Galaxy’s Edge five times since Dorian (here right now) , and it’s never been crowded. Wait time for Smugglers run never more than 45 mins. Hagrid’s at Universal is still 80 – 90 mins.

  26. Avatar

    Chris

    I think a big problem with Star Wars Land is that Disney was trying to beat Universal at their own game. As others have said, Harry Potter works so well because they brought the exact world to life and it was the right property – if you read the books and watched the movies, you WANTED to be in that world, go to Hogwarts, get a butterbeer, etc. Star Wars just doesn’t work exactly the same way.

    I think it would have been more successful if Disney had created an exact world from Star Wars (I liked the Death Star idea I read from one of the comments here), or honestly they should have gone a totally different route. This goes back to the IP debate – Disney’s successful attractions like Everest, space mountain, pirates, soarin, test track, and even to an extent Avatar and rock n roller coaster aren’t based on a huge movie franchise (at most one movie or one concept). Disney needs to re-think their strategy and do more of what made them great and less trying to beat down universal. If they build new creative attractions and worlds that we couldn’t even imagine, we’ll come in large numbers.

  27. Avatar

    Jimmy

    The overall “Bad” numbers are 100% related to the greedy ticket increases. Bob time to step down and have the new CEO take this back to Walt’s world of dreams and not greed…..

  28. Avatar

    Amanda Feasel-Scott

    I don’t think it’s her fault there was hype about falcon ride and to me it was just that the area around it was better then the ride. My husband who is a big star wars fan was even a let down.

  29. Avatar

    Mark

    All of you whom comment about finances problem know nothing about them you just think its an easy fix! But everything at the parks need smooth operations people to wrk there these people need to get paid food needs to be bought so it could be sold etc etc. Wdw didnt just become on of the biggest compaines in the world over night w luck…
    They cant just budget something and pray!
    Its easy supply and demand!
    You think if walt was alive the ticket prices would be peanuts???
    Honestly walt a family man but he was a business man that knew these things too he wasnt stupid! Would he do things different sure but the money your paying to get in though crazy to some might be paying for the next attraction or if you want to look at the lower man maybe a cm paycheck so that position isnt removed for photoboxes!!!

    1. Avatar

      Harley

      Exactly and also you may or may not like swge and someone else may or may not like i do not know pick an attraction…. i will just go w mr toad bc i never got the fandom but others love it! But no one vents frustration they go thats ok you dont like it and move on. Or maybe get into a pleasant discussion of why and share stories about favorite wdw stuff… i am just saying for some odd reason lately fans want it there way or the highway and thats wrong! if you cant just let everyone hold a different opinion and let us all enjoy the magic equal why bother at all!

  30. Avatar

    Rebel porg

    All of you whom complain just keep complaining your not the target audience! Also disney doesnt listen to rude complaints of redundancy they listen to things that matter!
    I am not a real star wars fan to the pt of obsessed fandom i agree w the person whom said read the book its helpful.
    There was someone also whom said stop complain its not my star wars ya know what it was never going to be wdw is about new family experiences! So just have fun or dont just stop causing riots! To the people whom are hp this and that have you reread those books recently what a joke do you know how much money hp costs uni no wonder they have to make a new park and charge so much for hhn!
    In truth its all big business this is nothing new etc. So lets move on people i am sure we have better things to do in our lives then vent frustrations and yell at those that dont agree bc your like 2 and need to be right.

  31. Avatar

    Ro

    Bob Chapek has to go!

  32. Avatar

    Jackie

    Sadly universal forums complain less about disney and is all for friendly comp and some diehards on those know its disney in the lead and their uni bc its not worth fighting apples to oranges in the end its like rebel porg said big buiness w all our $$$! Bc you complain about your ticket pricing etc neither one is better!
    I know i had both wdw and uni passes i dropped uni after i barely got perks and my premium annual was at the price my folks paid to renew their blockout and this is before volcano etc.
    Disney at least has perks for their premium you dont have to pay bigger bucks for stuff! Like at uni sadly uni chases the buck more than wdw its just wdw is on the a major company on the stock market so everyone sees it or sees their mistakes! Lets all breathe and like rebel porg said go back to our lives! Sure we all have em!

  33. Avatar

    Hakuna Matata NO MORE

    They should have used the money to build a working website and to treat agents who work their butts off for little to nothing in commissions instead of cutting their throats by partnerships with unnamed bulk companies. Just saying. #Universalapprciatestravelagents #Universalsalesupthanksagents

  34. Avatar

    Darth Ach-to

    B-but… Porgs!

  35. Avatar

    Themeparktruth

    The on-line negativity about SWGE has gotten silly. Last Spring ‘Bloomberg’ reported: “A new Bankrate survey found 42% of Americans decided not to take a vacation over the past year because of the cost. Nearly a third said they can afford a vacation less now than they could have five years ago, though 26% said they can afford to do so more now. More than two-thirds of U.S. adults opted out of a recreational activity due to the cost at some point in the past year, the study found. You can’t blame them. Trade tensions have economists projecting the likelihood of a recession in the next 12 months at 35%. U.S. student debt is over $1.5 trillion. Almost 40% of Americans think the economy is “not so good” or “poor.”

    And Please Note: ALL of the Orlando parks are experiencing lagging attendance numbers. Not just the Disney parks. The company that should be sweating this situation is Comcast — the company who is about to drop between $3 billion to $4 billion building and then paying to operate a new park at a time when the public wants to see ticket prices go down. Good luck with that.

  36. Avatar

    Gene child

    As a ardent Disney fan, who has visited Disney World over 70 times, it comes down to cost! Ticket prices as well as astronomical nightly resort stays have just skyrocketed! They have priced us repeats out of repeating!

  37. Avatar

    Stephen

    I still believe the attendance levels will increase once Rise of the Resistance opens. I’m wait for that before I visit WDW again and I have to think others are doing the same. The substantial ticket prices introduced earlier this year didn’t help.

    1. Avatar

      Buck Solo

      Personally I’m waiting a few years for ALL the new stuff to open across all the parks. It will seem like a new experience, and it doesn’t hurt quite as bad to space out visits every few years. I haven’t been since 2015, so the next time I go for an extended ‘see all the parks’ visit there will be lots of new stuff. That’s the only way it makes any sort of economic sense in my head.

      1. Avatar

        Harley

        I think you hit it on the head i do not think people do not want to go but there are people waiting… weather it be for batuu to be complete or if they are going to spend $$$$$$ they want to do it all at once. Meaning like you said all at once! My friend whom has 2 small ones wants to come down and asked me for thoughts and i even told her to wait not only so her kids enjoy it but bc everything will be open by then.

  38. Avatar

    Jim

    We have been annual pass holders for 25 years and been to the parks many times, We don’t like Star Wars and don’t think it belongs at Disney! We won’t wait in any lines to see it! We enjoy Walt’s magical amusements! Can’t wait for the new Mickey and Minnie ride at Disney World… that we will wait in line for! It’s hard to believe that one person is responsible for the low attendance at Star Wars, we just think that people aren’t interested!

  39. Avatar

    Ken Hutchinson

    I will go to Galaxy’s Edge and probably enjoy it but what I wanted was anything out of Star Wars and this only approaches it. What I think happened is GE ran up against Igers greed and the people are reacting with with few days and Disney and spending a lot less. As it stands now with the kids I am looking at 3 lightsabers, 3 droids the younger girl wants a Rey outfit she saw on YouTube. Well that cash layout will come out of other areas of Disney. Watch Iger will try to give himself another big bonus, Anyone note that Disney+ is not setting the world on fire?

  40. Avatar

    Tom

    Disney prices are so high what do they expect? To buy four of the star War cokes is over $24! Disney look at cost to attend one of the parks you might understand why people are not coming to galaxy edge.

  41. Avatar

    Candace

    I’m sorry but I feel Disney has lost its way! I actually love Galaxy Edge. What I don’t live is the lost magic at the park. Bring back the magic by paying employees/cm’s a better wage and hire friendly ones at that. We went in August and almost every cast member we came across was grouchy and had a frown. Was only told have a magical day once in 4 days.
    Instead of firing someone as a scapegoat maybe look to see how you can improve!!! Additionally instead of making Disney about money. Try to lower prices. Just thoughts! I absolutely love Disney but I DONT like the direction they are going.
    They are losing the magic that Disney fans enjoy!

    1. Avatar

      GregR

      Is that why you go to Disney Parks? To have someone tell you “Have a Magical Day” more than once? How many would have met your requirements? Getting a new person in is an actual step in improving. It’s unfortunate that the lady lost her job, but if GE has problems, they wouldn’t keep her in charge. Have a Magical Day.

  42. Avatar

    Adam West

    Well I’m no expert. Who else thinks that a Galaxy’s Edge idea was just a bit underwhelming to begin with though? I’ve only been to the Orlando park once, but I used to go to the original Disneyland every other weekend with the little ones. I remember their live shows way before they even bought the franchise outright. They had a Jedi Academy for kids, immersive performances, toys and memorabilia galore… So, opening up a new section of the park based on stuff we had all seen for the past 15 years or so just seemed kind of redundant to me. Just my two cents.

  43. Avatar

    Sue

    I agree with many of the folks on here.
    I am a HUGE Disney fan (for decade…) but when we booked our trip for October of this year, to Disneyland, the ticket prices BLEW ME AWAY!
    5 people, 4 days, over $2,000. – and that’s to walk in the door, have the Maxipass (fastpass) option, and Park Hopper. We wanted park hopper to move from one park to the other in case of breakdowns, cancelled fireworks, etc… but $2,000. + and doesn’t include lodging, or drinks, or food… just WOW…

  44. Avatar

    PattiJ

    I have been going to Disneyland Anaheim, CA for nearly 50 years. I went often when I was growing up in Orange County. When I was a kid it cost between $10-$25 for admission. Now paying over $120 a day to attend is CRAZY!!!! Families have to save for months in order to barely afford a great vacation to Disneyland and the surrounding attractions. Not fair to famlies!

  45. Avatar

    PattiJ

    I have been going to Disneyland Anaheim, CA for nearly 50 years. I went often when I was growing up in Orange County. When I was a kid it cost between $10-$25 for admission. Now paying over $120 a day to attend is CRAZY!!!! Families have to save for months in order to barely afford a great vacation to Disneyland and the surrounding attractions. Not fair to families!

  46. Avatar

    Karralee

    Ticket prices are high, you opened Galaxy edge at the end of summer and when school started in the states. Only one of 2 rides was open, that kind of says a lot right there. Poor planning on opening, both rides should have been open. Only 2 rides? A play area to play on the Star Wars ships would have been a great addition. Getting to walk on and through the millennium falcon would also have been a great idea. Too many stores not enough merchandise for the Star Wars geeks. Too much was focus on tv show rebel’s and the newer movies. Details of the land are awesome. But opening date and lack of rides and being forced to buy a drink at Oga’s just to see inside sucked. We were there the Monday after it opened it was cool but more rides in Hollywood studios are needed, less stores and food places. We pay to play not shop and eat. Pixar land total disappointment 3 rides and how many Pixar movies are there? Pixar is not just toy story. Not work the $100+ ticket to get in.

  47. Avatar

    Kip

    We just returned , we used to go every year but the cost is out if control . we paid just around $5000 to stay at fort wilderness family of 4 . We ate 2 meals in our trailer and one meal per day at the parks , typical lunch ran about 80 dollars . Middle class is being priced out , for me to spend that much money to stay in my own trailer there are better value for price options

  48. Avatar

    Chris

    She has been made a scapegoat of any drop in attendance. This should sit solely on the geniuses who decided to increase the AP rates by such a ridiculous amount. No one I know renewed theirs after that, including me. These are your most loyal Disney followers. Not a bright move turning them off.

  49. Avatar

    Christine

    Unfortunately this attraction is 20 years too late. No one really cares about Star Wars anymore lol. And I love Disney…they needed something more current.

    1. Avatar

      Mark

      Very true and i think thats the issue w the new movies they are trying to hard to be both! The issue is if its completely current you loose what wdw truly was built on and walt was rollin in his grave before he def will be if its all current! Look at uni they lost themselves somewhere and dug themselves a hole comcast nbc had to get them out of and sadly now comcast is paying for it! The other thing besides that is the disney parks are built on the magic of experience aka theme park by definition! Universal is not its an amusement park based off werid choices for ips!
      Again its simple finances!
      Its apple to oranges!
      Its big business and thats life!

  50. Avatar

    Sandra

    Annual/daily ticket prices are simply out of control. Not everyone makes Disney Exec salaries. This was a NO brainer.

  51. Avatar

    Robertroe

    No way it’s this lady’s fault. The “Big Wigs” at Disney keep raising prices and raising prices. That’s all they know how to do. Now the people are saying, Keep your Disney…we’ll go elsewhere”. Disney pricing is total out of the universe and climbing. I feel sorry for all the kids in middle income families because a lot of these children will never get to see and feel the Disney experience like kids in the past have.

  52. Avatar

    Kevin

    The Price

    The prices for this event have risen drastically through the years. In 2016, the price was $53.24 for ages 10 and over and $31.94 ages 3-9 with tax included. Before that, the cost was $25.55 for guests ages 10 and over and $13.94 for guests ages 3 – 9. When prices went up by double, new foods and drinks were added, and the table decorations were upgraded, but many commenters said those small changes hardly justified such a price hike.

    Admission in 2017 is $79 per adult and $47 per child (ages 3 to 9) including tax. Gratuity is not included or required.

    But despite being about food, the Fireworks Dessert Party at Tomorrowland Terrace really is all about the experience and the location. I mean, what adult can really eat over $75 in dessert at one sitting? It’s going up to $99 in 2020 for adults. In 2022 adults and two children will cost over $300 for this experience The same experience in 2013 was $76 including tax for two adults and two children.

  53. Avatar

    Daedalus5

    At the end of the day all the Project Managers and engineers building this thing reported into her. She was in charge of delivery and failed. She was in charge of marketing and pricing/discounts. Again, a big fail. The buck stops with her and her no doubt generous renumeration and severance package, so I don’t really feel sorry for her at all. It’s not rocket science following a project plan and resourcing it properly, to budget.

  54. Avatar

    Matt Brewster

    Ms Powell should not take the blame for a decision by CEO Bob Iger to set Galaxy’s Edge in a planet that does not appear anywhere in the Star Wars Ubuverse! Nor is it her fault that the Company keeps pushing admission. prices into actual outer space.

  55. Avatar

    GregR

    The idea of Galaxy’s Edge supposedly existing in current Star Wars canon is clever, but their big mistake was not to have ANYTHING from the OT or the PT. It’s all about Disney’s “Star Wars”, but nobody is all that excited about Disney’s Star Wars. What did they expect with only 1 working attraction that is getting so-so reactions from guests? The lightsaber experience for $200 is priced out of a lot of people’s reach, and forget about families. Even the droid experience is $100. They should have incorporated elements from Episodes I – VI. People have waiting 40 years for something like this land, but the execution was lacking.

  56. Avatar

    Sandra

    I agree the prices are getting out of hand and people can’t afford them with children seniors can’t afford them when they’re on fixed incomes you’re just being greedy it’s not her fault

  57. Avatar

    E.R.R.M

    I think Disney really should have seen these “lower than expected” numbers coming. They have raised the price of almost everything in the parks TWICE this past year & are now charging for parking at the resorts!!! That is insane. I understand they are trying to keep you on property & not have the freedom to get a cheaper dinner somewhere else, but seriously $15 a day & up to park at your hotel is not ok.

    However, I think the biggest factor in people not swarming Galaxy’s Edge is the lack of fan favorite characters & the extreme expense of souvenirs. Most Star Wars fans are fans of the original 3 movies. Then as the new movies progress people start falling off of the fandom wagon. The people that are fans of anything Star Wars are going to or have already made it there. However, people like me, and I believe I’m in the majority of the population, I love the original movies, but I’m pretty meh on the others.

    We have a family trip planned to Disney for January. We are planning on going to Hollywood Studios for one reason, Toy Story. If Galaxy’s Edge is not insanely crowded, we will go check it out. But all the while I, my husband, child, & father will be wondering, “Where is Luke? Where is Han? Where is Yoda? Where is Princess Leah? Jaba?” They had trading Jawas when Rise of the Resistance began & that was AMAZING, but they went away never to return. You can meet Chewy. He’s amazing by the way.

    The backbone of the Star Wars Galaxy doesn’t exist at Galaxy’s Edge and I’m sure that decision wasn’t made by just one Parks Exec.

  58. Avatar

    Joe Buccolo

    They should have kept her and dumped Eiger …

  59. Avatar

    She is a scapegoat. The real reason SWGE is failing is that it’s hardly Star Wars. Where is Yodi? It is themed for just released and about to be released comic books telling a new story. Good luck.

    1. Avatar

      Susan

      Whoever it was that decided Star Wars should be represented at the parks as a dusty, dried-up, outpost with almost nothing interactive (unless $$$ spent) and almost no relationship to the theme of the original three movies that ensnared the hearts of multiple generations of Star Wars devotees, and way, way over-hyped by Disney itself, is to blame! (Fittingly, this is likely the longest run-on sentence that I’ve ever written!)

  60. Avatar

    Brian M

    Disney is over hyped in general. The Toy Story park was another missed opportunity. They had a chance to hit a home run but struck out in my opinion. There’s only 1 ride that children 5 and under can go on. Very disappointing for young kids.
    Star Wars was another flop. The park opened with just one ride. Too many gift shops and not enough attractions.
    Pandora in Animal Kingdom on the other hand is amazing. Black lighting in the trees, LED lighting in the bushes, fog rolling over the sidewalks, even waterfalls. Let that designer fix the other park exhibits. Star Wars and Tomorrowland should have robots roaming around and droids flying overhead at the least.

  61. Avatar

    Nery

    This is not her fault! Of course they pick a woman to blame. Disney prices are ridiculous to keep people going back . It’s become a once a year park if any and that’s not her fault. My family is a big time Star Wars fan but the prices are only for rich people and sorry to tell you those are not the ones visiting your parks . We will not be there and so sad cause my kids grew up there. Totally disappointed with Disney.

  62. Avatar

    Nancy

    It seems a bit of an overreaction to me. All the parks are registering low crowds. Even Magic Kingdom is showing a crowd level of 1 most days according to sources. It’s just a slow time of year and people may have just reached the breaking point of what they can afford to spend. so deciding not to go as much. There is also the fact that the 50th Anniversary is looming on the horizon and I know people are waiting for then to visit.

  63. Avatar

    J

    I think you need to re think who has these jobs. I have been applying to WDW for 5 years without a chance. I truly love WDW and you need to have a person who wants it to succeed and get better. So if you have a person that can mix what they enjoy about Disney you can actually achieve what everyone wants.

  64. Avatar

    SymKat

    3. Over Crowded 2. Over Priced 3. NOT DISNEY
    Open a new park, no where near Disney. Put all the lame lands in your new park. I go to Disney for Disney. Marvel, Star Wars, Pinkie Doos, Doggie Dung Land, Whatever .. are NOT Disney. You think people want to go to them? Then build a park no where near Disney for that crap alone. You think attendance is down in these “lands”? Put them in stand alone parks & you will find Once & Done. The Shame of Sham parks Igor dared to place under Walt Disney’s name will not be forgiven nor forgotten.
    #MakeDisneyDisneyAgain

  65. Avatar

    Adam

    Wait a second. Lucasfilm & Disney have been saying for 2 years aggressively there is NO PROBLEM! A Small Vocal minority. Yeah OK.
    They made 7 billion dollars last year and have raised their prices 3 times at double the inflation rate. Something will always give. I dont understand how somebody is worth 60 million dollars a year. NOBODY is worth that.

  66. Avatar

    Price

    Someone tell Bob Chapek that cast members are NOT characters! Cause that’s a just a stupid cheap way of saying “there are characters in the land” Catherine Powell is not to blame! Iger need to fire Chapek Not her!

  67. Avatar

    Johnny G

    Its not her fault that Star Wars was awesome then Disney remade it and it sucks. Thus low demand for this park. Star Trek was awesome then CBS remade it with S.T. Discovery, and it sucks. Thus low demand for Discovery. Don’t get me wrong there is a high demand for great Star Wars and Star Trek productions! The fans just haven’t got any in a very long time. I’m sick of remakes. Please stop reinventing great shows with bad ones. Its not working! Where have the great story tellers gone? We need better Sci Fi writer’s! Are they all over at the Orville and expanse?

  68. Avatar

    Danielle F Harris Lacasale

    Is it really her fault for telling the truth? Why make her the fall guy when she and her department informed the public properly. I was in Disney World Memorial Day Weekend 2017 when the opening of Pandora closed Animal Kingdom park after 90 minutes. It was mayhem. My heart hurts for any professional that takes the hit for the stupidity of people above them.

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