Disney CEO Bob Chapek Gives Unpopular Comments On “Superfans”

in Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

Bob Chapek

Credit: CNBC

The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek recently gave some comments that may not sit well with many Disney superfans.

Bob Chapek has been the subject of much controversy among Disney fans for quite some time.

bob chapek
Credit: Screenshot via Annual Shareholders Meeting

Many Disney fans have blamed the CEO for the continued increases in prices at the Disney Parks, as well as other issues like a seeming decrease in maintenance in the Parks and the introduction of controversial services, like Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane.

Still, Chapek has continued to lead The Walt Disney Company forward and, in the spirit of the D23 Expo, the CEO recently gave an in-depth interview with The Hollywood Reporter to discuss several topics.

However, when addressing Disney superfans, Chapek made some unpopular comments that might not sit well with those who visit the Disney Parks all the time and seemingly know all the “hacks” that come along with a trip to Disneyland Resort or Walt Disney World Resort.

Mickey mouse outside D23
Credit: D23

“We love all our fans equally. We love the superfans, obviously. But we also like the fans that don’t have the same expression of their fandom. We want to make sure that our superfans who love to come with annual passes and use [the parks] as their personal playground — we love that. We celebrate that. But at the same time, we’ve got to make sure that there’s room in the park for the family from Denver that comes once every five years. We didn’t have a reservation system and we didn’t control the number of annual passes we distributed and frankly, the annual pass as a value was so great that people were literally coming all the time and the accessibility of the park was unlimited to them and that family from Denver would get to the park and not be let in. That doesn’t seem like a real balanced proposition.”

mickey proposing to minnie in front of cinderella castle at disney world
Credit: Disney

Chapek said he recognized that many superfans might see “this as a disadvantage,” but it’s exactly what he felt like he needed to do to treat families who do not visit Disney World often.

“We’ve got to make sure that not only are we heeding the needs of our superfans, but we’re heeding the needs of everyone who travels from across the country one time every five years. We have a real high-class problem: We have much more demand than there is supply. What we will not bend on is giving somebody a less than stellar experience in the parks because we jammed too many people in there. If we’re going to have that foundational rule, you have to start balancing who you let in. … Our ticket prices and constraints we put on how often people can come and when they come is a direct reflection of demand. When is it too much? Demand will tell us when it’s too much.”

What do you think of these comments from Bob Chapek? 

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