As news broke last month of price increases at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, many fans once again blamed The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek, often the scapegoat for unpopular decisions and price increases.
On Tuesday, fans were similarly frustrated when Walt Disney World Resort announced price increases on single-day tickets and even Annual Passes, which the Disney Park still refuses to sell. Disneyland Resort started selling Magic Keys (its version of the Annual Pass program) at similarly inflated prices.
With dissatisfaction with The Walt Disney Company at an all-time high, fans on Reddit discussed how future executives would attempt to regain fans’ trust in a few years. “‘We need to earn your trust back,’ Disney CEO around 2026,” wrote u/WithDisGuy.
“I can already sense the suit speak years before it happens, but it looks like the goal is spend all their consumer trust for short term profits and then let the next team do the clean up and give that speech,” the fan continued. “I’ve seen it with so many companies. I never thought I would see Disney use this tactic.”
Many fans agreed. “This is a very common way CEOs do business, always in the short term. And why not? They get theirs,” u/Therocknrolclown wrote regarding Chapek. “Many strong and viable companies have been wiped out in a few years with this mentality.”
“They will never learn the long term lesson. Cheap out now on creative content/imagineers/cast members…pay later when everything turns to crap and there’s a giant backlash,” u/RoyalScarlett argued.
Others said Disney will find its way out of financial trouble as it always has. “Somehow they will get a government subsidy or bailout to stay alive even if the CEO spikes the company. It’s the American way,” u/phicks_law said.
“Nah, they’ll just wheel out MSEP [Main Street Electrical Parade] again and all will be forgiven,” u/pementomento joked.
Despite upset fans, Chapek has stood behind many of his controversial decisions, such as the early 2022 controversy with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis surrounding the “Don’t Say Gay” law. In February, fans and Disney Cast Members led protests around the country after public records revealed that Disney had donated to many politicians who sponsored the bill.
Disney released a statement on March 3 but didn’t directly mention the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Fans again asked Chapek to condemn the anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation, and Pixar staff wrote The Walt Disney Company a letter asking the company to take a stronger stance against the bill. Chapek then called DeSantis to tell him that Disney did not support the bill. Disney also promised to pause political donations in Florida after donating $4.8 million to Florida campaign funds in 2020.
DeSantis responded by introducing and passing legislation to dissolve the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which has allowed Walt Disney World Resort to operate private, municipal services since 1967. Despite lawsuits, DeSantis will likely appoint his own committee to manage the district.