Bob Iger resumed his role as CEO this week and there was a great cry of rejoicing amongst the Disney fandom, but that doesn’t mean he has an easy road ahead of him. The damage wrought by Bob Chapek is significant at best and dangerous at worst, but there are a few tweaks he can make to at least get a solid foundation.
In just two years, Chapek completely changed the Disney Park experience for countless Guests. He dissolved the Magical Express, gouged up prices for basic tickets, and put Lightning Lanes behind paywalls through the insufferable Genie+. While Disney fans across social media have suggestions on ways Iger can start by bringing the Parks back to how they were before, not all of them are as easy as an executive order. That being said, there are at least a few things the CEO of the Walt Disney Company can manage with the right protocol.
One simple yet vastly shared opinion is to allow Park Hoppers earlier access to the other theme parks on Disney property. As of now, Disney Guests can currently switch Parks after 2:00 p.m., which might work better for some than others. While this isn’t a trip-troubling rule, it does put a bit of a dredge on some Guests experience, especially if they are the kind to do as much as they can in a single day. That might sound like Disney overload at first, but some Parks like Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Epcot can have their highlights experienced in less than a day’s visit. Considering most Parks open at 8:00 or 9:00 in the morning, Guests with Park Hopper tickets typically have a five or six hour window to experience their choice of Park, but being forced to wait until an allotted hour could put a stop to their momentum.
The Park reservation system might not be the worst offense to appear during Chapek’s tenure at the company, but it’s certainly a restrictive one. That being said, this is one of the more understandable changes that arose during the end of the 2020 pandemic. Monitoring a Park’s max capacity is something that should be taken into account, even without the presence of a world-spread virus. However, it does start to affect Guest’s overall experiences when schedules change and they can’t get into their favorite Parks. If Iger can’t remove it, a better idea might be simply to alter its practice to where Guests have more wiggle room.
Genie+ was perhaps one of the final nails in Chapek’s coffin, as it essentially put the traditional and free FastPass+ behind a paywall to squeeze an extra dollar out of the average Guest. While it would certainly take more than just a written order, Iger could reinstate the traditional Fastpass+ or simply remove the additional charge. It all boils down to the old adage of “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” It would certainly be a great display of good faith for the spurned Disney Parks Guests.
That all being said, this is but a drop of water in the massive ocean of troubles facing the Walt Disney Company, but the journey of 1000 miles begins with the first step. True change will take a significant amount of time to restore the Parks to their glory days, but that doesn’t mean Iger doesn’t have a place to start. Hopefully, he will heed the cries of Disney’s fans.
What do you think Iger should do to repair the Parks? Tell us in the comments below!