Disney Hits Rock Bottom After CEO Makes Massive Announcement

in Disney, Disney Parks

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Credit: ITM

Disney stock has hit the lowest price in nearly a decade after several solid months of downward trends.

Pluto leading a procession of Disney Dreamers Academy teens displaying signs for where they come from.
Credit: Walt Disney Company

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There’s no denying that The Walt Disney Company has faced its fair share of struggles over the last several decades. However, no period of time has proven to be as tumultuous for Disney as the present, with the company facing backlash from almost every angle.

Certain Disney fans may point their fingers at Bob Chapek, Disney’s former CEO, who was let go in late 2022. Chapek took over from Iger and ruled The Walt Disney Company during some of its most uncertain times. While Chapek may be easy to blame, bringing in unpopular additions to the theme parks like Disney Genie+ as well as spearheading a lot of controversial decisions, Chapek was undoubtedly dealt a bad hand from the start, taking over Disney months before the global COVID-19 pandemic would spread across the globe.

These were tough times, not just for Disney but all companies around the world. We saw the Coronavirus affect every theme park in the world, from Universal Studios to SeaWorld. Chapek lasted around two years as CEO of The Walt Disney Company, and though he was only there a short amount of time, he certainly left behind an infamous legacy.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis holding a Walt Disney World Annual Pass with Magic Kingdom in the background and money falling all around.
Credit: Photo edited by Inside The Magic

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Disney has also been battling against the outspoken Gov. of Florida, Ron DeSantis, as the two parties are entangled in an incredibly public and incredibly drawn-out legal battle. We won’t bore you with all of the details, but the disagreement between Disney and DeSantis stems back to 2022 when Florida was set to introduce its highly controversial “Don’t Say Gay” legislation. Disney spoke out against the bill, and the rest is history, with Gov. DeSantis making it his primary mission to punish Disney.

DeSantis was mostly successful, stripping away Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District and appointing new board members to control the district that the Walt Disney World Resort resides in within Orlando, Florida. While we can’t say for sure whether or not this affected the stock price of The Walt Disney Company, it’s not outlandish to suggest that this battle, among other factors, has contributed to some of the worst performance Disney has ever had as a company on Wall Street.

Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger looking at Disney Brand Image with Castle and Logo
Credit: Inside the Magic

Disney has also hit a wall creatively, admitting defeat with one of its most ambitious theme park projects, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. This immersive Star Wars experience allowed guests to board the fictional Halcyon starcruiser for a three-day, two-night “cruise” where they could fight, train, and embark on an adventure alongside various Star Wars world-building elements. As you can probably imagine, this experience cost quite a pretty penny.

This three-day experience would cost an average family of four thousands of dollars, and when looking at the price of a regular Walt Disney World vacation, it was hard for many families to justify the experience. Eventually, Disney announced that it would be closing its Galactic Starcruiser.

Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser concept art
Credit: Disney

Amid all of these controversies, Disney has been getting destroyed on Wall Street. Disney hit a new 52-week-low twice in the last few months, with the most recent major drop occurring right after Bob Iger announced it would be spending billions more within its theme park division. Now, Disney stock prices have dropped again, hitting the lowest price Disney has seen since 2014.

On October 4, 2023, $DIS reached a new low price of $78.76, which is the lowest it’s been since February 7, 2014. Only time will tell if Disney is able to build up its stock price, and with so many incredible projects on the way, we have a lot of confidence.

Bob Iger has pledged to stay as CEO until 2026 at the earliest, meaning he will be helming the ship for the foreseeable future. Bob Iger’s return to Disney was filled with controversy as well, with the news seemingly coming as a surprise to most at Disney, including Bob Chapek.

Are you a Disney shareholder? What are your thoughts on current-day Disney?

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