Disney Fans Blame Bob Iger for Floundering State of Company

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Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger in front of Cinderella Castle

Credit: Inside the Magic

Disney CEO Bob Iger is many things, but universally loved may not be one of them.

Back in 2020, Iger named former Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Bob Chapek as his successor, who bore the brunt of issues during the COVID-19 pandemic. After that tumultuous time, the board formally reinstated Iger as CEO in November 2022, to much support and excitement from fans. However, his return has been anything but smooth, with many disappointing updates and decisions, and with his announcement earlier this year that he’ll be running Disney until 2026, it’s led many to question his comeback.

Disney CEO Bob Iger posing behind a model of Shanghai Disney Resort
Credit: D23

User Arkangel504 posted on Reddit, asking, “Has the park experience improved with Igers return? Canceled our AP’s last year because we it seemed every year prices increased and for various reasons the overall experience decreased. Has anything changed for the better with Igers return? Is the magic back? Cast members happy?”

Has the park experience improved with Igers return?
byu/Arkangel504 inDisneyland

The comments were not exactly glowing ravings about the head mouse in charge. Some answered with a simple “no” or as u/AIMpb put it, “With Chapek it was consistently getting worse. With Iger it is consistently the same. Not really progress, but better in comparison.”

Others pointed out that while there have been some disappointing developments at the parks, ie: higher prices, shorter hours, park closures, etc. much of this can’t be squarely put on Iger since these things would and have happened with other parks and CEO’s. According to u/Silly-Victory8233,

“Since Iger has come back there are lots of closures around the park and frustratingly all around the same time. This though is I believe due to Iger putting a lot more money into the parks and catching up with Chapek’s lack of maintenance and funding which should in time make the rides a lot more reliable along with updating and beautifying the park.

Flip side to that is of course is prices are constantly rising. Which is to be expected with inflation, offsetting the investments i to the new stuff and of course standard corporate greed.”

Bob Iger with the Walt Disney and Mickey statue at Disneyland
Credit: Disney

Among the common complaints were increases in prices, ride breakdowns, and unruly attendance numbers. One user, u/BrandNameChild, pointed out that “The only good thing Chapek did (that Iger undid) was cap Magic Keys & reservations so crowds seemed a little more tolerable. Iger is cramming people in and making the Keys actively worse.”

Overall, the majority opinion within that thread was that Iger is more of a zero than a hero when it comes to the Walt Disney Company. Far from being the saving grace many thought he would be when he reclaimed leadership from Chapek, it seems as though he’s made several disappointing and confusing decisions in the eyes of guests and Disney fans.

Former Disney CEO Bob Chapek and Current Disney CEO Bob Iger in front of a blue background saying The Walt Disney Company
Credit: Disney

While the increased prices could be chalked up to overall inflation, many of the other issues the comments pointed out can’t be explained away so easily. Iger held the position of CEO from 2005 to 2020, and his first reign was overall a positive experience for guests coming out of the troubled end of the Michael Eisner era.

In the company’s recent quarterly earnings call, Iger revealed the current 10-year plan for the Walt Disney Company, to much contention and backlash, so it appears as though his floundering term with Disney will continue, despite fan outrage and disappointment.

Do you think Bob Iger is to blame for the current state of the Walt Disney Company and the parks? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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