What a day to be a Disney Parks fan. Earlier today, Disney announced a return date for the Happily Ever After fireworks show at Magic Kingdom and announced the removal of the immensely unpopular fireworks hardware (barges) for Harmonious at EPCOT. Then, Disney announced the long-awaited opening date for TRON Lightcycle Run.
A few hours later, Disney announced that they would be taking further steps to enhance the guest experience by rolling back self-parking charges for hotel guests and easing Disney Park Pass restrictions for Annual Passholders at Walt Disney World.
The reaction on social media was swift and overwhelmingly positive. We haven’t seen this type of positive reaction to Disney announcements in some time, although we got glimpses of it during the D23 Expo in September 2022 and the return of Bob Iger as CEO. It certainly feels like the Disney Parks experience is on the precipice of changing for the better after years of erosion of goodwill amongst fans. Of course, it’s impossible to overlook the fact that the executive that many fans eagerly placed blame on is now gone. Bob Chapek was fired late last year, and Bob Iger was brought back as CEO of The Walt Disney Company. The announcement that Iger was returning was met positively by the majority of fans and Cast Members, but it remained to be seen what changes Iger would implement.
Over the holiday season, Iger and D’Amaro were spotted touring the Disneyland theme parks multiple weekends in a row. Their presence stirred up the Disney Parks faithful, but most mainstream reporting said that Iger would be focused on the movies side of the business. It’s unclear what Iger and D’Amaro talked about during those tours, but Iger was previously said to be concerned about recent price hikes at the parks and worried that consumer sentiment for Disney was slipping.
Fast forward to today, and the flurry of positive announcements by the Disney Parks division of the company. In a report by the New York Times, Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro directly answered the question of who might be responsible for the changes. He said that the changes aren’t thanks to the return of Bob Iger, but rather a result of listening to feedback from passionate fans.
This is not necessarily about a change in leadership. I have a lot of face-to-face conversations with guests when I’m walking the parks, and I read a lot of their comments online.
If you move a tree, if you change a procedure, if you start asking for reservations — that’s a big deal to our guests. They care. They really, really care. And if people care that much, then I have an obligation to listen and, when appropriate, to make some changes and modifications.
As always, keep checking back with us here at BlogMickey.com as we continue to bring you the latest news, photos, and info from around the Disney Parks!
Josh best be worrying about his dilapidated rides and dirty parks or he can join Chapek.
I’ve had Disney passes for years I live right over the Border in Georgia. I’ve taken all my grandkids for the last two for the 5th birthday for 5 days to Disney. With the latest rate increase losing the fast passes and losing the pictures that I used to get with my annual pass has made it almost impossible for me to maybe take the left too mind you I have 12 grandchildren. It’s saddens me Disney’s been a part of my life since I was a little girl and this is the first year I haven’t been to Disney and over 20. I sure hope you lower the passes or the price of the passes or at least give us back our free stuff that came with the passes so we may enjoy it again.
Josh is a big part of the bad things that have happened to Disney World
He was there when these things were put into place
He should also go
Josh D’Amaro, did you listen to people about the reservation system? Because FROM THE START people didn’t like it. Were you listening then?
Has he been listening to the outcry against Genie+ and ILL? Apparently not. Perhaps the man responsible for them, Bob Iger, is not interested in responding to that outcry.
Fastpass system needs to be reinstated and replace the silly Genie+.
Only then will my hard earned money bring me back to WDW.
Waiting in hope . . . . .
You people have NO idea what you are talking about when you are saying Josh is part of the bad and should go. This man LISTENS. He is frequently at the parks and resorts, and listens, asks questions and speaks extensively to cast and guests alike. He is not in a position to be able to make changes on his own, but he gathers information and does his best to take it back and push for changes.