MickeyBlog News for September 30, 2019
The Walt Disney Company changed some things at the top of the organizational chart this week. We’ll touch on those along with updates on the next Spider-Man movie, changes in Disney hotel policies, and a vegan initiative at theme parks. It’s an interesting week for MickeyBlog News.
Meet the New Boss
Yes, this old cliché finishes with “same as the old boss.” And that’s somewhat true at Disney theme parks. After a batch of negative headlines about theme park attendance this summer, the top brass decided to shake things up a bit.
Josh D’Amaro, the current President of Disneyland Resort, just received a promotion. He’ll head Walt Disney World from now on. While this may look like a lateral move on paper, attendance at the Orlando theme park dwarfs the one at Anaheim.
Walt Disney World is the real breadwinner out of all Disney theme parks. The person in charge of this resort is among the most powerful employees for The Walt Disney Company.
Of course, Walt Disney World already had a President, the living legend, George Kalogridis. Disney will rely on Kalogridis’ expertise in other roles. A former busboy at Disney’s Contemporary Resort in 1971 (!), this man worked his way to the top of the Disney corporate food chain. He now becomes President of Disney Segment Development and Enrichment and an advisor across all Disney theme parks.
The new President at Disneyland Resort is Rebecca Campbell. Her previous job included oversight of key international markets for the Direct-to-Consumer division. Obviously, this promotion is enormous for her and makes her one of the most influential players in the theme park industry.
The unfortunate loser in all of these changes is Catherine Powell. In March of 2018, she’d become President of Disney Parks West Region, a title that mimicked a successful one at the Asian Disney resorts. For whatever reason, it didn’t work in the West, and Disney has eliminated the position entirely.
Sony Works a Deal for Spider-Man
Good news, everyone! Spider-Man will continue to do whatever a spider can in the MCU! Yes, after a frosty month of August, cooler heads have prevailed at Disney and Sony. A few weeks ago, the latter company icily declared that the third Spider-Man film with Tom Holland wouldn’t involve Disney in any way.
The entire internet rebelled at this notion. I’m not even exaggerating.
Sony had attempted to belittle Disney in the media to assert more power and influence over the Spider-Man brand. Once the company had absorbed a social media drubbing, Sony recognized its weak position. Holland acted wounded while director, Jon Watts, reminded everyone that he wasn’t under contract for a third film.
Sony eventually capitulated to Disney. After deriding the superior movie studio for wanting to split the costs and the revenue evenly, Sony had to play ball. Disney will pay for 25 percent of the costs to produce the upcoming Spider-Man movie. In exchange, they’ll receive 25 percent of the revenue.
Frankly, Sony had to make this deal, or they ruin their own brand over an unforced error. Between this and the fiasco with The Interview/the hacking scandal, Sony’s looked incompetent a lot over the past few years. Sony needs Disney much, much more than Disney needs Sony. Speaking of which…
Other Disney Film News
One of the crucial reasons for the success of the MCU is Kevin Feige, the leader of Marvel Studios. He’s spearheaded the entire connected universe that has earned more than $20 billion in global box office.
Over time, Feige has become one of the most trusted and respected film executives ever. While everybody from Alfred Hitchcock to Steven Spielberg to Martin Scorsese has had the occasional movie misfire, Feige’s record is nearly spotless.
Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy has noticed and appreciated this performance from afar. With the current Star Wars trilogy ending soon, she’s sagely reached out to Feige and asked him to lend a hand with future projects. Feige will develop at least one new Star Wars movie.
This is pure speculation on my part, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the lifelong Star Wars fan became a more active part of that universe. Given the recent struggles of Star Wars, a proven filmmaker like Feige is just what the doctor ordered.
Oh, and while we’re on the subject of Disney movies. The latest and possibly final trailer for Frozen 2 is out. You can watch and should watch the above video. It’s pretty great.
Change in Delivery Policy
Here’s a Disney decision that has raised a few eyebrows. Over the past few years, the subject of resort deliveries has proven tricky for the company. On the one hand, Disney aspires to satisfy its guests to the highest degree possible. It’s really the best description of the Disney brand.
Unfortunately, resort deliveries caused a couple of problems for the company. First of all, you’re spending your money on non-Disney products. In a perfect world, the company wants you to buy your bottled water, sundries, and snacks at Disney.
Second of all, Disney must expend resources in accepting and protecting your deliveries. Resorts tried to address this issue with a policy change back in April. They added delivery fees for some packages, albeit with a few allowances.
Apparently, this move wasn’t effective enough. As of October 1st, guests must be present to pick up their deliveries for mobility services and strollers. Disney won’t accept them otherwise. A post from Garden Grocer on Facebook suggests that grocery deliveries are unaffected.
🚨Update🚨 Walt Disney World has just implemented a new policy concerning outside vendors delivering to bell services. At…
I should stress that the situation is still fluid, though. Those of you who have planned shipments for upcoming trips should contact your hotel. It’s the only way to know for sure that Disney will accept your delivery without your presence.
MickeyBlog will provide additional updates on the policy change as needed.
Veggie Burgers for All!
For years now, I’ve scarfed down an endless supply of bacon cheeseburgers while my wife has dined on veggie burgers. I’ve joked with her too many times that every one of those veggie burgers is a wasted opportunity to eat the real thing. As usual, she’s right, I’m wrong, and the joke’s on me.
Vegan meals are everywhere these days, and Disney’s about to go all-in on the concept. The parks are already friendly to the diets of a wide range of guests, including vegetarians and vegans. However, plant-based menu options are about to become a huge thing.
Disney’s new plan calls for more than 400 menu items to debut at Walt Disney World this week. Quick Service establishments will receive their new items on October 1st while Table Service restaurants will add theirs on October 3rd.
Yes, you have an excuse to visit all of your favorite Disney eateries this week! Many of them will have healthy menu items! And then you can eat your dessert guilt-free! You know, in re-reading this, I’m seeing why I need to lose 10 pounds.
Have a great week, everyone!