Happy Walt Disney World Day! Why Is Everyone Fighting?
The Mayors of Orlando and Orange County have declared December 3rd as Walt Disney World Day. How are you celebrating?
Well, Disney’s spending the week breaking up fistfights and putting out (possible) fires.
Where There’s Smoke…
Rock ‘N’ Roller Starring Aerosmith had a rough Wednesday. Cast members and guests noticed that smoke was emanating from parts of the ride area.
Disney quickly evacuated the attraction without incident. Nobody ever reported an actual fire, at least not that could be proven.
This Twitter user posted the following:
— Karen Owens (@KarenDTE) December 1, 2021
For its part, Reedy Creek Fire Department spokeswoman Eryka Washington indicated that no fire had occurred.
The ride went down after 3 p.m. and never reopened on Wednesday. Thankfully, it was back up and running on Thursday morning.
Coincidentally, EPCOT experienced a similar incident this week. Creations Shop also evacuated its guests after a fire alarm sounded.
Here’s a tweet from an influencer who was at the scene:
— MagicalNewsLIVE (@MagicalNewsLIVE) November 30, 2021
This incident clearly wasn’t as severe, as Disney reopened the store after a brief time.
As a reminder, cast members operate attractions under detailed guidelines. When something registers an error, workers check it diligently.
Disney won’t bring anything back online until it’s functioning at 99 percent or better on the maintenance scale.
So, that’s why the roller coaster stayed down all night, while the store could reopen quickly.
These aren’t the only recent issues at Walt Disney World, though. The campus has had several strange fights lately.
To wit, a Twitter user took video of this recent encounter at The Land pavilion:
— RandomDisneyDude (@DisneyVengenz) November 28, 2021
I’ll warn you of potential foul language here, but everyone’s so shrill that I can’t even make out any of the words.
This incident comes in the wake of this Friendship Boat brawl from September:
Also, an August parade incident involving a cast member and guest earned recent headlines. The woman reportedly struck an elderly Disney worker in the chest.
The tourist claimed the opposite, but witnesses supported the cast member’s statement instead.
Then, another report of a fight on a Friendship Boat occurred recently as well.
People seem dialed up over debates involving mask enforcement and updated park rules. Unfortunately, it’s got them all feeling fight-y.
I don’t know what’s going on, but let’s all try to be nicer at Disney, okay?
Also, let’s be nicer to cast members in general for a while. They didn’t sign up to be kindergarten cops.
They want to bring magic into our lives. So we should treat them like royalty.
Changes at the Top
Yesterday was a big day for Disney management. First, Robert Iger announced his successor as Chairman of the Board for The Walt Disney Company.
Susan Arnold, a board member since 2007, will take over the role. She’d previously worked as Lead Director for Disney’s board since 2018.
As such, her ascension makes perfect sense. Some people have wondered why current CEO Bob Chapek didn’t receive this title.
There’s nothing political about the choice. Longtime Disney fans remember that Iger needed roughly six years on the job as CEO before he became Chairman of the Board.
Chapek’s only held his position for 21 months. So it’d be far too early for him to take complete control of Disney.
So, Arnold will provide some oversight for Disney’s short- and mid-term direction until Chapek proves he’s worthy of the gig.
Symbolically, Arnold’s promotion matters because she’s the first female Chairperson of the Board for Disney.
As for Iger, his last day at Disney comes on New Year’s Eve. Reports suggest that he’s interested in buying the Phoenix Suns.
ESPN recently published a detailed report about the shaky behavior of the current owner of the Suns. Take from that what you will.
A New Imagineering Leader
Disney also announced another pair of promotions, although they may have happened earlier.
Beloved Imagineer Bob Weis just earned the title of Global Imagineering Ambassador. That’s the gig formerly held by Marty Sklar.
So, Weis has just entered some lofty territory here. But, alas, he had to give up his job as President of Imagineering to do so.
Disney has replaced Weis in this role with Barbara Bouza. That’s something of a surprising choice in that Bouza didn’t join Disney until June of 2020.
Previously, the revered architect had led her own firm in Los Angeles, where the Los Angeles Business Journal had named her the Executive of the Year in 2014.
Bouza’s LinkedIn page suggests that she’s been working as the head of Imagineering since March. As such, the team has likely known about this for a while.
However, Weis did submit an internal memo yesterday about the change. In it, he stated that “the future of Imagineering is secure under her leadership.”
The new ambassador added:
“Disney Legend Marty Sklar–who was a close friend and mentor to me…
In this role, Marty was able to invest in our legacy as a way to build our future, mentor and advocate for our talent, recruit the next generation of Imagineers, and help record our history through his writing.”
Disney fans can appreciate Weis’s Imagineering work around the world.
He led the projects for Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Shanghai Disneyland, and the Disney California Adventure expansion.
About Walt Disney World Day
This is a fluffy story, but here’s the deal. On December 3rd, Orlando and Orange County will celebrate Disney’s impact on the community.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, the guy whose voice you hear on the airport trams, will lead the ceremony alongside Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings.
Walt Disney World President Jeff Vahle will appear at the ceremony to accept…whatever they give Disney in tribute.
Disney is getting this recognition due to the $3 million in charitable donations it made as part of the 50th anniversary Walt Disney World event.
So, spend Walt Disney World Day at the parks or watching park videos on YouTube/Disney+!