Here Lies “Chapek-Era Disney”…

end chapek-era disney

It’s been a long time coming, Disney Fanatics. But it might just be that we’ve put the final nails in the coffin of Chapek-era Disney.

It’s been several months since Bob Chapek, the former CEO of Disney, left the company amid controversy and with a hefty severance package. Since then, Disney has undergone significant changes, from top-level executive reorganization to massive layoffs affecting thousands of employees. And now, with a recent promotion, it seems that the Walt Disney Company is determined to bury the Chapek era for good.

Bob Iger Bob Chapek

Former Disney CEO Bob Chapek and current Disney CEO Bob Iger / Credit: ABC

Former Disney CEO Bob Chapek was incredibly disliked—by fans, by shareholders, you name it. Unlike his predecessor Bob Iger who—while he took on the mantle of Disney CEO in tumultuous times, won over the public—Chapek made enemies and then some. His tenure as Disney CEO was difficult, and admittedly, he came on during a difficult time: leading the Walt Disney Company through the pandemic, but Chapek seemed to struggle with maintaining the Disney brand. He even struggled with what should have been a more manageable task of making streaming profitable.

But now, former CEO Iger is back, and it seems things are going back to what they need to be in the world of Disney:

disneyland and walt disney world

Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort and Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World Resort

Return of complimentary amenities

As Disney Fanatics know well, during Chapek’s tenure, everything became about the numbers. The prices of the Parks increased while the return on investment only seemed to decrease. Fans were markedly unhappy with the fact that they only seemed to keep paying more and more but did not get enough in return.

With Iger’s return, fans have seen the return of complimentary parking at Disney Resort hotels and even some complimentary Genie services.

Massive Reorganization of the Walt Disney Company

The Walt Disney Company has seen a massive reorganization be that with the major layoffs announced or with the senior executives. Iger has been cleaning up the company allowing only those who have demonstrated a clear skill in leading Disney into its next chapter to retain their posts.

Iger even removed an entire Chapek-era division.

Tree of Life, Disney's Animal Kingdom

Tree of Life, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Walt Disney World Resort/Courtesy of Disney

Disney returning to its creative-centric approach

As mentioned during the February 8 earnings call, “creative power was going back to the creatives in nearly every way. Disney animators and creatives will be responsible for the stories that Disney tells, as we as how those stories are marketed. They will be given all the credit for the film’s success, but they will also be responsible if a film fails to perform.”

The return of Walt Disney World Annual Passholder sales

Finally, and most exciting, for the first time since 2019, The Walt Disney World Resort will resume sales of all of their Annual Pass Tiers starting this April. This is certainly incredibly exciting news for Disney fans who have been waiting for this for ages.

These are some of the biggest changes we’ve noted, and the recent return of AP sales might just be Iger’s and Disney’s notice that the Chapek era is officially done with.

About Priyanka Kumar

Priyanka is a writer, artist, avid reader, and travel enthusiast based in Chicago. In her free time, she is probably walking by the lake, catching up on the latest releases on TV, or spending inordinate amounts of time rewatching Moana, Encanto, and her Disney Channel life-long favorites Zack and Cody wreak havoc on the Tipton.

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