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Credit: Disney

‘It’s Probably Not the Best Job’: Disneyland President Speaks to D23

Disneyland’s president, Ken Potrock, recently spoke to the Official Disney Fan Club on the D23 podcast and spoke a lot about the changes that have been coming to Disneyland Resort; however, he also spoke about the challenges he faced as the president of Disneyland Resort during the year of Disneyland’s closure!

In the face of Disneyland’s reopening after being closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Potrock looked back on the year of closure that involved Disneyland operations undergoing a “metamorphosis” and shrinking down to a “skeleton team of Cast Members still working”. Now Disneyland is back to “having nearly 30,000 Cast Members” working, which Potrock said is “really very exciting”.

Nighttime spectaculars like Fantasmic (which Potrock confirmed “is fantastic”) are also returning soon to Disneyland Resort, and Disneyland’s president attributed the delay in those attractions’ returns to “a number of factors” including¬† “crowd control” and “pandemic mandates”. “Lining up for a parade or a spectacular” results in “a lot of people in close quarters,” he told D23, and Disney “couldn’t promote that in good conscience”.

He also added that a lot of strategic scheduling has been involved in opening certain attractions at certain times. “It takes a lot of people to put these programs together and so we needed to bring back Cast or hire new Cast Members,” Disneyland’s president explained. Disneyland was also focusing on finding the “right time and right window” for each attraction or show’s return.

Face Masks at Disney

Children wearing masks. Credit: Disney

“It doesn’t come as a surprise that it has been an incredibly intense year,” Ken Potrock began on the D23 podcast. “I was told by a lot of people that I respect that the Disneyland job was gonna be the best job of all time — and then what I found was that when we’re not open, it’s probably not the best job of all time”.

A lot of Disney fans might be surprised to hear that statement — although Walt Disney World Resort fans might not be surprised, since Walt Disney World Resort has been facing a lot of controversies lately.

Potrock did continue, clarifying that “once we reopened and the energy began to course through this really wonderful place, it very quickly did become the best job of all time”.

Disney World Cast Members Face Masks

Cast Member with a mask. Credit: Disney

Disneyland President Ken Potrock also discussed the upcoming changes to Tarzan’s treehouse in Adventureland in Disneyland Resort and the big changes coming to the revamped ToonTown. When asked which character he’d hugged first now that character hugs are back, Potrock confirmed that it was “most definitely Mickey Mouse because of the heart and his approachability”, but that Buzz Lightyear was also a favorite of his due to the character’s “optimism”.

Potrock also highlighted the “amazing accomplishments” behind Disneyland’s return and its shift towards a “new normal”!

About Sharon

Sharon is from New England. She's a writer, animal lover, and, of course, a Disney Fanatic! Sharon's two main focuses in her work are Disney's correlations with pop culture and the significance of Disney princesses (which was the basis for her college thesis). When she's not writing about Disney, Sharon spends her time singing, dancing, and cavorting with woodland creatures.