When the CEO of Disney suddenly skips out on an important Disney fan event, people ask questions.
Such is the case with Bob Chapek and the perplexing decision for him to not put in an appearance at Destination D23 this weekend. Some are speculating that Chapek is actually hiding from angry Disney fans.
Disney fan blog WDW News Today speculated that Chapek is missing because Disney PR was afraid he’d actually be booed and heckled if he dared show up.
It became most clear that Chapek could not appear in front of Disney fans after his brief meet and greet with guests on October 1st at the Magic Kingdom.
While some asked the CEO for a quick pic, others heckled him from afar over budget cuts, mass layoffs, and the “nickel-and-diming” that have been a hallmark of his regime as either the head of the theme parks division or now the entire company.
Once the heckling started, Chapek bolted from the scene to a backstage area.
That being said, he’s never been one for public appearances or for actually greeting guests, often making brief on-stage appearances and then leaving as quickly as possible after a photo or video is taken.
Disney PR was quick to reprimand WDWNT, and their response was much more curt than the Disney of the past.
According to site owner Tom Corless, Disney spokeswoman Jacquee Whaler had harsh words for them, stating “Bob has a conflict in LA on Friday night and couldn’t make it back to Orlando on time. Your post is ridiculous and you’ve really stooped to a new low by making this up.”
Bob Chapek in Magic Kingdom 🎥 #DisneyWorld50 pic.twitter.com/dUg2Q6moPK
— Disney Food Blog (@DisneyFoodBlog) October 1, 2021
This is hardly the first time Disney has been in conflict with WDW News Today. A few years ago, the Disney Parks Blog took a shot at WDW News Today over rumors of the Enchanted Tiki Room getting a Moana-themed makeover. It turned out that concept art of such a retheme actually did exist.
While WDW News Today has been very critical of the Chapek Era of Disney for quite some time, other Disney influencers are beginning to be more vocal in calling out some of Disney’s recent decisions. One of Disney top travel agents, Pete Werner of Dreams Unlimited Travel, said Disney had “disdain” for its fans on a recent DIS Unplugged podcast.
Judging by the tone of Ms. Whaler’s email to WDW News Today, I’d say that’s a pretty fair assessment.
This might be his conflict. pic.twitter.com/ngRlASFxmb
— Thank the Phoenicians ⚪️🏳️🌈 (@JJSingh) November 17, 2021
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