Disney CEO Bob Chapek talks about the park pass reservation system

Don’t expect Disney to get rid of its park pass reservation system anytime soon. The system, which was put in place in 2020 when Disney began reopening its park after its pandemic shutdown, helps the company create a better guest experience, according to CEO Bob Chapek.


What do you want to know

  • Disney CEO Bob Chapek took part in the WSJ Tech Live conference on Wednesday
  • Chapek answered questions about the parks, reservation system and more
  • He said the company’s park pass reservation system creates a better customer experience
  • The system was implemented when Disney reopened its theme parks after their pandemic-related closures

“We want to ensure a great customer experience no matter when people come,” Chapek said at the Wall Street Journal Tech Live conference on Wednesday. “If they come on the second Tuesday in September, we want them to have a great experience. It might not have been so difficult in the past, but if they come the day after Thanksgiving, we also want to guarantee that they will have a great experience.

With the system, those wishing to visit Disney theme parks must reserve a pass for the day of their visit. Chapek compared it to systems other companies use to manage demand.

“So what we’ve developed during the COVID shutdown is a reservation system so we can plan like every other business, like an airline that has a fixed capacity, an airline, a hotel, a service industry cruises,” he said. “We developed a reservation system so that people knew in advance whether they were going in or not.”

Disney is facing separate lawsuits filed by Disneyland and Disney World passholders in relation to the scheme.

Chapek answered questions from Wall Street Journal editor Matt Murray on a number of other topics, including Disney’s streaming service, plans for a metaverse and lessons learned from the dispute with the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, on the State’s Parental Rights in Education Act. which critics have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

When the company’s initial response didn’t include a public statement on the legislation, Disney faced backlash from the public as well as Disney employees — and even led to walkouts. When asked what lessons he learned from the incident, Chapek said the company was reminded that they were cast members.

“You have to make sure the cast is at the center of everything you do,” Chapek said. “We were reminded, through the passion of our cast reaction, of how important their feelings are on these issues by making them feel like they were part of The Walt Disney Company and could relate to the products that The Walt Disney Company offers. .”

Chapek, who became CEO in early 2020 after leading the company’s parks division for several years, was also asked about the criticism he has received since taking office.

“My personal feelings are not really important,” Chapek said. “What’s important is how people think about our business, and so I stray from that.”

In June, Disney’s board of directors voted unanimously to extend Chapek’s contract for another three years. His contract will now expire in 2025.

About Michael B. Billingsley

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