I was reading a post on another site (it’s called research) about a 5th park at Walt Disney World when it hit me that I don’t think Uncle Walt would be very happy with the current Disney Company. I’m not talking so much about the parks, but the whole corporation. Let me explain.
Disney has over one BILLION dollars in cash in the bank. I think that would make Uncle Roy very happy, but not so much Uncle Walt. Every project Walt started almost sent the Disney Company into bankruptcy. Uncle Roy begged, borrowed and maybe even stole to get money to fund Walt’s dreams. Even his last one. (Walt Disney World)
During Walt’s life the company almost never had much money. Every time they got a little money it was time to start something new. From the first movie (Snow White and the Seven Dwarves) to the last project (Walt Disney World), the Disney brothers mortgaged the farm (sometimes literally) to get the money to create what we enjoy today.
Today the Disney company is different. It is all about the bottom line. It’s concerned with stock prices and cash on hand. In fact, when you hear the CEO speak at events, it’s not about the new projects or wonderful new ideas (like Uncle Walt and Epcot) but it’s about how hotel bookings are below expectations or how Disney is trying to “wean” guests off of expecting discounts. No, this is not Uncle Walt’s company any more. (I do think Uncle Roy would smile for a minute or two.)
It’s a shame. I think I’ve said it before that Disney is not as inventive as it used to be. Pixar became the leader in animated video overtaking Disney. Yes, the Bob Iger Disney Company went out and bought Pixar, but the Walt Disney Company should have never been in that situation.
Hey, Bob (or whoever your spies are in Burbank) it’s time to quit playing it safe and do something amazing. Fire the bean counters and put an Imagineer in charge. Yes, the economy is down and yes, it might stay that way for a while, but that never stopped Walt and Roy. Amaze us. Impress us. Astound us. That’s what the Disney Company was founded on and it’s a crying shame that’s gone away.