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25% of Disney’s layoffs are coming from Disney World

Last week Disney announced they would be laying off 28,000 employees. At least a quarter of the layoffs planned will come from Florida according to a letter the company filed with state and local officials last week.

At least 6,390 nonunion Disney employees in Florida will be laid off starting in early December. The number of Florida layoffs, though, could grow as the company negotiates terms with a coalition of unions that represents 43,000 employees at Walt Disney World.

“Due to the continuing business impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made the very difficult decision to reduce our workforce,” Jim Bowden, a Disney vice president of employee relations said in the letter.

Two-thirds of the planned layoffs involve part-time workers and they range from salaried employees to hourly workers.

Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experience and Products, sent a letter to employees last week as well regarding the layoffs. He cited California’s “unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen” as exacerbating the company’s situation that led to the layoffs.

Source

The post 25% of Disney’s layoffs are coming from Disney World appeared first on Chip and Company.

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Filed Under: News, Parks & Resorts, Walt Disney World, COVID-19, Disney layoffs, Florida, Jim Bowden, Josh D’Amaro

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Next round of stimulus checks could include vacation credit

Next round of stimulus checks could include vacation credit stimulus checks

The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly been rough on both the economy and the tourism industry. A senior White House advisor recently suggested that the chances of a Phase Four stimulus package is “very, very high.” A second stimulus check would benefit many Americans who were hurt financially by the economic lockdown. Stimulating the economy is a necessity to help businesses recover, which is why the next round of stimulus checks may also include a vacation tax credit.

The “Explore America” tax credit is one of several proposed subsidies that tourism industry lobbyists are pitching to policymakers as the early contours of a new economic stimulus package begin to take shape in Washington. President Trump is in favor of the “Explore America” tax credit.

The tax credit would be a great benefit even though the federal government committed trillions of dollars to stop the economic damage caused by the pandemic. However, they will have to spend even more to help pull the tourism industry back to its feet. Tori Emerson Barnes, a lobbyist for the U.S. Travel Association, went on to say:

“We are grateful to the president for hearing our call for a national effort to get Americans traveling again as the country shifts into the recovery phase.”

Some of the members of the U.S. Travel Association include the Walt Disney Co. and Comcast Corp.’s Universal Parks & Resorts. Also, Roger Dow, CEO and President of the U.S. Travel Association, issued the following statement in regards to the proposed tax credit:

“An ‘Explore America’ tax credit and campaign will do wonders to put America back on the path to prosperity. We applaud the president’s support, and with our industry’s health and safety guidance for the reopening of travel businesses in place, we are very prepared to work with the administration to push the effort forward at the right time.”

No official word yet in regards to when the second wave of stimulus checks will arrive, but we will provide updates when new information becomes available. Both the stimulus checks and vacation tax credit would help give a boost to the recovery rate of the tourism industry.

Source: www.ustrave.org and Fox 35 Orlando

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Filed Under: News, Attractions, Characters, Events, Parks & Resorts, Disney Vacation, mickey mouse, stimulus checks, Tax credit, Vacation tax credit, Walt Disney World

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News: Disney Is Suing Orange County in Florida Over Property Tax Appraisal

Walt Disney World takes up thousands upon thousands of acres in Florida.

News: Disney Is Suing Orange County in Florida Over Property Tax Appraisal

Cinderella Castle

And it should come as no surprise that Disney has to pay a LOT of taxes on said acreage.

But, according to The Orlando Sentinel, the amount of money Disney should pay in property tax, is well, to be debated.

News: Disney Is Suing Orange County in Florida Over Property Tax Appraisal

Spaceship Earth

Disney is suing Property Appraiser Rick Singh over its property taxes, saying that its 2019 property tax appraisals were too high. The company has filed a dozen lawsuits in the Orange Circuit Court.

News: Disney Is Suing Orange County in Florida Over Property Tax Appraisal

Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom

According to Singh spokeswoman Beth Watson, “[Walt Disney World] had been undervalued for decades by previous property appraisers.” Meanwhile, Disney spokeswoman Jacquee Wahler said, “As we have shared before and as a matter of public record, we have challenged the property appraiser’s assessments and we will continue to dispute the errors by the property appraiser as any property owner in Orange County would do.”

News: Disney Is Suing Orange County in Florida Over Property Tax Appraisal

Cinderella Castle Makeover Was Stopped Due to the Halt in Construction

According to Disney’s lawsuit, Singh listed the value for EPCOT at $539 million, Magic Kingdom at $504, Animal Kingdom at $435 million, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at $394 million. Disney didn’t say what it thought its resort’s value was, but called Singh’s numbers “excessive.”

News: Disney Is Suing Orange County in Florida Over Property Tax Appraisal

Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Lawsuits between Disney and the Orange County Property Appraiser’s Office are a regular occurrence. According to the Sentinel, this has been happening every single spring since 2016, and Disney has “dozens of court cases”  pending.

News: Disney Is Suing Orange County in Florida Over Property Tax Appraisal

Epcot Monorail

When this latest lawsuit gets resolved, you KNOW we’ll keep you updated.

What do you think of Disney’s latest lawsuit? Let us know in the comments!

From our friends at www.disneyfoodblog.com
Filed Under: Animal Kingdom, Disney News, disney parks, disney’s hollywood studios, Epcot, Featured, magic kingdom, Walt Disney World, Disney, disney lawsuit, Disney World, Lawsuit, Orange County Property Appraiser’s Office, Orlando Sentinel, property taxes, Rick Singh, taxes

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Disney World is the Reported Frontrunner to Host the Rest of the NBA Season

In the past couple of weeks, we have seen several industries gradually resume business operations with a focus on health and safety.

NBA Experience at Disney World

When it comes to professional sports, Disney World may play a key role in hosting the rest of the 2019-2020 NBA season.

Sports Illustrated reported that — out of the several sites the NBA is considering — Disney World is the current frontrunner. We had previously reported on why Disney World could be a good fit for the NBA, and Disney Executive Chairman, Bob Iger, even weighed in on the NBA’s Board of Governors discussion in April.  But now that the NBA is more seriously considering resuming the season — Disney World is still on the table as a viable option.

Cast Members at NBA Store Ready to Shoot Some Hoops

Disney World has the “campus-like” environment the League Commissioner, Adam Silver, states they are looking for. Players and staff could be housed in the resort hotels and players would have a reduced chance of contracting any illness on a more private property like Disney. And, of course, with the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex’s 12 courts and the capacity to broadcast the games, it could be a perfect fit.

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

Las Vegas is another city being strongly considered, but no decisions have been made at this time. Regardless of whichever site the NBA chooses, fans will not be allowed to attend games.With some teams resuming training as early as next week, we may start to see more developments soon, so we will keep you updated with the latest!

What do you think about professional sports resuming their seasons without any fans in attendance? Let us know in the comments!

From our friends at www.disneyfoodblog.com
Filed Under: Disney News, Featured, Special Stuff, Walt Disney World, Basketball, Disney World, espn, ESPN Wide World of Sports, NBA, nba 2020 season, NBA Experience, Sports

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7 Super Weird Ways the NBA and Disney Are (Strangely) Linked Right Now

When you think of Disney, the first thing that pops into your head probably isn’t “basketball.”

NBA Experience

Still, Disney actually has a pretty close relationship with the NBA in more ways than one. You might have heard about the NBA Experience in Disney Springs or maybe you’ve watched basketball on Disney-owned ESPN, but those aren’t the ONLY ways these two companies are linked.

Come with us down the strange, winding rabbit hole of seven weird ways that Disney and the NBA are connected right NOW!

1. The NBA might use Disney World as a potential playing site if the 2019-2020 season resumes.

The big NBA/Disney news right now is that IF the NBA 2019-2020 season is able to resume, they’re considering using Disney World as a potential venue for (fan-less) games. They’ve even already gotten the “OK” from Disney!

Jostens Center at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

The NBA has been looking at the logistics of sequestering the entire league. If play could resume at one centralized location, the league could create a “bubble” to keep the players safe.

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

If such a situation came to pass, it would be pretty unique to see Disney help get the NBA back up and running.

2. An NBA Player ended up in possession of some stolen vintage Disney World items.

There was a theft case over some missing vintage Disney items a few months ago. Interestingly enough, the stolen items ended up in the possession of mega-Disney fan and Milwaukee Bucks center Robin Lopez.

©ESPN

According to the Orlando Sentinel, authorities found some vintage Disney clothing that used to belong to the Buzzy animatronic from the old Cranium Command attraction in Epcot in Lopez’s possession. The player claimed he did not know that the items were stolen, but he had purchased them from a former Disney employee who had stolen them from Disney property.

©D23

The case has since been settled with the perpetrators taking a plea deal. The situation was pretty high profile, partially because of Lopez’s involvement and because the entire Buzzy animatronic that was stolen still remains missing! The perpetrators claim to have no knowledge of the missing animatronic.

3. Disney is taking a major financial loss due to the suspension of the NBA season.

Remember how we said that Disney owns ESPN? Well, they are taking a significant loss due to the fact that the NBA season has been suspended. According to The Motley Fool, the NBA’s media rights deal with ESPN is worth $2.6 billion per year. Right now, that worth is taking a hit with downgrades to stock and losses in ad revenue.

NBA Experience Store

Some analysts are suggesting that the loss could culminate in a multi-million dollar drop in income due to the NBA alone. It’s interesting to think about how the two businesses have such a dramatic effect on one another!

4. The NBA is looking to Bob Iger for guidance on reopening.

Even though the NBA is completely separate from Disney, the league is reportedly looking to Disney’s executive chairman Bob Iger for some business guidance.

Bob Iger ©Disney

Iger was invited to advise the Board of Governors of the NBA and he addressed how the Disney parks have been making decisions saying, “It’s about the data, and not the date.”

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver appears to agree with this sentiment noting, “We’re just not ready to set a date yet in terms of how long we could wait before we no longer would be able to continue this season.”

Basketball Minnie Ears ©Disney

The two companies are both MASSIVE entertainment-based organizations that notably require people to come together for their business models to work.

5. The NBA Experience opened in Disney Springs in 2019.

Though temporarily closed right now, the NBA Experience opened up in Disney Springs last year. For several years, Disney Springs had a major indoor interactive attraction in the same space called DisneyQuest, but as technology advanced, the experience grew stagnant. So, ultimately, the plug was pulled on DisneyQuest and replaced by a new immersive experience — one that’s b-ball-centric.

NBA Experience

NBA Experience has been open for almost a year now and offers a unique sports experience. The two-story attraction features a bunch of immersive activities designed to make the guest (that’s you) feel like an NBA star. This attraction is a cool option for sports fans!

6. The NBA and Disney theme parks announced closures within one day of each other.

Like we mentioned, the Disney parks and the NBA are both in a state of temporary closure right now. What’s interesting is that they actually started their closures within one day of each other! The NBA suspended their season on March 11th and Disney announced the closure of many of their theme parks on March 12th.

Disneyland Main Entrance

Both companies noted a growing concern in the global health crisis and were some of the first large organizations to close or suspend operations to protect their employees and patrons.

7. The new Michael Jordan documentary is the most-watched ESPN documentary EVER.

And our last interesting link to note is related to the Michael Jordan documentary The Last Dance. This ESPN docuseries has been on the channel for a few weeks and, according to the Disney earnings call the other day, it’s the most-watched ESPN documentary EVER. Woah.

©ESPN

What’s crazy is that this is making ESPN (and therefore Disney) some serious money despite the fact that there aren’t a lot of sports going on. In fact, April brought a rise in primetime viewership per CEO Christine McCarthy.

So there you have it! It certainly shocked us how intertwined Disney and the NBA are with each other! We love finding interesting things like this to share with you guys and we’re interested to see what ends up happening with a few of these situations.

Were you surprised about the different ways that Disney and the NBA are linked? Tell us in the comments!

Related posts:

  1. “It’s About The Data, And Not The Date” Says Disney Chairman Bob Iger to NBA Owners
  2. Get Ready for the NBA Experience Coming to Disney Springs in Summer 2019!
  3. Disney Springs Construction Update: NBA Experience and City Works Eatery and Pour House

From our friends at www.disneyfoodblog.com
Filed Under: Featured, News, bob iger, disney springs, Disney World, espn, Michael Jordan, Michael Jordan Documentary, NBA, NBA Experience, NBA Season, NBA season Suspension, The Last Dance

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News! Analyst Downgrades Disney’s Stock Rating Due To Leadership Changes

We reported yesterday that The Walt Disney Company shifted around their executives to form a new leadership team.

@joshdamaro on Instagram

This change-up moved Josh D’Amaro to the Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products, and named new presidents for both Disney World and Disneyland. Former Disneyland President, Rebecca Campbell, is stepping into the role of Chairman for the Direct-To Consumer sector and analysts shared their concerns with this recent change.

Campbell is taking over the chairman role previously held by Kevin Mayer. However, Mayer recently stepped down to become the CEO of TikTok and COO of its parent company.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Loop Capital analyst, Alan Gould, downgraded his rating of Disney from “buy” to “hold.” He explained by stating, “we believe the bounce-back from the pandemic will take longer than the Street is currently estimating, the stock is approaching our price target, and the uncertainty is exacerbated by the loss of Kevin Mayer.”

Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

He referred to Mayer as “”the architect of the Disney+ launch” and Bernstein analyst, Todd Juenger, referred to Mayer’s successor, Campbell, by stating, “She joins the business at a moment where the already thin original content pipeline has dwindled to essentially ‘nothing.’”

He continued, “There are also vitally important strategic decisions to be made on the future of Hulu…She will not have the luxury of time to contemplate most of these tough decisions.”

@rebeccacampbelldisneyland on Instagram

Jeunger also posed questions about the changes including “Why put somebody from parks in charge of the future of streaming? Given the crucial and transformative role of streaming to Disney’s future, many investors were surprised that Disney didn’t name someone from the streaming side as CEO. Now, Disney hasn’t even named someone from the streaming side to be in charge of streaming.”

©Disney

Juenger continues to explain that if Disney had looked for someone with a deeper streaming background, the “very short list” would have been expensive individuals who are not looking to change jobs right now. He stated this was a “cold comfort for nervous investors who now have a surprise departure and unfamiliar replacement in charge of the division most associated with Disney’s future.”

©ESPN

Juenger explained that investors are already concerned about a new risk that they are unfamiliar with. He expressed concern with Disney’s limited “visibility” for roles apart from CEO and CFO, so he is hoping Disney will work to connect Campbell with investors to help ease their uncertainty during this transition.

What do you think of the new Disney Company transitions? Let us know in the comments!

From our friends at www.disneyfoodblog.com
Filed Under: Disney News, disney parks, Disneyland, Featured, News, Disney, Disney Company, disney plus, disney streaming, Disney World, disney world president, disneyland president, Disneyland Resort, espn, Hulu, josh d’amaro, kevin mayer, Rebecca Campbell, streaming, the walt disney company, walt disney company, Walt Disney World

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Disney Along with Several Other Major Companies Seek Over $1 Trillion in Relief For Local Aid

Not too long ago, we told you about a Federal Aid plan that included a $25 billion airline rescue package to bail out the hard-hit travel industry due to the country’s recently shut down.

Orlando International Airport

And now Disney along with top industry leaders of several major companies are moving forward with a plan to seek over $1 trillion in government aid.

First reported by CNBC, California Governor Gavin Newsom is asking for more state and local funding along with his task force which includes Disney Executive Chairman(and former Disney CEO) Bob Iger as well as Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos among many others.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge During It’s Dedication Ceremony

The task force sent a letter to Congress last Friday addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. In it, they formally requested an additional $1 trillion in flexible economic relief to be distributed throughout all states.

Closed Lost and Found booth at Disneyland after the parks close due to Coronavirus

The task force says the additional funds could be used for essential resources to trace and prevent the spread of the virus and to assist operations like child services, job training, and small businesses.

Sleeping Beauty Castle

The House of Representatives passed a bill on Friday which included $1 trillion in funding for state and local governments. We’ll continue to follow this developing story and keep you informed of any updates.

From our friends at www.disneyfoodblog.com
Filed Under: Disney News, Featured, News, $1 trillion, bail-out, bob iger, california governor, california task force, Disney, Disney Executive Chairman, gavin newsom, government assistance, walt disney company

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News! Former Disney Chairman Named CEO of TikTok

Today, Disney announced a new leadership team including Josh D’Amaro in his new position as Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products.

@joshdamaro on Instagram

Other members include Rebecca Campbell, Jeff Vahle, Kareem Daniel, and Thomas Mazloum. Campbell took on the position of chairman of Disney’s Direct-to-Consumer and International, which was formerly held by Kevin Mayer. However, Mayer is moving on to a position with a popular video service.

According to Variety, Mayer stepped away from The Walt Disney Company to assume the role of chief executive officer at the “short-form video platform,” TikTok. He will also be taking on the position of chief operating officer at TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance.

Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

ByteDance CEO stated, “Kevin’s wealth of experience building successful global businesses makes him an outstanding fit for our mission of inspiring creativity for users globally. As one of the world’s most accomplished entertainment executives, Kevin is incredibly well placed to take ByteDance’s portfolio of products to the next level.”

Mayer will support ByteDance by overseeing TikTok, music, gaming, Helo, and other new ByteDance businesses. He is scheduled to start officially working with the company in Los Angeles on June 1st.

Disneyland Main Entrance

Mayer spoke out on his new position by stating “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to join the amazing team at ByteDance. Like everyone else, I’ve been impressed watching the company build something incredibly rare in TikTok — a creative, positive online global community — and I’m excited to help lead the next phase of ByteDance’s journey as the company continues to expand its breadth of products across every region of the world.”

Epcot Monorail

Kevin Mayer started working with Disney in 1993, but left in 2000 to become the CEO of Clear Channel Interactive. He returned to Disney in 2005 as EVP of corporate strategy. Most recently, Mayer oversaw Disney’s launch of Disney+ and ESPN+.

©Disney

Disney CEO, Bob Chapek, stated “Kevin has had an extraordinary impact on our company over the years…He has done a masterful job of overseeing and growing our portfolio of streaming services, while bringing together the creative and technological assets required to launch the hugely successful Disney Plus globally.”

Former Disneyland President, Rebecca Campbell, will take on Mayer’s previous role at The Disney Company.

Which streaming platform is your favorite and why? Let us know in the comments!

From our friends at www.disneyfoodblog.com
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News: Disney Announces New Park Presidents and Josh D’Amaro As Chairman of Parks

We’ve seen a lot of Disney World president Josh D’Amaro over the past few weeks as he’s sent us some friendly messaging during the Disney World closure.

©Disney

Now, Josh D’Amaro is no longer leading Disney World. In a press release today, Disney announced its new leadership team, including D’Amaro moving into the position of Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products — the role previously held by the current CEO of the Walt Disney Company, Bob Chapek.

The new position will take D’Amaro from overseeing the operations of Walt Disney World resort to overseeing the entirety of Disney’s travel and leisure businesses including all six international theme parks, Disney Cruise Line, Disney Vacation Club, and Adventures by Disney. He will also head all of Disney’s global consumer product operations including their licensing business, children’s print publisher, the Disney Store, and shopDisney.

@joshdamaro on Instagram

The Chairman position reports directly to the CEO, and Chapek commented on his happiness with D’Amaro filling his old role. Of the leadership shift, Chapek said, “I am certain he will take Disney’s Parks, Experiences and Products segment – home to some of our company’s most iconic and beloved businesses – to exciting new heights in the years to come.”

D’Amaro made a statement on his new position explaining, “I look forward to following [Chapek’s] record of driving innovation, value, and growth as we deliver unforgettable experiences for our guests. It is an incredible honor to lead our team of talented and dedicated cast members around the globe, who go above-and-beyond every single day. Even during this challenging time, their enthusiasm for what we do is unwavering, and my goal is to bring our cast members back to work as soon as possible so they can continue to create that magic.”

©Josh D’Amaro

D’Amaro isn’t the only one to receive a new position either. In fact, the new leadership team includes several new faces. Rebecca Campbell, previously the President of Disneyland, is moving into the position of Chairman for Direct-to-Consumer and International. She will oversee the company’s streaming businesses (Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu, and Hotstar) as well as Disney’s International Channels, Fox Networks International, and Star India.

Replacing the two executives are Jeff Vahle, formerly the President of Disney Signature Experiences, as the new President of Walt Disney World and Ken Potrock, formerly the President of Consumer Products, as the new President of Disneyland.

Rebecca Campbell ©Disney

Other new appointments on the leadership team include Kareem Daniel (former President of Walt Disney Imagineering Operations/Product Creation/Publishing/Games) replacing Potrock as the President of Consumer Products, Games and Publishing and Thomas Mazloum (former Senior Vice President of Resort and Transportation Operations at Disney World) replacing Vahle as the President of Disney Signature Experiences.

Sleeping Beauty Castle

We will be keeping a close eye out for statements from the new executive team and will report in on any developments as the team settles into their new roles.

What do you think of the new leadership appointments? Tell us in the comments! 

From our friends at www.disneyfoodblog.com
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Walt Disney Company Management Changes – Josh D’Amaro Named Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products

Big news! There have been a few Walt Disney Company Management Changes announced today including the promotion of Josh D’Amaro president of the Walt Disney World Resort.

Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), today announced a new Disney Parks, Experiences and Products leadership team that will be led by Josh D’Amaro, who has been named Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.

“I’m incredibly proud of the new leadership team at Parks, beginning with the segment’s Chairman, longtime Disney veteran Josh D’Amaro, and his newly announced team of Jeff Vahle, Ken Potrock, Kareem Daniel and Thomas Mazloum,” said Mr. Chapek. “These talented executives played pivotal roles while leading our exceptional cast members during the largest period of growth in the segment’s history, which included the expansion of our parks and resorts around the world, the addition of new attractions including two highly acclaimed Star Wars-themed lands, and a shift to more personalized experiences for guests. And I am confident that as they assume even greater responsibility and pursue new opportunities, these proven leaders will have an even bigger impact on the future of our company.” 

Mr. D’Amaro, who most recently served as President, Walt Disney World Resort, succeeds Mr. Chapek as Chairman, Parks, Experiences and Products. In his new role, Mr. D’Amaro will oversee Disney’s iconic travel and leisure businesses, which include six theme park-resort destinations in the United States, Europe and Asia; a top-rated cruise line; a popular vacation ownership program; and an award-winning guided family adventure business; and Disney’s global consumer products operations, which include the world’s leading licensing business across toys, apparel, home goods, digital games and apps; the world’s largest children’s print publisher; Disney store locations around the world; and the shopDisney e-commerce platform.

“I want to thank Bob for giving me this opportunity, and I look forward to following his record of driving innovation, value and growth at Parks,” Mr. D’Amaro said. “I am honored to be able to lead this newly announced team of exceptional senior leaders as we assume our new roles and continue to deliver unforgettable experiences for our guests. Even during this challenging time, the enthusiasm of our dedicated cast members for what we do is unwavering, and my goal is to bring them back to work as soon as possible so they can continue to create that magic.”

Before being named President of Walt Disney World Resort in 2019, Mr. D’Amaro was President of the Disneyland Resort. Mr. D’Amaro joined Disney in 1998 at the Disneyland Resort and held a number of leadership positions across the company. He served as Senior Vice President of Commercial Strategy for Walt Disney World Resort and also led the sites’ Resorts & Transportation Operations. He served as Vice President of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park as it underwent the largest expansion in its history. His other roles included Adventures by Disney; Sales and Travel Operations at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort; Finance for the Global Licensing division of Disney Consumer Products; and Business Planning and Strategy Development for the Disneyland Resort.

Mr. D’Amaro earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Georgetown University.

In conjunction with Mr. D’Amaro being named Chairman, the following key appointments have been made to the Disney Parks, Experiences and Products executive leadership team:

  • Jeff Vahle, formerly President, Disney Signature Experiences, has been named President, Walt Disney World Resort.
  • Ken Potrock, who had served as President, Consumer Products, becomes President, Disneyland Resort.
  • Kareem Daniel, formerly President, Walt Disney Imagineering Operations/Product Creation/Publishing/Games, has been named President, Consumer Products, Games and Publishing.
  • Thomas Mazloum, who was Senior Vice President of Resort and Transportation Operations at Walt Disney World Resort, becomes President, Disney Signature Experiences.

Continuing in roles as part of the executive leadership team for Disney Parks, Experiences and Products are:

  • Michael Colglazier, President & Managing Director, Disney Parks International
  • Jill Estorino, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Sales
  • Margaret Giacolone, Chief Counsel
  • Tami Garcia, Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Diversity and Inclusion
  • Alannah Hall-Smith, Senior Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs
  • George Kalogridis, President, Segment Development and Enrichment
  • Kevin Lansberry, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
  • Tilak Mandadi, Executive Vice President, Digital and Chief Technology Officer
  • Bob Weis, President, Walt Disney Imagineering

Jeff Vahle, President, Walt Disney World Resort

Succeeding Mr. D’Amaro as President, Walt Disney World Resort is Jeff Vahle, a 30-year cast member who most recently served as President, Disney Signature Experiences.  In his new role, Mr. Vahle leads a team of talented Cast Members —America’s largest single-site workforce—and will be responsible for all facets of business for the resort, including its four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Disney Hollywood Studios) two water parks, 28 resort hotels, four golf courses, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, and the Disney Springs entertainment-shopping-dining complex.

“With Walt Disney World approaching its 50th anniversary, there could not be a more gratifying time to be selected for this role and to work with the incredible team responsible for creating magical memories for millions of guests each year,” said Mr. Vahle. “I plan to continue to build on the momentum from Josh’s tenure, bringing even more innovative entertainment and experiences to our guests.”

Mr. Vahle will continue to oversee Facilities & Operations Services for Disney theme parks worldwide, responsible for engineering, maintenance, construction, utilities, manufacturing, sourcing and procurement, safety and health, and asset management programs at the Disney resorts around the world.

In his previous role, Mr. Vahle led several key growth businesses for the Disney Parks, Experiences and Products segment and inspired teams around the world to deliver the Company’s unrivaled brand of family vacations. He oversaw Disney Cruise Line, Disney Vacation Club, Adventures by Disney, Golden Oak, and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa (collectively called Disney Signature Experiences).

Mr. Vahle began his Disney career in 1990 and is a respected senior executive who is committed to driving creativity and innovation, exceeding guest expectations and delivering long-term business growth. During his career with the Company, he has held a series of high-profile leadership roles in operations, engineering, technology and global support services.

At Disney Cruise Line, Mr. Vahle also oversaw the much-anticipated expansion of Disney’s cruise fleet, with the planned delivery of three new ships, all of them showcasing the immersive family entertainment, enchanting storytelling and unparalleled service for which Disney is well known.

In addition to his duties with these high-growth vacation businesses, Mr. Vahle is actively involved in the Central Florida community, currently serving as chairman of the board of directors for Give Kids the World and as a member of the Rollins College Board of Trustees.

Mr. Vahle earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Auburn University and a master’s degree in business administration from Rollins College.

Ken Potrock, President, Disneyland Resort

Ken Potrock, formerly President, Consumer Products and with nearly 25 years at the Company takes the helm at the Disneyland Resort, as President, Disneyland Resort, overseeing two theme parks (Disneyland and Disney California Adventure), three resort hotels and a 20-acre entertainment, retail and shopping district. Mr. Potrock succeeds Rebecca Campbell, who was named Chairman, Direct-to-Consumer and International, for The Walt Disney Company (see press release from The Walt Disney Company for more information).

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to join the remarkable team at Walt Disney’s original park,” said Mr. Potrock. “This Resort holds a special place in the hearts of our Guests around the world – a responsibility that we all take very seriously, and we will continue to build on that foundation by delivering unforgettable experiences while creating memories that last a lifetime.”

Mr. Potrock joins the Disneyland Resort after more than two decades of leadership experience at Disney Parks. Throughout his career, he has consistently challenged the status quo – enabling a holistic entrepreneurial culture that ensures the unparalleled “Disney Difference” is delivered each day to Guests, consumers and fans.

Mr. Potrock is also well-known for developing, invigorating and transforming numerous Disney properties and businesses to deliver consistent and dynamic growth. Previously he served as the Senior Vice President and General Manager of Disney Vacation Club, the Company’s innovative and fast-growing vacation ownership program, as well as Adventures by Disney, the Company’s award-winning guided group travel business.

In 2015, Mr. Potrock led the dramatic expansion and reimagining of Disney Springs, Walt Disney World’s iconic retail, dining and entertainment district. He was Senior Vice President of Disney Sports Enterprises, where he led the transformative rebranding of the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida. Mr. Potrock began his Disney career in 1996 as Vice President, Marketing for Disney Cruise Line, where he helped define and launch the Company’s bold entry into the cruise industry.

Mr. Potrock earned his undergraduate degree in marketing from Washington University in St. Louis and his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Kareem Daniel, President, Consumer Products, Games and Publishing

Kareem Daniel, formerly President, Walt Disney Imagineering Business Operations, Product Creation, Publishing and Games, will take on the role of President, Consumer Products, Games and Publishing, leading the division responsible for extending the Disney brand through at-home experiences in products, publishing and games.

“Uniting the businesses responsible for bringing the magic of Disney into the daily lives of families and fans around the world will allow us to seamlessly extend the stories and characters consumers love across different platforms,” said Mr. Daniel. “I look forward to working with this team to bring Disney franchises to audiences around the world in new and innovative ways.”

Most recently, Mr. Daniel oversaw global design and delivery of all parks, attractions, resort hotels, and cruise ships, managing world-class talent to provide immersive guest experiences with operational excellence. He also led the product development of merchandise including toys, fashion apparel and accessories, home goods, consumables, and health and beauty categories; the creation of video games and interactive products and experiences; and Disney Publishing Worldwide, the world’s largest publisher of children’s books and magazines.

Previously, Mr. Daniel served as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development for Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media, where he spearheaded key strategic initiatives to drive long-term growth across the division’s retail, licensing, publishing, video games, and digital businesses.

Mr. Daniel also oversaw distribution strategy at Walt Disney Studios, helping to maximize the value of studio content by evaluating traditional business models and emerging digital innovations. Prior to that he was a Director of Corporate Strategy, where he worked on a variety of strategic projects and mergers and acquisitions across The Walt Disney Company.

Mr. Daniel first joined Disney as an MBA intern and later became a senior business planner in Corporate Financial Planning and Analysis. After that, he worked in equity research as well as investment banking at Goldman Sachs, where he specialized in technology, media and entertainment, and telecommunications before returning to Disney.

Mr. Daniel holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and an MBA, both from Stanford University.

Thomas Mazloum, President, Disney Signature Experiences

Thomas Mazloum, formerly Senior Vice President of Resort and Transportation Operations at Walt Disney World Resort, becomes President, Disney Signature Experiences, which includes Disney Cruise Line, Disney Vacation Club and Adventures by Disney.

“I am thrilled to continue my Disney career by joining the businesses renowned for providing personalized and uniquely Disney experiences and delivering world-class guest service,” said Mr. Mazloum. “I cannot wait to bring even more magic to guests on the seas and at our remarkable destinations around the world.”

A veteran of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Mr. Mazloum previously oversaw 28 resort hotels as well as transportation operations that rival mid-sized American cities, at the world’s premier vacation destination, Walt Disney World Resort.

Mr. Mazloum began his Disney career in 1998 as a hotel director for Disney Cruise Line. He was instrumental in launching the Disney Wonder, the second ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet, while directing a cast and crew of nearly 700 individuals, representing 52 countries around the world. He then went on to serve as the general manager of Food & Beverage & Special Events at Epcot, where he supervised the park’s diverse restaurant operations and pursued collaborative business opportunities.

Before returning to Disney in 2017, Mr. Mazloum served as the Chief Operating Officer of Crystal Cruise Line.

Born in Austria, Mr. Mazloum received his degree in hotel management and administration in Innsbruck. A life-long learner, Mr. Mazloum has also received several business certifications from such institutions as Cornell University, the Hotel School of Lausanne and the Hotel School of Salzburg.

From our friends at chipandco.com
Filed Under: Disney & Co, News, bob chapek, Disney Management, Josh D’Amaro, president of the Walt Disney World Resort, Walt Disney Company, Walt Disney Company Management Changes

Categories
Disney Business Disney Financials Disney News Disney Parks

NEW LEADERSHIP TEAM ANNOUNCED AT DISNEY PARKS, EXPERIENCES AND PRODUCTS

  • Josh D’Amaro Named Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products
  • Jeff Vahle Named President, Walt Disney World Resort
  • Ken Potrock Named President, Disneyland Resort
  • Kareem Daniel Named President, Consumer Products, Games and Publishing
  • Thomas Mazloum Named President, Disney Signature Experiences

BURBANK, Calif., May 18, 2020—Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), today announced a new Disney Parks, Experiences and Products leadership team that will be led by Josh D’Amaro, who has been named Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.

“I’m incredibly proud of the new leadership team at Parks, beginning with the segment’s Chairman, longtime Disney veteran Josh D’Amaro, and his newly announced team of Jeff Vahle, Ken Potrock, Kareem Daniel and Thomas Mazloum,” said Mr. Chapek. “These talented executives played pivotal roles while leading our exceptional cast members during the largest period of growth in the segment’s history, which included the expansion of our parks and resorts around the world, the addition of new attractions including two highly acclaimed Star Wars-themed lands, and a shift to more personalized experiences for guests. And I am confident that as they assume even greater responsibility and pursue new opportunities, these proven leaders will have an even bigger impact on the future of our company.”

Mr. D’Amaro, who most recently served as President, Walt Disney World Resort, succeeds Mr. Chapek as Chairman, Parks, Experiences and Products. In his new role, Mr. D’Amaro will oversee Disney’s iconic travel and leisure businesses, which include six theme park-resort destinations in the United States, Europe and Asia; a top-rated cruise line; a popular vacation ownership program; and an award-winning guided family adventure business; and Disney’s global consumer products operations, which include the world’s leading licensing business across toys, apparel, home goods, digital games and apps; the world’s largest children’s print publisher; Disney store locations around the world; and the shopDisney e-commerce platform.

“I want to thank Bob for giving me this opportunity, and I look forward to following his record of driving innovation, value and growth at Parks,” Mr. D’Amaro said. “I am honored to be able to lead this newly announced team of exceptional senior leaders as we assume our new roles and continue to deliver unforgettable experiences for our guests. Even during this challenging time, the enthusiasm of our dedicated cast members for what we do is unwavering, and my goal is to bring them back to work as soon as possible so they can continue to create that magic.”

Before being named President of Walt Disney World Resort in 2019, Mr. D’Amaro was President of the Disneyland Resort. Mr. D’Amaro joined Disney in 1998 at the Disneyland Resort and held a number of leadership positions across the company. He served as Senior Vice President of Commercial Strategy for Walt Disney World Resort and also led the sites’ Resorts & Transportation Operations. He served as Vice President of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park as it underwent the largest expansion in its history. His other roles included Adventures by Disney; Sales and Travel Operations at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort; Finance for the Global Licensing division of Disney Consumer Products; and Business Planning and Strategy Development for the Disneyland Resort.

Mr. D’Amaro earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Georgetown University.

In conjunction with Mr. D’Amaro being named Chairman, the following key appointments have been made to the Disney Parks, Experiences and Products executive leadership team:

  • Jeff Vahle, formerly President, Disney Signature Experiences, has been named President, Walt Disney World Resort.
  • Ken Potrock, who had served as President, Consumer Products, becomes President, Disneyland Resort.
  • Kareem Daniel, formerly President, Walt Disney Imagineering Operations/Product Creation/Publishing/Games, has been named President, Consumer Products, Games and Publishing.
  • Thomas Mazloum, who was Senior Vice President of Resort and Transportation Operations at Walt Disney World Resort, becomes President, Disney Signature Experiences.

Continuing in roles as part of the executive leadership team for Disney Parks, Experiences and Products are:

  • Michael Colglazier, President & Managing Director, Disney Parks International
  • Jill Estorino, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Sales
  • Margaret Giacalone, Chief Counsel
  • Tami Garcia, Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Diversity and Inclusion
  • Alannah Hall-Smith, Senior Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs
  • George Kalogridis, President, Segment Development and Enrichment
  • Kevin Lansberry, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
  • Tilak Mandadi, Executive Vice President, Digital and Chief Technology Officer
  • Bob Weis, President, Walt Disney Imagineering

Jeff Vahle, President, Walt Disney World Resort

Succeeding Mr. D’Amaro as President, Walt Disney World Resort is Jeff Vahle, a 30-year cast member who most recently served as President, Disney Signature Experiences.  In his new role, Mr. Vahle leads a team of talented Cast Members —America’s largest single-site workforce—and will be responsible for all facets of business for the resort, including its four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Disney Hollywood Studios) two water parks, 28 resort hotels, four golf courses, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, and the Disney Springs entertainment-shopping-dining complex.

“With Walt Disney World approaching its 50thanniversary, there could not be a more gratifying time to be selected for this role and to work with the incredible team responsible for creating magical memories for millions of guests each year,” said Mr. Vahle. “I plan to continue to build on the momentum from Josh’s tenure, bringing even more innovative entertainment and experiences to our guests.”

Mr. Vahle will continue to oversee Facilities & Operations Services for Disney theme parks worldwide, responsible for engineering, maintenance, construction, utilities, manufacturing, sourcing and procurement, safety and health, and asset management programs at the Disney resorts around the world.

In his previous role, Mr. Vahle led several key growth businesses for the Disney Parks, Experiences and Products segment and inspired teams around the world to deliver the Company’s unrivaled brand of family vacations. He oversaw Disney Cruise Line, Disney Vacation Club, Adventures by Disney, Golden Oak, and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa (collectively called Disney Signature Experiences).

Mr. Vahle began his Disney career in 1990 and is a respected senior executive who is committed to driving creativity and innovation, exceeding guest expectations and delivering long-term business growth. During his career with the Company, he has held a series of high-profile leadership roles in operations, engineering, technology and global support services.

At Disney Cruise Line, Mr. Vahle also oversaw the much-anticipated expansion of Disney’s cruise fleet, with the planned delivery of three new ships, all of them showcasing the immersive family entertainment, enchanting storytelling and unparalleled service for which Disney is well known.

In addition to his duties with these high-growth vacation businesses, Mr. Vahle is actively involved in the Central Florida community, currently serving as chairman of the board of directors for Give Kids the World and as a member of the Rollins College Board of Trustees.

Mr. Vahle earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Auburn University and a master’s degree in business administration from Rollins College.

Ken Potrock, President, Disneyland Resort

Ken Potrock, formerly President, Consumer Products and with nearly 25 years at the Company takes the helm at the Disneyland Resort, as President, Disneyland Resort, overseeing two theme parks (Disneyland and Disney California Adventure), three resort hotels and a 20-acre entertainment, retail and shopping district. Mr. Potrock succeeds Rebecca Campbell, who was named Chairman, Direct-to-Consumer and International, for The Walt Disney Company (see press releasefrom The Walt Disney Company for more information).

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to join the remarkable team at Walt Disney’s original park,” said Mr. Potrock. “This Resort holds a special place in the hearts of our Guests around the world – a responsibility that we all take very seriously, and we will continue to build on that foundation by delivering unforgettable experiences, while creating memories that last a lifetime.”

Mr. Potrock joins the Disneyland Resort after more than two decades of leadership experience at Disney Parks. Throughout his career, he has consistently challenged the status quo – enabling a holistic entrepreneurial culture that ensures the unparalleled “Disney Difference” is delivered each day to Guests, consumers and fans.

Mr. Potrock is also well-known for developing, invigorating and transforming numerous Disney properties and businesses to deliver consistent and dynamic growth. Previously he served as the Senior Vice President and General Manager of Disney Vacation Club, the Company’s innovative and fast-growing vacation ownership program, as well as Adventures by Disney, the Company’s award-winning guided group travel business.

In 2015, Mr. Potrock led the dramatic expansion and reimagining of Disney Springs, Walt Disney World’s iconic retail, dining and entertainment district. He was Senior Vice President of Disney Sports Enterprises, where he led the transformative rebranding of the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida. Mr. Potrock began his Disney career in 1996 as Vice President, Marketing for Disney Cruise Line, where he helped define and launch the Company’s bold entry into the cruise industry.

Mr. Potrock earned his undergraduate degree in marketing from Washington University in St. Louis and his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Kareem Daniel, President, Consumer Products, Games and Publishing

Kareem Daniel, formerly President, Walt Disney Imagineering Business Operations, Product Creation, Publishing and Games, will take on the role of President, Consumer Products, Games and Publishing, leading the division responsible for extending the Disney brand through at-home experiences in products, publishing and games.

“Uniting the businesses responsible for bringing the magic of Disney into the daily lives of families and fans around the world will allow us to seamlessly extend the stories and characters consumers love across different platforms,” said Mr. Daniel. “I look forward to working with this team to bring Disney franchises to audiences around the world in new and innovative ways.”

Most recently, Mr. Daniel oversaw global design and delivery of all parks, attractions, resort hotels, and cruise ships, managing world-class talent to provide immersive guest experiences with operational excellence. He also led the product development of merchandise including toys, fashion apparel and accessories, home goods, consumables, and health and beauty categories; the creation of video games and interactive products and experiences; and Disney Publishing Worldwide, the world’s largest publisher of children’s books and magazines.

Previously, Mr. Daniel served as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development for Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media, where he spearheaded key strategic initiatives to drive long-term growth across the division’s retail, licensing, publishing, video games, and digital businesses.

Mr. Daniel also oversaw distribution strategy at Walt Disney Studios, helping to maximize the value of studio content by evaluating traditional business models and emerging digital innovations. Prior to that he was a Director of Corporate Strategy, where he worked on a variety of strategic projects and mergers and acquisitions across The Walt Disney Company.

Mr. Daniel first joined Disney as an MBA intern and later became a senior business planner in Corporate Financial Planning and Analysis. After that, he worked in equity research as well as investment banking at Goldman Sachs, where he specialized in technology, media and entertainment, and telecommunications before returning to Disney.

Mr. Daniel holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and an MBA, both from Stanford University.

Thomas Mazloum, President, Disney Signature Experiences

Thomas Mazloum, formerly Senior Vice President of Resort and Transportation Operations at Walt Disney World Resort, becomes President, Disney Signature Experiences, which includes Disney Cruise Line, Disney Vacation Club and Adventures by Disney.

“I am thrilled to continue my Disney career by joining the businesses renowned for providing personalized and uniquely Disney experiences and delivering world-class guest service,” said Mr. Mazloum. “I cannot wait to bring even more magic to guests on the seas and at our remarkable destinations around the world.”

A veteran of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Mr. Mazloum previously oversaw 28 resort hotels as well as transportation operations that rival mid-sized American cities, at the world’s premier vacation destination, Walt Disney World Resort.

Mr. Mazloum began his Disney career in 1998 as a hotel director for Disney Cruise Line. He was instrumental in launching the Disney Wonder, the second ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet, while directing a cast and crew of nearly 700 individuals, representing 52 countries around the world. He then went on to serve as the general manager of Food & Beverage & Special Events at Epcot, where he supervised the park’s diverse restaurant operations and pursued collaborative business opportunities.

Before returning to Disney in 2017, Mr. Mazloum served as the Chief Operating Officer of Crystal Cruise Line.

Born in Austria, Mr. Mazloum received his degree in hotel management and administration in Innsbruck. A life-long learner, Mr. Mazloum has also received several business certifications from such institutions as Cornell University, the Hotel School of Lausanne and the Hotel School of Salzburg.

###

About The Walt Disney Company

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries, is a diversified worldwide entertainment company with operations in four business segments: Media Networks; Studio Entertainment; Parks, Experiences and Products; and Direct-to-Consumer and International. Disney is a Dow 30 company.

About Disney Parks, Experiences and Products 

Disney Parks, Experiences and Products brings the magic of The Walt Disney Company’s powerful brands and franchises—including Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, ESPN, 20th Century Studios, and National Geographic—into the daily lives of families and fans around the world to create magical memories that last a lifetime.

When Walt Disney opened Disneyland in Anaheim, California, on July 17, 1955, he created a unique destination built around storytelling and immersive experiences, ushering in a new era of family entertainment. More than 60 years later, Disney has grown into one of the world’s leading providers of family travel and leisure experiences, with iconic businesses including six resort destinations with 12 theme parks and 52 resorts in the United States, Europe, and Asia with approximately 160,000 cast members; a top-rated cruise line with four ships and plans for three more; a luxurious family beach resort in Hawai‘i; a popular vacation ownership program; and an award-winning guided family adventure business. Disney’s global consumer products operations include the world’s leading licensing business; one of the world’s largest children’s publishing brands; one of the world’s largest licensors of games across platforms; more than 300 Disney store locations around the world; and the shopDisney e-commerce platform. These experiences are created by Disney Imagineers, the creative force behind experiences found in Disney theme parks, resort hotels, and cruise ships.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding our business growth, strategy, approach or plans; business leadership or structure; future resumption of operations; and other statements that are not historical in nature as well as statements identified by words such as “will,” “look forward to,” “am confident,” “continue,” “goal,” and similar words and expressions. These statements are made on the basis of management’s views and assumptions regarding future events and business performance as of the time the statements are made. Management does not undertake any obligation to update these statements. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied. Such differences may result from actions taken by the Company, including restructuring or strategic initiatives (including capital investments and asset acquisitions or dispositions) or other business decisions, as well as from developments beyond the Company’s control, including:

  • changes in domestic and global economic conditions, competitive conditions and consumer preferences;
  • adverse weather conditions or natural disasters;
  • health concerns;
  • international, regulatory, political, or military developments;
  • technological developments;
  • labor markets and activities; and each such risk includes the current and future impacts of, and is amplified by, COVID-19 and related mitigation efforts.

Such developments may further affect entertainment, travel and leisure businesses generally and may, among other things, affect (or further affect):

  • the performance of the Company’s theatrical and home entertainment releases;
  • the advertising market for broadcast and cable television programming;
  • demand for our products and services;
  • construction;
  • expenses of providing medical and pension benefits;
  • income tax expense;
  • performance of some or all company businesses either directly or through their impact on those who distribute our products; and
  • achievement of anticipated benefits of the TFCF transaction.

Additional factors are set forth in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended September 28, 2019 under Item 1A, “Risk Factors,” Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis,” Item 1, “Business,” and subsequent reports, including, among others, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Forms 8-K, which factors should be read together with this press release.

The post NEW LEADERSHIP TEAM ANNOUNCED AT DISNEY PARKS, EXPERIENCES AND PRODUCTS appeared first on Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.

From our friends at dpep.disney.com
Filed Under: Parks and Experiences

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Disney Financials Other

Saudi Arabia Investment Fund Buys 5 Million Shares in Disney Stocks

Investment Fund

A Saudi Arabian wealth fund revealed in a SEC filing how they’ve been pursuing the purchase of U.S. investments. The Securities and Exchange Commission showed how Saudi Arabia’s Pubic Investment Fund recently purchased more than 5 million shares of stock in the Walt Disney Company for under $500 million.

To put it in perspective, even though it’s a substantial dollar amount, the 5 million shares are less than a fraction of a percent of the company’s total shares. The wealth fund has lately been seeking investments in U.S. sports and entertainment companies. According to a SEC filing, the investment entity recently bought more than 12.3 million shares of Live Nation’s stock, which now gives them a 5.7% stake in the entertainment company.

The Public Investment Fund (PIF) also bought shares in several other major companies. For instance, they bought shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Starbucks, Back of America, and Facebook. The PIF controls more than $300 billion in assets and is led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Today, the fund’s portfolio totals more than $10 billion in U.S. holdings.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, companies such as Disney have been accumulating debt since they were unable to operate their routine business functions. From a debt perspective, acquiring new investors helps them leverage the debt with new equity.

Source: The Wrap

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Disney Financials Disney Parks Other

Saudi Arabia’s Investment Fund Buys Five Million Shares in The Walt Disney Company

Disney theme parks around the world have been closed for months. Shanghai Disneyland recently broke the theme park stand-still by re-opening, but Disney has not yet announced when the rest of the parks will re-open.

Shanghai Disneyland

In the wake of the closures, The Walt Disney Company furloughed employees and has been taking on debt to protect its financial future. Analysts recommended accepting equity agreements instead of additional lines of credit and Saudi Arabia’s public investment fund just offered Disney this opportunity.

Disney recently estimated a revenue loss of close to $1 billion due to the closures, and last week the company took on additional loans totaling $11 billion dollars.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, analysts advise companies impacted by the closures, like Disney and AMC, to accept investments over cashing out more loans.

AMC Theater in Disney Springs

Moody’s analyst Neil Begley stated “It would be a welcome investment from a debt perspective to see some of these companies that are more dramatically affected bring in some equity rather than just bringing [on] lots of debt, particularly some of the larger-cap media names like Disney and ViacomCBS.”

Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom

He went on to say, “I just can’t say whether or not the folks at Disney would be willing to entertain issuing equity at this juncture. But for some of these companies that have an uncertain horizon at this time, it certainly would be prudent, particularly for their credit ratings.”

Disney World Monorail

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, named the Public Investment Fund, recently shared their acquisitions –which included shares in The Walt Disney Company, Facebook, Starbucks, and more.

The fund purchased over five million shares in Disney which translate to a value of almost $500 million. Even though these shares are just a drop in the bucket of the whole company, the investment comes at an unprecedented time for the Disney company.

Cinderella Castle

The Public Investment Fund’s investment in Disney comes after its sizable purchases in Live Nation, Carnival Cruises, Tesla, and Uber since the start of 2020. The fund also boosted its number of shares in 23 other companies such as IBM, Boeing, ADP, Bank of America, and Marriott totaling more than $10 billion of equity in the U.S. market.

Which sector of business do you think will have the biggest impact on The Disney Company during the closures? Let us know in the comments!

From our friends at www.disneyfoodblog.com

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Disney Business Disney Financials Disney Parks Other

Orange County Mayor doesnt think the theme parks will open till June

Orange County

Across the nation, theme parks have been closed since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Orlando is the theme park capitol of America and it’s been over two months since anyone has visited Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando, or SeaWorld Orlando. Even though businesses are beginning to return in phased openings, the Orange County Mayor doesn’t expect Central Florida’s theme parks to reopen until at least June.

During a recent coronavirus update, Governor Ron DeSantis made the announcement of how Florida will enter a “full phase one” by Monday, May 18th. Theme park organizations can start submitting their plans on that day. To clarify, those plans must include a date for when theme parks reopen, guidelines to keep both employees and guests safe, and an endorsement from an appropriate elected official.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings is able to provide such an endorsement, however, he revealed how he hasn’t received any reopening plans from Disney, Universal, or SeaWorld. He did say that theme parks could be permitted to reopen during the second phase, but there’s no scheduled date for when phase two will begin in Florida. Orange County Major Demings went on to say the following:

“Suffice it to say, they’re looking at later dates to reopen and I believe what we can expect or anticipate in our community is a measured reopening. They will likely start with smaller business units, maybe hotels and resort-type areas before the major, massive theme parks themselves will reopen but in any case I suspect that that is going to be, clearly, some time in June or thereafter before that occurs.”

Source: Click Orlando

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