I look at the recent management changes at Walt Disney Imagineering to be a good thing. Whether or not will end up taking WDI in a better direction will depend on many factors. Even if everything internally gets all hunky dory, WDI does not operate in a vacuum. It is part of a large corporation that is answerable to shareholders, and so many of the shares are owned by institutional investors who may not care all that much about the quality of Disney’s offerings. Ideally, quality offerings will mean increased value for shareholders, but not always. Also, WDI does not manage or operate Disney-branded resorts or the cruise line, and must work with the management of those venues to create good Show. In the case of Tokyo Disney Resort, that means the Oriental Land Company. In the case of Paris and Hong Kong, that means companies owned only in part by The Walt Disney Company.
My cautiousness expressed, I am indeed optimistic.
From small, intimate interactive experiences to large shows and high-capacity attractions, WDI has the ability to wow even the most hardened industry veteran, and I think that is going to be more likely now than it has been in recent years.
Avid enthusiasts and company insiders will always find something wrong with the processes or the finished offerings. That’s not to say they are wrong. Organizations are made of people, and people aren’t perfect. Great projects get shelved. Projects that get taken to completion are sometimes botched. Talented Imagineers are sent packing and those with the potential to be great Imagineers are not hired to begin with. Hopefully, though, WDI and Disney as a whole has turned a corner, those sorts of disappointments will be reduced, and the guests, shareholders, Imagineers, and cast members will all be better off as a result.
The best may be yet to come.