One thing Disney theme park fans love to complain about is decision by spreadsheet (or as Disney author Kevin Yee famously says “declining by degrees”). The idea that there’s someone backstage with a formula and a red pen saying, you have to cut, cut, cut because some random number wasn’t met and you end up with death of the guest experience by a thousand small cuts instead of one or two large ones. Like a frog in a pot of water, by the time you notice the end is near, it’s too late to jump out.
Wielding the spreadsheet is the moment when Disney is most like a business and least like something magical. Erin Wallace, executive vice president of operations strategy, planning, and revenue management for Walt Disney Parks and resorts, was in charge of that whole process. As such, she often became the subject of flames from the fans.
Whether Wallace deserved those critiques or not, is an open question. She answered to someone (for a long time the also departing Meg Crofton and more recently Parks chair Tom Staggs) and was subject to meeting the overall goals of the company. The company is doing remarkably well right now, but how will it work in the long term, well that remains to be seen.Read More »Disney Parks operations executive Erin Wallace departs