A recent article in Barron’s magazine featured a conversation with Disney CEO Bob Iger. The following exchange drew attention from the Disney fan base and prompted a response on Twitter to specific comments made by our Twitter account.
You’re putting a lot of money into the parks. How confident are you about the return there?
The acquisition of these brands and the creation of intellectual property behind them have had a tremendous impact on growing our returns at the parks. When you have Star Wars to market at the parks…Avatar is a good example, Cars Land, we’re building a Frozen land in [Hong Kong, Tokyo and Paris parks], the interest among the potential audience is higher. It’s not like “I’m going to ride some nondescript coaster somewhere, that maybe is [themed like] India or whatever.” No, you’re going to Arendelle and you’re going to experience Frozen with Anna and Elsa. Or you’re going to fly a banshee into Pandora. Go to Cars Land. We built Radiator Springs. You’re with the characters in that town.
Focusing on the line, “It’s not like ‘I’m going to ride some nondescript coaster somewhere, that maybe is [themed like] India or whatever.'” We sent the following Tweet:
After multiple re-Tweets Bob Iger responded as a means of clarifying his comments in the article.
A series of Twitter responses ensued with the end result seeing Barron’s change the article. The new text is as follows:
“It’s not like ‘I’m going ride some nondescript coaster somewhere.'” The specific part about India was removed.
This isn’t the first time Bob Iger has specifically stated a preference towards attractions based on known movie based brands.
As we spend money at the parks on new attractions that are based on known intellectual property and brands, the likelihood of their success is greater. So when we increase Toy Story’s presence or other Pixar presence, when we put Frozen in the parks, when we grow Star Wars presence, which we will do significantly, when we do it with Princess, for instance, you’re going to see, I think, basically better bets being made that pay off, that are more likely to pay off for us than some of the bets that were made in the past. – Bob Iger, Quarter 3, Fiscal Year 2014 Earnings Call
The next day, Bob Iger re-tweeted the new trailer for the upcoming Marvel movie Captain Marvel with the comment, “Fasten your seatbelts for a wild ride! #CapitaMarvel I think we should build a Captain Marvel land and 50 Captain Marvel attractions, plus Captain Marvel Cruise Ships, hotels, restaurants and parades.”
The assumption is that this was a jab at Disney fans who criticized his preference of movie based attractions in the parks. Beginning on January 10th, Bob Iger’s Twitter account @RobertIger was removed only to re-appear later on, leading to suspicions that his account was hacked.