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Old 09-23-2014, 03:01 PM   #1
YoungSkywalker28
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Eisner vs Iger

You know a lot of people say Eisner did such a bad job but doing research, I found out he did a lot more than I think most people realize. He opened Disneyland Paris, Hollywood Studios, California Adventure, and MGM Studios Paris. He also had movies such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit and The Little Mermaid. Customer service was always what you come to expect from Disney and the rides weren't in the state they are now. Iger took over and opened one park Animal Kingdom, the rides are always down, and customer service is not even close to what it was with Eisner. This is my opinion only, Animal Kingdom is my least favorite park to go to and may not go back. Now with that said we have one of the nicer zoos in the United States and have about 90-95% of the animals The Animal Kingdom has and there's not enough rides or attractions to draw me. More recently Iger bought Lucas Films, Marvel, and Pixar but the parks I wouldn't say in shambles but not up to Disney standards. So much has closed and nothing replaced it. I know the old saying was you have to change to be successful, but change is different them closing down and not replacing. Seems to me Eisner added a lot more then Iger can ever dream of. I think if Walt was alive he'd be so upset with what he sees right now. Thoughts?
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Old 09-23-2014, 03:16 PM   #2
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Eisner also built CBR and Grand Floridian! Plus, he was the one who started the Disney "renaissance", and had MGM as a working studio. He also might have also brokered the Muppet sale.

Might not have done things the legal way, but he is better than Iger by a longshot.
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Old 09-23-2014, 03:24 PM   #3
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Years ago when i heard Eisner was trying to get rid of Roy Disney Jr I was upset. I mean how can you get rid of him. He was kind of the last person with the name tied to the business but now how I wish we had Eisner back. The parks would be in such a better state.
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Old 09-23-2014, 03:33 PM   #4
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From the books I've read, it breaks down to: Eisner was an egomaniac, but he had a go-for-it attitude. He made a lot of bad calls, harassed anyone who wanted to share power with him, waaaayyyy overspent for a lot of useless things, and pressed ahead with getting things built. He was trying to be a visionary and falling on his face about half the time. Iger is a responsible steward and bottom line businessman. He has a television exec's view of how to operate a business, i.e. buy things from other parties, program to your audience, synergize and never innovate when you can repeat. If Walt Disney was a fan's dream come true as a Disney leader, Iger is a share holder's dream come true as a Disney leader. I'd prefer having Eisner back, even if he wrecked the joint. I've got enough play-to-the-cheapest-buck-and-lowest-common-denominator corporate malevolence in my life. I'd rather have the anarchy back, even if Eisner didn't really have much of a creative bone in his body.
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Old 09-23-2014, 03:34 PM   #5
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Eisner opened Animal Kingdom.
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Old 09-23-2014, 03:52 PM   #6
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Eisner was CEO from 1984-2005. No question he did a lot a great things. Probably threw some good money after bad. That said you might could win the argument that Eisner made Disney what it is today. Yes including much of current WDW. Grand Floridian, 4 instead of 2 theme parks, water parks etc. Really turning WDW into a long vacation spot. That said 20+ years is a long time as a Companies CEO.
Iger does seem to be more of a bottomline CEO. Iger appears to take less risks with the Parks (for better or worse). We will see what the ROI is on MDE. Plus it appears he has finally spotted the problems at HS and AK and is trying to add more there (once again for better or worse).
For both it is important to remember that Disney is a HUGE Company with Parks just being a slice of the pie.
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Old 09-23-2014, 03:55 PM   #7
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I was always a huge fan of Eisner- worst thing that ever happened to Disney was getting rid of him. He brought the parks back, no doubt about it. My opinion has nothing to do with rides, how many, what kind or FP+ and how good or bad it is. It's strictly the lower level of service and maintenance in the parks and resorts.

WDW is still good, but it's quickly headed toward just not good enough. At least for us and I place blame right at the top where it belongs.
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Old 09-23-2014, 04:24 PM   #8
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Arrow

It didn't say Eisner opened The Animal Kingdom but now that you give the year it does seem right that he did. No risk no reward. So if Eisner did open Animal Kingdom that means Iger has opened 0 parks. Goose egg. Iger has let go the artist that was once at the MGM Studios and closed huge areas like The Wonders of Life pavillion. There's nothing that draws me to the new fantasy land except maybe the seven dwarfs mine train and the customer service is in the tank. The parks have gone backwards since he took over. Also the park may be just a piece but it's a major piece. As long as the parks are doing well there wasn't a worry about losing your job. Iger is to corporate. He is to worried about stock prices instead of the people.
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Old 09-23-2014, 04:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YoungSkywalker28 View Post
It didn't say Eisner opened The Animal Kingdom but now that you give the year it does seem right that he did. No risk no reward. So if Eisner did open Animal Kingdom that means Iger has opened 0 parks. Goose egg. Iger has let go the artist that was once at the MGM Studios and closed huge areas like The Wonders of Life pavillion. There's nothing that draws me to the new fantasy land except maybe the seven dwarfs mine train and the customer service is in the tank. The parks have gone backwards since he took over. Also the park may be just a piece but it's a major piece. As long as the parks are doing well there wasn't a worry about losing your job. Iger is to corporate. He is to worried about stock prices instead of the people.
I may fault Iger for some things but opening a park is not one of them. 4 are plenty. That said I agree no excuse for Wonder of Life. Plus I believe they are a couple years behind on new attractions/lands. Now not defending Iger (see previous comments) but during the recession years of '07 until roughly '10 or '11, holding where you are was probably the only option available to him. I just think he is a couple of years behind on the decisions he is making. Playing it a bit cautious is not the way to go right now.
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Old 09-23-2014, 04:34 PM   #10
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Young Skywalker, and anyone else interested, if your research did not include the book Disney War by James B. Stewart, it should. the book is thoroughly and well researched and gives the good and the bad of the eisner reign, (of terror, some might add). when he was at his best he was reined in by Frank Wells, who held him accountable and on track. after wells accidental death, we got eisner unleashed and this is when things got rocky, though not as dire as before his term.

The best- he was good for shareholders, he staved off hostile takeover bids, and then made them lots of money in three ways: Theme Park ticket price increases, Disney becoming their own hotelier, and vhs offerings of the classic disney properties.

The ok- he was most concerned with the bottom line at the cost of greatness. it was during this time touchstone pictures was in its heyday with very profitable but very forgettable films starring b and c list casts. yes some were fun but far from classics.

the bad- his penchant for profit, ( he was quoted as saying that we will be a singles and doubles hitter, and not swing for the fences), cost the company many of the most profitable and lauded properties in film and tv. the list includes The Lord Of The Rings, Survivor, CSI, and Sopranos.
- his ego was responsible for costing the company billions of dollars in bad deals. an early offer to buy george lucas out of pixar for a pittance was rebuffed, buying katzenberg out for a fourth or less than what he was awarded, dick tracy, enough said, Michael Ovitz severance after one year.

I enjoyed the book and it treats eisner with a pretty even hand.
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Old 09-23-2014, 04:37 PM   #11
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and btw he did try to pull the plug on Pirates of the Caribbean during filming. He hated the johnny depp characterization of Captain Jack.
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Old 09-23-2014, 04:56 PM   #12
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Pogo.......Thanks for the info. I will check into the book. Disney World has always been my favorite vacation spot, I'm just very frustrated at the direction it seems the parks are going and hold Iger responsible. It seems like he's ruining the magic in my opinion.
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Old 09-23-2014, 06:04 PM   #13
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I just got done relistening to that book on Audible. It is good, and one thing I noted near the end one of the projects mentioned as put on hold near the end of Esiners tenure was a movie about a Snow Queen, I think we know now 10 years later what that became, But I wll let it go. And the parks were really falling apart prior to the Run up to Disneylands 50th. Thats back in the days of "run it to Failure" which caused the BTM disaster.
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Old 09-24-2014, 12:16 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cakebaker View Post
I was always a huge fan of Eisner- worst thing that ever happened to Disney was getting rid of him. He brought the parks back, no doubt about it. My opinion has nothing to do with rides, how many, what kind or FP+ and how good or bad it is. It's strictly the lower level of service and maintenance in the parks and resorts.

WDW is still good, but it's quickly headed toward just not good enough. At least for us and I place blame right at the top where it belongs.
Eisner was a "you have to spend money to make money" guy, where Iger is pretty much the opposite, "cut overhead and streamline to make money for the stock prices" (stock price rise will cement HIS legacy). Prime example is the way park "staffing levels" have been reduced in the last 6 weeks or so. I think the new corporate model is to lean out the "overhead" (employees hours) but still try to keep the park visitor count up and increasing. I really don't think corporate, at least right now, is tuned in to preserving the ""guest experience" as much as it had in the past.

Budget cutting is rampant throughout the park operations units right now even though they are spending a lot of money for "brick & mortar" stuff, such as Downtown Disney, Textile Services and some new park stuff.

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Old 09-24-2014, 12:54 AM   #15
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I think Iger's story is just beginning. As someone mentioned Eisner had 20 years to accomplish everything he did, Iger has had 9 but 4-5 were lost to maintaining the company during a recession.

Eisner did a great job of expanding the domestic parks but I'd argue it wasn't done very well.

DCA was a failure until Iger opened up the purse strings to fix it, AK is seen by many as a failure, hopefully Iger recently opening up the purse strings for Pandora and nighttime entertainment will fix it, HS is seen by many as a failure and I think we're all hoping for Star Wars and Pixar but that is totally dependent on Iger opening up the purse strings to fix it. Disneyland Paris has never lived up to expectations. Eisner did a lot but he did everything half way and on the cheap.

If AK and HS receive the same quality redo that DCA received I think Iger will go down as the best CEO the domestic parks have had since a Disney ran the company.
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