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  1. #136

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    Re: Rumor: Is Tony Baxter being shown the door?

    The Save Disney movement was before my time so it is interesting to be informed on some of that history. Thank you Dusty! I've read these boards since well, before the 50th, and I know there are things we all love, things we all hate, things we're 50/50 about, things that could have been better, things that could have been worse(although this is far and few between ) but we do all share that common love for Disney, in whatever shape, color, or way in may come in. For me though, this thread has taken a wrong turn and I was just trying to bring up my concerns. This whole thing has been interesting to read...like a digitally written soap opera but when it gets snide between people, that's when it passes interesting and becomes a fight for whomever thinks their opinion is best. No opinion is best. My opinion, cautious optimism that this is all reading too much into something and Tony is still good as good haha but who knows.

    And concerning knives and WDI...haha that's the problem...divas...not the divas we all love to watch on the stage...the egotisical divas who seem to make up Imagineering and TDA and even Disney as a whole. Just uh uh, can't everyone just get along and make magic

  2. #137

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    Re: Rumor: Is Tony Baxter being shown the door?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalFan View Post
    And concerning knives and WDI...haha that's the problem...divas...
    LOL. That's often the case. Once people's passions get involved, it is hard to keep emotions in check.

    Especially when the topic is about a beloved character like Tony Baxter.

    But please keep in mind what I said about using the neg rep voting and report post buttons.

    Sometimes folks need to end up litterboxed for a while for them to understand why hostility is not permitted on these boards.

    Cheers and thank you!

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  3. #138

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    Re: Rumor: Is Tony Baxter being shown the door?

    Well... if its Tony now, one day it will be Tom. No one would be foolish enough to think the company wont do the same thing to Tom (and others) when they age and their salaries increase as they have done to others who have left. Would they?
    Mark

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  4. #139

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    Re: Rumor: Is Tony Baxter being shown the door?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostbuster626 View Post
    How involved is Tony Baxter with Star Tours 2? Is he in the same role he was when they made the original Star Tours? If hes being shown the door I hope he at least goes out with a bang with Star Tours 2.
    Ah, a very good point. And one I'm a tad surprised hasn't come up sooner here.

    The easiest answer is it seems that Tony has no role in ST 2.0 whatsoever. And the Tron attraction coming to T-Land has Tom F's fingerprints all over it.

    If Tony were part of either/both of the above projects, then you'd know it. The biggest non-secret in the Disney fanboi world is that Tony's posse (and the man himself) pass information on to Al Lutz. You don't hear anything do you?

    And Tony could have used the recent DL 55th weekend at The Disney Family Museum up in SF as a stage to talk about any future projects he'd be working on, even in the lightest of detail (remember this event showcased the first and only piece of public art on Shanghai DL, so it wasn't like the event cloaked itself in secrecy). You heard nothing because there's almost certainly nothing to tell.

    Again, I'm trying to figure out what Tony does these days to justify his salary (making fanbois get hot and bothered doesn't count, sorry). Not to me or anyone here. But to TWDC. A rehab of Mr. Lincoln, a few new effects for Snow White ... they don't justify much of anything to the penny pinching folks in Burbank.

    Please do NOT misunderstand my feelings. I like Tony, despite the fact he can -- and has -- behave like a petulant child. I admire his work immensely. Anyone who doesn't think the man 'gets' what Disney parks are supposed to be about should visit DLP and see his (as well as the amazing team he put together) masterpiece. I don't get all the love he engenders vs. say a Tim Delaney, but I think that largely has to do with another of his gifts (talent, true talent, and a great feel for Disney would be the first two) and that's his talent for self-promotion.

    What worries me is that I'm not sure Tony is the only one likely to be axed (unwanted retirement IS just that).

    Joe Rohde is getting up there in years. He doesn't play the political game well, much like Tony. He only has one park (DAK) in his portfolio and it's one where expansion has largely been tabled. A major project he was working on (Disney's boutique animal park) was DOA with The Weatherman. So, he was sent to Oahu (a place he loves) to work on a timeshare/hotel project that was well over 85% designed when he came aboard. Now, I've heard he may have a role in China expansion ... and that may well be ... but ... if not ...

    And even Eric Jacobson is no spring chicken either.

    When these guys go, who's left? And what vision for Disney Parks do they have? What history do they bring? What perspective?

    Do you want your future Disney attractions designed by folks whose vision of Disney is cartoon characters in every land/park? The same merchandise in every shop? Dumbed down attractions? Folks who can't recall a Disney that didn't involve character dining, pintrading and FastPasses?

    The reason Disney has survived the loss of greats, starting with Walt himself, was that one generation groomed the next, trained them, nurtured them. Think of them like a Sorceror's Apprentice only without Nick Cage.

    That environment is gone ... and the future looks scary.

    And before someone vomits up John Lasseter's name (and he IS the closest thing to Walt out there), he's got his hands full with Pixar and WDFA and he also is getting older.

    ~Pass the Pixie Dust!~

  5. #140

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    Re: Rumor: Is Tony Baxter being shown the door?

    Quote Originally Posted by WDW1974 View Post
    Ah, a very good point. And one I'm a tad surprised hasn't come up sooner here.

    The easiest answer is it seems that Tony has no role in ST 2.0 whatsoever. And the Tron attraction coming to T-Land has Tom F's fingerprints all over it.

    If Tony were part of either/both of the above projects, then you'd know it. The biggest non-secret in the Disney fanboi world is that Tony's posse (and the man himself) pass information on to Al Lutz. You don't hear anything do you?

    And Tony could have used the recent DL 55th weekend at The Disney Family Museum up in SF as a stage to talk about any future projects he'd be working on, even in the lightest of detail (remember this event showcased the first and only piece of public art on Shanghai DL, so it wasn't like the event cloaked itself in secrecy). You heard nothing because there's almost certainly nothing to tell.

    Again, I'm trying to figure out what Tony does these days to justify his salary (making fanbois get hot and bothered doesn't count, sorry). Not to me or anyone here. But to TWDC. A rehab of Mr. Lincoln, a few new effects for Snow White ... they don't justify much of anything to the penny pinching folks in Burbank.

    Please do NOT misunderstand my feelings. I like Tony, despite the fact he can -- and has -- behave like a petulant child. I admire his work immensely. Anyone who doesn't think the man 'gets' what Disney parks are supposed to be about should visit DLP and see his (as well as the amazing team he put together) masterpiece. I don't get all the love he engenders vs. say a Tim Delaney, but I think that largely has to do with another of his gifts (talent, true talent, and a great feel for Disney would be the first two) and that's his talent for self-promotion.

    What worries me is that I'm not sure Tony is the only one likely to be axed (unwanted retirement IS just that).

    Joe Rohde is getting up there in years. He doesn't play the political game well, much like Tony. He only has one park (DAK) in his portfolio and it's one where expansion has largely been tabled. A major project he was working on (Disney's boutique animal park) was DOA with The Weatherman. So, he was sent to Oahu (a place he loves) to work on a timeshare/hotel project that was well over 85% designed when he came aboard. Now, I've heard he may have a role in China expansion ... and that may well be ... but ... if not ...

    And even Eric Jacobson is no spring chicken either.

    When these guys go, who's left? And what vision for Disney Parks do they have? What history do they bring? What perspective?

    Do you want your future Disney attractions designed by folks whose vision of Disney is cartoon characters in every land/park? The same merchandise in every shop? Dumbed down attractions? Folks who can't recall a Disney that didn't involve character dining, pintrading and FastPasses?

    The reason Disney has survived the loss of greats, starting with Walt himself, was that one generation groomed the next, trained them, nurtured them. Think of them like a Sorceror's Apprentice only without Nick Cage.

    That environment is gone ... and the future looks scary.

    And before someone vomits up John Lasseter's name (and he IS the closest thing to Walt out there), he's got his hands full with Pixar and WDFA and he also is getting older.

    ~Pass the Pixie Dust!~
    Just out of curiosity WDW1974' there are a ton of people on here and around the world who "get" the Disney Legacy and aspire to be Imagineers.' Would you completely discredit the possibility for a better tomorrow or is the future of WED/WDI doomed to be Fitzgerald followers? In other words how screwed are we?

  6. #141

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    Re: Rumor: Is Tony Baxter being shown the door?

    Quote Originally Posted by WDW1974 View Post
    The biggest non-secret in the Disney fanboi world is that Tony's posse (and the man himself) pass information on to Al Lutz. You don't hear anything do you?
    I'm sorry, but this made me giggle. While Tony is always talking about things at fan events (sometimes getting himself in trouble) he has no love for MiceAge/MiceChat. However interesting I've found your previous posts, this really makes me question you, since I know for a fact that you are WAY off base. Yes, there are highly placed people in the company who may leak info here, and I'm sure you know who they are, but what you just posted isn't the answer.
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  7. #142

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    Re: Rumor: Is Tony Baxter being shown the door?

    Quote Originally Posted by HMF View Post
    Just out of curiosity WDW1974' there are a ton of people on here and around the world who "get" the Disney Legacy and aspire to be Imagineers.' Would you completely discredit the possibility for a better tomorrow or is the future of WED/WDI doomed to be Fitzgerald followers? In other words how screwed are we?
    I don't know. I am a very cynical Spirit by nature. Life, sadly, usually proves me right.

    The past 10-15 years in general, not talking Disney or parks in particular, have been a case of 'how low can you go?'

    But I try not to think anything is hopeless. I do think Disney can still do amazing things ... when it wants to.

    The thing is: when do they want to?

    Look what UNI has created with WWoHP in FLA. Look at what Disney's answer is in the USA right now: a new fountain show and dance party in CA, and a 1972-parade in FLA.

    ~Pass the Pixie Dust!~

  8. #143

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    Re: Rumor: Is Tony Baxter being shown the door?

    I'd like you all to put some things in perspective.

    Marty got shown the door because his name was all over the failure of DCA. Guests thought it looked cheap and didn't want to pay Disney prices for it. Paul Pressler was pushed out because years of budget cuts (which made him a star) caught up with him and caused the decline of Disneyland. Whom, of power, would be most associated with these sorts of mistakes today? And who will likely take the fall for it?

    While Iger may be happy with lower cost attractions, he still wants a Disney quality end product. He is mostly concerned with the success of the entire company. If things are being done which save money now but hurt the bottom line down the road, the people responsible will be held accountable. Though we don't love every decision that Iger has been making, he isn't stupid. Rasulo was moved out, Sklar was booted, entire divisions have being shaken up. And for the most part, it has been to boot out the folks who allowed the cheapening of the Disney brand, or who failed to follow Iger's direction.

    It should be obvious to all of you reading this thread that there are factions within the Disney Company. And that certain folks are airing their dirty laundry and trying to promote an agenda. It has always been that way. Even in the days of Walt. Creative folks are classic drama queens. And current pressures in the company have highly placed folks across the company at each others throats as everyone fears for their jobs.

    Once Iger has finished cleaning house, some sense of normalcy should prevail. Though nothing is ever truly normal at Disney.
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  9. #144

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    Re: Rumor: Is Tony Baxter being shown the door?

    Quote Originally Posted by WDW1974 View Post
    When these guys go, who's left? And what vision for Disney Parks do they have? What history do they bring? What perspective?

    Do you want your future Disney attractions designed by folks whose vision of Disney is cartoon characters in every land/park? The same merchandise in every shop? Dumbed down attractions? Folks who can't recall a Disney that didn't involve character dining, pintrading and FastPasses?
    Key questions.

    Disney fans who are concerned about the answers should read the interview with Tony in the last issue of E-Ticket Magazine, where he talks about training the new generation of Imagineers.




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    imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

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  10. #145

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    Re: Rumor: Is Tony Baxter being shown the door?

    My my, this is becoming quite an interesting thread once more. Such informative and interesting stuff about Iger. I love learning all this stuff! I wonder how Iger really does feel about Tony...does Iger feel he is one of the ones cheapening the Disney brand? I would think Iger a fool if he did, but who knows what goes on behind the scene. I wanna know more lol

  11. #146

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    Re: Rumor: Is Tony Baxter being shown the door?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustysage View Post
    I'm sorry, but this made me giggle. While Tony is always talking about things at fan events (sometimes getting himself in trouble) he has no love for MiceAge/MiceChat. However interesting I've found your previous posts, this really makes me question you, since I know for a fact that you are WAY off base. Yes, there are highly placed people in the company who may leak info here, and I'm sure you know who they are, but what you just posted isn't the answer.
    Let me try and put this as delicately as possible ... um ... ah ... I don't know Tony's feelings about this site. I do know I have heard him (some with my very own ears) rip some sites. Never have I heard, or been told, Tony taking a shot against this one.

    As to him leaking info, I can only state what others have told me over the years, some who work on Flower St. And that is that info from Tony flows right into Al's columns. How it gets there only he and Al could say and neither will talk about it.

    Either way, the point you grabbed hold of was probably the most unimportant aspect of the post, so I don't want to really sidetrack the discussion.

    ~Pass the Pixie Dust!~

  12. #147

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    Re: Rumor: Is Tony Baxter being shown the door?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalFan View Post
    My my, this is becoming quite an interesting thread once more. Such informative and interesting stuff about Iger. I love learning all this stuff! I wonder how Iger really does feel about Tony...does Iger feel he is one of the ones cheapening the Disney brand? I would think Iger a fool if he did, but who knows what goes on behind the scene. I wanna know more lol
    I doubt that Iger has much of an opinion on the matter personally. He would likely be swayed by Tom and John. And the question there is what Tom, John, and Staggs think. And which of those three Iger needs to keep happy the most.

    But I can't imagine that anyone in the company thinks that Tony is associated with cheapening the Disney brand. Quite the contrary, Tony is usually associated with spending too much on pet projects to plus Disneyland. Tony's problem isn't that he isn't Disney enough, but rather that he likes expensive toys.

    My point above is that Tom is much more in the direct line of fire than Tony. Even if he manages to sideline Tony (which I'm not even sure is the case though others here seem to think it is), it won't solve the problem that he is also facing.

    I personally like Tom very much, and I can't pretend to know anything that happens at that level. I don't know what, if anything, will occur in the org chart of Imagineering. But I do know that an unprecedented number of rumors are leaking out of Imagineering. A lot of it right here on MiceChat (and not all of it true). It is intensely politically charged. And that, more than anything, leads me to believe that people are worried in Imagineering. That is why you are seeing threads like this. NOT necessarily because Tony may be in the line of fire, but that someone in Imagineering wants it to appear that way. In actuality, the history of Imagineering proves that everyone is constantly in the line of fire. Layoffs and retirements are the name of the game.

    All young fan boys want to be Imagineers one day. That is the last job on earth I'd want. Like carving ice sculptures in the pit of hell. Your masterpieces constantly being destroyed by the environment in which you work.

    But if any one Imagineer deserves to be the grand old papa of Imagineering and ensure that it retains its history, it would be Tony. And my guess is that is exactly what will ultimately happen. That is just a personal feeling. . . nothing more.

    And with that happy thought I'm off to dinner.
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  13. #148

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    Re: Rumor: Is Tony Baxter being shown the door?

    Thank you for all the info once again!

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    Re: Rumor: Is Tony Baxter being shown the door?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustysage View Post
    I'd like you all to put some things in perspective.

    Marty got shown the door because his name was all over the failure of DCA. Guests thought it looked cheap and didn't want to pay Disney prices for it. Paul Pressler was pushed out because years of budget cuts (which made him a star) caught up with him and caused the decline of Disneyland. Whom, of power, would be most associated with these sorts of mistakes today? And who will likely take the fall for it?
    I absolutely don't agree with the above at all. Marty knew DCA (as well as DSP and HKDL) were being 'built on the cheap'. He sold a bit of his soul by staying when he could have simply left the company a decade ago. You might even say he was rewarded for being a good soldier by keeping his position (and VERY large salary/benefits package) for years and then given the Ambassador position.

    And Pressler wasn't so much pushed out as he saw the writing on the walls and made a hasty retreat for retail, where he belonged to begin with. That may be a semantics debate, though.

    If you're looking for a 'fall guy' as to the state of Disney Parks ... there are plenty of guilty parties ... the biggest being Jay Rasulo, but understand The Weatherman is a big fan of his to this day. A WDI 'fall guy'? ... don't know who it will be (Delaney got canned after his huge, expensive and truly Disney-esque Pirateland addition to HKDL got axed), but I am pretty sure who it won't be ... and that's Tom Fitzgerald.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustysage View Post
    While Iger may be happy with lower cost attractions, he still wants a Disney quality end product. He is mostly concerned with the success of the entire company. If things are being done which save money now but hurt the bottom line down the road, the people responsible will be held accountable. Though we don't love every decision that Iger has been making, he isn't stupid. Rasulo was moved out, Sklar was booted, entire divisions have being shaken up. And for the most part, it has been to boot out the folks who allowed the cheapening of the Disney brand, or who failed to follow Iger's direction.
    I don't know what Iger wants. I haven't a clue. Eisner had a vision, and despite his awful last 5-6 years, more times than not, he hit it out of the park.

    Iger is a tech geek. He is interested in platforms and buying (see Pixar and Marvel and Dreamworks distribution) content rather than creating it, rather than being visionary and taking Disney to new and amazing frontiers. APPs don't impress me much, but I don't own an Apple product and never have (I almost say that with pride) ... and people who spend their time at Disney parks playing with their toys, barely even looking up while they do a status update on FB or Tweet about what they ate at Plaza Inn should be shot (OK, maybe just tarred and feathered!)

    You are right about Rasulo. Iger didn't like the fact he had set up a fiefdom with loyal lieutenants around the world, so he got what is largely viewed as a demotion (even if the job fits him better). But what you must understand is Tom Staggs has come in and not made one change to the exec ranks in P&R. George K's ascension to the DLR throne was a Rasulo move. Tom is steering a ship loaded with Jay's crew.

    Sklar was finally booted, but that was a money move, plain and simple.

    With D23 being a huge corporate initiative, Disney has gotten rid of the top two guys that fans look to -- Marty and Dave Smith. So, there's no reason to not think Tony will be next.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dustysage View Post
    It should be obvious to all of you reading this thread that there are factions within the Disney Company. And that certain folks are airing their dirty laundry and trying to promote an agenda. It has always been that way. Even in the days of Walt. Creative folks are classic drama queens. And current pressures in the company have highly placed folks across the company at each others throats as everyone fears for their jobs.

    Once Iger has finished cleaning house, some sense of normalcy should prevail. Though nothing is ever truly normal at Disney.
    There absolutely are factions, but I don't see much agenda pushing in this thread really. I think most people would agree Tony has been a huge asset to TWDC and losing him would be a big blow. But the reality is Tony really hasn't been there for a long time ... he's been marginalized and left to work on the little stuff, which he's done a great job on.

    The saddest thing to me is that the man who developed the template for what a 21st century take on a MK-style park should be won't be part of the new resort in Shanghai. Not because he can't still do amazing work ... but because the company that employs him doesn't care.

    ~Pass the Pixie Dust!~

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    Re: Rumor: Is Tony Baxter being shown the door?

    Quote Originally Posted by WDW1974 View Post
    The saddest thing to me is that the man who developed the template for what a 21st century take on a MK-style park should be won't be part of the new resort in Shanghai. Not because he can't still do amazing work ... but because the company that employs him doesn't care.
    I absolutely agree. Though I'm not sure he wanted to be part of HKDl or SDL. Those are shoestring projects. It is career suicide to be involved with those projects. Remember how much Tony was (and still is) blamed for the expense of DLP and its under-performance? Imagine what will befall those who Shepard Shanghai to its inevitable lackluster opening (at least if they don't get big bucks from Tokyo Land Company).

    And I don't think that Tom is immune as you believe. There are things that I won't post here which lead me to believe that he is worried as well. And it is probably a good thing for all those guys to be a bit worried.

    And I LOVE your "Pass the Pixie Dust" sig. Brilliant!
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