Let me once again preface this post by saying it is only a rumor at this point in time:
In another topic, BlueSkyDriveBy has pieced together some recent items, and it appears to suggest that Tony Baxter is being shown the door by Disney.
Take a look at some recent info which really adds up to not looking good for this amazing imagineer, who brought us some of DL's most iconic attractions, and endured the Eisner Era of Errors.
Could this possibly be what is going on behind the scenes? Is Tony Baxter being placed to the side by Disney Management?Originally posted in the topic: Will George K. rescue DL's 55th, or is DL's Birthday Celebration already doomed?
Originally Posted by BlueSkyDriveBy:Originally Posted by Aladdin
Right now the Managers of DL are ignoring DL's 55th and that is PATHETIC. HECK, not even Tony Baxter is hanging around DL for it's 55th, he will be up at the Walt Disney Family Miuseum instead.
You want to know where one of the biggest 55th events is? At the DL Hotel, AND DISNEYLAND ISN'T EVEN SPONSORING IT! It's a celebration of 55 Year's of DL Music, with Dapper Dans, Billy Hill and the Hillbillies, Rod Miller (the now retired Disneyland Main Street Piano Player) and it's a fundraiser for the Orange County Childrens Hospital.
I'd like to expand on your thoughts here, Aladdin, because there are a couple of dots to connect that you might not be aware of, regarding the event at the DLH.
The banquet is being hosted by the Disneyland Alumni Club, of which I've been a member for more years than I can count. The DAC holds this banquet every five years, as a way for old-timers like myself to meet with former cast members whom we worked with, and share old memories while being wined and dined with fabulous entertainment. And one of our long-term members being discussed here, Tony Baxter, has always attended these banquets. But, as you pointed out, not this year. He'll be up in San Francisco with Jack Lindquist and Matt Ouimet, giving a presentation on DL at the WDFM. Given all the little tidbits that have bubbled up over the past several weeks on this site and others regarding Tony, something doesn't smell quite right.
According to a well-known insider on another discussion board and web site, Tom Fitzgerald (who now oversees the entire DL Resort for WDI) is in charge of the DLH Pool retheme and expansion, not Tony Baxter, who is the current WDI creative exec for DL. Tony was the WDI creative exec for DL over 11 years ago, when the Neverland retheme of the pool was conducted under his direction. But now, a different themed overlay is being given to the pool area and the new expansion, which is being directed by Fitzgerald. Red flag #1.
According to lurkyloo in the D23 40th Anniversary Archives event thread, there was a VIP party held in the Archives after the event, but Tony did not attend the party. The man has five more years at Disney than Dave Smith, and is still a Senior VP at WDI. Yet he isn't important enough to Disney to merit an invite to the Archives VIP party? Why the snub for one of your most well-known and popular senior execs, Disney? Red flag #2.
Then there's this issue, with Tony at the WDFM on DL's 55th instead of being in Anaheim. No special presentation at the park, no event to honor DL's 55 years, nothing that Tony would most likely attend, so he's doing a late afternoon speaking engagement in San Francisco instead. And as Aladdin pointed out, he won't be able to attend the DAC Banquet later that evening at the DL Hotel, as he has done for past banquets. Red flag #3.
If I didn't know any better, I'd say that this suspiciously looks like Tony is being deliberately ignored by Disney, being pushed into the background as if he didn't exist, much like they're doing with DL's 55th.
Now that Tom Fitzgerald is overseeing the entire DL Resort for WDI, which basically makes him Tony's immediate boss, I have to question Disney's future interest in maintaining Baxter's position with the company. Looks to me like Tony might not be around much longer, given how Disney is currently treating him and the park he's still responsible for creatively.
Is he being excluded from from certain Disney Functions?
And will Tony even be given a chance and a budget to finish correcting the problems still remaining from TL'98, or is the handwriting on the wall, already?