Bob Weis. Is this name familiar at all? No? Well he's the big time, high profile Imagineer that is overseeing the extensive DCA redo. Well not really. He was in charge of Disney's America. Oh now the name is beginning to ring a bell.
Well, with all this discussion about construction, sightlines, theme, and the overall beautification of Disney’s California Adventure, it’s only appropriate to get things straight and hold Bob Weis accountable for the changes facing DCA and not John Lasseter. Not to say John Lasseter has no involvement in the process, he was the one who appointed Weis, just the assumption that Lasseter is at the drawing board calling the shots should be put into focus.
Understandably, Lasseter’s celebrity heavyweight status might prompt any casual fanboy to credit Lasseter for every single change going into DCA. But the lofty and decidedly vague title of Principal Creative Advisor for Walt Disney Imagineering does not automatically translate to ultimate creative control. I’m sure since many of the lands tread closely to Weis’s original designs for Disney’s America he's the one to offering hands on ideas and has signed off on most of the projects under construction.
Another reason one might assume Lasseter is in Glendale drawing up blue sky sketches or pitching ride proposals himself, is because Disneyland has an equally legendary creative in charge over there. And while no one is calling him the next Walt Disney, his influence is equally impressive. Tony Baxter, who has worked on projects like Splash Mountain and Discoveryland at Disneyland Paris, is the perfect fit to survey future development plans for Disneyland. Which is why one would think if a WDI heavy hitter is in one park, another heavy hitter should be in the other park.
And lastly, don’t let the increasing presence of PIXAR characters fool you into thinking Lasseter has a creative monopoly over the Disneyland Resort. (Don’t give the man too much credit.) The fact is Disney serving the public’s demand for the PIXAR characters and stories. Perhaps if Disney would produce more hit feature films in the future we might not see as many PIXAR tie ins.
Ultimately, I say give credit where credit is due. It’s easy to heap praise (or blame) on Lasseter being that he is the most visible, but that should not diminish the work by Bob Weis who is basically tasked with making this 1Billion dollar make over work.