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  1. #211

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    Re: What Did Paul Pressler Do To Disneyland?

    ORDDU: So just what exactly is your relaitonship to Mr. Pressler, Mr. Liver, duckling? Might you be a cousin of his? Perhaps a nephew? Or just President of his long, lost fan club?

  2. #212

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    Re: What Did Paul Pressler Do To Disneyland?

    Recap: Eisner & Wells & Katzenberg helped launched Disney to the stratosphere. With Katzenberg and Wells out of the picture, it was up to Eisner to micromanage everything to death, and hire a bunch of folks who had good resumes but weren't exactly the right people for the job.

    So who's the bigger fool? The fool or the fool who follows him? It doesn't matter. Eisner was a bad commander in chief as time showed, and Pressler made matters worse.


    Here's a more interesting thing to consider: What if Eisner and Pressler stayed in their positions?

    The answer: Disneyland wouldn't have had all the recent additions it has enjoyed in the recent years, starting with Buzz Lightyear.

    On top of that, the Pixar deal would have never come through and we'd be griping about the direct to video Toy Story 3. 2D animation would still be dead with no revival in sight. Dumbo 2, Snow White 2, and many other sequels would have been released. The parks would be in even worse shape.


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  3. #213

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    Re: What Did Paul Pressler Do To Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    I've been trying to understand your point of view by asking you questions. I'm not really sure how that infers anything. Specifically I wanted to know why you think cutting maintenance budgets specifically lead to the accidents at Disneyland, and why you insist that Pressler get more blame than anyone else.
    You obviously don't understand how safety systems are designed and operate and how they function as an interdependent set of practices and procedures which must be adequately manned, maintained, and monitored. And you don't want to either, apparently.

    I don't insist that Pressler get more blame, I insist that he get a major part of the blame as one of the executives who failed to ensure that the safety systems - people and otherwise - were up to standards instead of running rides until they break. He and the others get the big money for taking responsibility for the maintenance of necessary standards, not for just pulling in more profits. They seem to have forgotten that since they didn't contribute to their stock options and bonuses.


    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    I'm sure I won't.
    I expect that's what Luan Phi Dawson and Marcelo Torres thought also.

  4. #214

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    Re: What Did Paul Pressler Do To Disneyland?

    For obvious reasons I don't want to get into specific numbers. I will say though, without being specific, that Disney spends millions of dollars on labor, beyond what they simply pay for wages. Wages are only one part of the equation.
    We all know that an employee's take-home pay represents only a portion of the amount actually spent by the employer. That is pretty basic stuff.
    Last edited by Tom Chaney; 03-19-2007 at 09:05 AM.
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  5. #215

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    Re: What Did Paul Pressler Do To Disneyland?

    I'd like Mr. Liver, or anyone else here to offer some thoughts on "Disney Sports" which later became "Anaheim Sports" when Mr. Eisner and I presume Pressler no longer wanted to have the name associated with the struggling Angels and Mighty Ducks of the time. (Disney /Anaheim Sports was part of Pressler's domain at the time).

    Was it after Wells that Eisner made the decision to buy the Angels from the Autrys, and at the same time pay the Kings a bundle of money to put an NHL team in Anaheim? The Angels deal was that Disney had 25 per cent ownership, with the option for complete control on Gene's passing which happened in 1998.

    I read many stories where Tony Tavares, the man who they hired to head up the sports operation, butted heads with Pressler, who certainly had no concept of how winning in professional sports worked.

    But it should be pointed out, as I recall, Disney spent $100 million for the needed Anaheim Stadium renovation...and put the team up for sale as it won a World Series.

    Any thoughts on who should get blame/credit in the whole Anaheim sports thing?

    --Barry
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  6. #216

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    Cool Re: What Did Paul Pressler Do To Disneyland?

    I can't believe I read through all 18 pages. Wow, strong voices on both sides of the argument. First off, I started reading this to see what reasons I should be hating PP for. I remember the decline of the park during this era, most notably a crumbling, peeling Storybookland ride. I felt sad upon riding as I noticed how run down it was, while I wondered what my son was seeing on his first ride. Did he see the magic displayed, or did he see some crummy looking models? Some of his Lego creations looked better, and I wondered what he saw.

    Kudos to MrLiver and ex-WDI for putting out there a differing side of view, and for refusing to back away from their viewpoints, no matter how many times they were villified for having this other opinion. Kudos to some of the Disneyphiles who engaged in a civil discussion while putting out there their case, and shame on those who think that others shouldn't post here if they don't think just like you do. Think about it - even though you completely disagree, aren't you glad to see the other side of things, to know what you are up against?

    Anyway, after reading it all, and after my own experiences working for the Mouse, I've come to the conclusion that there is truth in both arguments. Anyone still following this thread care to hear me out?

    Paul took over, made no secret of being an outsider, made no secret of wanting things to be run differently. His higher ups were telling him to cost cut and make money, something every company does. He did so, to the detriment of the appearance, functionality, and safety of the park. That's not open to debate - he apparently made statements to that effect.

    Where MrLiver comes in correctly, next, is that for the most part, this didn't change anything, at least in that people who loved Disneyland still came to DL because they loved it. I did. I had APs with my wife for a year in '99. I, like most other people, didn't know who was running things, or what their policies were. Even as I saw things 'being run into the ground,' that didn't change the fact that I loved DL and would continue coming back. Yes, I hoped things would be fixed, but the disrepair and closed rides didn't stop me from coming back, over and over again. I suspect that the majority of people did the same.

    What of the people who got fed up and stayed away? That protest vote was negated by the thousands of families who knew the dream of DL, who had saved to come, who knew nothing of the condition of the park and likely didn't know any better than to accept what they were given when they got there.

    So with no consequences for the new policies, and with the attendance and profits either steady or rising, it appeared to management and Wall Street that the new cost-cutting policies were working. Was the park falling into disrepair? Of course. Did it matter? No, it didn't, as MrLiver pointed out - people kept coming. Paul was doing his job and was a darling of the financial world. (And no, I'm not his apolgist, relative, publicist, fan-club writer, or anything else, thank you very much.) But Disney was making money, and mgmt was solely in the corporate mindset, which was all that mattered. That's still the problem today, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

    Cut away to today. There was a golden window with Matt Oimet when old was made new on a grand scale, people found out about it, excitement grew, and the grand finale for all the refurbishment was the 50th celebration. People came in droves. Record attendence, which has spilled over ever since. So it appears that the correction of the policy of decline has brought about huge benefits, with more people than ever visiting the resort these days. Will we ever know what attendance and revenue would have been like had PP/Eisner followed suit? No, but we know what has happened once some TLC is applied.

    I think the sad thing to realize is that we are on the brink of watching history repeat itself. The corporate mindset is still the same one that Eisner/Presley had - if we don't fix it, people will still come. If we don't treat the Cast Members well, we'll just get new ones. Do guests who love Disney lose out because of this? Of course. But MrLiver is right - its just business - at least to management. Will Disney lovers still come if things go right back to the way they used to be (under Rasulo/Grier)? Yes, we will. That is Liver's point.

    Lets just hope John Lassiter continues to play a strong role in the current game. Too bad we lost Roy when he caved to get his seat back. I miss SaveDisney - but at least we have Al to shine light on things. Trust me, the problems you saw on stage during the PP/Harris era are nothing compared to the crappy conditions backstage, and those aren't on anyone's agenda to fix any time soon. Anyhow, keep on keeping on everybody! Good discussion all...

  7. #217

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    Wink Re: What Did Paul Pressler Do To Disneyland?

    I can't believe I read through all 18 pages. Wow, strong voices on both sides of the argument. First off, I started reading this to see what reasons I should be hating PP for. I remember the decline of the park during this era, most notably a crumbling, peeling Storybookland ride. I felt sad upon riding as I noticed how run down it was, while I wondered what my son was seeing on his first ride. Did he see the magic displayed, or did he see some crummy looking models? Some of his Lego creations looked better, and I wondered what he saw.

    Kudos to MrLiver and ex-WDI for putting out there a differing side of view, and for refusing to back away from their viewpoints, no matter how many times they were villified for having this other opinion. Kudos to some of the Disneyphiles who engaged in a civil discussion while putting out there their case, and shame on those who think that others shouldn't post here if they don't think just like you do. Think about it - even though you completely disagree, aren't you glad to see the other side of things, to know what you are up against?

    Anyway, after reading it all, and after my own experiences working for the Mouse, I've come to the conclusion that there is truth in both arguments. Anyone still following this thread care to hear me out?

    Paul took over, made no secret of being an outsider, made no secret of wanting things to be run differently. His higher ups were telling him to cost cut and make money, something every company does. He did so, to the detriment of the appearance, functionality, and safety of the park. That's not open to debate - he apparently made statements to that effect.

    Where MrLiver comes in correctly, next, is that for the most part, this didn't change anything, at least in that people who loved Disneyland still came to DL because they loved it. I did. I had APs with my wife for a year in '99. I, like most other people, didn't know who was running things, or what their policies were. Even as I saw things 'being run into the ground,' that didn't change the fact that I loved DL and would continue coming back. Yes, I hoped things would be fixed, but the disrepair and closed rides didn't stop me from coming back, over and over again. I suspect that the majority of people did the same.

    What of the people who got fed up and stayed away? That protest vote was negated by the thousands of families who knew the dream of DL, who had saved to come, who knew nothing of the condition of the park and likely didn't know any better than to accept what they were given when they got there.

    So with no consequences for the new policies, and with the attendance and profits either steady or rising, it appeared to management and Wall Street that the new cost-cutting policies were working. Was the park falling into disrepair? Of course. Did it matter? No, it didn't, as MrLiver pointed out - people kept coming. Paul was doing his job and was a darling of the financial world. (And no, I'm not his apolgist, relative, publicist, fan-club writer, or anything else, thank you very much.) But Disney was making money, and mgmt was solely in the corporate mindset, which was all that mattered. That's still the problem today, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

    Cut away to today. There was a golden window with Matt Oimet when old was made new on a grand scale, people found out about it, excitement grew, and the grand finale for all the refurbishment was the 50th celebration. People came in droves. Record attendence, which has spilled over ever since. So it appears that the correction of the policy of decline has brought about huge benefits, with more people than ever visiting the resort these days. Will we ever know what attendance and revenue would have been like had PP/Eisner followed suit? No, but we know what has happened once some TLC is applied.

    I think the sad thing to realize is that we are on the brink of watching history repeat itself. The corporate mindset is still the same one that Eisner/Presley had - if we don't fix it, people will still come. If we don't treat the Cast Members well, we'll just get new ones. Do guests who love Disney lose out because of this? Of course. But MrLiver is right - its just business - at least to management. Will Disney lovers still come if things go right back to the way they used to be (under Rasulo/Grier)? Yes, we will. That is Liver's point.

    Lets just hope John Lassiter continues to play a strong role in the current game. Too bad we lost Roy when he caved to get his seat back. I miss SaveDisney - but at least we have Al to shine light on things. Trust me, the problems you saw on stage during the PP/Harris era are nothing compared to the crappy conditions backstage, and those aren't on anyone's agenda to fix any time soon. Anyhow, keep on keeping on everybody! Good discussion all...

  8. #218

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    Re: What Did Paul Pressler Do To Disneyland?

    Nice post, sound spinner and welcome to mice chat!

    You've made valid points throughout but I'd like to make things a bit clearer, is that none of us really disagreed that it's all about business with Paul Pressler, but where we disagreed is the level of 'success' that Mr. Liver was advocating.

    This thread is supposed to be about what was done to DISNEYLAND... both the good and the bad. And in that respect, there was more negative here and that's the argument of success we were trying to argue.

    Disney Company financially remained successful, but it's impossible to tell how much MORE money could have been made if they stuck with the business practice that Walt laid down. Had DCA been designed properly, it wouldn't have opened in 2001. It might have had its grand opening at Disneyland's 50th for all we know. Impossible to tell but one thing was certain, Disneyland's attractions that opened from the late 80s to mid 90s are all mega stars. If Tomorrowland was planned better, I'm sure even more guests would have made the extra trip to see it.

    So in my eyes, in all areas, Pressler was NOT as successful as some are saying he is. And yes, Eisner is definitely at fault too.



    whew, can't believe i opened this can of worms again.


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  9. #219

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    Re: What Did Paul Pressler Do To Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by GrimmGreen View Post
    the funny thing is , is i went to Disneyland a few times during the Pressler era and honestly didn't notice much of anything out of place , of course this is before the days of micechat but still , i guess it's just something i never thought about before.yay for the internet
    I just have to interject here.
    I was in total agony during those years!
    With every new visit more and more distressing.
    Writing letters to DL, AL, anyone I could think of, whilst my beloved Disneyland literally crumbled around me.
    I cried over this! Coming from my perspective of going from 1962, to present day, you didn't even have to look, it was evident in every way.
    I was so furious when they built DCA, Cheap, and still left Disneyland to rott. I call this time the Decade of Decay, and I hope the stock holders pay attention to this from now on!
    I made a comment to my husband that it looks like it won't stop until people are maimed and dead, and Disney's carefully maintained safety record is ruined. Sure enough...Dark days.
    Goin around the world...and back to Disneyland!

  10. #220

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    Re: What Did Paul Pressler Do To Disneyland?

    You tell him Tom Chaney. Actually, I'm beginning to think that Mr. Liver IS Paul Pressler. Or he's a Republican. Listen to him put the "spin" on the Paul Pressler era. All the reasons, the what if?s, excuse. He's still trying to sell it.

  11. #221

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    Re: What Did Paul Pressler Do To Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    In other words, I have more faith in humans to make rational, and yet bad decisions, than to just be too stupid to do a job, as it seems many here believe.
    I thought you said you were a realist? Give me a break. Everyone should know by now that there ARE some people who are just too stupid to do a job. Case in point: George W. Bush

  12. #222

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    Re: What Did Paul Pressler Do To Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Chaney View Post
    I'm just a little curious about all this "Pressler Love" posting lately. I know the poor schmuck just lost his job at The Gap.

    Is this, perhaps, an orchestrated effort to get him back to Disney... or somewhere, anywhere?

    I know it's got to be hard to bounce back from comments that a company's stock would rise if you'd just go away. Pressler is vilified by most Disney wonks. Pressler was shown the Gap's door. That ain't, frankly, a great track record

    Where does a poor guy who's used to a seven-figure salary go from here?

    Will yet another major corporation hire this guy for mega-bucks or has he burnt out. Can we convince all the rubes out there that this guy was really a master manager?

    Or, is it a paper hat and a spatula next?
    But how can someone who was sooo successful running the Disney parks, according to Mr. Liver, fall into and then out of The Gap so soon? His seven figure salary doesn't necessarily mean he deserves it. He should start over either with a paper hat and a spatula or in the mailroom somewhere because he doesn't seem to have a clue managing a company. Let's hope he has burnt out because I don't think any other company can afford Paul Pressler's success.

  13. #223

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    Re: What Did Paul Pressler Do To Disneyland?

    Wow, 19 pages. I must say I'm impressed with the majority of the quality of the discussion. Before this thread, I'd never even heard of the Peter Principle. Mr. Pressler has become the perfect example of what you DON'T do when responsibly managing a corporation, at ANY level.

    It doesn't matter if someone is Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, whatever; what matters in a corporation, in my opinion, fundamentally is distributing a good product externally and harboring excellent company loyalty internally. Unfortunately nowadays, "loyalty" has started to be seen as a type of archaic term in business like "mimeography." This is a trend I optimistically hope is taken 180 degrees, although "mimeography" can still stay away.

    I think Pressler, wanting to be the hip new rising star, forgot what fundamentals were put in for. He had no problem with "harvesting the product" but without looking and accepting the inside, he refuses to see how he's perceived by others; and by doing so could not see what his "trends" were doing to DL.

    Hopefully, current management levels haven't forgotten the basic internals and can make DL a place where not only the guest enjoys being there, but the CM as well.
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