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Walt Disney World’s Meg Crofton to oversee Disneyland Paris in parks management shakeup

Thursday, 7th July 2011 at 14:45

Meg Crofton Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

Eighteen months into his role as chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Tom Staggs has announced a big reorganisation for the department that appears to bring Disneyland Paris more tightly under Disney’s managerial wing. The former President of Worldwide Operations position has been eliminated following the retirement of Al Weiss; in its place a new expanded role for Walt Disney World President Meg Crofton, pictured above, who will now not only oversee the resort and four parks in Florida but serve in a new position as President of Operations in the US and France. Reporting to Meg will be George Kalogridis of Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California (and previously chief operating officer in Paris) and our own Philippe Gas of Euro Disney SCA, the group which operates Disneyland Paris. Meanwhile, previous Euro Disney CEO Karl Holz will add Disney Vacation Club to his current role overseeing Disney Cruise Line and Adventures by Disney.

In a memo sent on Tuesday Tom Staggs writes,

“Meg’s strong leadership abilities and broad experience make her the perfect person to lead resort operations in our established markets in the United States and Europe. Meg will report directly to me and become a member of my executive committee, allowing us to continue the great work of sharing best practices and leveraging our operational expertise across our properties. Meg understands and respects the unique heritage and characteristics of each of our theme park resort locations, which gives me great confidence in her ability to fulfill this role while preserving and enhancing what makes each of our properties so special in their own right.”

Whilst crossovers between Disneyland Paris and the American resorts have been noticeably increasing in recent years (the UK even had a joint Paris/Florida TV campaign earlier this year), this appears to be the firmest move yet in bringing their trans-Atlantic management closer. In fact, the Orlando Sentinel reports that it is all part of an initiative known as “One Disney”, which has been seeking to merge functions and responsibilities between resorts. What do you think — Is it a good thing for Disneyland Paris to be brought closer to the American resorts? And is Meg the right person to do it?

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  • I’m not sure we’ll notice much differences thought if we do I think it’ll be for the better.

  • I hope she can bring the high standards of the US parks to Paris, i.e. the lack of
    maintenance and the training of the castmembers

  • The sooner disneyland paris resembles USA – the better!
    There’s alot of differences especially customer service.

  • I love the fact that Disneyland resort Paris is so European and different in atmosphere to it’s American counterparts. I hope this doesn’t change Things too much. The only thing lacking has been Disney Paris looking a bit faded over the last 8 years since our first visit but judging from the recent refurbishment it’s looking fantastic. Can’t wait to see it at Halloween.

  • Not sure about this one, but at least it shows that the Walt Disney Company haven’t forgotten about Paris!

  • This is very good news for merchandising but is this good news for the resort overall we will have to wait and see. Will Gas become more of a puppet figure to TWDC wims.

  • I think this is a great idea. I am visiting Disney Paris this fall and have had a lot of difficulty planning. I am not staying at one of the resorts and this limits me to what my family can do. No character breakfast unless you stay at a resort. Trying to plan months in advance is also very difficult. I guess I’m just used to Disneyland and the flexibility.

  • What are you talking about when you mean the US standards? Has anyone been to WDW recently. That resort is also in a very bad state and that’s because of Meg Crofton not greenlighting any budgets. The US Disney Boards have many threads about the bad quality of the resort. Many Boards constantly point out the issues with maintenance. Here in Europe people seem to have another standard when it comes to Disney quality. That’s good for the company, but bad for the quality.

    I don’t think it is good for Paris. Until now the CEO reported directly to the Chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, now there is a new middle management. Everyone who works, knows that it is better to eliminate as many as possible steps in decission making.

    I don’t know if anyone has heared of the rumour that Disney might sell the themeparks or spin them off from TWDC. Last weeks the CEO and the Board of Directors have been to WDW and met with a Saudi Prince and a Chinese delegation. Just rumours.

  • Sorry but I´m not happy. The “high standards” of the US-Parks are in case of WDW deeper then the standards of DLP. So it could be that we get with the WDW-boss meg crofton lower standards then ever. Meg Crofton is a very controversial person. Most of the US fans hate meg because they say that she destroyed WDW by less maintenance and a hard HR policy. Maybe someone should take a look to the us discussion about meg and judge after that. Just to believe that something would be better with a woman from the us parks is a bit naive. At the moment they organize demonstrations again this decision. So should we really be happy?

  • And for the merchandising: They sell more trash over there as in europe. And most with a “Park and Resort” label and not with a special label for every park or resort. So forget “Disneyland Paris” on your shirt and start to love the boring but One Disney “Disney Parks and Resorts”.

  • I have a bad feeling about this…

  • This is a very good idea not sure why everyone is being so negative. DLRP can not be allowed to drift along aimlessly as it has been doing for so long. It is in danger of becomeing a dead duck and needs to be brought into line!!! The only problem I see is that it could be to little to late!

  • Not good news, as anyone following the monorail debacle, the homogenized merchandise, increased prices and reduction of services under Iron Meg’s watch can attest, lets hope she keeps her greedy little hands as far away from DLRP as possible.

  • DLRP has a different atmostphire, I understand that it needs sorting out, but I would like it to retain its Europen style, good luck anyway, its not a dead duck and no way near being so, just look at the investment that has be going on throughout the parks, at last the third park is being sorted out, its also a safe place to be, unlike some other places in the uk.

  • imagineerthat  16th July 2011, 09:27

    I have mixed feelings about this, seems nice to see a unity between the 8 parks but I do not like the “Disney Parks” brand, I hope that it doesn’t infect the Paris parks like it has here in America. As for upkeep here at Disneyland in California things are kept up really well but Florida is experiencing some problems which is all Meg, we’ll jsut have to see how involved she actually gets and hopefully lets Anaheim and Paris keep doing their own thing.

  • I think there are pros and cons to the park being closer to its American sisters. One thing I really do hope it means that we’ll see a lot of the wonderful celebrations they had over in America that we missed out on, such as the Year of a Million Dreams!

    I have heard some bad things about Meg though and it makes me wonder if it’ll just make it worse for DLRP, they might forget about us completely if they’re too busy making money from the two American ones and they might just keep on doing the absolute minimum for us.

    Also, I agree about the whole “Disney Parks” brand thing, though. I was upset to hear that my friend couldn’t find a single WDW tshirt when she was over there and I’m so annoyed at myself for not buying a Disneyland one when I was over there a few years ago because I feel like I’ve missed out on it now.

  • Thanks for the news. One thing that would make me happy would be for Cast Members to clamp down hard on smoking around the parks and in queue lines, and to organise and enforce well behaved queue lines to meet Characters. These are two things that badly let down DLP at present.
    I am not against smoking, as I use the designated areas, but it makes me mad to see people walking past CMs without being stopped. It seems like Cms have given up.
    Friends of ours who went to DLP at least twice a year from 1992, and now live in Florida near WDW, recently visited DLP again and were shocked at how it has changed for the worse – they especially noticed the smoking, pushing and shoving for Characters and buses, and also how rude and unfriendly some CMs in the parks and NBC hotel were.
    I have always tried to defend DLP against bad reviews and comments, as I love going there, and have great fondness for it, but it is getting harder to do these days if one is going to be honest.
    We don’t want DLP to be a smaller clone of WDW, but we do need the high Disney standards in the resort.

  • I hope she does something to redress the language balance far to much French spoken especially on some of the rides and shows it’s Disneyland not franceland not all visitors are French
    I speak a little french but my children of 4 and 7 are a little young to learn french.
    it used to be 50/50 now it seems 90% french spoken.
    it can get a little tiring having a small child saying what does that mean daddy what did mickey say!!!

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