Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Save Disney Campaign

2003 and 2004 was a wild time for Disney.  Everyone wanted Michael Eisner out and he responded by forcing Roy into retirement.  I was a CP at the time and I remember hearing about Roy's forced retirement and the letter he sent out that day.

One of my main goals while living in Florida was to meet Roy, unfortunately that never happened.  I did hang out in the Animal Kingdom Lodge lobby once while he was staying there in hopes he would walk by, but he never did.  Anyway, here is what Roy's letter said:

Dear Michael,

It is with deep sadness and regret that I send you this letter of resignation from the Walt Disney Company, both as Chairman of the Feature Animation Division and as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors.

You well know that you and I have had serious differences of opinion about the direction and style of management in the Company in recent years. For whatever reason, you have driven a wedge between me and those I work with even to the extent of requiring some of my associates to report my conversations and activities back to you. I find this intolerable.

Finally, you discussed with the Nominating Committee of the Board of Directors its decision to leave my name off the slate of directors to be elected in the coming year, effectively muzzling my voice on the Board — much as you did with Andrea Van de Kamp last year.

Michael, I believe your conduct has resulted from my clear and unambiguous statements to you and the Board of Directors that after 19 years at the helm you are no longer the best person to run the Walt Disney Company. You had a very successful first 10-plus years at the Company in partnership with Frank Wells, for which I salute you. But, since Frank's untimely death in 1994, the Company has lost its focus, its creative energy, and its heritage.

As I have said, and as Stanley Gold has documented in letters to you and other members of the Board, this Company, under your leadership, has failed during the last seven years in many ways:

1. The failure to bring back ABC Prime Time from the ratings abyss it has been in for years and your inability to program successfully the ABC Family Channel. Both of these failures have had, and I believe, will continue to have, significant adverse impact on shareholder value.

2. Your consistent micro-management of everyone around you with the resulting loss of morale throughout this Company.

3. The timidity of your investments in our theme park business. At Disney's California Adventure, Paris, and now in Hong Kong, you have tried to build parks "on the cheap" and they show it, and the attendance figures reflect it.

4. The perception by all of our stakeholders — consumers, investors, employees, distributors and suppliers — that the Company is rapacious, soul-less, and always looking for the "quick buck" rather than the long-term value which is leading to a loss of public trust.

5. The creative brain drain of the last several years, which is real and continuing, and damages our Company with the loss of every talented employee.

6. Your failure to establish and build constructive relationships with creative partners, especially Pixar, Miramax, and the cable companies distributing our products.

7. Your consistent refusal to establish a clear succession plan.

In conclusion, Michael, it is my sincere belief that it is you who should be leaving and not me. Accordingly, I once again call for your resignation or retirement. The Walt Disney Company deserves fresh, energetic leadership at this challenging time in its history just as it did in 1984 when I headed a restructuring which resulted in your recruitment to the Company.

I have and will always have an enormous allegiance and respect for this Company, founded by my uncle, Walt, and father, Roy, and to our faithful employees and loyal stockholders. I don't know if you and other directors can comprehend how painful it is for me and the extended Disney family to arrive at this decision.

In accordance with Item 6 of Form 8-K and Item 7 of Schedule 14A, I request that you disclose this letter and that you file a copy of this letter as an exhibit to a Company Form 8-K.

With sincere regret,

Roy E. Disney


It was shortly after Roy's resignation that I heard about savedisney.com, a site that Roy and Stanley Gold had started.  They were giving away free stickers, so naturally I asked for one.  I have a bad habit of hoarding stickers so I kept it.



There were others with similar phrases, but this was the one I was sent.

The site also had pins and other things, which looking back now I should have bought, at least I still have the sticker!

 If you would like to know all about the Michael Eisner saga I suggest you buy the book Disney War.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Walt Disney's Guide to DIsneyland 1958: Part 3

The final chapter, let's do it.



Did Rolly Crump design that "Fun with Water" display?  It looks very Tower of the Four Winds-y
More Viewliner action as well!



Multiple pages dedicated to The Jungle Cruise!




1958 and they already have the Haunted Mansion concept art in the guide book.


That pool does look pretty fabulous...

Walt Disney's Guide to Disneyland 1958,  done!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Walt Disney's Guide to Disneyland 1958: Part 2

Alright kids, here is part 2 of 3. (click to enlarge)




I love this map!







This is my favorite page of the whole book.  20,000 Leagues Walk Through, View Liner, and The House of the Future!


I'm also a big fan of the classy clothes.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Walt Disney's Guide to Disneyland 1958: Part 1

I love these old Walt Disney's Guide to Disneyland.  I have a couple, the oldest being 1958.  I scanned the entire book a long time ago, but never got around to posting it.  The book is almost 30 pages, so I'll chop it up into 3 posts.  Here we go!


I like this "almost" Tink, look for her again on page 3.


I wish I was one of those kids!









Seatbelts?  We're already in Hell!  I think I'll wear a suit next time I go to the park.