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New Chairman Visits Disney Parks Around the World

Thomas Smith

by , Editorial Content Director, Disney Experiences

In the photo (from left to right) are Bernard Meyer, Managing Partner for Meyer Werft, Tom Staggs and Karl Holz
Tom Staggs has been on the move this month, touching ground in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Paris and Germany during his first “world tour” as chairman of Parks & Resorts. And at each stop, there’s been a recurring theme: people passionate about building the future.

That’s certainly happening in Germany where construction on the Disney Dream cruise ship has been moving right along. Tom arrived right as they were beginning to join the hull sections together to form a ship structure that will feature 14 decks and 1,250 staterooms with a capacity of 4,000 guests. It’s hard to imagine, but there will be approximately 66 million pounds of steel cut and welded together, some 37,000 pipes produced, and nearly 5,000 miles of cabling used by the time it is complete. The ship will sail from Germany to its new home in Port Canaveral, Florida later this year before embarking on its maiden voyage in January.

An ad from Disneyland Paris’ New Generation Festival: Buzz Lightyear soars over Disneyland Paris.

An ad from Disneyland Paris’ New Generation Festival: Lightning McQueen drives past Cinderella in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Tom also visited Disneyland Paris just in time for the launch of The New Generation Festival. The year-long celebration will highlight a new generation of heroes from Disney films such as “The Princess and the Frog” and “Lilo & Stitch,” as well as Disney•Pixar’s “Toy Story,” “Ratatouille” and “The Incredibles.”

Tom also got a status report on the new Toy Story Playland coming to life at Paris’ Walt Disney Studios this August.

Tom Staggs samples the excellent Peking Roast Duck at Hong Kong Disneyland.

Earlier in March, the team at Hong Kong Disneyland also welcomed Tom during his first visit to Asia as chairman. Tom met with Cast Members, dived into the operational details of the resort and was briefed on Hong Kong Disneyland’s celebration honoring the Chinese Year of the Tiger. Tom said one of the highlights of his visit was meeting with Hong Kong Disneyland’s very first Cast Member, Mariam Im, and presenting her with a 10-year service pin.

Tom Staggs visits Mediterranean Harbor during a Tokyo DisneySea park tour.  In the photo (from left to right) are Dave Vermeulen, VP & Executive Managing Director, Walt Disney Attractions Japan, Tom Staggs, Daniel Jue, Director, Design and Production, Tokyo Disney Resort, Walt Disney Imagineering Japan, Jim Hunt, EVP/CFO, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, Bill Earnest, President and Managing Director, Asia, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts and Craig Russell, Chief Design & Project Delivery Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering.

And during his visit to Tokyo Disney Resort, Tom managed to pack in more than even our most seasoned guests by touring both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. He met with several Cast Members and Imagineers – and tried all eight flavors of popcorn sold at the parks.

Tom summed up his recent travels this way: “When you spend time at all our properties, you appreciate how unique each one really is. Of course, there is a lot that is the same. Our properties share the same DNA. But at the end of the day, each has its own identity, its own heritage. And each has its own individual challenges. One thing stands out above all else though, and that is the quality, strength and passion of our Disney Cast members.”


  • All 4 of us visited all Disney Properties around the world in 2 years and 8 months. I am hoping we could do it within one year. Only Paris Disney is missing to make it under one year since the last time we were there was July 2007. Oh well!

    We are so addicted to Disney but have to wait for every school holidays to go.

    Can’t wait for the second D23 Expo coming August 2011. Will bring the children this time.


  • I thought watching Expedition Everest getting built was mighty fascinating. Now looking at the picture of the Disney Dream, I realize I was incorrect. WOW!

  • Oh and one more thing: Please bring Captain EO back to Epcot!

  • I just logged on to tell Tom to please see that we get more Muppets at Disney World and, what do you know, the top of the blog is showing MuppetVision 3D! Looks like a sign! Please – let’s see more Muppets in the parks.

    I’d also love to see an Indiana Jones ride at Walt Disney World!

    And you know what would be FANTASTIC at Disney Hollywood? A Star Wars cantina! Complete with Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes! We gotta keep up with the Jones over at Universal, now! 😀

  • That commercial for the New Generation Festival was great!

  • Dear Mr. Tom Staggs, please bring the Adventurers Club back to Orlando.

    Warmest regards,
    Scott K

    DVC Member
    Castaway Club Member
    Adventurers Club, Inducted Member

  • OMG! That’s totally awesome that Tom has already visited every single Disney Park in the known universe!!! Tom seems like such a fantastic guy, but I am still super jealous of him for getting to do such an awesome global Disney Parks trip!

  • Having visited every Disney Park in the world I could not agree more with the summary! I love how all the parks are so similar and yet so different, it’s what makes me want to keep going back to the Non-US parks over and over! The Disneyland Resort will always be my favourite Disney Destination though 😉 Bring on the Worldwide Premier Passport (Hey, I can dream can’t I?) lol 🙂 Loved this article 🙂

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