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Who was Paul Pressler and what did he have to do with Disneyland?

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  • Who was Paul Pressler and what did he have to do with Disneyland?

    I'm kinda new to the behind the scenes things at Disneyland--In many I've read and heard Paul Pressler is mentioned. Who is he and what did he do to Disneyland? It seems that he isn't liked very much! Please Help me Fill in this gap in Disney history!!!

  • #2
    Wow - I'm getting frustrated and angry just trying to formulate a simple answer to your question.....
    The Mur
    Two different worlds.....we live in two different worlds


    • #3
      Originally posted by disneyprincess88
      I'm kinda new to the behind the scenes things at Disneyland--In many I've read and heard Paul Pressler is mentioned. Who is he and what did he do to Disneyland? It seems that he isn't liked very much! Please Help me Fill in this gap in Disney history!!!
      He's a spawn of the dark lord himself....yes i'm talking about satan. Him and his evil twin ran DL a few years back and almost destroyed it. grrrrr.


      • #4
        Paul Pressler was by far the most notoriouse and evil executive The Walt Disney company has ever hired. He was even worse than Eisner, which is saying alot. He was the President of the Disneyland resort for a few years in the ninties. He made several un needed budget cuts that slashed the resort. Lack of maintenence, paint peeling, and poor quality products all resulted from the budget cuts. ya know how bad the tomorrowland rehab turned out? Yep, all because of his close budgets. Also as a result, the sailing ship columbia was left un maintained for years, and then the wood became so rotten, that on rope snapped and flew into the heads of a few people on the deck, killing them. THis was the first ever Disney caused accident in the history of Disney theme parks. And what does Eisner do? He PROMOTES him to president of all Disney parks in general. All parks suffered under his wrath. And DL suffered even more under the reighn of the mistress of all evil, Cynthia Harrisssssssssssssssssssssssssss. Now he's gone for good working at GAP. Now, the great Matt Ouimet has replaced him and is twice the president Paul Pressler will ever be.
        Hail Matt Ouimet, the savior of Disneyland!


        • #5
          Thanks for filling me in! I think that the future of Disneyland is brighter now that he's gone.


          • #6
            Originally posted by disneyprincess88
            Please Help me Fill in this gap in Disney history!!!
            Funny you should put it that way .... he left Disney to become CEO (or was it President? COTB? I forget) of The Gap.

            Paul's problem was that he was an excellent shopkeeper. He got his start with Disney in the Disney Stores, and he did a lot of good there. Then they made him President of Disneyland, the post currently held by Matt Ouimet. Unfortunately, his expertise at retailing did not translate well into the theme park business. Eventually he was promoted (thanks Al) to become vice-president (?) in charge of all Disney theme parks (as well as the sports franchises and I think the Cruise line).

            He did a lot of good in the eyes of the stockholdes and upper management, but not so well in the eyes of the customers. He did things on the cheap (such as DCA and TL '98), and emphasized merchandizing over attractions (new or maintained).
            "She's taking everything. She's taking the house, she's taking the kid, she's taking the dog. IT'S NOT EVEN HER DOG. IT'S MY DOG! SHE'S TAKING . . . MY DOG!"
            - Ron Livingston, "Band of Brothers"


            • #7
              Paul Pressler was the GREAT SATAN :devil: (at least when it comes to Disney Parks) He gutted the maintenance budgets of our beloved Parks and replaced attractions with merchandise. He was a very bad thing for Disney and I am glad that he and former Disneyland president Cynthia (Spelling?)Harris are both gone. Good riddance to bad rubbish.
              :bow: :bow: :bow: ALL HAIL MATT OUIMET :bow: :bow: :bow:
              Charlie :wave:
              MiceChat User #1037


              • #8
                Paul Pressler has a retail backgroud and was brought into Disney to launch and run The Disney Store. He was very successful there, so was moved to president of Disneyland. He was brought in to make the park more profitable, and he did.

                He did it by turning it into a mall. More shops, fewer rides. Higher price, lower costs. Guest satisfaction was not so important. He lead DL during DCA design and construction, and his finger prints are all over the park. Cut costs, with guest satisfaction no so important as shops and restaurants.

                He made DL so profitable, he was promoted to lead the Parks and Resorts division to be a corporate wide hatchet man, butting hid right-hand woman Harris in charge of DLR.

                Then, short-term thinking started to show its ugly side. Years of neglect and cost cutting had resulted in a park that was falling apart.

                Paul moved on to The Gap.... Back to retail where he was comfortable. Rasulo was promoted in the President of Parks and Resorts, and he eventually made Ouimet president of DLR. No more ruthless budget cuts.... They are now focusing on increasing profits by increaseing guest satisfaction rather than by cutting costs.


                • #9
                  I was curious about Paul and Cynthia also, thanks for the info.
                  Mom, remember, it's not what a person is like on the outside that counts,
                  it's what they are like in their HEART!

                  - Wolfette


                  • #10
                    Look up "Hellspawn" in any dictionary. There, you will find a picture of Paul Pressler.

                    Or, you can also just find the most desecrated brick at DL's esplanade - it belongs to him. (Seriously.)


                    • #11

                      Can anyone post a picture of pressler's brick on the esplanade?


                      • #12
                        And if you're curiouse to see what he looked like, here he is:

                        Hail Matt Ouimet, the savior of Disneyland!


                        • #13
                          Pressler represented a different time for the resort. A time where Stores and Merchandise evens took precidence over the attractions and overall guest experience. Paul (correct me if I'm wrong) started by growing the Disney Stores chain from like 58 stores to some 500 stores in a short span of time, and so Eisner types thought he could do the same for TPR profitability. Unfortunately, he took too much away from the guest experience and was replaced by Jay Rasulo, who brought the focus back to the guest experience.
                          "To All Who Come To This Happy Place, Welcome!
                          Disneyland is Your Land. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and youth can saver the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America, with the hope that it will be a source of joy an inspiration to all the world.
                          -- Walter Elias Disney, July 17, 1955 approx 4:35PM


                          • #14
                            PP may have looked like a smiling Bob Saget - - but was, in reality, a dark overlord who raped the Magic Kingdom of its historic assets by hiring efficiency consultants and acccountaneers to modernize (downgrade) the experience and expand profit margins. On his watch, training, maintenence, leads, organization, traditions, details, quality were cutback. Old time Disneylanders were phased out. Imagineering was demoted to serving the park as a "client." Skyway, Submarine Voyage, PeopleMover, CircleVision, Rocket Jets, The Country Bears, Cascade Peak, Main Street Electrical Parade and other classic attractions were shuttered... others were left to crumble, like Tiki Room... and he was an architect of disaster in the form of Tomorrowland 98, Disney's California Adventure, Light Magic and Winnie-the-Pooh, among others.

                            He was the Horned King of Disneyland.


                            • #15
                              Pressler WAS the Satan of DL. He started off in the Disney Stores in the late 80s/early 90s and it was under his leadership that they grew from boutique stores to a franchise. Eisner at this time, was having HUGE headaches w/ EuroDisney swimming in red ink and the backlash of Disney's America. Eisner told Pressler, " Make it go away". And boy did he. Pressler became The President of Disneyland in 1994. His FIRST brilliant move was to COMPLETLY railroad Indiana Jones. Yes, Pressler wanted to kill the E-Ticket of our time while it was in the MIDDLE of ground clearing, because it cost to much. I believe Eisner and WDI stopped him. Maybe operations to. Then came the infamous "hit list" . On this list, Pressler had listed attractions that he was hell bent on closing in the near term. These included, Tikis, Treehouse, Lincoln, PPlmover, Subs, Bears, and maybe a few more. The first casualty was the Golden Horsehoe, then came the Carnation Cafe in '97. And THEN, came TL' 98. Pressler cut the budget to the bone and TDA would NOT pony up the money for a decent Rocket Rods(not to mention GM pulling out). All the while DL went to pot. Paint peeled off, the first accidents began to happen NOT by guests fault (Columbia, Space, Alice, Thunder). Then the creme de la creme, DCA. DCA was the EPITOME of the Pressler regime. Spend ALL the money on stores and restaurants for theminng and screw the rides. DL also featured getting rid of leads ( to bring them back again), generic merchandise, low Cast Morale, etc. Sometime after DCA opened though the Disneyland Resort started to become some U.S. verion of EuroDisney but not as bad. DL started to bleed red but TDA would not accept it and blamed outside forces. By late 2002, DCA was tanking BADLY and Eisner was looking for a scapegoat. Pressler was on the bullseye. Pressler stepped down as head of Walt Disney Attractions in Oct. 2002. Cynthia then became the Pres. of the DL Resort. But when Thunder turned into a REAL runaway mine train her fate was SEALED. She stepped down in Sept or Oct of 2003. LESS than a month after the Thunder accident. It mighta been Nov. '03. WHat follows can only be described as a coup d' tat. Apprently Rasulo forced Cynthia to leave and when she did he brought in HIS own pp. Matt Ouimet from the DCL and Greg Emmer from WDW along w/ Matt Mendenhall. This team invaded TDA and within MONTHS there were only a FEW Pressler/Cynthia CMs left. Suddenly SPACE became white, Disneyland Forever was re-installed and the rehab list grew. Paint began to appear. TL was given SERIOUS consideration of its issued and well the rest is history. Ouimet, in effect, SAVED the 50th, as Cynthias plans were to have a new parade, fireworks and thats IT. If u REEEEEEEEALLLY want to know what happneed all those years month by month. Go to Als Archives on MousePlanet. Hopefully the new MouseTales has some new stuff to.