Disney Parks Boss Steps Down After Poor Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Attendance


The much-hyped Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge theme park seems to be performing well below Disney’s standards.

Bloomberg reports that Catherine Powell, president of Disney Parks West, is leaving the company after her post was effectively “eliminated.” Powell had been with the House of Mouse for more than a decade, during which time she oversaw the production of Disneyland Paris, Walt Disney World, and Disneyland. But the less-than-stellar attendance figures for both Galaxy’s Edge and the Star Wars attraction in California – both of which were orchestrated by Powell – appears to have trigged Disney’s decision.

It’s no secret that Disney had high hopes for Galaxy’s Edge, which features two rides — Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run — along with an assortment of sci-fi shops and themed restaurants. However, back in August, Deadline revealed a 3 percent quarterly dip in Disney’s domestic theme parks.

In spite of this internal shake-up, CEO Bob Iger remains optimistic about the long-term future of Galaxy’s Edge and other Star Wars land attractions, saying:

Guest satisfaction, interest in the attraction and in the land is extremely high. They’re among the most popular things at the park. And so long term, and we build these things for the long term, we have no concerns whatsoever about them. So we feel great about the product that we’ve created. It’s just going to take some time for things to work themselves out in terms of how the marketplace is reacting.

Those comments were made during a call to investors – the same call, in fact, where Iger addressed the recent failings of 20th Century Fox – while Disney’s head honcho also vowed to put more women in top executive positions in his quest for gender parity… just a few days before Powell’s swift departure.

Meanwhile, on the big screen, the Star Wars franchise continues this December with The Rise of Skywalker, the ninth and final installment in the core Skywalker series.