Disney chief: Cash concerns land Mary Poppins pavilion in ‘holding pattern’
Sorry, Mary Poppins; you are on an indefinite hold. Image via Disney.

Mary Poppins Attraction at Epcot
'We look forward to hopefully refunding those projects in the future.'

Disney’s upcoming plans to build a Mary Poppins pavilion at Epcot are paused — but not completely canceled, company CEO Bob Chapek said Wednesday.

Chapek fielded questions during an annual shareholder’s meeting where Disney enthusiasts brought up everything from the lack of shade at the theme parks to Chapek’s previous silence on Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill and more. It was a rare moment for fans to get the ear of the multibillion-dollar company’s CEO.

One shareholder asked the status of the Mary Poppins-themed attraction first announced in August 2019. Disney has gone silent on whether the pavilion was still going to be built after the pandemic hit.

“I was wondering pre-pre-pandemic, you guys had countless new projects announced full steam ahead like the Mary Poppins attraction in Epcot, and the Avengers Quinjet attraction at California Adventure,” the shareholder told Chapek. “The company has been relatively quiet on these projects since the parks have reopened.”

Chapek’s response: Both those attractions are in a ‘holding pattern right now” until the company’s “cash situation becomes a bit more robust and a little bit back to normal, in terms of our liquidity. We look forward to hopefully refunding those projects in the future.”

One shareholder pushed Chapek to reinstate a special annual pass for people to access both Disneyland and Disney World. The option for people who wanted to frequent both coasts on one pass was axed during the pandemic. Disney Premier Passport costs around $2,000 pre-pandemic.

“Why did it go away and when is it going to come back?” the shareholder asked Chapek.

Chapek promised to look into it.

“I must say you’re in a very unique small club in terms of people that have the ability to do that,” Chapek said. “I would be more than glad to take this up and try to restore that so that you can be able to enjoy your annual pass at both locations.”

Another shareholder complained about the lack of shade at the California park.

“We’ve been there many times. This was the first time with my two children, ages four and two. I found it difficult in parts of the park to find a shaded seat, especially with having to take breaks with the young children,” the shareholder said. “Especially in Fantasyland.”

Chapek said he’ll “take it up under advisement.”

“I know that we’re always looking for opportunities to provide more seating and shade, particularly during those hot Southern California summers. So, I’ll make that note. I’ll bring it up to our parks folks. Great suggestion,” Chapek said.

Gabrielle Russon

Gabrielle Russon is an award-winning journalist based in Orlando. She covered the business of theme parks for the Orlando Sentinel. Her previous newspaper stops include the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Toledo Blade, Kalamazoo Gazette and Elkhart Truth as well as an internship covering the nation’s capital for the Chicago Tribune. For fun, she runs marathons. She gets her training from chasing a toddler around. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @GabrielleRusson .


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