Michael Eisner is a micro-manager.
Now, I know that that's not exactly a late breaking story. But I think that it's
important to understand how truly obsessive Disney's CEO can be when it comes to
getting the details at the company's theme parks just right.
Take -- for example -- the Dolphin Resort Hotel. When Eisner wasn't entirely
convinced that the giant banana leaves that architect Michael Graves wanted to
paint on the sides of this resort would actually look good, Disney's CEO ordered
that a huge sample leaf be painted on the backside of Epcot's Mexico pavilion.
Just so he could see if this particular design element would look good when it
was done to full scale.
But Michael's almost-insane attention to detail doesn't just stop at just the
outside of Disney's resorts. Oh, no. After all, for years now, Eisner has
insisted that -- before he signs off on the construction of any new WDW hotel --
that a sample room from this proposed resort be prepared. One that features all
the furnishings that guests will actually be using in this hotel.
This sample room used to be located in a backstage area at the Caribbean Beach
Resort. I've actually seen photos of this squat square structure back when the
Imagineers were testing design elements for the All Star Music Resort. Which is
why these pictures feature a giant sample maraca leaning against this tiny
brightly painting building.
As for the other part of this story ... That Michael reportedly insists on
sleeping in each of these sample rooms before he will actually allow
construction of the proposed resort to go forward ... That part, I've never been
able to prove.
But clearly, this is a man who's obsessed with getting things right. Which
reminds me of what happened back in the late 1990s. When the Imagineers were
putting the final touches on Animal Kingdom's "It's Tough to Be a Bug"
attraction. And it finally came time to choose the scent for the moment in
that show when Clare De Rume turns around and ... um ... breaks wind at the
Being true to form, Michael insisted on attending that meeting. He sat in that
conference room along with numerous other WDI representatives, as they sniffed
at all of the samples. As they tried to determine just how horrible this stink
bug's ... emission should smell.
Does that seem like a particularly dignified way for a CEO to behave? Nah. I
didn't think so either.
Anyway, the reason that I bring this story up is ... My sources within WDI tell
me that that division of the Walt Disney Company is getting ready to put the
finishing touches on "Expedition Everest." And -- given that this Animal Kingdom
thrill ride will reportedly feature a far-too-close encounter with a Audio
Animatronic Abominable Snowman -- a unique question has come up recently: What
does a Yeti smell like?
As you might expect, Eisner wants in on the decision-making process of this part
of the process. So a meeting has suposedly been scheduled for after the 1st of
the year. Where Michael and various other reps from WDI will gather in a
conference room to choose an appropriate scent for a rather angry abominable
Well, I don't know about you, folks. But -- given that 2005 could be Michael
Eisner's very last year as head of the Walt Disney Company, I'm thinking that
this guy has better things to do with his time than determine what a Yeti smells
like. This is a time when Michael should be stopping to smell the roses. Not
sniffing samples of wet, matted fur.
Which is why I'd like to recruit your help. Let's try & free up Michael Eisner's very busy schedule by determining -- all by ourselves -- what an angry Yeti
actually smells like.
I should stress here that what I'm looking for is written descriptions, NOT
scent samples. So anyone sends me a bag of specially seasoned sasquatch
clippings is automatically disqualified from the contest.
That's right, folks. This is a contest. In honor of the enormous beast who's
supposed to haunt the "Expedition Everest" attraction, I will be awarding a copy
of the screenplay of "Beauty & the Beast" to whoever comes up with the best
description of what a Yeti smells like.
So let's all do Michael Eisner a favor. Make his holiday season a little
brighter by determining -- all by ourselves -- what an angry abominable snowman
That way, Disney's CEO is free to concentrate on more important projects. Like
packing up his office & chosing his successor.
A yeti smells like peperoni!