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Who Is Josh D’Amaro, the New Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products?

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On May 18th, Walt Disney Company’s CEO, Bob Chapek, named Josh D’Amaro as the new chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products (DPEP).

What do we really know about the newly appointed Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products? Who is Josh D’Amaro?

A Portrait of Josh D'Amaro [Source: Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products]
A Portrait of Josh D’Amaro [Source: Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products]

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It turns out that he was literally a major part of the Disney parks already.

So, who is he, and why does his name sound familiar?

Let’s find out together…

D’Amaro’s Previous Role in Disney

Before being named Bob Chapek’s successor as chair of DPEP, D’Amaro was named the President of Walt Disney World Resort last year.

And that’s probably why his name is so familiar to so many people.

Read more about Bob Chapek here.

Back then, he was in charge of leading:

  • 28 resort hotels
  • Extensive multi-modal transportation system
  • Disney Springs entertainment-shopping-dining complex
  • Disney’s Wedding Pavilion
  • ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
  • 4 golf courses
  • 2 full-services spas
  • Walt Disney World Resort’s 4 theme parks
  • WDW resort’s 2 water parks

D’Amaro was also responsible for the opening of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land.

Speaking of new lands, D’Amaro was also one of those who initiated the development of the upcoming Marvel-themed area.

As a huge fan of both Star Wars and Marvel, I personally have to thank him for that!

D’Amaro manifested his strong leadership skills when he led a cast of over 75,000, America’s largest single-site workforce at the time.

At the same time, he was responsible for overseeing the start of the destination’s most significant expansion in the last twenty years.

That includes the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Disney Skyliner aerial transportation system, Disney’s Riviera Resort, and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway.

Watch the opening ceremony dedication to Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway below.

He even started the development of the plans for Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary in 2021. (Which is precisely when my wife and I plan to visit! Fingers crossed…)

The plans include brand new entertainment experiences for the Epcot theme park, as well as new attractions across the resort.

Exciting, I know!

I can’t wait to experience it all for myself. The last time I was in WDW I was about 10 years old, so it’s high time for another visit.

D’Amaro’s Disney Background

So, the question now is: When did his magical Disney journey begin?

Let’s go back to 1998.

Back then, D’Amaro had just started his Disney career at the Disneyland Resort.

Having earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Georgetown University, he was already on his way to holding a leadership position at the company.

Josh D'Amaro with Mickey and Minnie [Source: Disney Tourist Blog]
Josh D’Amaro with Mickey and Minnie [Source: Disney Tourist Blog]

D’Amaro was the Senior Vice President of Commercial Strategy for Walt Disney Resort. At that time, he also led the sites’ Resorts & Transportation Operations. 

Additionally, he worked at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. He was the Vice President when it underwent the most significant expansion in its history.

Some of his other roles included:

  • Adventures by Disney
  • Business Planning and Strategy Development for the Disneyland Resort
  • Finance for the Global Licensing division of Disney Consumer Products
  • Sales and Travel Operations at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort

D’Amaro’s Role as the New Chairman

Josh D’Amaro at Walt Disney World [Source: Orlando Business Journal]

Clearly, he has enough experience to lead, and he seems very worthy of this new role. 

As the new head of the parks, D’Amaro will be in charge of driving innovation.

And he will be responsible for the improvement of guest experience across theme parks, retail, cruise line, and other operations.

What’s more, he will also oversee Disney’s iconic travel and leisure businesses.

In summary: he will be in charge of the six theme park-resort destinations in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Likewise, he is going to supervise a popular vacation ownership program (Disney Vacation Club, or DVC), a high-class cruise line, and an award-winning guided family adventure business. 

D’Amaro’s role will also include leading Disney’s global consumer products operations.

This means he will head the world’s leading licensing business across apparel, toys, home goods, and even digital apps and games. 

That also means he will oversee Disney store locations across the globe, the world’s largest children’s print publisher, and the Disney e-commerce platform. 

Final Thoughts

To me, D’Amaro seems to be a true and capable leader.

I think he has clearly established himself as that person for a while now, and many people who have worked under him claim also that he is the real deal.

Given his past experiences with Disney, it seems apparent to me that the Walt Disney Company made the right decision.

And I’m not the only one…

Seriously, I am very excited about what he can do. I think he will only add more and more to the magic of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products.

Now, if we could just get those parks to open back up again for a minute or two… 😉

Read more on the theme parks division at Walt Disney World with this incredible (and official!) Disney guide.

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Neal Tucker is one of the world’s most engaging Disney influencers, with thousands of views and responses across his blog, podcast, and social media profiles every month.

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