Speaking at his alma mater Indiana University on Saturday, Chapek recalled family trips to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. “Driving through the gates of the happiest place on Earth was like nothing I’d ever done before,” he said.
Nice sentiment, wrong location. “The happiest place on Earth” is the slogan for Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Disney World’s is “the most magical place on Earth.”
The guy spent five years heading up Disney’s parks division, Deadline noted, so the mottos ought to be pretty much ingrained.
Chapek also told the graduates he fueled his determination to succeed as “Iron Man draws his energy from that Arc Reactor.”
Back in March, Chapek wasn’t coming off as any superhero. He received backlash from Disney staffers and the public for initially urging the company to take a neutral stance on “Don’t Say Gay,” the Florida bill restricting classroom discussion of gender and sexuality in younger grades. He then apologized and took a more forceful stance against it, even announcing a contribution to a gay rights organization — which the group then rejected. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) seemingly retaliated against Disney’s public opposition to the law by stripping Disney World of its self-governing powers.
Fast forward to the 55:26 mark to see Chapek’s remarks.