Case 9-1: Disney’s America Theme Park: the Third Battle of Bull Run

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What are the key issues that Eisner must consider in this situation from a government relations perspective?

The key issues include the location of Eisner’s envisioned historical theme park. The state of Virginia is deeply filled with many events marked in American history such as the homes of four of the first five U.S. presidents, in addition to being the site of more than two-dozen civil war battlefields. Another key issue was the commotion and traffic that this theme park would create. As visitors will travel from many places to visit Disney America, Disney would have to predict when the highway will be most at traffic while putting in mind that many residents of Virginia use this highway, knowing it is already very crowded most of
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A few of the conferences and announcements where Eisner and other CEO members were present to give speeches about the project were interpreted very wrongly. When senior vice president of Walt Disney Imagineering, Bob Weis was discussing Disney America in a conference, his saying, “..We want to make you feel what it was like to be slave, or what it was like to escape through the Underground Railroad,” caused heavy commotion, claiming that Disney was aiming to promote and portray harsh acts like slavery, as a subject to fun. However, Weis’s intentions was to refer to the innovative ways that Disney was planning to create throughout the theme park, giving the visitors a sense and feel of how phases like slavery and slaves used the underground subway system felt like. Another phrase that caused controversy was when Eisner was trying to get more people to believe in the Disney America project, he proposed that when he used to attend history classes, he would read many books and understand nothing. Historians, of course, took this very offensively, when Eisner was merely trying to promote the idea of Disney America in hopes that people will believe that Disney was going to do the best job possible to portray all events of American history to the best of their abilities without changing the context or missing out any events

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