According to multiple sources citing sources within the The Walt Disney Company, 49 year old Magic Kingdom Vice President Dan Cockerell will be retiring next month.
Dan, who is the son of former Vice President of Operations Lee Cockerell, became the Magic Kingdom Vice President in 2015 during a reshuffle which saw long-time Magic Kingdom Vice President Phil Holmes move to the Studios Vice President role in a leadership swap. Prior to the move, Dan was the Vice President of Epcot. Dan has been with Disney for 26 years.
According to the sources, Cockerell will be starting a speaking and consulting company, with plans to travel.
Disney has not yet named a replacement. Cockerell’s final day will be May 11, 2018.
Disney announced to Cast Members that current Magic Kingdom Vice President Phil Holmes will be swapping positions with Dan Cockerell, current VP of Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
The transition will take place over the next month along with personnel changes across the park’s leadership team.
Phil Holmes has served Walt Disney World for over 40 years, joining the Magic Kingdom for its opening. Since then, he has worked in nearly every aspect of the front-line business, including Vice President of Disney’s Animal Kingdom and positions overseas at Disneyland Paris. Holmes has been the VP of the Magic Kingdom since the early 2000’s.
Dan Cockerell has worked for the company for nearly 25 years, and has held positions throughout the organization. At the resorts, Cockerell was general manager of Disney’s All Star Resort and Wilderness Lodge Resort. Later he served as Vice President of Epcot before moving to the top position at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in July 2011.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be celebrating its 25th anniversary on May 1st with a special rededication ceremony, a “Star of the Studios” motorcade, and a firework spectacular finale.
Here is the schedule of events:
- At 10 a.m., Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse will take the stage with Disney’s Hollywood Studios Vice President Dan Cockerell to start the celebration day, honoring some of the 25-year cast members during a short rededication ceremony.
- A special motorcade — “Stars of the Studios” — will make its way down Hollywood Blvd. beginning at 7 p.m. and feature many of the famous characters showcased throughout the park. Mickey and Minnie will be joined by television and film stars including Captain Jack Sparrow, Darth Vader, Doc McStuffins, Wreck-It Ralph, Venellope, Sofia the First and more.
- Following the motorcade, the area in front of the park’s Sorcerer Hat Stage will become a dance party before a fireworks show ends the day in grand fashion at 9:30 p.m. The pyrotechnics show, which will be high in the sky above the Sorcerer Mickey Hat, will pay tribute to 25 years of show business stories that have been told throughout the park.