Learn More About Jim MacPhee
Jim MacPhee began his career with Walt Disney World in the summer of 1978 and retired on April 1, 2021 as Chief Operating Officer / Senior Vice President, Operations, at the Walt Disney World® Resort.
In a career spanning over 42 years, MacPhee functioned in a variety of roles across all of the theme parks at both Walt Disney World® and the Disneyland® Resort in Anaheim, California.
He began his career in the summer of 1978 as an hourly cast member driving the Watercraft vessels in Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon just outside the Magic Kingdom. He performed a variety of different roles at various levels across all of the Theme Parks during these years, and in 1996 was promoted to the executive position of General Manager, Disney’s Animal Kingdom. In this role, MacPhee was responsible for the operational input, development, and opening of this theme park. Shortly thereafter, in 1999, he ventured off to California to be a part of the opening team for Disney’s California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort as Vice President, Attractions & Guest Services for the Disneyland Resort.
In the spring of 2002, MacPhee returned to Walt Disney World®, and in 2004 was promoted to Vice President of Park Operations Development, Optimization, and Standardization. In this role, he led a team focused on the development and delivery of Operational Excellence across the properties. In early 2007, JMacPhee accepted the role of Vice President, Epcot®, a position he held until March 2009, when he was assigned to lead the transformation of the Walt Disney World vacation experience via the introduction of MyMagic+, resulting in co-authorship of multiple patents in the creation and introduction of experience technology enhancements.
He was promoted to the role of Senior Vice President, Walt Disney World® Parks in 2010 and was responsible for the strategic direction of Walt Disney World® Theme Parks, in addition to operationalizing MyMagic+ across the landscape of the site. In this role, MacPhee led the Vice Presidents of Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which oversaw daily operations and more than 30,000 Cast Members. During his eight years in this role, he advanced the Parks through a long-term strategic plan, focused on unprecedented enhancements of the Guest experience and expansion efforts across the resort, significantly improving cast, guest and business results along the way.
In January 2018, MacPhee was promoted to the role of Chief Operating Officer/Senior Vice President, Walt Disney World® Resort. This role spanned all site operations, including four theme parks, more than 20 resorts, premium experiences, college housing, transportation, Disney Springs, security, two water parks, and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. His team also oversaw the long-term strategic planning and day-to-day operations of Disney Live Entertainment, Food and Beverage, Experience Optimization and Planning, and the Guest and Cast Experience. In total, his leadership spanned more than 50,000 Cast Members across the Walt Disney World Resort.
In the spring of 2020, MacPhee played the lead role for the Walt Disney World site in managing the pandemic-driven strategic and executional phases of closure, downtime and re-opening, which included preparing and presenting the re-opening plans to local and state government officials. The Walt Disney World site re-opened mid-July and has successfully operated in this new environment, with consistently favorable site inspections by government officials, along with high consumer confidence measures in the delivery of all safety related protocols.
Born in Illinois, MacPhee considers himself an “almost native Floridian,” having been raised in Ormond Beach and attended Florida State University. He is an active member of the Executive Board of Florida Hospital.
Jim MacPhee is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers & Advisors, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.
Engage, Inspire, Lead: Riding the Waves of Life and Leadership from my 43-Year Career at the Walt Disney Company
(BrightRay Publishing, June 2022)