I think you're dead on with the construction angle causing the downturn.

maybe that'll help reduce the lines/times in the park.

either people complain the parks are too crowded (cheap prices) or that the price is getting too high (lower attendance)

In reply to by Richard Gibson (not verified)

I agree 100%! WDW has become less of s value. The price is what we pay, but the value is what we receive. Construction aside, it is the decrease in the little things and details that are slipping . It's those details that are decreasing guest experience, hence lower value.

I know my extended family visits every year and decided to take a trip elsewhere this year as their favorite park is HS and it has nothing to offer right now. My family and I are heading back this year after taking two years off due to the price and have planned three days of our trip to be at USF because we don't feel that the Disney parks will offer us enough due to all the closures right now.

Disney is pricing themselves out families cant afford these high prices it is crazy then everything under construction !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I would love to see how the money spent in parks was broken down. Disney World has a App (Shop Disney Parks) that allows you to shop at Disney World wether you're there or not and have it shipped home to you. So is this counted as Disney World's figures or Disney Company figures? If it's WDW figures then it's not a true figure of how much guest are actually spending in the park because it could've been someone from their home in Alaska but it sure does make their bottom line look good for WDW.

In reply to by Edward Friloux (not verified)

I agree with you! End of last year was aweful! We were there last year in Feb, May, Oct, Nov, and Dec. Many of the cast members were rude and not friendly and it was crowded!! We just got back from a trip last month and it was not so crowded and the cast members were great!!! Big, noticeable difference! Before last year, we were there in June 2012 and had a wonderful, uncrowded time, great cast members time. So our visits last year were souring our idea of going but as we are die hards, we kept visiting, hoping it would get better. This article was interesting. We are going for our anniversary again in June. We'll see how it pans out!

Welp, I can't say I'm surprised! Early morning at fantasy land and the late night paid events, tiered pricing, running wdw at 1/2 staff, most of dhs closed.... maybe people are getting sick of being nickeled and dimed to death! My family has visited up to 3 times per year from Massachusetts. This year, we cancelled and got a refund. I can use the 7k I was planning to spend elsewhere and get more value. It's sad to say goodbye after all these years (I was even married on property ) but, it's gotten to be too little value for the money.

I think the most significant bit of news in the corporate earnings conference call was Iger saying that part of the rationale for raising ticket prices was to "moderate" attendance levels. You can debate whether or not this was a deliberate strategy or corporate spin to explain away lower attendance numbers, but either way it is surprisingly public for Disney to admit that bit of information publicly. If true, then it lends support to the argument that Disney is deliberately pricing out certain guests to "moderate" or reduce attendance levels.
As sad as this fact is, it is all the more shocking that it is working without hurting revenue in the parks, which was the other significant information in the call. If they can sustain this over several quarters it suggests a new, although not welcome, business model for the company.

I think Disney world is at a tipping point. My partner and I are both educated, relatively high paid professionals with one child. We would add in a couple of short trips to Disney world each year (3 to 5 days each) along with our main vacation somewhere else. We always stay at deluxe resorts do many of the extra experiences etc.. With the price increases we decided to forego one of the Disney trips and visit a few of the national parks out west instead. The price increases put the cost on par with most other major vacations making it a less desirable choice for the market they are most likely trying to tap into.

I have been several times since October....annual Pass holder...stay on & off property. Want renew pass too expensive....it has gotten out of control how they are charging for everything now. Pay to park closer...pay to come in earlier, stay late pay more for extra events.....just got back 2 weeks ago. I did not think it was less crowded.....nor did I think it was in February.....The resorts are still crazy priced to stay at a nice one to enjoy the benefits of Disney. They are taking out the feel of the true "Disney" spirit....takes to long to open anything back up like Soaring!!! Everything is closed at Hollywood Studios and you still pay the same price.....Fast pass is Stupid!! Still does not work right! You pay more for less benefits and less in the Parks! Went to Disneyland this pass year also .....Carsland is amazing.....why don't they do it in Florida?

When things are coming soon, many people will wait for them. It's maybe not only that people don't like current offerings because of high prices or too many closures.

There is a lot just around the corner. I for one am waiting for Frozen at Epcot and Pandora at AK before returning.

It should also be mentioned that Harry Potter being new probably boosted attendance at Disney for a few years. We booked two days at USF, because we wanted to see Potter, and then 6 days a WDW on the same trip. Without curiosity about Potter, that extra trip would never have happened or would have been delayed.

I don’t believe you are correct. Another Florida resident who’s visited Disney World many, many, many years. The parks have been crowded the last few years because Disney advertising stepped up and did a killer job at luring visitors; prior the recent years advertising for Disney World was nearly never on television or advertisements on daily web pages you would visit. Hence, people woke up and started going back to Disney World. Now, those who wanted to return to relive the Disney magic have done so and when it comes to returning to Disney and they see the price hikes over the past half decade they realize for that money they could visit Europe of do something new and just as special as Disney. I agree with the above post, Disney has likely peeked on it massive revenue intake and we will start to see park and resort attendance reducing and potentially price reductions or better special offers. In addition, the quality of services at the parks and resorts has gone downward because now majority of the cast members are local Florida residents. Disney used to bring coop-students and lower wage workers from foreign nations to create a true cultural experience. Remember when you went on the Kilimanjaro Safari ride the cast members had South African tone to their voices; because they were from there. Same with majority of the cast members in the countries that surround Epcot. Due to cost to bring those people here, US customs fees, and room and board this was axed for cost reduction. Now you get the grumpy woman who struggled at minimum wage who moved to Florida from Boston taking your order. Due to cost reductions much of the magic Disney use to deliver was lost. In addition, I truly believe that the massive flood of visitors to the Magic Kingdom is going to reduce because the cost to visit more than once in a life time with realistic financial judgment people are beginning to realize isn’t a best investment. Why not wait 8-10 years for all these new things to bloom to completion and then we’ll look to visit again but next time with the grand children. Like Rome, all huge establishments decline eventually (Microsoft, Apple, Disney are all showing a decline).

People be disagree with me but I hope your tennis continue to decrease!! The last few years or so the parks have been overcrowded!! Because of the crowds the service from the Cass has been less than Disney standards!! I rather pay a little bit more and enjoy the whole part the whole time on there!!! Then spend less and enjoy some of the parts part of the time on there and be miserable the rest of the time !!!

Disney is simply pricing people out now, all while doing too much contruction all at the same time. I'm a Florida local with a family of 4, and we just can't afford to go. We've held Annual Passes before, but we're just not realistically going to get them again anytime soon. Not until there is some value there.

Universal on the other hand is still relatively affordable for Florida residents, and in my opinion, offers better parks and a better experience anyway.

It is as you said in the beginning: The lower financial quarter falls directly on Iger and the BOD. There is a scale of economy that as prices raise attendance will go down but you reach a point where revenue also deceases... and WDW has reached that point. Plus the construction, reduction in cast members and entertainment, "killing the cash cow" of WDW to pay for Shanghai. It is time for a change in the CEO and BOD who are concerned with the guest experience at WDW.

IMO the drop in attendance can be explained in one word: construction. I'm not sure people want to spend higher prices and receive less. I imagine people held off booking a Disney vacation this year waiting for Rivers of Light or Soarin' to reopen, only to find one isn't ready at all. While Disney has a great deal of yearly visitors that will come no matter what, the decline may be people waiting until next year when some of the construction will be complete and, fingers crossed, Avatar will be open to the public.

About Theme Park Tourist

Theme Park Tourist is one of the web’s leading sources of essential information and entertaining articles about theme parks in Orlando and beyond.

We are one of the world’s largest theme park guide sites, hosting detailed guides to more than 80 theme parks around the globe.

Find Out More About Us...

Plan Your Trip

Our theme park guides contain reviews and ratings of rides, restaurants and hotels at more than 80 theme parks worldwide.

You can even print them.

Start Planning Now...