The other three discussions are important, of course. However, The Walt Disney Company exists to earn revenue. Corporate officials signed off on Star Wars Land as a way to capitalize on their purchase of Lucasfilm. How well has the company done in this regard?
Obviously, Disney’s earned a lot of money from its Star Wars purchase. Revenue from merchandise and theatrical releases alone would justify Disney’s investment several times over. Since we have “theme park” right there in the name of our site, we’re mostly interested in Star Wars Land, though.
This discussion is two-fold since Disney operates two parks with a Galaxy's Edge themed land. Thanks to the company's quarterly earnings reports, we have a firm idea about the money situation.
Despite the aforementioned attendance drops, revenue increased by seven percent in the fiscal third quarter of 2019. While Black Spire Outpost isn’t responsible for all those earnings, we can tell it had a significant positive impact.
I say that because all of the secondary park numbers improved while attendance dropped. Admissions, food and drinks, and merchandising increased by a staggering 10 percent per customer on average. Similarly, hotel occupancy and in-room spending improved.
The fourth quarter was also great
You may wonder whether the fiscal fourth quarter of 2019 behaved the same. At that point, Walt Disney World’s version of Batuu had opened, too. Well, Hurricane Dorian impacted that park somewhat, but the song is generally the same.
Revenue increased by eight percent year-over-year. Guests again spent more money on theme park essentials during this quarter. Also, Disney explicitly stated that Disneyland and the Disney Vacation Club earned a disproportionately large amount relative to 2018. Importantly for this discussion, I should add that the executive team indicated that the cost of operating Galaxy’s Edge is higher than the average themed land.
Finally, I should mention that the revenue gains happened despite unexpected losses at Hong Kong Disneyland. The social struggles there have led Disney to lower total revenue projections there for at least the next two quarters. So, that eight percent increase could have matched the third quarter one if not for something utterly beyond Disney’s control.
The conclusion to draw here is that Disney has already justified the creation of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Despite all of the clickbait headlines on the subject – and yes, we’re sometimes guilty of that – it’s already persuaded many guests to raise their vacation budgets. Importantly, this revenue gain happened before the opening of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Disney’s best ride in the world.
Overall, in the four categories that matter, Disney has exceeded expectations in three out of four. Even if attendance doesn’t improve significantly, the bottom line will continue to put a smile on Bob Iger’s face.