Magic Kingdom castle

Disney has reported record attendances at Walt Disney World and Disneyland during Q3 2012/13, and boasted of increased guest spending during trials of the MyMagic+ system.

Results for the company as a whole were dragged down by its film division, but revenue still rose by 4 percent to $11.6 billion. Profits were up by 1 percent at $1.8 billion. At the US theme park resorts, though, attendance was the highest it has ever been during the third quarter - up 3 percent compared to the equivalent period last year. Average spending per guest also jumped 7 percent, partly as a result of higher ticket prices.

The company's controversial decision to raise prices at the Magic Kingdom to a level above the other parks at Walt Disney World had little impact, according to CEO Bob Iger. "The Magic Kingdom is the most popular park, the most iconic, and so we thought there was an opportunity there," he said. "We didn't sense any backlash from the marketplace at all."

Tom Staggs, chairman of Disney's Parks and Resorts division, said that limited-scale trials of MyMagic+ had seen guests spending more than average. He attributed this to guests "having fun" with the technology, although it is not clear whether this will be a temporary or a permanent phenomenon.

MyMagic+ is now not expected to roll out fully until the "early part" of the 2013/14 fiscal year, which points to an October or November launch. The system sees guests equipped with MagicBand wristbands that act as park tickets, hotel keys and a "virtual wallet". It also enables them to reserve slots to ride popular attractions months in advance.


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