Disney released its fourth fiscal quarter earnings report yesterday, and while the report was jam-packed with information about the performance of Disney’s film properties, TV networks and other business ventures(you can check out the full earnings report here), there were plenty of interesting revelations about Disney’s theme parks, too.
Here are the 5 important facts about Disney's theme park operations that stood out to us in the quarterly and annual earnings report.
1. Attendance at Walt Disney World hit an all-time high in the fourth quarter
According to the report, Walt Disney World shattered attendance records during the fiscal fourth quarter (which runs June 30 - September 29), hitting a new high for the period overall. Though we don’t know exactly how total attendance shakes out per park (Disney did not release specific figures), it seems likely that this milestone was assisted by the opening of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride, as well as the Frozen Summer Fun event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
We’ll have to wait for the full 2014 attendance report (which comes out early next year) to see exactly how each park fared this year, but thus far, the news is looking good for the parks at Walt Disney World.
2. Revenue is up overall, thanks to higher ticket prices and more in-park sales
Overall, Disney theme parks garnered more than $15 billion in revenue in the fiscal year, up 7 percent from 2013’s $14 billion in revenue. Operating income for the fiscal year was also up by a marginal amount, nudging up to $2.66 billion, from last year’s $2.22 billion.
According to a statement in the company’s filing papers the overall increase in revenue was “driven by increased guest spending and attendance”. The filing also noted that “The increase in guest spending was primarily due to higher average ticket prices for theme park admissions and for sailings at our cruise line and increased food, beverage and merchandise spending".
3. MyMagic+ is still costing Disney money
Unfortunately, the filing also noted that Disney’s MyMagic+ program is still having a negative effect on profit, costing the company money and undercutting the bottom line. Disney Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo told analysts that this is due to the project is still being in "ramp-up mode”. Though Disney said it has seen some positive effects from the use of the system (like the increased food and merchandise sales mentioned above), those effects simply have not been enough for this program to reach its full potential yet.