Yesterday, The Walt Disney Company released its quarterly earnings report and, while the company still had a decent showing overall, Disney covered some troubling year over year declines with the news that it is planning to take over all development of Marvel streaming shows from Netflix and host these programs on its own Streaming Service, which will be priced "substantially below" Netflix.
However, while things might be sputtering a little bit for the company as a whole, we were surprised to learn that the report for the Parks and Resorts division was actually pretty good, with Disney confirming that they actually saw some positive results this past quarter. However, there is one big catch...
1. Domestic park attendance is up overall, but Hurricane Irma has put a damper on Walt Disney World results
It has been the trend in recent years for Disney executives to lump both Walt Disney World and Disneyland together when reporting attendance numbers, so they can cover any potential bad news in Orlando with good news from Anaheim. This latest report is no different, with Disney reporting that domestic attendance across the two parks was up by 2 percent overall. Disney is quick to say that much of this growth is due to Pandora — The World of Avatar, but did not say how much attendance at Disney's Animal Kingdom or Walt Disney World as a whole have gone up in attendance.
Instead Disney added the caveat that attendance numbers at Walt Disney World were not as high as they could have been due to the two-day closure that was caused by Hurricane Irma.
Of course, we won't know a precise per-park breakdown of attendance until the end of Spring 2018 (when the TEA/AECOM report comes out), but reading between the lines here it looks like, even though Disneyland seems to be having a stellar year once again, Walt Disney World is continuing to stall while guests wait eagerly for the 2019 opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.
2. Hotel occupancy is down for the third quarter in a row
Although the attendance news from Disney Parks in the US overall was pretty positive, Disney did admit that hotel reservations at domestic resorts were down again for a third quarter at Walt Disney World. Though no potential reason was given for this slowdown (other than Hurricane Irma, once again), we'd guess that the recent pet friendliness that has been adopted by the resort may be the result of this slowdown as Disney tries to beef up room occupancy with this latest perk.