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Guests Continue to Flood Walt Disney World Amid Higher Prices and New Fees

Yesterday, The Walt Disney Company released its quarterly earnings report and while revenue from films like Black Panther (and most recently Avengers: Infinity War) are performing well for the company at the box office, continuing concerns about the broadcasting division of the company, including networks ABC and ESPN, as well as the stalling out of a deal with 20th Century FOX, are causing some concern for investors. 

However, while things might be sputtering a little bit for the company as a whole, the news is very good for the Parks and Resorts division, which has seen a number of very exciting developments during the most recent quarter of 2018, including the following...

1. Domestic attendance is up yet again

The biggest bombshell in Disney's report was that that domestic attendance across both Disneyland and Walt Disney World is continuing to grow, rising by 5 percent, according to Disney chief financial officer Christine McCarthy.

Of course, we won't know a precise per-park breakdown of attendance until next year's TEA/AECOM report comes out, but reading between the lines here it looks like, Disney is still riding high on the success of Pandora - The World of Avatar, and is also continuing to ride the wave of increased attendance that began late last year and looks to continue into the summer. 

2. Per-guest spending is up again as price hikes and upcharges continue to pay off

In even more good news for Disney parks, per-person spending is up once again thanks to increases in ticket prices, more spending opportunities in the form of higher ticket prices, upcharge events, paid FastPass+ reservations, increased merchandise purchases, price hikes on food, higher daily hotel room rates, and most recently, a new daily parking fee for resort guests. This is certainly interesting, as it seems like Disney's current strategy of continuously raising prices is still continuing to pay off for them, and they haven't found an upper ceiling for these price hikes yet, which means guests will likely continue to see the cost of their vacations increase steadily. 

In addition to the boost in per-guest spending, Parks and Resorts revenues for the quarter increased 13% to $4.9 billion and segment operating income increased 27% to $1.0 billion. 

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