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Attendance Grows at Disney Parks Despite Slashed Budgets

Earlier this week The Walt Disney Company released its quarterly earnings report and, while the big news out of the company may have been the confirmation of new exciting series coming to its Disney+ streaming service (including a Marvel series starring Tom Hiddleston as Loki and a Star Wars series starring Diego Luna as Cassian Andor), it looks like this most recent quarter was a good one for the Parks and Resorts division as well, despite some earlier reports to the contrary.. 

1. Attendance is up at US parks, despite reports and slashed budgets

Earlier this year, Disney went on a massive budget cut spree, removing characters, cutting hours at attractions, and even shuttering dining locations, all reportedly due to concerns over attendance slowdowns. However, it looks like these reports were either overstated or inaccurate, as Disney has gone on record in their most recent financial results as saying that their attendance for the most recent quarter at US parks is up from last year. 

Of course, Disney won't say exactly how much growth the parks have seen since 2017, and its possible that these cuts were actually made not due to negative attendance trends, but perhaps in response to Disney missing a specific target growth threshold. Last quarter, it was reported that attendance was essentially flat with last year, rising just one percent, and that could be the case again this quarter, which would still be disappointing for Disney, even if it is technically a gain. 

2. Revenue is also up thanks to higher prices

Disney's Parks and Resorts division reported overall revenue of $5.07 billion during the most recent quarter, a 9 percent increase when compared with $4.66 billion for the same period in 2017. The division also had a 10 percent jump to $20.2 billion in full-fiscal-year revenue, up from $18.4 billion from last year. As you might expect given the higher traffic levels, this boosted revenue is coming from increased guest spending in the parks, as well as higher prices on food, hotel rooms, tickets, annual passes and more, proving yet again that no matter how much Disney hikes prices, guests will continue to pay, which will translate into bigger profits.  

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