Earlier this week The Walt Disney Company released its quarterly earnings report and while the biggest news was in regards to the upcoming Disney+ streaming service (which Disney is pushing in an interesting way at Walt Disney World), some interesting things have been revealed about the Parks and Resorts division as well!
After reporting that theme park attendance declined by 3% last quarter, all eyes are on attendance figures at domestic theme parks, as Disney reportedly spent more than $1 billion each on the two 14-acre Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge expansions, and interestingly, the results so far are kind of a mixed bag...
1. Attendance is basically flat at US Disney parks
Though Disney does not typically report specific attendance numbers in their quarterly financial reports, they do report general trends at their parks, and this quarter was no different, with Disney confirming that attendance was down by a small amount at Disneyland and up by a small amount at Walt Disney World during the most recent quarter, which ended September 29th, 2019.
And though this might not seem like a big deal, the big takeaway here is that Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge simply isn't the massive draw that so many people were expecting it to be, with attendance at Disneyland actually going down during the post-passholder blackout period (when many people thought it would rebound), and the attendance needle at Walt Disney World just barely moving in a positive direction after the opening of this new land.
In a conference call after the financial results were released, Disney CEO Bob Iger said that the lack of big attendance gains after the grand opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge was due to guests delaying their trips until after the new Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance attraction opens next month at Disney's Hollywood Studios and in January at Disneyland Resort.
And though attendance at Disneyland and Walt Disney World overall haven't exploded the way Disney may have been hoping, Bob Iger also confirmed that since its opening, over 5 Million guests have experienced Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run between Disneyland and Walt Disney World, which is definitely an impressive number for this new bi-coastal attraction.