U. S. Disney Parks saw a 3rd quarter dip in attendance & revenue boost

in Disneyland Resort, Star Wars, Walt Disney World

Stormtroopers in Star Wars Galaxy's Edge

Credit: Disney

Walt Disney World and Disneyland both saw a decline in park attendance during the company’s fiscal third quarter, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced today.

Disney’s domestic parks saw an overall drop in park attendance of 3%, but it’s not all bad news. The company still made a few bucks during the quarter–6.6 billion of them, to be exact.

In fact, the Walt Disney Company reported an increase in revenue during the third quarter, as the entertainment giant enjoyed a 7% increase in revenue from Parks, Experiences, and Products. If you and yours visited Walt Disney World or Disneyland during Disney’s fiscal third quarter and ate something, drank something and/or bought something, congratulations; you helped the company reach that $6.6 billion mark in revenue.

Why was attendance down?

Disney CEO Bob Iger noted a 3% decrease in attendance at Disneyland Resort, but an increase in paid attendance and average spending. Iger had several explanations for the dip in park attendance.

He attributed the decrease in part to predictions about the newly-opened Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge that made Guests feel that their experience at Disneyland would be less than enjoyable because of the massive overcrowding. Iger says that potential Guests were concerned about crowds and in turn didn’t head to the Happiest Place on Earth during the third quarter.

Disneyland Sleeping Beauty Castle
Credit: Disney

He further blamed the lower attendance numbers on an increase in local (non-Disney) hotel prices and on Disneyland’s ticket price hike that went into effect in January of this year. The Disney CEO also cited the new Star Wars-themed land opening in May with only one of its two attractions up and running as another cause for “attendance that was below what (we) would have hoped it would be.” Iger also feels that lower annual passholder attendance also accounted for a part of the decline.

Disney CFO Christine McCarthy said many Guests postponed their trips to Walt Disney World in Florida until after Galaxy’s Edge opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on August 29, which had an effect on Disney World’s park attendance.

Good news for Disney

McCarthy went on to say that operating income was down, but that the company’s two domestic parks earned record-breaking revenue during the third quarter.

Even more good news for the Walt Disney Company is that its earnings report showed a 10% increase in average spending among Guests on items like food, drinks and merchandise and a 2% increase in resort hotel occupancy, bringing that number to 88%.

Did you postpone your trip to Disneyland or Disney World this year? If so, was your decision based on Galaxy’s Edge in any way? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Source: Orange County Register

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