As Prices Decline, Disney’s Reputation Hits All-Time Low

in Walt Disney World

Mickey Mouse rides the carousel at Hong Kong Disneyland

Credit: Hong Kong Disneyland

The Walt Disney Company may be experiencing a major downturn.

Disney is known for its theme parks worldwide, which include Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL and Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, as well as its many branches of entertainment, including Disney Pixar, Lucasfilm, Marvel Studios, and much more. Over the course of the last 100 years, The Walt Disney Company has become one of the most successful entities in the world today, standing tall as a huge conglomerate.

However, the last few years have not been kind to Disney. The Walt Disney Company is currently in the midst of its third round of layoffs, and there has been quite the amount of backlash– from both sides of the political spectrum– surrounding both the Parks and Entertainment divisions of the company.

Disney reached polarizing political depths last year when the company took a stand against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s Parental Rights in Education bill, which many opponents dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. In response, the Florida Governor began passing legislation to take away Walt Disney World Resort’s self-governance. Disney essentially made the Reedy Creek Improvement District powerless before DeSantis took over and, after he passed another bill allowing the state to provide inspections for certain Disney transportation, including the Disney Monorail, the company filed a lawsuit. DeSantis’s newly-appointed Central Florida Tourism Oversight District filed a counter-lawsuit against Disney, and now the two parties seem destined to battle out in court.

While Disney has many supporters in the matter, the company is also facing stark backlash from many others. Disney’s last two animated films, Lightyear (2022) and Strange World (2022) were box office bombs. In addition, Disney World announced a special 4-day summer ticket deal for just $99.00 per day that had many opponents pointing out the Parks’ dip in attendance. Of course, Disney’s latest numbers for Park Revenue will be released at the beginning of next year.

In the recent Axios Harris poll, Disney’s reputation plummetted, dropping to 77th among the rankings of companies and receiving a score of just 70.9. For reference, Disney’s score just four years ago in 2019 was well over 80.

“The lesson here is that when you divide you subtract,” said Harris Poll CEO John Gerzema. “When you divide audiences, you’re ultimately going to be subtracting customers for your business.”

The stark divide in the poll between Democrats and Republicans is the difference in Disney’s reputation. Disney lost momentum across each of nine attributes measured in the Axios Harris 100 poll — with the biggest declines among citizenship and growth, according to the report. The polarization of Disney is only expected to become even more prominent over the next year, especially as the feud in Florida continues.

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