Disney results include soft theme park attendance

Posted Wednesday, August 7, 2019 8:54 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Results were weaker than expected at Disney’s theme park business. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, at least in its initial weeks, had “attendance that was below what we hoped it would be,” Mr. Iger said. Some people, he said, may have stayed away because they feared long lines, but he also pointed out that Disney was unveiling Galaxy’s Edge in phases, delaying the opening of one major ride until January. Iger says he does not believe they have a pricing issue.

Read more from The New York Times.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019 11:58 AM

I would disagree. I do think they have a pricing issue. The demographics are that wages are not growing as fast as they should.Thereby shrinking middle class Americans .To afford current pricing you have to be Upper middle class (at least) They should get a bump From Star Wars but once that bump is over we will see what happens . This Quarter next year (2nd) should tell the tale.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2019 12:45 PM

Galaxy’s Edge was only open the last month of the reported quarter, and it was reservation only that entire month. I’m perplexed by Iger’s statement that “attendance was below what we hoped it would be” when reservations were sold out for the entire period. Makes him feel kind of disconnected, or he is projecting into the July attendance figures. In any case, it seems clear that this summer Disneyland attendance is way down, and I DO think it’s a pricing issue. Taking my family of 5 for one day at Disneyland this summer would cost nearly $1000 with parking and food. That’s insane. They have us Southern Californians trained to wait till the spring when they do fairly reasonable 3 day ticket specials $179 total.

Last edited by ThemeDesigner, Wednesday, August 7, 2019 12:49 PM
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Wednesday, August 7, 2019 1:50 PM

The linked article barely scratched the surface on the pricing discussion. Iger explained that part of their pricing strategy was to make it more expensive during peak periods and improve the guest experience. Room occupancy and per cap and per room spending is up year to year. If you can take a nominal hit on your already sky high attendance and still make more money, that's a win. That's why he says they don't have a pricing problem.

My family took Disney trips in 4 straight years up to last year and we are far from upper middle class. Disney isn't just for those doing better. It's for those who find a way to afford it.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2019 7:00 PM

kevin38 said:

I would disagree. I do think they have a pricing issue. The demographics are that wages are not growing as fast as they should.Thereby shrinking middle class Americans.

This talking point is a half-truth and does not apply to this situation. The middle class is shrinking but the gains are almost entirely upper classes. The "lower" financial class isn't changing in size as a percentage. So to that end, if you believe Disney is pricing too high, and only for people of means, then they're not pricing anyone out.

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019 5:50 PM

ThemeDesigner said:

Galaxy’s Edge was only open the last month of the reported quarter, and it was reservation only that entire month. I’m perplexed by Iger’s statement that “attendance was below what we hoped it would be” when reservations were sold out for the entire period.

My understanding is that a huge number of those reservations went unfilled. As in, people booked them and then didn't show up. (Obviously for the reservation ones, not the ones tied to the room).

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019 9:54 PM

And another piece asking if they've hit a price limit:

https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/08/13/have-disneyland-fans-finally...limit/amp/

They bring up the 3% decline in attendance but neglect the 10% rise in per capital spending. Iger mentioned this wouldn't be a bad thing years ago.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2019 11:56 AM

Just was looking at the new Ticket option at Disney World for entry after Noon .Is this the first time Disney has offered a lower cost ticket for out of state guests ? I note that the ticket is not available after Star Wars Opens

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