Walt Disney World and Disneyland are some of the most popular vacation destinations in the world. While prices at the parks have continued to increase year over year, they have seen no noticeable decline in attendance since the return from the pandemic, so with those two factors combined it’s little surprise that Disney just announced its biggest quarter ever for the Parks, Experiences, and Products division, and considering that we recently saw a significant price increase take place after the end of the quarter, it’s a safe bet next quarter will be even bigger.
On Tuesday during The Walt Disney Company’s Q4 Earnings Call the company reported $7.4 billion in revenue for the division that includes theme parks, and whole some analysts were actually expecting that number to be slightly higher, it’s still a record revenue number for the division. CFO Christine McCarthy attributed much of the growth, over 30% more than the same quarter last year, to increased per capita spending by guests, driven by the use of Genie+, the paid system that gives guests the ability to skip lines on many attractions.
If per capita spending is going to be the driver of increased revenue, then we can easily expect the current quarter to be even more successful than the previous one, because about 10 days after the last quarter ended, we saw significant price increases across Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World. With tickets, food, and Genie+, all more expensive now than they were just a month ago, per capita spending is going to jump significantly.
This could be offset if fewer guests visit the parks, but that seems unlikely, especially in the short term. Most guests visiting in the next couple of months likely already had their trips planned prior to the increase in prices. And Halloween and the winter holiday season are incredibly popular times to visit the parks anyway.
The fact is that prices have been increasing regularly for years at Disney Parks and we have yet to see that have a significant impact on attendance. We certainly won’t see that change in the next few months. It’s possible that over a longer term we could see attendance fall, as more people decide to hold off trips due to the expense.
Per capita spending basically can’t help but increase because everything is simply more expensive now. And if it does ultimately lead to a reduction in attendance, that may not even be a bad thing for Disney. The company has argued that its unpopular reservation system is being used to keep attendance arbitrarily low, so that the guests who do visit the parks have a better experience, and may therefore end up spending even more money. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.
CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.
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