Happy times at the Mouse House
Written by Robert Niles
As we gear up for the 2007 season in the theme and amusement park industry, there's an unusual feeling in the air. Or, more accurately, there's an absence of a feeling that's defined the industry over the past decade.Tweet
No one's tanking.
Six Flags has sold the parks it wanted to sell and is gearing up to make family-friendly additions to the parks it retained. Cedar Fair has bought out Paramount Parks. Busch is investing in new and upgraded attractions at its parks. Universal's finally found stable ownership, in NBC, and is rumored to be dropping a major new attraction into Islands of Adventure soon.
And Disney? Well, the market leader is still showing the rest of the field how to make some serious coin.
Disney announced yesterday that its first quarter profit more than doubled from a year ago. Of course,l Disney's got money following in from about a gajillion different industries, but theme parks remain strong for the Mouse.
Park earnings ose 8 percent to $405 million for the quarter. Per guest spending was up at Walt Disney World, though Disneyland (coming off its 50th Anniversary) saw a decline in attendance and spending. Disney's CFO told reporters that theme park bookings were up 3 percent in the first quarter of its fiscal year, when compared with the same period one year ago.
The only bleak spot was Hong Kong Disneyland, where attendance and spending remains in the tank for that underdeveloped Magic Kingdom park.
Of course, 2007 performance for all theme park companies depends upon... you. What are your plans for theme park visits in 2007? Are you planning to visit more, less or about the same as you did in 2006?
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