When will theme parks stop offering discounts on tickets and hotels?
Written by Robert Niles
Disney reported its latest quarterly earnings today, and while its movies are busting blocks, in the theme parks, the economy continues to clean Disney's clocks.Tweet
(Was that the worst line I've written in the history of Theme Park Insider? Possibly...)
Anyway, Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a conference call with Wall Street analysts that the company expects to stop offering theme park discounts by October of this year, and is willing to take an attendance hit in order to return to full pricing.
Disney's taking a bit of attendance hit as it is, with flat attendance in the first few months of 2010. And bookings for the third quarter (July-Sept.) are down 10 percent over the same period last year, Iger said.
Theme parks have been saying for two years that they expect to end their heavy discounting "soon." So far, Universal Orlando's been the only one to do it, and it needed the impending opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to make it stick.
Will Disney stop offering deals after this summer? (Disney's currently offering its dining program free to people who book hotel stays at Walt Disney World for trips this fall.) And if it does, how long will attendance and revenue suffer before crowds come back at full price?
As with many things in the theme park business, we'll have to wait to see....
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