Disney keeps raking it in: $2.2 billion in theme park profits for the year
Written by Robert Niles
Disney's theme parks again are making billions of dollars in profits, thanks to charging visitors more than ever for tickets, food, hotel rooms, and merchandise. Disney reported its fourth-quarter and year-end financial results this afternoon, and the company's theme park division contributed $2.2 billion to the company's $6.1 billion in profits for the year ending September 28, 2013.Tweet
Disney reported that theme park revenue increased 9% during the year, to $14.1 billion. The company reported that both Walt Disney World and the Disneyland Resort hit record attendance numbers for the year, though attendance was down at the Disneyland Resort during the last three months of the company's fiscal year, when compared with the same period last year. Remember, July-September of 2012 were the first three full months that Cars Land and the new California Adventure were open to the public, and Disney didn't offer any major new openings for visitors this year.
Attendance also was down at Disneyland Paris, but for the entire year there — off 6.9 percent, from 16 million to 14.9 million visitors. But revenue at the Paris theme parks and hotels was down just 1.1 percent, thanks to higher spending per guest.
The story was the same across all of Disney's theme park resorts. Higher prices for tickets, hotel rooms, food, souvenirs led guests to spend more on their Disney visits. But the increased prices haven't hurt attendance at Walt Disney World, which is up for the year and for the latest three months. Recent declines at Disneyland haven't been enough to drag down overall revenue there, either. So long as people keep showing to pay higher prices, one should expect that Disney will keep raising them.
Here's the company's official statement on its theme park division:
"For the year, operating income growth reflected increases at our domestic parks and resorts, Disney Vacation Club and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, partially offset by a decrease at Disneyland Paris and higher pre-opening costs at Shanghai Disney Resort.
In other company news, Disney announced that Episode VII of Star Wars will debut December 18, 2015. That freed the May slot on Disney's 2015 release calendar, which now will go to the theme park-themed Tomorrowland movie, written and directed by Brad Bird and starring George Clooney, which is soon to be filming in Orlando.
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