Will the 'Frozen' Events Score More Net Cash than Universal's Potter?

June 28, 2014, 10:29 AM

Universal spent millions, licensing, building and marketing the new Potter attractions, restaurants and shops. Of course the merchandise in the stores is owned by entities such as Warner Brothers and Ms. Rowiling. So the net on every $40 wand is probably reduced dramatically. Likewise I am sure Ms. Rowling gets a take from Leaky Cauldron receipts, the sale of butter beer and (I would not be at all surprised) a chunk of the Hogwart Express ticket upgrades. Of course there are labor costs associated with operating the new dark ride -- maintenance, operating, etc. If Rowling and Warners scoop a portion of the cash off the GROSS, that will be expensive. In contrast, the DHS event features content that is wholly owned by Disney and requires construction/production costs that are (compared to Universal's burden) ... pennies. The way I see it, Disney is going make a ton of money, while Universal will use its apportioned slice of the revenue to re-cover its investment.

Replies (33)

June 28, 2014, 2:43 PM

I don't see the Frozen event for this summer at DHS resulting in any new WDW-wide park ticket sales. What I see is several 1000s of people who were going to Magic Kingdom to stand in line for hours to do a meet & greet with Anna & Elsa and watching them wave from a parade float now going to DHS for multiple A&E encounters. The merchandise sales will be increased but more merch at MK and DTD would have sold as well.

Anyway, Magic Kingdom will be slightly better to visit with the lower crowds.

Edited: June 28, 2014, 3:30 PM

I am not sure why people believe the Magic Kingdom"s attendance will drop. The meet and greet remains and if you believe TEA/AECOM, the MK hit 18+ last year BEFORE Anna & Elsa showed up.

I think that thw Magic KIngdom will maintain its numbers and people (locals) with little girls will flock to DHS.

Having said this, I am not surd what Mr. Duda's post has to xo with which property will pull the greatest net revenue: Disney (Frozen) or Universal (Potter)?

June 28, 2014, 4:45 PM

In order to make money from merchandise, it must be available for sale and not "out of stock." ;^)

So... Universal wins. (For now, at least.)

Edited: June 28, 2014, 7:19 PM

So tie a string around a carrot, call it Olaf's nose, and slap a Frozen tag on it.

June 29, 2014, 6:26 AM

The young people who grew up with Potter are now in their 20s and 30s and still love The Boy Who Lived. These are the folks with disposable income to burn and they will be bringing their full wallets and charge cards to Universal as they have since 2010. Potterville is a veritable license to print money for Universal.

Frozen is great and a real money maker too, HOWEVER, it is composed of parents buying for their kids as children don't hold the purse strings and thus after a certain point mom and dad reign in the spending.

Adults like my wife and I do not have children and we plan to go to Diagon Alley and spend freely as we do have the disposable income as stated above. We work hard, we play hard and we like to take vacations and spend money while at it. We travel to Central Florida about every two years from the US west coast with annual international trips for 1 to 2 weeks. We are what they used to call DINKs (Double Income No Kids). We are not wealthy, but are professionals that have found that when we go to Florida now it is VERY Universal centric with a day or two at Disney (generally at Epcot for Food and Wine Festival).

I know the two of us are NOT alone in this mindset.

June 29, 2014, 3:48 PM

Mr. Catlett: "Potterville is a veritable license to print money for Universal."

I Respomd: It would be more accurate to post "Potterville (which required a massive capital outlay) has resulted in a veritable license to print money which is necessary to pay Warner Brothers and J.K. Rowling after which Universal receives some compensation required to offset the aforementioned capital outlay."

June 29, 2014, 9:06 PM

You know Comcast/NBC is forking over a boat load of cash to update/create new hotels, restaurants, themed areas, and entertainment in break neck speed after the first phase of potter. News outlets stated that universal has recouped the amount that went into the first phase in a few months instead of what analysis said would take 5 years. Yeah your right TH, NBC/Comcast is only getting a meager amount from potter. ;)

June 30, 2014, 4:00 PM

Apple Butter: "Yeah your (sic) right TH, NBC/Comcast is only getting a meager amount from potter."

I Respond: trying to determine where I said the amount would be "meager?"

Apple Butter: "News outlets stated that universal has recouped the amount that went into the first phase in a few months instead of what analysis said would take 5 years."

I Respond: Really? Got a link from a qualified source that affirms that assertion?

June 30, 2014, 5:40 PM

Meager = "So the net on every $40 wand is probably reduced dramatically."

Do we have to debate what you wrote already?

July 1, 2014, 7:02 AM

Anon Mouse: "Do we have to debate what you wrote already?"

I Respond: "We?" ... um, okay. And actually you don't "have to debate" anything -- especially in defense of other posters. But I suppose some people feel compelled and can't help themselves.



July 1, 2014, 9:24 AM

http://www.themeparkinsider.com/reviews/universal's_islands_of_adventure/ here's one but I'll find more of my sources later today because I work for a living and I am on my lunch.

July 1, 2014, 9:39 AM

Your question isn't specific enough. Is this just the "Frozen Events" limited to the parks, or does it include merchandise and movie sales company wide? Do we stop counting cash once those "events" end, or do we continue into long term projections?

Last question I pose, do we need to really argue over name calling and taken out of context words? Please get back on topic without the baiting.

July 1, 2014, 4:36 PM

Court E asks: "Is this just the "Frozen Events" limited to the parks, or does it include merchandise and movie sales company wide?"

I Respond: I think it is absolutely company wide (including merchandise and movie sales). If the 'Frozen' events sell DVDs and downloads the revenue should be added in to Disney's haul. Of course Universal had nothing to do with the Potter films, so they won't make any money off the flicks.

July 1, 2014, 8:01 PM


"With millions of new fans and untold profits from Harry Potter, Universal had the funds to buy out long-time partner Blackstone Group, allowing Universal's corporate parent, NBCUniversal, to own 100 percent of the Orlando resort for the first time. Universal also has embarked on an ambitious expansion of its theme parks around the world, building new Harry Potter lands at Universal Studios Florida, Hollywood, and Japan.

Back in Orlando, Potter profits have helped Universal build a fourth hotel at the resort, and to add and refurbish attractions in both theme parks, helping the Universal Orlando parks draw closer in attendance to those at rival Walt Disney World."

July 1, 2014, 8:02 PM

Then the answer for short term is easily Frozen. Long term depends on how Disney and Universal play their cards. Disney will still probably make more money based on the fact they own the property in its entirety.

I don't think Universal could beat Disney in profits even if Frozen wasn't a factor. Market share might be the only significant impact we will see if it's even impactful to Disney.

July 1, 2014, 8:15 PM

Frozen won't earn much money for Disney as a theme park attraction if it remains at the Magic Kingdom, which already max'ed out in attendance. Plus, Robert noted how people can't buy anything. Selling out is fine, but there is lost opportunity to earn more.

Unlike Harry Potter, Frozen has no attraction to push. HP has two whole lands to visit that translates to direct profits with restaurants and wands and drinks. Although I am very interested in buying a Elsa dress or doll for my daughter, I won't buy it for myself. Men, women, girls, and boys all may want a Harry Potter wand and butterbeer.

July 3, 2014, 5:27 PM

Anon Mouse: "Unlike Harry Potter, Frozen has no attraction to push."

I Reply: Unlike the fact that Universal does not own the rights to the Harry Potter franchise, Frozen is wholly owned by Disney -- delivering the net revenues (generated by a sizable margin) directly to (and ONLY to) the Disney company.

Edited: July 3, 2014, 7:19 PM

"Frozen is wholly owned by Disney -- delivering the net revenues (generated by a sizable margin) directly to (and ONLY to) the Disney company."

Based on your question above, you're only talking about theme park related revenues. I argue Frozen doesn't produce much related revenue since there's not much you can see or do with Frozen at Disney's theme parks.

What Frozen revenue are you referring to? Merchandising is easy to figure out. The Frozen photos at the meet and greets. But do people go to the parks for Frozen? That's harder to quantify without any Frozen attractions. Like I already said, the Magic Kingdom is already maxed out in attendance. Perhaps putting Frozen at DHS will help to goose attendance there where it could have an impact. In relation to Harry Potter, there's no competition.

I would love to buy Frozen merchandise, but I'm sittings on the sidelines since there's nothing to buy. The Disney Store has nothing for months.

As for revenue from licensing, there are many ways of paying royalties that doesn't impede Universal's profits. Usually, royalties is based on a nominal amount.

July 3, 2014, 7:34 PM

When I went to Disney World for vacation, I went to see Anna and Elsa at the Meet and Greet using Fastpass+. We took 6 photos using Photopass that I prepaid for $149. From the entire trip, 225 photos were captured. Therefore, my direct Frozen revenue for Disney theme parks is $4.00 rounded up.

July 4, 2014, 5:48 AM

I am curious on who this Anon Mouse is.

My answer to this question is.....strangely yes.

Frozen has turned into its own little monster where the public wants MORE MORE MORE. As somebody who has worked at an Ice Rink, they are charging a ridiculous amount of money for skating (and it will be full)

I am not sure how you got $4 as revenue. I am pretty sure Disney just got $159 out of you!

Edited: July 4, 2014, 8:08 AM

I'm not sure who Anthony is, but attributing $159 to Frozen is ridiculous. ($159 is whose math?)

I planned my vacation well before Frozen and I'm to give Frozen all the credit?

Okay, I get it now. Guests going to Universal are crediting Harry Potter, while guests going to Disney parks are crediting Frozen. This is the level of debate these days.

Edited: July 4, 2014, 11:30 AM

Yeah! Who is this Anon Mouse, anyway? And for that matter who is this TH Creative? What makes him such an expert about theme parks or other stuff? This whole thing as crazy! I'm out of order! You're out of order! The whole darn thread is out of order!

Accept Anthony ... Nice guy ... We had a beer together once at Splitsville.

Edited: July 4, 2014, 11:37 AM

I'll jump back in for a moment. Using words like "Net" or "Gross" outside of a strict accounting definition is useless in this discussion unless you are deeply involved in the money details at WDW and UOR.

I tried to answer the question in a general sense...Will WDW make more NEW money because of Frozen or will UOR make more NEW money because of Diagon Alley?

Because Frozen is only a months-old property, vacations at WDW will incorporate the Frozen events into previously scheduled vacations. Most money expenditure seem like they will be re-allocation of funds from one thing to another.

Diagon Alley has been known as long as two-plus years ago to be debuting this summer even if exact dates weren't known. People have had a lot of time to plan to come to UOR just for DA. UOR has built a new 2000 room Cabana Bay Resort and added new City Walk restaurants/eateries opening this summer.

All this leaves me to believe that UOR will get a huge amount of new money, not just re-allocated money, due to Diagon Alley.

July 4, 2014, 7:31 PM

Splitsville? For self serving reasons I would suggest Kings instead

Edited: July 4, 2014, 9:34 PM

Kings is too far away. I actually know who TH Creative is. He is a live person! I also know why he goes by a hidden name on the website. I am curious to know who Anon Mouse is because obviously, they know something...

Just because Frozen isn't your cup of tea doesn't mean that every young girl's family is going to spend tons of money on Frozen stuff. I come from a family of nearly all boys. Frozen is nice, but we really do not get the draw. Its out of control folks ! People are that nuts! Even the ladies that have been added on to our family (wives and girlfriends) are crazy for this stuff.

July 5, 2014, 5:43 PM

"I actually know who TH Creative is. He is a live person!"

Hmmm. Good for you. Now, explain why he is a theme park expert.

Did you notice how he didn't follow up on his request for links? He does this a lot. What is his rebuttal? There isn't any... yet.

July 5, 2014, 7:38 PM

July 5, 2014, 7:42 PM

I will explain why I am a "theme park expert."

It is because I am an expert on theme parks.

And I am also the very model of a modern Major-General ... so I got that going for me.

July 5, 2014, 7:53 PM

The net value is the multiplier of the forecasted gross sum of the quantitative denominator of the the 10 power divided by two.... That makes about as much sense as this thread. Winner winner fish dinner which I'm going to have at Leaky Cauldron when I'm there in a couple months.

July 5, 2014, 8:06 PM

I'm very well acquainted, too, with matters mathematical, I understand equations, both the simple and quadratical, About binomial theorem I'm teeming with a lot o' news, (bothered for a rhyme) With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse.

Edited: July 6, 2014, 1:18 PM

On the first day of Frozen at DHS, I got word from a friend that EPCOT was unusually uncrowded in World Showcase. Maybe the re-allocated Frozen expenditures will hurt EPCOT? Sort of makes sense if parents with young girls decide to sacrifice their 'adult' day at EPCOT for a Frozen day at DHS.

Who can tell, really? The first days a a new, big event always creates unusual big and small crowds.

July 7, 2014, 7:09 PM

Epcot got big crowds? Oh, the horror and on a Frozen night!

July 7, 2014, 9:23 PM

I can't tell if Anthony's being sarcastic (at least about his first sentence) or if he misread the post.

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