Operating income was up 21% in Disney's theme park division, offsetting declines or flat performances in all of Disney's other businesses.
Disney reported higher attendance and guest spending at its domestic theme parks for the quarter, driven by higher prices on tickets and room rates and more spending on food, beverages, and merchandise. Pandora: The World of Avatar drove record attendance at Disney's Animal Kingdom and to the Walt Disney World Resort in 2017, Disney reported. Attendance also was up at the troubled Disneyland Paris Resort, thanks to its recent 25th anniversary. If you want to crunch some numbers yourself, here is Disney's press release.
Disney CEO Robert Iger told investors in a conference call that the success of its recent spending on theme parks "deepens our confidence" in future investments in the parks, including the upcoming Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge lands and expansions at the Walt Disney World Resort in advance of its 50th anniversary in 2021.
Rival Universal also is enjoying strong performance from its theme parks. Parent Comcast reported last month that Universal Parks and Resorts posted $1.6 billion in revenue for the quarter, representing a 9% year-over-year increase.Tweet
This is what Eisner forgot. Yes, he built Disney/MGM Studios and Euro Disney, but when Euro Disney failed, he blamed it on the Imagineers and vowed never to spend so much on a park, so we got California Adventure, the Paris Studios Park and Hong Kong Disneyland.
Iger was also lagging behind, putting most of Disney's efforts into Shanghai, while leaving the domestic parks without major additions for years. Disney also put an emphasis on My Magic Plus over new additions, giving Universal the opportunity to up their game and take away some of Disney's market share.
The theme parks should be Disney's priority. Cultivate fans there and you have passionate fanatics, just witness the crowds at Disneyland. When a movie comes out, it has box office, video and merchandise revenue. But what keeps that movie's fandom alive is the theme parks. Indiana Jones is a 30 some years old franchise. Yes, people remember the movies, but what probably still keeps it in the public's imagination are the theme park attractions.
I wish investing in the parks meant more investing in the Cast Members. The thousand dollar bonus is only nice if you don't understand how much money they could be spending on their people. It's honestly insulting. So many Cast Member "perks" and "benefits" end up being tax write offs or business deals that result in benefits to the company.
Sorry for the rant. I just it was better for all those hourly Cast Members... and Team Members too!
The run away success of The Shanghai resort is another Iger SUCCESS.
As a shareholder, I say... #THANKSShanghai!
COMPARED THAT TO
Comcast’s NBC Universal Parks & Resorts segment reported 4Q17 revenue of $1.461 billion and adjusted EBITDA of $661 million
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