Disney Genie Plus, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said today. In addition, per capita guest spending is up 30% over pre-pandemic levels, company executives said.About one-third of Walt Disney World visitors are upgrading to
Disney reported revenue of $5.450 billion for its Parks, Experiences and Products segment in the fourth quarter of 2021, a 99% increase over the same period in 2020. However, this year's revenue remained behind the $6.655 billion in revenue that Disney reported for its parks segment for the final quarter of 2019, before the pandemic.
Operating income for the parks segment was $640 million in the fourth quarter, up from a $945 million loss in the same period in 2020, but down from a $1.381 billion in income for the same period in 2019.
For the year, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products reported $16.552 billion in revenue in its 2021 fiscal year, down 1% from the 2020 fiscal year. Yet operating income was up 4%, to $471 million, for 2021 over 2020.
Disney's theme parks were closed for significant part of both the company's 2020 and 2021 fiscal years. In the company's 2019 fiscal year, before the pandemic forced parks worldwide to close, the Parks, Experiences and Products segment reported revenue of $26.225 billion and operating income of $6.758 billion.
"Attendance trends continued to strengthen at our domestic parts with Walt Disney World's Q4 attendance up double digits versus Q3, and Disneyland attendance continuing to strengthen significantly from its reopening in the third quarter," CFO Christine McCarthy said. "Guest spending at our domestic parks also continued its strong trend with per capita spending in the fourth quarter up nearly 30% versus fiscal 2019."
"We expect that per capita spending at our domestic parks in fiscal 2022 will continue to significantly exceed pre-pandemic levels, and we are particularly encouraged by the early response we are seeing to Genie at Walt Disney World," McCarthy said.
"The majority of Genie and Genie Plus users have said it improved their overall park experience, with nearly one-third of park guests upgrading to Genie Plus," CEO Bob Chapek said. "We are very encouraged by what we're seeing and look forward to launching Disney Genie at Disneyland very soon."
Disney Genie Plus is a $15 per person per day upgrade at the Walt Dusney World Resort, while the service will cost $20 per person per day at Disneyland. For more information on the service, please read our guide, How to Use Disney Genie Plus.
As for Disneyland's new annual pass system, Chapek added that about 40% of current sales of Disneyland's new Magic Key passes have been to new passholders, and most Magic Key holders have purchased the top two tiers, with the top Dream Key selling out in just two months. Chapek also noted that the upcoming Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser experience at Walt Disney World has sold out its first four months of operations. The Star Wars-themed hotel opens next spring.
As for Disney Cruise Line, McCarthy said, "our entire fleet has returned to sea, with guests ratings as strong as pre-pandemic levels, despite new health and safety protocols. While we expect social distancing restrictions on our ships to remain in place for at least the first half of fiscal 2022, booked occupancy on our ships for the second half of the year is already ahead of historical ranges, at significantly higher pricing. And we are excited for the Disney Wish to set sail in June 2022, with the inaugural season already nearly 90% booked."
Finally - and not directly related to the parks but perhaps of interest, Chapek said that the company plans to get more involved in the sports betting business. He said that Disney's research now shows that the company getting into sports gambling would strengthen the ESPN brand without harming the Disney brand. That's a huge cultural turn-around for The Walt Disney Company, which had positioned itself as staunchly opposed to any connection to gambling in the past.
Update: I missed this during the investor call because I was updating this post, but I caught it later when reading the transcript. McCarthy was asked about inflationary pressures, and she responded:
"Just last week I was talking to our Parks senior team about things we could do there. There are lots of things that are worth talking about, you know, we can adjust suppliers; we can substitute products. We can cut portion size, which is probably good for some people's waistlines. We can look at pricing where necessary, but we aren't going to go just straight across and increase prices."
The "waistlines" crack is not going to play well, is it?
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