Iger: Avatar Experience Coming to Disneyland

February 8, 2023, 3:18 PM · An Avatar experience will be coming to Disneyland, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced today during an investors conference call. Iger provided no details on the new experience, saying that they will come "very soon."

As for the financial report, revenue at Disney's theme park segment rose 21% to $8.736 billion in the three-month period ending December 31, 2022, driving operating income for Disney Parks, Experiences and Products up 25% to $3.053 billion, the company reported today.

Domestic parks provided $2.1 billion of Disney's operating income for the quarter, with international parks contributing just $79 million and consumer products making up the rest. Still that international parks performance was up from just $21 million for the same period one year ago. Shanghai Disneyland was the big drag on international parks, as it was open for fewer days in the most recent quarter when compared with the same period one year ago.

"At domestic parks and experiences, significant revenue and operating income growth in the quarter was achieved despite purposefully reducing capacity during select peak holiday periods by approximately 20% versus pre-pandemic levels in order to prioritize the guest experience," Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy said. "Per capita guest spend at our domestic parks also showed strong growth in the quarter. To date, park attendance at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort are pacing above prior year, and based on reservation bookings we expect to see this trend continue."

Iger also pointed to Disneyland's recent announcement that it would increase the number of days that it offers single-day tickets at its lowest price tier as a way that Disney is working to make its parks more accessible to customers.

On the other side of the company, the Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution segment posted a $10 million loss in operating income for the quarter on a meager one percent increase in revenue, to $14.776 billion.

"After a solid first quarter, we are embarking on a significant transformation, one that will maximize the potential of our world-class creative teams and our unparalleled brands and franchises," Iger said. "We believe the work we are doing to reshape our company around creativity, while reducing expenses, will lead to sustained growth and profitability for our streaming business, better position us to weather future disruption and global economic challenges, and deliver value for our shareholders."

Iger, who returned as Disney CEO late last year, announced that the old Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution segment is being divided into two segments in Disney's new corporate structure: Disney Entertainment and ESPN. The Disney Parks, Experiences and Products segment will continue as before, with Josh D'Amaro remaining in charge.

As part of the restructuring, Disney will eliminate about 7,000 jobs as part of an attempt to save $5.5 billion in expenses, which McCarthy said initially would be 50% from marketing, 30% from labor, and 20% from technology procurement and other expenses.

Yet Disney will continue to invest, specifically in the parks, Iger said.

"I mentioned on the call that we're going to bring a version of Avatar to Disneyland. We have other opportunities as well," he said. "I've talked to Josh D'Amaro about this very recently, like this morning, again, to really look at all the great franchises of the company and see where we can invest them in the parks to increase capacity, while in about preserving guest satisfaction."

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Replies (16)

February 8, 2023 at 3:51 PM

Interesting, a full land like DAK or just Pandora ride?

February 8, 2023 at 3:54 PM

Na'vi Campus.

February 8, 2023 at 4:09 PM

"At domestic parks and experiences, significant revenue and operating income growth in the quarter was achieved despite purposefully reducing capacity during select peak holiday periods by approximately 20% versus pre-pandemic levels in order to prioritize the guest experience."

And yet somehow I'm only able to ride about half as many rides each day as I did before the quarantine. How on earth does "prioritizing the guest experience" yield vastly longer lines? What an absolute crock of nonsense, I'm paying far, far more for far, far less, it's beyond obnoxious.

February 8, 2023 at 4:50 PM

Interesting that Iger used the word experience and not attraction for Avatar at Disneyland. There’s simply no room for Pandora as designed at Disney World at Disneyland without major demo of existing property.

February 8, 2023 at 4:57 PM

first @NCPETE LOL !!!

2nd Robert- Is this what you eluded to in a recent article, when you (paraphrasing)stated that you knew what was in store for DLR, and you loved it, but couldn't speak of ?

February 8, 2023 at 5:03 PM

Perhaps he's referring to the "Explore Pandora" exhibit that debuted at Shanghai Disneyland?

February 8, 2023 at 5:39 PM

Pure speculation:

If we’re simply talking an Avatar exhibit like in Shanghai or a unique “experience,” it’ll end up in Tomorrowland more likely than not. Launch Bay and the Tomorrowland (Captain EO) theater have been shuttered for some time since COVID. Or perhaps just Flight or Passage replacing Launch Bay, the theate, or maybe even Star Tours.

If we’re talking a whole themed Pandora land- a) Hollywood Land at DCA could be rethemed, but that does not seem likely or b) it’ll be one of the lands that’s part of the proposed “Disneyland Forward” project replacing one of the lots connecting to either Disneyland or CA Adventure. My money is on Disneyland Park. Would be cool if they could put it next to Adventureland, but don’t see how they could possibly do that. Tomorrowland seems like the best bet for AVATAR at this point.

February 8, 2023 at 6:28 PM

Watch it just be a short film they put in the old "Honey, I Shrunk the Audience" theater...

February 8, 2023 at 6:34 PM

Yes! Avatar, A Musical Experience coming to the Hyperion Theater!

February 8, 2023 at 7:09 PM

I'm also thinking an exhibit like the one from Shanghai in the old Launch Bay/Innoventions space.

February 8, 2023 at 7:13 PM

I’m predicting a Na’Vi meet and greet.

February 8, 2023 at 8:13 PM

Given the type of announcement, I think it's a replacement for the Star Wars Launch Bay. Retheme it as the RDA Science Center or something like that and fill it with a few mini-attractions.

February 8, 2023 at 8:45 PM

So Disney needs to keep jacking up prices at the theme parks to offset other losses and will invest more money into streaming - meaning you ain’t getting any new attractions cause we don’t have a demand issue in our parks - at least epic universe will be coming

February 8, 2023 at 10:49 PM

The revenue is up 20% because they brought back the full slate of Halloween and Christmas parties. In 2020 they did nothing and in 21 they had some rinky dink half baked after hours thing that they barely sold any tickets to.

February 9, 2023 at 5:29 AM

@AgustinMacias I think you're on to something! That would be an amazing show!

February 9, 2023 at 6:01 AM

Omg I read the title as Iger: Avatar and thought it would've been a bob iger avatar people could visit.

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