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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