It’s no secret that Disney fans have been less-than-thrilled with the House of Mouse lately. Guests who visit Disney theme parks are frequently seeing prices for everything from hotels and Park tickets to bottles of water getting more and more expensive. The biggest issue that Guests seem to complain about is the ticket prices, and many feel that Disney has priced out the average American family — the exact family whom Walt Disney designed the theme parks for.
Walt Disney CEO Bob Chapek attended the Wall Street Journal Tech Live Conference and was asked about the park prices and how they affect people who are die-hard Disney fans — the ones who may be affected the most by price increases and who are the most vocal about it.
We want to guarantee a great Guest experience no matter when people come. If they come the second Tuesday in September, we want them to have a great Guest experience. Maybe that wouldn’t be so hard in the past. But if they come the day after Thanksgiving, we also want to guarantee that they’re going to have a great experience. The people who actually come into the Park that day. We want them to have a great experience, so that, no matter what day you come, you are guaranteed to get that magical experience that creates magical memories that last a lifetime.
So, what we developed during the COVID shutdown was a reservation system so we can plan like every other business out there, like an airline that’s got fixed capacity, like an airline, hotel, cruise industry, we developed a reservation system so people would know ahead of time whether they were going to get in or not.
Then, we practiced yield management, which again, which every other company in the world can do, so that we have pricing be a reflection of how many people we can actually let in and still guarantee that great experience. So, for some of our fans, that’s heresy. But I think it’s not only good business practice in terms of maximizinv shareholder value, but more importantly, it protects the guest experience, so that when you get into the Park, you can have confidence it’s not going to be overcrowded.
You can watch that part of Chapek’s interview below, which was shared by theme park insider, Scott Gustin:
Disney CEO Bob Chapek talks about pricing/demand at its theme parks and avoiding alienating the company’s most passionate fans.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek talks about pricing/demand at its theme parks and avoiding alienating the company’s most passionate fans. pic.twitter.com/IB0oNTMd8J
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) October 26, 2022
This is not the first time that Chapek has been asked to address Disney’s price hikes, although, this is one of the few times he danced around the question and focused on reservations. In the past, Chapek has said that Disney is seeing increased demand and will increase prices accordingly until they see that demand wane.