There’s been a lot of talk in recent weeks about the crowds at Walt Disney World. Depending on who you’re listening to, you’ve either heard that the crowds have disappeared or are crazier than ever free. You’ve also even heard that it’s not affecting Disney or that it has drastically hurt their bottom line. All of that has been pure conjecture. No one has had a definitive answer… until today.
Disney has released its third-quarter earnings statement. While they naturally attempt to gloss over the things That make them look bad, if you know where to look. You know where to find the information income at the parks and resorts is up. This is a very good thing. However, a closer look at the earnings report shows that all is not well in Florida.
The report states, “Lower operating income at our domestic parks and resorts was attributable to a decrease at Walt Disney World Resort.” That means those thinning crowds? They matter. It is also significant that for the second place in a row, international parks have outlined domestic parks. We wouldn’t go so far as to say that Disney World is in trouble, But it does seem to be on a downward spiral.
Disney’s admission that crowds have thinned is significant as well. It flies in the face of comments that they have made previously. Bob Iger has gone on record in the past saying that the crowds aren’t smaller and that he’s not concerned about Disney World. The earnings report tells a very different story. Iger is an excellent showman, but the numbers are always going to tell the truth.