Today, during The Walt Disney Company’s third-quarter earnings report, the company’s CEO Bob Iger specifically noted three businesses that he believed would provide future growth for the entertainment giant. Films, streaming, and Parks were among the stated points of positive future impact that Iger highlighted. Despite recent perceptions regarding the status of Walt Disney World and its performance, fueled by previous comments from Iger stating that crowd levels are not smaller, there seems to be some contradiction as the most recent earnings report suggests that Walt Disney World is responsible for “lower operating income” amongst Disney’s domestic Parks.
However, during the call Bob Iger spoke to Walt Disney World specifically and suggested that the Florida-based Resort, despite its depreciation, is still performing well above pre-COVID levels in terms of crowds. We’ve made this observation ourselves regarding perceived crowds at Disney World, as well as pointed out other topics of note that the company’s CEO made. Nearing the end of the post-COVID-boom of Guests in conjunction with the end of the 50th Anniversary Celebration, have seen a decrease in Guests at Disney World. However, the Orlando-based Resort is still performing a 21% higher revenue and 29% higher operating income compared to fiscal 2019, before COVID.
Iger on $DIS call: "Walt Disney World is still performing well above pre-COVID levels. 21% higher in revenue and 29% higher in operating income compared to fiscal 2019, adjusting for Starcruiser accelerated deprecation."
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) August 9, 2023
As many blame the decline of Walt Disney World Guests on the organization’s ongoing fight with Florida politicians, maybe there’s some truth when considering that the Resort is still operating well above its 2019 benchmarks. As Walt Disney World is one of the most desirable travel destinations in the world, many postponed trips once the Parks opened back up boosted numbers so high that lower crowd levels look as if the Parks are struggling, when in reality, the numbers are typical to what we would see at Disney World pre-COVID. Iger also went on to explain that all Parks, especially those in Asia, have had a strong quarter compared to Disney World, but the largest Disney Resort’s situation is not dire.