On August 10, The Walt Disney Company held its third-quarter earnings call. Overall, the call was very positive — with Disney announcing profits in a number of areas, especially in the theme parks. Disney also shared that it now has Disney+ operating in more than 150 markets and expects the streaming platform to see a profit by 2024. While they did say that Disneyland attendance was “unfavorable”, they were able to make up for lower attendance at other Parks with the increased spending at places like Walt Disney World. Plus, all of Disney’s theme parks are now open, which hasn’t been the case since early 2020.
Walt Disney CEO Bob Chapek was also thrilled with the number of people who are visiting Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort and purchasing Disney Genie+ — a system that allows Guests to enter the Lightning Lane (the new name for FastPass). At Walt Disney World, the cost for Disney Genie+ is $15 per day, per person. At Disneyland Resort, Disney Genie+ costs $20 per day, per person. According to Bob Chapek, about 50% of the Guests who visit those Resorts are purchasing Disney Genie+.
In terms of profits, Chapek shared that the company had made about $21.5 billion in revenue, surpassing Wall Street expectations by nearly half a million dollars. Those positive earnings numbers caused Disney stock to soar in the opening hours of August 11. Walt Disney stock was up about 9% in pre-market trading and is currently up nearly 5% as the market closes.
These numbers are great for Disney, as the company has been struggling in the stock market for months. Disney had a series of stumbles recently — including its public spat with Marvel star Scarlett Johansson, its late and poorly perceived response to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill, and its shocking firing of popular executive Peter Rice. At one point, Disney stock was sitting at $90 per share — a steep drop from the nearly $180 per share that it was at last August.
While Disney did lower its expected subscriber number for Disney+, it will continue to increase its profits in that area because a major price increase is coming. Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ will all see price increases. The Disney+ price increase will begin on December 8, when Disney launches its new ad-supported tier, which will cost $7.99 per month, the current cost of the ad-free tier.