Earnings Report: No matter how much they complain about price hikes, Disney Parks Guests keep visiting and keep spending

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For all the grumbling in the atmosphere from Disney Parks fans who have had their fill with The Walt Disney Company‘s affinity for price hikes at each theme park, Guests sure are spending more while on their Disney vacations.

During The Walt Disney Company‘s Fiscal Year 2022 Quarter 2 earnings call on Wednesday, Disney CEO Bob Chapek and Disney CFO Christine McCarthy had lots to share about the good things happening inside the House of Mouse, including an increase in theme park operating income, better-than-expected Disney+ subscriber growth, and perhaps not quite as earth-shattering losses due to Hong Kong Disneyland and Shanghai Disneyland being closed for part or all of the quarter.

hong kong disneyland closed

Credit: The Independent

“Our strong results in the second quarter, including fantastic performance at our domestic parks and continued growth of our streaming services, with 7.9 million Disney+ subscribers added in the quarter and total subscriptions across all our DTC offerings exceeding 205 million, once again proved that we are in a league of our own,” said CEO Bob Chapek during the call.

When it came to theme park operating income for The Walt Disney Company, Disney’s Parks, Product, and Experiences division reported impressive numbers–numbers that suggest that despite months of unrest over Disney’s newly-revamped (and newly re-priced) Annual Passholder programs at Disney World and Disneyland Resort, increases in food prices in the parks (and smaller portions reportedly being served), and in other prices, Disney Guests are still showing up and still spending cash.

A press release from The Walt Disney Company ahead of Wednesday’s earnings call said it all:

Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Disney Parks, Experiences and Products revenues for the quarter increased to $6.7 billion compared to $3.2 billion in the prior-year quarter. Segment operating results increased by $2.2 billion to an income of $1.8 billion compared to a loss of $0.4 billion in the prior-year quarter. Higher operating results for the quarter reflected increases at our domestic parks and experiences businesses and, to a lesser extent, at our international parks and resorts and merchandise licensing businesses.”

Disneyland Resort

Credit: Travel and Leisure

And there was seemingly no attempt to cover the fact that Disney has indeed raised prices for many things across the board, leading to increased profits.

Operating income growth at our domestic parks and experiences was due to higher volumes and increased Guest spending, partially offset by higher costs. Higher volumes were due to increases in attendance, occupied room nights, and cruise ship sailings. Cruise ships operated at reduced capacities in the current quarter while sailings were suspended in the prior-year quarter. Guest spending growth was due to an increase in average per capita ticket revenue, higher average daily hotel room rates, and an increase in food, beverage, and merchandise spending. The increase in average per capita ticket revenue was due to a favorable attendance mix and the introduction of Genie+ and Lightning Lane in the first quarter of the current fiscal year. Higher costs were primarily due to volume growth, cost inflation, and higher marketing spending.”

See the World at Your Walt Disney World Resort Hotel - D23

Credit: D23

It may be the last time the Disney executives can be so chipper on an earnings call for a while, thanks to even more upset about CEO Bob Chapek‘s recent statement about Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill, followed by the Company’s admitted determination to see the bill repealed. Many Disney Parks fans feel that Disney is attempting to “indoctrinate” children with some of its recent content, leading many to “boycott Disney,” even if only verbally.

Florida slaps 'woke' Disney World? Can ban be selective?

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However, the recent events involving Disney, DeSantis, and Reedy Creek didn’t transpire until the current quarter, meaning the bad news can be pushed aside for a little bit longer. The third-quarter earnings call might have a completely different tone to it.


About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!