Bob Chapek has a vision. In an interview last month, the Disney CEO hinted at the future of Disney Parks. Rather than a world of family togetherness and happy memories for everyone, it will become a place where you might get to go…if you’re lucky. The latest round of price increases certainly hint at that new reality.
Chapek seems to envision a Disney not where everyone can come and spend a magical vacation but one that is exclusive and, yes, perhaps a bit elitist. In every interview, Chapek always discusses the “guest experience” and how every change is meant to improve the guest experience. We understand the intentions behind that goal, and he may not be wrong about it, but one wonders about what guests he’s trying to cater to.
“We have a real high-class problem: We have much more demand than there is supply. What we will not bend on is giving somebody a less than stellar experience in the parks because we jammed too many people in there,” Chapek told an interviewer.
He went on to say, “If we’re going to have that foundational rule, you have to start balancing who you let in. … Our ticket prices and constraints we put on how often people can come and when they come is a direct reflection of demand. When is it too much? Demand will tell us when it’s too much.”
While the high-class problem (read: first world problem) is absolutely true, more people WANT to go to Disney Parks than Disney Parks have room for, we question whether “raising prices until people stop coming” is the best way to go about solving the issue. As we discussed in a previous article, Chapek seems to be alienating the loyal fans that keep the company going. When he loses them, they won’t come back. Their hearts are invested in the parks and honesty in the company itself. When Chapek finally turns those guests away… there may be no recovery.