On August 10, The Walt Disney Company released its third-quarter earnings report. While there was a lot to look at, from Disney+ subscriber numbers to theme park revenue, there was one line that caught people by surprise.
When talking about theme park profits, the earnings report said that the average ticket revenue increased thanks to the introduction of Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane at Walt Disney World Resort, but was “partially offset by an unfavorable attendance mix at Disneyland Resort.” That basically means that Disneyland saw more Guests visiting who held Annual Passes — now called Magic Keys — than those who had single or multi-day tickets.
Well, I hate to break it to you, Disney, but that is unlikely to change any time soon. Disneyland Resort is called a “locals Park” for a reason. Sure, it is absolutely a vacation destination for some people. However, for many others, it is a great Resort to go to because it is within driving distance.
Magic Key Holders love the time they spend at The Happiest Place On Earth, and, to be honest, we deserve a little more than to be called an “unfavorable attendance mix.”
First off, Magic Key Holders are incredibly loyal Disney Park goers. We don’t get Magic Keys because we only go a couple of times a year. Many of us get Magic Keys because we love to head to the Park for things like the Food & Wine Festival, holidays at Disneyland, and parties like Oogie Boogie Bash.
We love a good theme change, and we love seeing the Park transformed throughout the year. We also LOVE the specialty merchandise that comes out for the different events — who else remembers the massive lines to get the Elliot popcorn bucket when it came out?
There is one big problem that I will admit to: a lot of Magic Key Holders won’t buy into the extras that people do at Walt Disney World. Sure, Disney Genie+ can be a great way to save time, but Magic Key Holders visit the Parks so often that, if a ride line is too long, we’ll just skip it and ride it when we come back. A lot of us just don’t want to pay for Genie+ each time we visit.
Now, give us the option of adding it to the Magic Key for the year like you did with MaxPass, and we may be having a different conversation.
Luckily, Magic Key Holders were recently informed that they would be able to renew their Passes beginning August 18. For months, there was speculation that maybe that wouldn’t happen. However — and I’m no fortune-teller — had Disney not allowed renewals, the “unfavorable attendance mix” would have turned to flat-out “low attendance” because those who live close aren’t going to spend the money to visit as much without a Pass as they would spend to visit with a Pass.
So, Disney, please. Don’t consider us an “unfavorable attendance mix.” Consider us the people who will gladly spend more money to get a little bit less because we treasure the time we spend at your Southern California theme park.