A trip to Disneyland or Disney World is getting more expensive, but that’s part of a strategy by Walt Disney Co. to increase visitor spending and downplay annual pass holders, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The strategy is helping the company’s share price and financial results at a time when the company’s other holdings are struggling, the report added. The changes have taken root in the two years since the coronavirus pandemic subsided and have resulted in record sales and profits for theme parks, even as attendance falls below pre-pandemic totals.
A key to the strategy is to increase the amount of money each visitor spends, reports the WSJ. Helping with that is the introduction of a smartphone app, Genie+, which costs $15 per person each day in addition to admission. It allows users to skip the lines for some attractions, but not all. Star Wars and Guardians of the Galaxy attractions are excluded.
Added to the totals are the end of gifts, such as parking, and charging for things that used to be given away. Disney has also raised prices on hotel rooms, food and merchandise over the past year.
Pricing for Disney theme parks is determined by “pure supply and demand,” a company spokeswoman told the WSJ. “It’s no different than airplanes, hotels or cruise ships.”
The strategy has been highly successful. The WSJ reports that in the quarter ending January 1, Disney’s domestic parks set records for both quarterly revenue and operating income, then broke them six months later. For the quarter ending July 2, the business unit that includes theme parks also posted record revenue of $5.42 billion and record operating income of $1.65 billion.