Disney released their Q3 FY22 Earnings Results and they knocked revenues out of the park. They crushed estimates for total revenue, total Disney+ subscribers, and average guest spending. However, amidst the report was one noteworthy statement on how Disney views its current guests at Disneyland.
The Parks, Experiences and Products division generated enormous revenue for Disney in Q3 FY22. Revenue increased to $7.2 billion compared to $4.3 billion in the same quarter last year. Disney said the increase was due to a variety of reasons.
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.
Of course, increased guest spending is tied to higher prices and the addition of Genie+ and Lightning Lane. But, it’s the comment on the guest attendance mix at Disneyland that caught our eye.
The increase in average per capita ticket revenue was due to the introduction of Genie+ and Lightning Lane in the first quarter of the current fiscal year and a reduced impact from promotions at Walt Disney World Resort, partially offset by an unfavorable attendance mix at Disneyland Resort.
Summarized, the types of guests visiting Disneyland in recent months doesn’t match the type of guests Disney wants. This is a clear statement about the issue surrounding guests using daily tickets versus guests with Magic Key annual passes.
Magic Key has been a hot topic of late due to Disney’s silence towards guests asking about renewals. The program, which was rolled out about a year ago, isn’t allowing guests to renew. Disney hasn’t said anything about Magic Key, but the safe guess is Disney is planning to overhaul the annual pass program – again.
The “unfavorable attendance mix” is harsh financial language that unfortunately reflects how many guests feel about the modern Disney experience. Those with Magic Keys fear Disney will soon price them out, seeking the more profitable daily-ticket guest. Others will cite this as the current leadership valuing profits over anything else, even if it comes at the cost of the guest experience.