Theme Park Attendance Down at Disney as Complaints Mount
Disney’s stock has continued to plummet as it faces public relations issues and dissatisfaction with its streaming services and movies.
The company’s iconic theme parks have been a stable source of revenue for decades but are now declining due to price increases and customer complaints.
Attendance was down significantly on the 4th of July and during the 4th of July weekend, which is typically one of Disney’s busiest times.
The issues, which Disney hoped to alleviate by dismissing former CEO Bob Chapek and replacing him with Bob Iger, resulted in the company’s stock being downgraded this month.
1- “Disney’s stock was downgraded by investment company KeyBanc Capital Markets over fears of stalled growth due to lower attendance at its Disney World and Disneyland theme parks and lower streaming viewership.”
Finally some good news.
— IT Guy (@ITGuy1959) July 6, 2023
Jamie Brown, a Florida Disney World annual pass holder, said she was shocked to see how low attendance was during the 4th of July weekend.
“I couldn’t believe how light the crowds were,” Brown told The Journal.
An analyst from Yahoo Financial put into perspective the dire situation for Disney as park attendance and wait times were lower than they have been in years.
“Walt Disney World saw average July 4th wait times hit 27 minutes at Magic Kingdom, 18 minutes at Hollywood Studios. And if you’ve ever been to Disney World, you know those times are very manageable. They were also significantly lower compared to both last year and 2019.” Said Yahoo’s Alexandra Canal.
Disney’s woes have been compounded by the fact that many conservative consumers feel alienated by their stance on social issues as the company has battled Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over legislation such as the Parental Rights in Education bill.
I see something happening. Bud Light, Target, Disney, and a lot of Hollywood movies lost hundreds of millions of dollars each. Americans are saying no to Woke.
This is no longer a boycott, it's an Uprising.
— Michael Eval (@Vegas1000) July 6, 2023
Disney’s stock is down over 8% in the last six months, and financial analysts warn that their stock will continue to plummet if attendance is down at theme parks.
“The parks has been this beacon for Disney. And if you start to see that slow down, if people were not going and spending at the parks, that is clearly going to eat into those margins.” Canal further said.
Travel planning companies expressed their dismay at the low wait times at Disney’s theme parks.
“It’s something that nobody would have predicted—just unfathomable,” says Len Testa, a computer scientist who runs Touring Plans.
Beyond Disney’s controversial political stances, complaints have mounted in recent months that Disney’s theme parks are unclean and rides are often broken down.
Guests at Happiest Place on Earth are complaining that it's like the 'crappiest'.😂
Visitors to #DisneyWorld in Orlando, #Florida say the 43 square mile resort is fast becoming plagued with dirty facilities and broken down rides. as prices soar under Disney CEO #BobChapek pic.twitter.com/eadAoLNQdL
— Mr Pål Christiansen 🇳🇴🇬🇧 (@TheNorskaPaul) September 15, 2022
However, travel agencies have said that Disney’s problems are isolated, as there has been an uptick in bookings for cruises and travel to Europe.
“From what we’re seeing with our bookings, that pent-up demand has somewhat transitioned to cruises and Europe,” says Greg Antonelle, co-owner of MickeyTravels, a travel agency based in Florida.
Another reason for the dip in attendance may be Disney’s cost-prohibitive ticket pricing, which has led some people to ask if Disney is now unaffordable for the average American.
Has the cost of Disney World become unaffordable for the average American family? https://t.co/uc0XsWo7ZD
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 23, 2022
“People might be a little bit fatigued with price increases based on the economy at the moment,” said Stephanie Oprea, a senior planner for a travel agency specializing in Disney vacations.
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