A trip to Disneyland or Disney World is growing more expensive, but that’s part of a Walt Disney Co. strategy to increase spending from visitors and downplay annual pass holders, the Wall St. Journal reports.
The strategy is helping the company stock price and financial results at a time when the other company properties are struggling, the report adds. The changes have taken root in the two years since the waning of the coronavirus pandemic, and have resulted in record sales and profits for the theme parks, even as attendance is below pre-pandemic totals.
A key to the strategy is increasing the amount of money each visitor spends, the WSJ reports. Helping that is the introductin of a smartphone app, Genie+, that costs $15 per person each day on top of admission. It allows users to skip lines fo some, but not all, attractions. Excluded are the Star Wars and Guardians of the Galaxy rides.
Adding to the totals are the end of freebies, 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.
Disney’s theme-park pricing is determined by “pure supply and demand,” said a company spokeswoman to the WSJ. “No different than airplanes, hotels or cruise ships.”
The strategy has been highly successful. The WSJ reports in the quarter that ended Jan. 1, Disney’s domestic parks set records in both quarterly revenue and operating income, then broke both of them six months later. For the quarter that ended July 2, the business unit that includes the theme parks also posted record revenue of $5.42 billion and record operating income of $1.65 billion.
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