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Attendance decline at Disney as new Star Wars attraction fails to draw in visitors
POSTED 08 Aug 2019 . BY Andy Knaggs
We feel great about the product that we've created. It's just going to take some time for things to work themselves out in terms of how the marketplace is reacting
– Bob Iger
Despite its domestic parks achieving record revenue over the last three months, it's been a tough quarter for Disney, which fell short of expected visitor figures following the launch of its new Star Wars addition in California.

Disney's acquisition of Fox produced what the company's chair and CEO, Bob Iger, described as "complicated" numbers for the company overall. For parks, revenue increased by 7 per cent to US$6.6bn (€5.89bn, £5.43bn) while operating income rose 4 per cent to US$1.7bn (€1.52bn, £1.4bn).

During the same quarter, Disney launched its highly-anticipated Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge land. With significant increases in attendance expected, the opposite actually happened, with attendance at Disney's domestic parks dropping by 3 per cent.

"I think a number of things happened," said Iger, addressing the drop in attendance during an earnings call.

"First of all, there were tremendous concerns in the marketplace on overcrowding when we opened Galaxy’s Edge, so some people stayed away just because they expected that it would not be a great guest experience.

"The same time that was going on, all the local hotels in the region expecting a huge influx of visitation raised their prices.

"In addition to that, we brought our daily price up substantially from a year ago and then we opened up Galaxy’s Edge with one attraction instead of two.

"We're opening Galaxy’s Edge in August in Orlando. The second attraction there will open in December. The second attraction in Anaheim will open in January. We feel great about the product that we've created. It's just going to take some time for things to work themselves out in terms of how the marketplace is reacting."

The timing of Easter has affected like-for-like figures, with the entire Easter holiday falling within Disney's Q3 this year, instead of a single week in Q3 2018.

Overall, the company reported decreases in its earnings per share for the quarter as it wrestles with the integration of Fox, which it acquired in March 2019. Its Marvel, Pixar and Disney movies have made US$8bn (€7.14bn, £6.58bn) at the box office so far this year, and it's due to launch Disney+ – a subscription video-on-demand service – in the US in November.
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NEWS
Attendance decline at Disney as new Star Wars attraction fails to draw in visitors
POSTED 08 Aug 2019 . BY Andy Knaggs
We feel great about the product that we've created. It's just going to take some time for things to work themselves out in terms of how the marketplace is reacting
– Bob Iger
Despite its domestic parks achieving record revenue over the last three months, it's been a tough quarter for Disney, which fell short of expected visitor figures following the launch of its new Star Wars addition in California.

Disney's acquisition of Fox produced what the company's chair and CEO, Bob Iger, described as "complicated" numbers for the company overall. For parks, revenue increased by 7 per cent to US$6.6bn (€5.89bn, £5.43bn) while operating income rose 4 per cent to US$1.7bn (€1.52bn, £1.4bn).

During the same quarter, Disney launched its highly-anticipated Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge land. With significant increases in attendance expected, the opposite actually happened, with attendance at Disney's domestic parks dropping by 3 per cent.

"I think a number of things happened," said Iger, addressing the drop in attendance during an earnings call.

"First of all, there were tremendous concerns in the marketplace on overcrowding when we opened Galaxy’s Edge, so some people stayed away just because they expected that it would not be a great guest experience.

"The same time that was going on, all the local hotels in the region expecting a huge influx of visitation raised their prices.

"In addition to that, we brought our daily price up substantially from a year ago and then we opened up Galaxy’s Edge with one attraction instead of two.

"We're opening Galaxy’s Edge in August in Orlando. The second attraction there will open in December. The second attraction in Anaheim will open in January. We feel great about the product that we've created. It's just going to take some time for things to work themselves out in terms of how the marketplace is reacting."

The timing of Easter has affected like-for-like figures, with the entire Easter holiday falling within Disney's Q3 this year, instead of a single week in Q3 2018.

Overall, the company reported decreases in its earnings per share for the quarter as it wrestles with the integration of Fox, which it acquired in March 2019. Its Marvel, Pixar and Disney movies have made US$8bn (€7.14bn, £6.58bn) at the box office so far this year, and it's due to launch Disney+ – a subscription video-on-demand service – in the US in November.
RELATED STORIES
Theme Index: Disney reigns supreme as attendance at major theme parks top 500 million for first time


2018 was a landmark year for the themed entertainment industry, with the latest edition of the TEA/AECOM Theme and Museum Index showing the world's major theme park operators exceeding combined visitor totals of more than 500 million people for the first time ever.
Interactive play pavilion to form part of Disney's Epcot transformation


Disney has announced details of its plan to transform the Epcot theme park at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, US, which it says will be open in time for the 50th anniversary of the resort in 2021.
Disney reaping rewards for park investments, says Bob Iger


Disney chair and CEO Bob Iger has revealed that the company’s investments into its theme parks and resorts division has paid off, with substantial increases in popularity as a result.
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Sutton Hoo ancient royal burial site reopens following redevelopment
Sutton Hoo, the burial site of a 7th century Anglo-Saxon king in Suffolk, England, that achieved worldwide fame upon its discovery in 1938, has reopened following a £4m (US$4.85m, €4.37m) transformation.
Merlin reveals plans for Lego Movie World at California resort
Merlin has revealed plans for the largest new addition at its Legoland California resort since the park launched in 1999.
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CATALOGUE GALLERY
 

+ More catalogues  
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DIARY

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Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, Paris, France
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ASTC 2019 Annual Conference

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