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Thread: Q3 earnings... Disneyland has an "unfavorable attendance mix"

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    Q3 earnings... Disneyland has an "unfavorable attendance mix"

    One of the news stories is here but you can find many anywhere. There's a gentleman on Twitter- Scott Gustin - who covers Disney Parks and Disney company info very well. He was tweeting during the earnings call and pointed out some interesting comments.. Mainly that "average per capita ticket revenue" increased due to Genie+ and Lightning Lane but was "partially offset by an unfavorable attendance mix at Disneyland Resort". I believe the company will pin this solely on the MK program - but you have to wonder if they are controlling access to the park with Reservations then its not the fact that MK holders are keeping regular guests out - its the fact that regular guests are not coming to the park. They'll raise prices or limit MKs but then most likely fewer guests will come to the park again... then what do you say Mr Chapek? Waving his arms to distract from the related details.

    And attaching ticket revenue to the add-ons is an interesting ploy. Its trying to state that the total ticket value is base price + genie+. so does that mean that at Disneyland not only are MKs the issue but not enough Genie is being sold? If that's the case I really would hate to see how it looks when they do have favorable numbers. Yikes...

    "[Disneyland] has that thing - the imagination, and the feeling of happy excitement - I knew when I was a kid." - Walt Disney

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    There is a lot with this that is being totally taken out of context from what I keep seeing with comments made. No one is looking and reading everything that was said. From what I have seen there is A LOT of contradicting going on during this earnings call.

    So first we have the "unfavorable attendance mix"....mind you who sets the reservations to allow things as they are in Disneyland/DCA? Its Disney. So that is all on them to figure out how to get the "favorable attendance mix" they are looking for. Second if people are not buying those other kinds of ticket offerings as much as they hoped then maybe they should figure out why. This also had me thinking about the lawsuit they are in right now and how this was probably not the best thing to be throwing out right now for all to hear. As well as what the CFO was saying as well about how they could open up some blocked dates on Passes if they want to get more people in the parks. I know this is more probably about WDW since the word passes was used BUT it shows they aren't very aware of how they were contradicting themselves left and right.

    Oh toss in them saying attendance was down...it sure hasn't felt like it at all really. Do these people ever step foot in the parks? I know they have numbers but there was some comparing to 2019 and we all know how that summer ended up compared to what we all thought it would be because of SWGE.

    Of course spending was up. Look at all that has been put in the parks and snatched up on both costs. On top of it the hotels and Genie+/ILLs were a big part. The hotels aren't cheap. They kept the cheapest ones closed for as long as they could and opened the more pricey options so it was all guests had to pick from. Especially here with the Grand and it being $700 a night. We all know Genie+/ILLs are being bought up. They said what about 50% of guest coming are buying it. I am curious if that is just WDW, DL or both. I know a lot of focus winds up on what is with WDW over DL most the time. So of course though that will help boost Disney's earnings in this area of the company as well.

    I feel the key words they are pushing not are "improving the guest experience". Everything they do is claimed its for that reason. It used to be it was for "controlling crowds" when prices jumped and such.
    "Demand at our domestic parks continues to exceed expectations, with attendance on many days tracking ahead of 2019 levels," Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy said. "Our continued focus on improving the guest experience through the use of our reservation system to purposefully manage capacity versus simply increasing volume has the added benefit of improving yield and optimizing overall economics. So even while the average daily attendance at our domestic parks across the first three quarters of this fiscal year was slightly below 2019, we have delivered significantly higher revenue and operating income over that same time period. This approach also provides flexibility with levers we can adjust if demand were to shift.
    "I think a lot of onlookers look at our park business and try to sum up our success recently [by] say[ing] that it has something to do with pent-up demand," Chapek said. "Certainly there is pent-up demand, but what we are seeing is far more resilient, far more long-lasting, in terms of a increase in the affinity for our parks, both from their willingness to come to our parks, but also in terms of what guests are willing to spend when they get there in order to personalize their experience. As you know, everything we do in our parks is all about improving the guest experience. Part of that has to do with limiting capacity, but also about personalizing experiences.
    "So we believe we do have a lot of flexibility to shift if our demand changes. Remember we have a reservation system which now enables us essentially, real-time on the fly, to change whatever factors we need in terms of our ticket packaging that we want. Years ago we didn't have that. We published our prices by the quarter, and that was essentially all the flexibility we had."

    So both Chapek and McCarthy sound like they think everything they are doing is improving the guest experiences. Yet what they are doing hasn't really been "improving the guest experience" has it? Its to bad they can't be made to use Genie+ like the normal guests have to and see what a pain it is when it flips the times on you and how you only get 1 time for each ride you pick. Even better, make them stand in standby and see how it feels for that time to keep jumping up from the LL folks being favored (how many aren't turned away that show up way after their times to be waved through?). I know it won't ever happen but should.
    Not sure where they see capacity is limited in the parks when its crowd in them on both coasts. Then admitting about how they can be flexible with the reservation system how they see fit. As well as if they want to change the prices on a whim for any given day they will. At least that is what I am getting here from the ticket prices part. Yet I thought this was what the different tiers were for.

    I am seeing there is a lot of confusion and assuming off what they said (heck I did too). As well as plenty of contradicting it seemed like. And still not a word on what is going on here with MK renewals. SMH

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    his comment about this not being pent-up demand but resilient forces is solely for the benefit of pacifying shareholders. You read so many comments about people slowing their frequency of visits because their experience was not good. Its going to take 2 to 3 years of operation to start to see a slow down (though discount tickets make people jump at the chance to go). I think Disney has been able to confuse stock analysts as much as they confuse guests with all of the options and details of the different programs.

    What's been VERY interesting is the focus on outside groups having more events and "contests" to win tickets. It used to be many years ago that there were ticket giveaways around memorial day and around holidays. Now the local stations have a lot more giveaways. This creates that FOMO demand where if someone doesn't win but tried a lot they really want to go. So many contests so often they can afford to offer this because the prices have gone up. Its a cycle that I wonder how long they can squeeze.

    "[Disneyland] has that thing - the imagination, and the feeling of happy excitement - I knew when I was a kid." - Walt Disney

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    Now we have this interview with CNN and Chapek. So because people are coming to the parks they will raise prices. I will give it to him that at least it wasn't the same junk they would use in the past when raising prices about it being for crowd control. Yet I am sure that if people weren't coming to the parks in the numbers they wanted they would probably still raise prices. LOL

    You are right there has been more of those type of events and especially giveaways.

    I saw someone wonder if part of that "unfavorable mix" was also more coming in on the discount tickets as well. I had noticed a lot of people say they were at the parks from the weekend until the first few days of the week and how the weekdays felt way worse with crowds than the weekends had.

    A crowded day at Disneyland beats a busy day of housework!!

    According to my princess, its not Star Wars land its "You stole my goats away from me!!......in progress land"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Berry Princess View Post
    Now we have this interview with CNN and Chapek. So because people are coming to the parks they will raise prices. I will give it to him that at least it wasn't the same junk they would use in the past when raising prices about it being for crowd control. Yet I am sure that if people weren't coming to the parks in the numbers they wanted they would probably still raise prices. LOL

    You are right there has been more of those type of events and especially giveaways.

    I saw someone wonder if part of that "unfavorable mix" was also more coming in on the discount tickets as well. I had noticed a lot of people say they were at the parks from the weekend until the first few days of the week and how the weekdays felt way worse with crowds than the weekends had.
    the discounted tickets end Labor Day Weekend - so Im sure we will see this increase. Also without a renewal yet folks are pushing hard for their last day on MKs (mine is the 22nd).

    The old record industry used to do that with prices. No one's buying, we still need to make a certain revenue per unit, so raise prices. Thats why records went from 4.99 to $10 in about 3 years (the Eagles Long Run was the first LP to break the $10 barrier).

    I think the speculation from discounted tickets came from other observers like us - boots on the ground if you will - and not the Corp bean counters. To them a unit is a unit regardless of the way someone got in. they look at the big buckets- and MK holders are an easy target since they are a big bucket. I think WDW has done a lot better (as far as attendance and revenue) since it is a destination resort, they did launch the 50th , and a bunch of new shows and a new ride. so they've seen and will continue to see big sellouts of tickets. Of course, as always, someone at corporate says "We need Anaheim to bring in the numbers like Orlando) without thinking about demographics, geography, cultural, and competitive venues to Disneyland.
    "[Disneyland] has that thing - the imagination, and the feeling of happy excitement - I knew when I was a kid." - Walt Disney

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    Quote Originally Posted by olegc View Post
    Of course, as always, someone at corporate says "We need Anaheim to bring in the numbers like Orlando) without thinking about demographics, geography, cultural, and competitive venues to Disneyland.
    That is the problem. Disney needs to stop trying to make them the same. It will never work like the want with Disneyland in the middle of a city the way it is. And adding more DVC to here doesn't change it still either. It seems no matter how many times this ends up tried they just never get it. Instead of embracing and trying to do things to lure locals of all admission into the parks and spend extra while there, they rather try to do the opposite with how they talk. SMH
    A crowded day at Disneyland beats a busy day of housework!!

    According to my princess, its not Star Wars land its "You stole my goats away from me!!......in progress land"

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    They didn't specify what's favorable. I assume it's not just Magic Keys but also tickets that were purchased a long time ago with extended expiration dates, extended comp tickets and maybe some of the reservation spots they set aside for employees.


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    We can't afford it anymore. WDW that is. Oh well.


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    Quote Originally Posted by AnotherJenny View Post
    They didn't specify what's favorable. I assume it's not just Magic Keys but also tickets that were purchased a long time ago with extended expiration dates, extended comp tickets and maybe some of the reservation spots they set aside for employees.
    I found it interesting that they offered a So Cal summer promotion and then discussed unfavorable attendance mix. Um, if they thought that they could be full all summer with people paying full price, it's unlikely that they would have offered a summer promotion. And given how weekdays seem more crowded than weekends, I'm guessing a lot of people are choosing to take advantage of the discounted and lower-tier days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AnotherJenny View Post
    They didn't specify what's favorable. I assume it's not just Magic Keys but also tickets that were purchased a long time ago with extended expiration dates, extended comp tickets and maybe some of the reservation spots they set aside for employees.
    Quote Originally Posted by currence View Post
    I found it interesting that they offered a So Cal summer promotion and then discussed unfavorable attendance mix. Um, if they thought that they could be full all summer with people paying full price, it's unlikely that they would have offered a summer promotion. And given how weekdays seem more crowded than weekends, I'm guessing a lot of people are choosing to take advantage of the discounted and lower-tier days.
    I think Berry pointed this out too - but it sure seems like they've been shooting themselves in the foot to make up short term revenue and then find a scapegoat for the shareholders and stock market analyses. The local management may do something to spur attendance or get more people to buy stuff - but then complain up the ladder that they cant seem to get the 1%ers or the vacationers to get in there. If thats problem then reduce MK attendance and open more spots to regular guests. If they are not coming - then thats a marketing or price problem, not an unfavorable mix problem. Thats like point the finger at the dog for passing gas when you did it.

    Has anyone also noticed the lines at the ticket booths? If there are no reservations available - what is that large group? Are there that many people adding days or changing to park hopper? Or are folks still coming to DL without a clue about reservations, etc. Maybe they should leave a set of reservations open on the day-of to capture day guests. Maybe their revenue would go up. Oh., wait, then they dont know how much staff to bring in (which is the real crux of their problem, not the attendance mix).
    "[Disneyland] has that thing - the imagination, and the feeling of happy excitement - I knew when I was a kid." - Walt Disney

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    Quote Originally Posted by olegc View Post
    I think Berry pointed this out too - but it sure seems like they've been shooting themselves in the foot to make up short term revenue and then find a scapegoat for the shareholders and stock market analyses. The local management may do something to spur attendance or get more people to buy stuff - but then complain up the ladder that they cant seem to get the 1%ers or the vacationers to get in there. If thats problem then reduce MK attendance and open more spots to regular guests. If they are not coming - then thats a marketing or price problem, not an unfavorable mix problem. Thats like point the finger at the dog for passing gas when you did it.

    Has anyone also noticed the lines at the ticket booths? If there are no reservations available - what is that large group? Are there that many people adding days or changing to park hopper? Or are folks still coming to DL without a clue about reservations, etc. Maybe they should leave a set of reservations open on the day-of to capture day guests. Maybe their revenue would go up. Oh., wait, then they dont know how much staff to bring in (which is the real crux of their problem, not the attendance mix).
    See this is the thing. Dates for one park and park hopping have been pretty much wide open. Heck even most MK days have been for a while. I know the end of this month is different looking with MKs and that is all those I think are holding the max days they can to decide to go each day or not depending on what happens with renewals. I wouldn't be surprise to see many of those open again depending on that or if Disney opens them. So if they don't like the mix of guests in the park its really its their job to maybe see why its the mix it is instead of making of calling them "an unfavorable attendance mix". I will say their marketing at this point is not great. Look at the ads right now on tv. Would you know it was for Disneyland Resort if you only heard the music and never saw the ad? Prices....well we all know that can be an issue for many and more so when you know you will need to add in Genie+ to the cost. Really Disney needs to figure out why they aren't luring the mix they seem to be desiring in the parks here. If they are looking at it from a WDW perspective they won't find that mix here in the way they want and more than likely it will not change either.

    I have had to wait in the line for tickets to get things fixed with our passes one time. I did over hear different groups where it was obvious they had no idea about reservations. So yes some still have no clue. I have even seen confusion still on other boards with people that haven't been either in years or since before covid. I do wonder how many are buying tickets for that day though with no clue on all the changes in place since reopening. Obviously as long as the days are open for reservations those same day people should be fine but yikes on how many they may have turned away trying to get tickets like they once used to if what they wanted was not open. I think most of us knew that after the parks were allowed to open up to all and drop restrictions that it was more about staffing the way they wanted...while bringing in more money and paying out less. Of course this doesn't work to well when things like covid come in waves and effect your staff. I wonder how much the reservation system is another part of the reason.
    A crowded day at Disneyland beats a busy day of housework!!

    According to my princess, its not Star Wars land its "You stole my goats away from me!!......in progress land"

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    there was a WSJ article this week with Josh D'Amaro quoted in there how price increases are inevitable and thats progress. They've improved the guest experience and that costs more money. I'm paraphrasing of course. He's either not paying attention, willfully ignoring guest complaints, or hoping that the public is not that smart to notice what he's saying is not true. I guess he's up there with Chapek - as some folks have alluded to all along.

    "[Disneyland] has that thing - the imagination, and the feeling of happy excitement - I knew when I was a kid." - Walt Disney

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    Quote Originally Posted by olegc View Post
    there was a WSJ article this week with Josh D'Amaro quoted in there how price increases are inevitable and thats progress. They've improved the guest experience and that costs more money. I'm paraphrasing of course. He's either not paying attention, willfully ignoring guest complaints, or hoping that the public is not that smart to notice what he's saying is not true. I guess he's up there with Chapek - as some folks have alluded to all along.
    I saw that. There was no doubt in my mind he was no better than the others like Chapek and Iger. He has done a lot of double talk himself over time. He has seemed to be the one to push the tech in the parks more and more as well. Which didn't he also claim that was to improve guest experience as well? I am not sure how one can not see this guy for what he is as well when this kind of stuff is said. I am sure they all bank on us just being stupid while they ignore complaints. With D'Amaro for some reason he has so many throwing themselves at him when he makes an appearance and think he is so great because of his looks (what is with some wearing shirts with him?). Seriously there is something about D'Amaro and I can't put my finger on it but it just gives off this creep vibe. The excuse though given on price increases and removing certain things was such a joke. Ask the WDW folks how having Magical Express removed has improved things for them? Oh and Genie+ on both coasts didn't improve anything for guest experiences....this actually makes it seem like Disney forgot how to run a theme park to make things flow smoothly. IMO sometimes these guys running things really should learn when to just zip it and not give the pathetic excuses on raising prices for things. I guess this is the new "we raised prices for crowd control" excuse that was given for years. Now it will be "we raised prices and took things away you liked to improve your experience."
    A crowded day at Disneyland beats a busy day of housework!!

    According to my princess, its not Star Wars land its "You stole my goats away from me!!......in progress land"

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    I actually think Iger was balanced. He focused on opening new properties like Shanghai, Honk Kong, aulani and expanding things like Avengers Campus (which was put on hold due to Pandemic). So yes prices went up with him too - but Fastpass and MaxPass didnt go bonkers like Genie+. Would it have been if he were still here? maybe. I do think what we dont see is a lot of people on the creative side (movies, tv) have dropped out of favor - or disney dropped out of their favor - when Iger left. He was a TV/Movie guy and came from entertainment so he "got it" when content had to be great to get people to buy the extras and make synergy actually work. Now it seems no project is given a green light unless you have all the boxes checked - movie, disney+ (or scrap the movie just disney+), plush, toys, apparel, theme park experiences, and a plan to increase the popularity of your line.

    "[Disneyland] has that thing - the imagination, and the feeling of happy excitement - I knew when I was a kid." - Walt Disney

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    The whole Genie system though is Iger's baby as well. Its not Chapek's as some think. Remember it was announced under his time there. I think we would still be seeing the same mess with it if Iger was there. Yeah Avenger's Campus really isn't that great IMO. The theme parks in China...well right now they really aren't making Disney money because of how things have been over there with covid. Yet wasn't there issues with either one or both parks before even opening? I know Shanghai ended up costing more than it was suppose to and had a delay in opening. Then mix in the amount over the years spent by Iger to buy up things like Marvel, Star Wars, 20th Century Fox, etc. A lot of have said that Disney is still trying to make up the money that Iger put into buying FOX. I think Iger left when he did so he didn't have to go down with any issues that were to come from covid. I don't think Iger was as balanced near the end as he had been at one point though. Eisner was pretty good too for the company at one point but then started his slip down as well over his time. We do need to see the balance in the company restored and I don't think Chapek will bring and I really don't believe D'Amaro will either. At this point some of those boxes to be checked for the projects aren't really doing them much favors in pushing those areas either and they should be told to go back to the drawing board. There was a lot that was under Iger's time that wasn't good in the entertainment area when it came to tv/cable and even some movies.

    Who's idea is it to get Disney mixed up in sports betting?

    A crowded day at Disneyland beats a busy day of housework!!

    According to my princess, its not Star Wars land its "You stole my goats away from me!!......in progress land"

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    well there are some details I could add about my opinion with iger (yes HK had issues) but our opinions will be different. Im OK with CEOs who have vision and are trying to get there - not simply to make a buck. To me that's Chapek.

    The sports betting thing essentially is the market forcing their hand. ESPN doesnt want someone else to horn in on sports broadcasting because betting will be the new avenue to get people tied to content in sports. Now that many rules are being relaxed for internet gaming as well as leagues (NCAA) allowing for more access (and money) ESPN, and Disney, dont want to be left on the dock without a boat. So they are diving in early and trying to use their broadcast relationships to stake out a position. They believe (and others do too) that this will protect the content part of the market. I'm not so sure. Dirty money is dirty money IMO.

    "[Disneyland] has that thing - the imagination, and the feeling of happy excitement - I knew when I was a kid." - Walt Disney

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    Quote Originally Posted by Berry Princess View Post
    I think Iger left when he did so he didn't have to go down with any issues that were to come from covid.
    I absolutely think this.

    Iger's sudden resignation, when not immediately followed by some sort of hushed up scandal rumors, was my first "uh oh" realization that COVID was going to be much worse and last much longer than we were at that point being told (although I'm not sure I would have bet Disneyland/California would be shut down for as long as it was)

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