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Disney Parks Not Performing as Hoped in Reopening

Disney Parks Not Performing as Hoped in Reopening
Credit: Kenny

During the third quarter financial call today, Disney executives indicated that the demand for the Florida parks upon reopening is not what they had expected. Read on for Details.

Executives on today’s financial call indicated that they expected a higher demand upon the reopening in Florida.

As we previously reported, the Disney Parks, Experiences and Products segment was hit hard by the global pandemic. With the majority of the parks worldwide closed for the entire third quarter, the 85% decrease was expected.

Executives laid blame on the coronavirus outbreak in Florida and the fact that a smaller proportion of guests are visiting from out of state.

Make up of Guests in Florida

Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy noted that different categories of guests have different relative values to the company. Guests who travel from out of state to stay a week are more valuable to the company than Passholders.

As the overall make up of guests changes, so do the margins. They need more local guests to earn the same revenue.

The fact remains that many of the guests currently visiting the parks are local to Florida and are many still are Annual Passholders. This cuts into the resort revenues, as even locals who stay at resorts tend to stay for fewer nights.

Still Enough to Stay Open

Executives stressed that while the demand isn’t as high as they had hoped, it’s still high enough to stay open.

McCarthy indicated that the parks would stay open as long as the revenue exceeded the variable costs. She stressed that this is the case in Florida. Shanghai has consistently performed well by this metric, she added.

Universal Orlando reported similar observations, that demand for the parks is low but that it still makes sense to remain open. They added that Universal Orlando guest satisfaction has never been higher.

The Bright Side

Chapek was eager to turn the conversation back to Disney’s Direct to Consumer segment, which has made gains recently.

Coming to Disney+ in July!
Disney Plus Offeings

Chapek indicated that he remains hopeful that new content, such as Loki, Scarlet Witch and Falcon and Winter Soldier will increase demand for Disney + subscriptions, which rose to over 55 million during the third financial quarter.

What do you think is keeping people from visiting the parks? Sound off in the comments on Facebook and in our Facebook group!

-Rebecca W Davis


  1. We’re PAP holders, have been for about 15 years. Even after calls, email and more Disney never let us know when we could try to reserve a day in any of the parks. I was told that my email address might be the problem. Same one I have had for 20+ years with Disney. I get emails from D23, Disney+ and WDW ,WHEN THEY WANT MONEY!
    We’re in Lake Buena Vista now. Can’t visit the parks, no availability. But Disney guests can. Even with lower crowds.
    Why doest WDW open park availability up if there isn’t enought hotel guests? AP holderscount less then even the empty hotel rooms the availability is being held for. We usually do 3 to 7 days at WDW 3 to 7 times a year, with a few friends. Rarely spend less then ahundred to a couple hundred dollars a day. But I guest WDW has desided our $5000- $10,000 @ year isn’t enought.

  2. Summer heat and high costs keep us from going. As a family of 6 the price for Disney is outrageous. I love it and wish we could go more often but just can’t afford it. We always go in Nov, Dec or Jan because we wouldn’t enjoy it with the heat.

  3. Customer service was rude. They have someone outside the door who will basically blow you off so the people on the inside don’t have to deal with you. Most of the restaurants you need to reserve time a day or 2 before you go regardless if you know what you want to eat. Rides broke down all day. Even the simplest fix like adding the extension of days on your pass is ignored. It didn’t even feel like we existed. The only bright side of our day was the nice waitress at la hacienda got us in to eat and took extra special care of us in which we tipped her quite well.

  4. Not surprised. We had a March trip that was rescheduled twice and ultimately had to cancel. Pretty sure the parades, fireworks, character meet and greets, etc. won’t be back by November and that’s a pretty steep price tag for just rides. I can visit an amusement park in my own state for a fraction of the price. We will be back once the full experience comes back.

  5. We would love to go, but the travel restrictions make it not worth it. We would have to quarantine for 14 days when returning home. I think the quarantine issue is a problem for most people.

  6. Apparently those who predict the number of guests for these theme parks just don’t understand human survival instincts. Travel needs to be easy, fun, not restricted and there needs to be a general feeling that we won’t be targeted by a virus to take back to our elders back home.

    I don’t see the numbers doing that much better into the holidays, it’s going to be a very quiet year.

  7. After living in Florida for 6 years, I would never go to the parks in the summer. They would have to pay me to come. I also think travel is just too unpredictable for most people. The plane tickets I had for an earlier trip kept getting changed by the airline and my sister went on a trip only to have her flight home cancelled while on her trip. Also, will you have to quarantine when getting there or when coming home? Too many unknowns, I think.

  8. Can you provide details? Why was it terrible? Not enough to do and experience? Or the people unkind? Too hot? Just curious.

  9. I have had to postpone a Disney wedding three times already as we don’t want masks in the photos. I do t understand why you would
    Have To if your guests are confined to one area. Masks should be worn if they have to leave the reception site. Not to mention the hotel we were having the ceremony T isn’t even going to open and our guests can’t short to spend high end dollar for an upscale resort. Disney isn’t Even
    Going to give better discounts to
    Make it worth our trip. So disappointing

  10. If we had APs this year, we might go BUT not gonna shell out big bucks for limited experience. I have 7 kids and we want shows, meet and greets, and parades. Rides just aren’t enough for toddlers. Sea World is offering deals for veterans, so we will probably go there instead this year.

  11. i am excited to travel down in september!! we are also planning a day at universal (but they are closing at 5 and still charging same rate as a full days time!!!) i usually spend all of my time in the disney parks, but the cast members are not allowed to use their guest passes (this is a HUGE perk of being a cm) my daughter is a cm and i won’t be paying for tickets to get into the parks, i will forego the parks this time around. not only were the passholders screwed, but 50% merch discount doesn’t make up for the loss of 48 guest entrances for a cm.

  12. I still feel like that. I am still fighting to get my extension they promised to have done by July 15th but they have no problem taking my 68.00 every month. When I tried to talk to customer service at Epcot I was blown off. Really left a bad taste in my mouth.

  13. You nailed it . Passholders felt like Disney didn’t appreciate them and now they have admitted it (Cuz we all know it comes down to revenue for them ). I’m glad they are getting a healthy dose of reality. It’s important to appreciate all sources of revenue . Not just your highest margins !

  14. They are also not making things cheaper. I live in Florida and going there with a family of 4 is not cheap at the moment. Especially considering how were gonna have to wear a mask, the heat, increases, less things to do. Give us a better deal and i will definitely book a trip.

  15. In addition to the decreased offerings, the more limited resort availability, etc, there has been a parallel economic impact to many potential guests. Job losses and economic uncertainty are real and many people are forgoing optional luxuries like Disney vacations at the moment. Or putting them off until next year hoping things will be more stable and “normal” by then.

    I am a passholder and with the extension of my pass, we are planning to visit in December. Looking forward to experiencing things first hand, even knowing it will be a different kind of Disney trip.

  16. This time of year is prime time for North eastern people, like me. With the governor playing politics quarantining NY, NJ & CT ONLY, is infuriating and if course there’s a significant loss.

  17. Ofcourse. Not happy with Disney at the moment. Was there Sunday at Epcot to celebrate our 13th wedding Anniversary and the experience was horrible

  18. I had planned a family trip for November around the Wine & Dine Half-Marathon. With that event being cancelled, my family saw no reason to go. Everything has been so limited and we have no guarantee that things will be closer to normal in November. Character interactions (dining and photo ops) are one of my favorite parts of the parks. And while I understand the need to remove those experiences, why am I going to pay the same amount (or more since I believe they increased many meal prices?) for a compromised experience? Low wait times on rides is not enough incentive for me to fly halfway across the country.

  19. What do they expect? You treated your unimportant pass holders like crap, stole from us, cheated us out of what we paid for. Don’t you have any common sense that us passholders will talk and out of state people will listen? But as it was stated we are not as relevant to Disney. No offense but alot of your pass holders are out of state as well. Get your heads out of Mickey’s rear and do the right thing. Then just maybe your loyal guests might start to come back.

  20. What do they expect? Some people don’t want to wear masks, character experiences and everything else is NOT what it used to be. For some ppl it’s a once in a lifetime experience and they don’t want to experience it like this. I’m so thankful we’ve had 3 amazing trips before COVID.

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