Home Disney News Editorial: Does Historically Low Disney Stock Reflect Overall Customer Sentiment?

Editorial: Does Historically Low Disney Stock Reflect Overall Customer Sentiment?

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Editorial: Does Historically Low Disney Stock Reflect Overall Customer Sentiment?
Credit: Disney

Disney stock is at its lowest point in many years. Does this reflect the overall sentiment towards The Walt Disney Company right now?

Disney Stock

Credit: KtP

Right now, Disney stock is the lowest it has been in many years (with the exception of a very brief few weeks 2020 due to the worldwide shutdown). It is currently sitting at $96.73 USD which is a decrease of 7.84% over where it was 5 years ago!

If we take a look at the graph below, it consistently maintained $100 or more per share, but has seen a massive crash over the last year. The stock was valued (maybe overvalued?) at nearly $200 per share at one point.

Screenshot: Disney Stock

On a few occasions, it has risen to $150 in 2019 and early 2020. Then, in 2020 the inevitable happened, and stock plummeted to $85 in March. It began to steadily increased and one year later shares were worth $195 in March 2021. You may remember that is when Disney began easing health and safety precautions in the park.

Of course, Disney stock has its ebbs and flows like everything else, but it has taken a sharp decrease since the beginning of 2022.

Box Office

Credit: Disney

There may be a few contributing factors to why Disney stock may not be doing so well right now. First, let’s take a look at the box office.

So far, Disney released two movies in 2022. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse released on May 6 and grossed $410M. That’s a decent box office, but not as great as many Marvel movies. Lightyear comes in at second for 2022, but second by a long shot with $108M. That is really not huge nowadays. To compare, Minions: The Rise of Gru released on July 1 and grossed $125M on opening weekend. Opening weekend of Lightyear brought in a small $51M.

Screenshot: Disney Box Office

The last several Disney movies have not been light comedies that are hilariously funny. Instead, they are proving to be much more dark and serious.

Moreover, from reading hundreds of comments on our social media channels and blogs in the past few years, many Disney fans also want original content. They are bored with sequels and live-action remakes. I believe Encanto is a great film because it’s an original idea. Encanto has grossed over $256 million at the box office since it was released. Fans really want more of that.

Overall Sentiment

Credit: D23

It’s not hard to compare Disney stock with overall sentiment towards the company right now. Galactic Starcruiser costs thousands of dollars per person for a 2-day experience. And it’s very easy to find available rooms for that experience. Guests now pay for once-free amenities like airport transportation and skip-the-line access. There is a strong distaste for current leadership among avid fans and the multi-million dollar yearly bonuses.

Many have expressed that they are fed up with Disney’s political stances becoming more obvious in movies, attractions, and television. I am not trying to be negative, but this is what we see in blog and social media comments all the time. There does not seem to be a lot of confidence in the company right now. I can absolutely see why Disney stock is at its lowest point in years.

Saving Grace

Credit: Susan

So, what is holding The Walt Disney Company up? The answer is simple: its theme parks. Back in May, quarter results revealed that Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products revenues increased to $6.7 billion compared to the $4.2 billion in the prior year. People are spending more on food (due to price increases), Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes, resort accommodations, and tickets/Annual Passes.

All of this to say, the parks may be doing well right now, but at what point do we see a downtrend in attendance and spending? We are already seeing a bit of a flip flop in wait times. Usually things really start picking up in mid-late June and peak around 4th of July. However, that is not the case this year. According to wait time data (not “feels like” data), the last several weeks have not been as busy as usual.

Credit: KtP

Kenny likes to track the overall posted wait time averages for each day. He did some research and found that the wait times were 14% higher during early April Spring Break than we saw for the 4th of July. This was one of the lowest July 4th averages we have seen in many years.

Perhaps people want to travel when the weather is cooler? Perhaps guests are finishing off their “rage” spending of the extra cash provided by governments during shutdowns? Perhaps people are looking at other entertainment options?

What happens when the theme parks don’t hold the company up anymore? Are you concerned about what this could mean for The Walt Disney Company? Let us know in the comments below and on Facebook.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. The high prices and lack of service are greatly to blame, but so are Disney’s politics. Many of us of sick of Disney pushing their woke policies in our face every chance they get. Disney is catering to a very small part of the population, and they will pay for it in the long run.

  2. Lots of crazy ppl in the comments trying to blame the slowdown on Disney’s politics and I’m kind of snickering at their unfounded anger. What they’re trying to say is they don’t like representation. Disney used to be more straight and white and these people don’t like that it’s not now. Just say what you mean, people.

    Btw, I’m straight and white. But Disney has been a progressive company for a while now so I know that’s not the problem. I think it’s more to do with money. For me, I can’t justify the park cost. It’s only gone up, while discounts and perks have also been trimmed substantially. Also, because of inflation, the money I have is actually less as well, meaning I can’t spend as much on vacation this year as I could two or three years ago.

    They totally borked the fast pass system, catering more and more to people with more money. Same with the extra magic hours. I used to rely on the fall free dining promo but that’s gone too, as well as (for now) the dining plan itself. There’s probably a few other reasons to do with the current slowdown but I’d bet I’m more onto it than the angry conservatives ranting in the comments all around me.

  3. Hello Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls,
    A company pandering to a very low percentage of their paying customer base just makes no sense whatsoever. All the movies are projecting some agenda and the scripts are terrible. Universal is going to reap the benefits of all of this. With the high cost of everything now you would think Disney would go out of their way to attract customers. Instead Bob C and the board are just lining their pockets for as long as possible. On another note, vote according in November everyone and let us get the country back on track. Any change of the current policy would be an improvement. All of us need to be able to afford those family get-aways even if it means going to Universal instead of Disney. Let us see if Disney can be propped up by the small fraction of activist groups they go out of their way to support instead of improving the overall customer experience.

  4. Walt said to “build a great product, and the money will come.”

    Their whole philosophy is obviously the opposite, as they are focused on the money and the product is dwindling.

    Sad.

  5. Guest experience has declined especially by stated by Lookin Good above. Disney is making lots of money due to increased prices across the board as well as the loss of free Fast Passes, Magical Express. Genie+ and Paid LL are making them tons of money (even though Genie+ Does not work well like Fast passes did that were free. We now have to pay for a far inferior product. But they are making a ton of money so, unfortunately, Chapek will be here for at least another 3 years. For now, guest experience has declined but no end of Chapek.

  6. 4th of July was pretty dead, crowd-wise. I was shocked. I just rented out my points for Labor Day & for 1st week of December. I am keeping only a New Years trip. For a person with almost 1000 DVC points, to not be able to purchase annual passes and have to buy tickets every time is about the dumbest policy yet. I guess they do not see it that way. So fine…what was once a place I spent 1000’s – probably close to 15K – every year is now a place I am going only twice in a year. Why are P&R making money? Because they have cut staff, entertainment, and food portions. And next time you go into a ride or a theater expecting the nice icy cold refreshing air respite from the hot sun (like Carousel of Progress, Country Bear, or other dark rides) and it feels only marginally cool – – ask yourself why. Sure P&R are making money. They raised prices and cut services and quality. Guess they will have to see if that pays in the long run, though it may pay for now.

  7. Disney I’m afraid is reaching the point of no return. We will not go there until Chapek and his alphabet brigade are out.

  8. I am going to Disney World, in December, for an extended family vacation. This will be the last time I go there. The cost and even more importantly their anti family policies are unfortunate. They can now rely on the minority to support them. Good luck with that. Their movies and politics are totally against Walt Disney’s ideals. He must be turning in his grave.

  9. We are among those who are extremely dissatisfied with Disney’s current politics and leadership. We are current DW passholders, but we have cut our annual spending at Disney and on Disney products by thousands of dollars. We will not go back to supporting Disney until they go back to providing a family-friendly, quality experience for their customers.

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