Walt Disney World Attendance is Lower Than Expected According to Bob Chapek


Today is the Walt Disney Company Q3 earnings call covering business April-June, 2020. There is a lot of talk about finances and the Disney company has suffered some significant losses due to the closure of the parks and the shutdown of the film industry.

One thing that everyone has been wondering is whether or not reopening Walt Disney World was actually making money for the company.

According to CEO Bob Chapek, the reopening money was less than they expected. Someone from JP Morgan asked if the parks not reopening to expectations was due to people not coming in a way they thought.  Bob Chapek said it seems to be that 50% of guests traveling from a distance and 50% of guests coming from local areas. However they got a much higher number of cancellations after reservations rate as cases of COVID-19 increased in Florida.  They are trying to replace the cancellations with locals and AP holders (likely why we have the 30% AP discounts and Florida resident deals going on.) They hope that when consumer confidence returns the guests will return.

Later on during the call someone from Wells Fargo asked them to explain better about the Parks and Hotel numbers.

It was mentioned that the lack of travel from those outside the local area was dampening the profits, but they still remained in the positive, but did not indicate to what level they remain positive.

Hotel usage was also questioned as a lot of the hotels have not yet reopened, and this is likely because the demand they expected six-weeks ahead of reopening was not what they got by the time it reopened.  This is likely why we was some hotels listed for reopening and then they were pulled “indefinitely.”

They are hoping that when “travel patterns get a little more normalized and people come to stay” they can give better occupancy and booking numbers.

Something else to note was that per capita spending was very strong and they think that is due to “pent up demand.” I say partially due to the announced retheming of Splash Mountain and items like the Loungefly Kevin bag hitting the stores and locals buying up the merchandise to put on eBay.

Bob Chapek indicated that he feels that some of the reason the profits are down is because, and yes this was what he said, guests that stay 5-7 days are “marginally more beneficial” to the company than locals or Annual Passholders because they consume more between tickets, hotels and food. Basically locals don’t stay in hotels and eat at the restaurants as much. AP holders have tickets already. I guess the huge Annual Passholder price increase last year still doesn’t make Annual Passholders as valuable overall. I guess we aren’t as special as some of us think we are.

Disney made it clear that they have a positive outlook moving forward but they realize it could remain below expectations until people feel comfortable enough to travel to the theme park and spend the money they need them to spend.

What do you think? Comment and let us know.


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Kambrea Pratt
Disney has been a big part of my life for years--from family trips to WDW to growing up on Disney classics, TV, and movies. Prior to Pirates and Princesses I successfully ran social media and websites since 2010. I've also been a public speaker and presenter since 2007. I'm the co-host for the YouTube channel Clownfish TV as well as the podcast/ Youtube Pirates and Princesses (PNP) channel. Former contributor, online personality and acting social media manager at The Kingdom Insider (which we built from the ground up and ran from 2017-2019 --Thom didn't quit FYI) Pirates and Princesses was started by my husband and I several years ago. We loved Disney and wanted to honestly cover all aspects from pop-culture to the parks from a consumer focused stance. Living OUR happily ever after getting to do what we love with our two kids! Creating fun content and building new things. Certified art teacher, and mom. Opinions are all mine.