Bob Iger says there are 'untapped stories just waiting to be brought to life' at Disney Parks with $42 billion going to expand capacity

25 days ago in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Wednesday February 7, 2024 5:20pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Speaking at today's Q1 2024 earnings call, Disney CEO Bob Iger commented on the future of the company's theme park business.

Iger said, "Every one of our parks was profitable in Q1, giving us an incredibly solid foundation to build upon as we invest significantly to turbocharge growth in this business."

He continued, "As I've said before, we also have so many untapped stories just waiting to be brought to life in our parks across the globe as we continue to invest in this extraordinary business."

New Disney CFO Hugh Johnston expanded on future investments, saying, "We plan to invest approximately $60 billion into the business over the next 10 years, of which approximately 70% is earmarked for incremental capacity expanding investments around the globe, which we expect to attractive returns."

Disney announced last year its plans to accelerate and expand investment in its Parks, Experiences and Products segment to nearly double capital expenditures over the course of approximately 10 years to roughly $60 billion, including by investing in expanding and enhancing domestic and international parks and cruise line capacity.

Speaking in April 2023 at the Walt Disney Company Annual shareholder meeting, Disney CEO Bob Iger said that Disney plans to spend $17 billion over the next ten years, specifically at Walt Disney World, bringing 13,000 new jobs to the area.

In terms of timing, Iger said that the company is already hard at work at determining where new investments will be placed and what they will be. New additions will start opening in 2025, and there will be a cadence of additional investment and increased capacity every year.

In response to an analyst question about where and when we will see new investments, Iger said, "You can pretty much conclude that they will be all over, meaning every single one of our locations will be the beneficiary of increased investment and thus, increased capacity, including on the high seas where we're currently building three more ships and a business that is obviously extremely positive to us. We may look expansively in that direction. I'm not going to give you more of a sense of timing except that we're hard at work at getting these things basically conceived and built."

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JoeCamel13 days ago

The plots won't be filled for five years except for one

ilovetotravel197713 days ago

I thought you were reacting to the expansion plots for Epic being ready in five years. Had no clue you were referencing their relationship duration as that wasn't what I was actually commenting on. But yeah.

JoeCamel16 days ago

I first met Alicia 8-9 years ago when she was penning articles for others and she had a very clear vision of where she wanted to be in the future, she is achieving that goal and will go on to bigger things but her collaboration with bio goes way beyond the last years reporting, it's been more than 5 years

ilovetotravel197716 days ago

What do you mean five years? lol

flynnibus17 days ago

For those who already 'forgot'

peter1143517 days ago

Yep. People around here like to ignore facts like that if they don’t support their agenda.

flynnibus17 days ago

Huh? The whole presentation was setup by outlining how the investment in parks has turned into a consistent multiplier of revenue…. Then once they established that concept, they talked about spending so you believe what that roi would be like.

Nubs7017 days ago

But a budget does include things like expected payback time frame, increased attendance, etc. A budget is a subset of a plan.

BrianLo17 days ago

1) It's unclear what, if any plans Chapek was participatory in prior to his departure. Other than the Avengers E-ticket. Project directions were being pitched by Imagineering in September 2022, but little directional funding seems to have been achieved quite yet (due to lack of will or perhaps just inopportunely timed). 2) Chapek was booted 3) D'amaro and Iger went on a fairly significant parks tour on his return, together. DLR in Dec 2022, WDW in Jan 2023, DLRP in March 2023. I think they were in HKDL twice and SDL twice (to tour them in the summer of 2023 and then for the land openings). This is more park time than Iger has ever spent in a year in his tenure. 4) Iger announced something for Avatar in Disneyland (Feb 2023 quarterly call) following the success of its sequels performance. I highly doubt anything else was even planned or run by Imagineering, somewhat reminiscent of the first time he announced Pandora. I'd count that project as only having started gesticulating, from nothing, for about 12 months now. 5) Bruce Vaughn returns in March 2023. 6) The 10-year, 17 billion dollar budget was floated at WDW early. In part as a political ploy, but also seemed a little too random of a figure. I assume the overall spend strategy was largely being developed with Iger/D'amaro at that time, even if there wasn't the final talley presented to Wall Street. 7) The actual budget plan was announced for Wall Street in September. Timing wise D'amaro confirms the projects at Dinoland and Beyond Big Thunder are still top of mind. Remains wishy-washy. 8) On a subsequent call they affirmed it would be heavier in the back end (likely with a lack of major substance ready to go initially). 9) Disneyland makes more firm commitments to actually spend money specifically on the Disneyland Forward Plot (1.9 with penalties, but more committed to 2.5B). This would be separate from infrastructure spending, other capital spend. The limitations on the specifics of California seem to be pending the zoning approval, they appear particularly sensitive to not repeating the same errors where announced projects were cancelled by city council and business opposition. 10) They reaffirm on the most recent conference call the 60 billion. 70% of which would be ear marked for 'capacity expansion' approximately. Bob states meaningfully every single park in the portfolio would be due to receive expansion. Which seems a bit of a non-answer, but Disneyland Paris has been woefully ignored for longer than that. 11) Everyone insinuates every last dollar will be spent on DCL, not understanding the cruise ship industry pre-fills ship builds a decade in advance... they couldn't spend 60B on DCL even if they wanted to. So where does that leave us today? I think it's pretty clear Iger set these plans in motion quite quickly behind the scenes early on his arrival. D'amaro seemed keen to sell major projects under Chapek's regime, but there were no firm budgeting commitments we can yet discern. It seems early on some green light occurred that directionally they would need to scale up and start planning projects. Certainly, by Spring 2023. Why do we not know more? Because really things were bare bones at Imagineering with no real clue of major project spending until 12 months ago (if I'm being generous). I *think* D23 this August will have meaningful things to show. But those meaningful things will be 18 months in process, only. Which means I think we'll have a very good direction of things to come. Will major projects be committed to more firmly at D23? I think yes. Will they be ready to start construction this calendar year? I think very unlikely. Will they be under construction by D23 2026? I think yes. Could non-major projects be ready to open for 2025? I'd hope so, and they've managed to sprinkle in some of those already even in the lean times. I.e. Luminous, Country Bears, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, etc. Will Avengers ever get its E-ticket? Hopefully before Kid Zone gets a replacement of substance...

UNCgolf17 days ago

To be fair, you don't want the CEO out there dictating what they're going to do in the parks, especially years in advance. You just want him setting (or, maybe more realistically, signing off on) a budget for the creatives to use and let them to go to work coming up with the best design.

JoeCamel17 days ago

Ooooo capacity.....

Nubs7017 days ago

Peltz does have a point. The only metric Iger has put forth is how much he is going to spend over a specific time frame. Business plans are not "The Field of Dreams"

HauntedPirate19 days ago

Don't forget more AP lounges, more premium viewing spots only for APs, and more AP availability plus bigger and better discounts. TDO wants to expand the base of AP holders to rival what Disneyland once had.

Phicinfan19 days ago

with better operation, and more draw, thus having less lines that could lead to more folks going to park? Maybe?