Walt Disney Company Q1 2024 earnings show a decrease in attendance at Walt Disney World

Feb 07, 2024 in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Wednesday February 7, 2024 4:14pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

The Walt Disney Company today reported earnings for its first quarter ended December 30, 2023.

Revenues for the quarter were comparable to the prior-year quarter at $23.5 billion. Operating income at the domestic parks was down 2%, with revenues up 4%.

According to the earnings report, factors impacting Walt Disney World's Q1 2024 performance were:

  • Lower volumes due to decreases in attendance and occupied room nights, both of which reflected the comparison to the 50th anniversary celebration in the prior-year quarter.
  • Higher costs due to inflation, partially offset by cost saving initiatives and lower depreciation.
  • Increased guest spending due to higher average ticket prices, partially offset by lower average daily room rates.

"Just one year ago, we outlined an ambitious plan to return The Walt Disney Company to a period of sustained growth and shareholder value creation," said Bob Iger, Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. "Our strong performance this past quarter demonstrates we have turned the corner and entered a new era for our company, focused on fortifying ESPN for the future, building streaming into a profitable growth business, reinvigorating our film studios, and turbocharging growth in our parks and experiences.

"As we build for the future, the steps we are taking today lend themselves to solidifying Disney's place as the preeminent creator of global content. Looking at the renewed strength of all of our businesses this quarter – from Sports, to Entertainment, to Experiences – we believe the stage is now set for significant growth and success, including ample opportunity to increase shareholder returns as our earnings and free cash flow continue to grow."

New Reporting Structure

This is the second quarter that Disney is using its new financial reporting structure, entertainment, sports, and experiences. Entertainment contains all of Disney's streaming and media operations, sports includes ESPN, and experiences includes the company's theme parks, hotels, cruise line, and merchandising.

Results from the Parks

The decrease in operating income at our domestic parks and experiences reflected lower results at our domestic parks and resorts, largely offset by higher results at Disney Cruise Line.

At our domestic parks and resorts, lower results in the current quarter compared to the prior- year quarter were due to:

  • A decrease at Walt Disney World Resort reflecting a modest decrease in revenues and higher costs. These impacts were due to:
  • Lower volumes due to decreases in attendance and occupied room nights, both of which reflected the comparison to the 50th anniversary celebration in the prior-year quarter
  • Higher costs due to inflation, partially offset by cost saving initiatives and lower depreciation
  • Increased guest spending due to higher average ticket prices, partially offset by lower average daily room rates

Results at Disneyland Resort were comparable to the prior-year quarter as revenue growth was largely offset by an increase in costs. These impacts were attributable to

  • Increased guest spending primarily due to higher average ticket prices
  • Attendance growth
  • Higher costs driven by inflation

Growth at Disney Cruise Line was due to increases in average ticket prices and passenger cruise days, partially offset by higher costs

International Parks and Experiences

Higher international parks and experiences' operating results were due to:

Growth at Shanghai Disney Resort due to:

  • Higher volumes attributable to an increase in attendance. The park was open for all of the current quarter compared to 58 days in the prior-year quarter as a result of COVID-19 related closures.
  • Guest spending growth due to an increase in average ticket prices

Higher operating income at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort attributable to:

  • Guest spending growth primarily due to an increase in average ticket prices
  • Higher volumes resulting from increases in attendance, which benefited from the park being open for more days in the current quarter, and occupied room nights
  • Increased costs driven by inflation and new guest offerings

Results at Disneyland Paris were comparable to the prior-year quarter due to:

  • Higher costs primarily attributable to increased operations support costs and inflation
  • Lower volumes primarily due to a decrease in attendance. The prior-year quarter included the 30th anniversary celebration.
  • The comparison to a loss in the prior-year quarter on the disposal of our ownership interest in Villages Nature

View the full Q1 2024 Earnings Report

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Animaniac93-98Feb 21, 2024

Believe me, I wish it was more than just printing and shipping disc, as I explicitly asked for this exact thing to happen in another thread, but we'll see where this goes from here.

DranthFeb 21, 2024

The article I was reading made it sound like more but after your post I checked a couple others and sure enough, they are all saying it is just manufacturing, distribution, and marketing so, I stand corrected.

Animaniac93-98Feb 21, 2024

Sounds like this will be strictly for manufacturing and distribution only, not what titles get released or how they are presented on disc (PQ, AQ, bonus features etc).

Vegas Disney FanFeb 20, 2024

Probably 35mm film for the truest results but you’d need a heck of a projector.

Chip ChippersonFeb 20, 2024

I prefer flipbooks myself.

MisterPenguinFeb 20, 2024

Audiophiles want vinyl for that analogue sound. So how come cinephiles want digital media of DVD and BluRay. Shouldn't they be using VHS? Or better yet, 8mm reels for their projector?

DranthFeb 20, 2024

Yep, and Sony does a better job with their transfers overall so hopefully that will show in new releases. Now Sony just needs to not screw up Aliens when Cameron finally finishes filming Avatar 27. As long as that gets the same treatment FOX gave Alien for it's 4k transfer I'll be happy.

Indy_UKFeb 20, 2024

Offloading to Sony does make sense

Nubs70Feb 20, 2024

These are the style of low margin/high overhead/ non core entities DIS needs to shed

DranthFeb 20, 2024

Looks like it. They had been talking about getting out of physical media for a while but got a lot of push back so I guess I shouldn't be surprised as this lets them stay in it without having to deal with it themselves.

Nubs70Feb 20, 2024

So DIS has divested physical media production to Sony??

SirwalterraleighFeb 19, 2024

I’d go for another ship…but that’s just me

BrianLoFeb 19, 2024

I think you’ll be fine. I enjoyed the prima actually. Some of it is that it’s a major departure from Breakaway and people have poor tolerance to change. Aqua will also address probably the biggest issues, which was their mismatched expectations for venue sizes. The trouble was they wanted the number of venues as a bigger ship, but many of them were under built as a result and the guests did not spread out as expected. It’s not undoable and frankly a million times more meagre than a theme park, but you just need to plan ahead or arrive early to very popular venues for seating. Again Aqua is changing some of the layout. A major issue is these are warm weather ships and Prima got home ported in Reykjavik, you won’t have nearly the same concerns of Aqua. I disagree and found the food quality generally higher than Royal, maybe a tad under Celebrity. The top pool deck was also under designed, which I think Aqua half fixes. But the actual solution for a warm weather cruise is to opt for vibe, which is a fraction of Haven and seemingly a way nicer experience than the Haven area, which can be overrun with kids. I think the royal Quantum class may be my favourite class as well, though I do like Edge, Breakaway plus and even Prima classes. Edit- from what we can generally surmise from the deck plans, the atrium and public pool deck are both where the ship is being stretched. Both have almost double the square footage versus Viva/Prima. The observation lounge and buffet are minorly bigger, maybe significantly so for the buffet if they remove a speciality restaraunt, which they might. The awkward layout to Le Bistro was fixed. Syd Normans is TBD, but could be bigger (which is likely the biggest guest concern and longest wait if you want to see it). The Indulge Food Hall is TBD, but would probably be the second most requested space to increase the size. TBD because it’s nebulous on the half revealed deck plans where the actual boundaries lie.

pigglewiggleFeb 19, 2024

Thank you, that's something to think about. I do know the new ship will have a water coaster and not the go-kart track. We would probably book an Aft suite, but not haven. But to have the large Aft balcony would be great. More research to do I suppose.