Bob Chapek says parks are 'firing on all cylinders' with per capita spending up 40% versus pre-pandemic 2019

May 11, 2022 in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Wednesday May 11, 2022 5:05pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

During this afternoon's Q2 Earning Results conference call, Disney CEO Bob Chapek and CFO Christine McCarthy commented on the performance at the domestic theme parks.

Notably, the parks saw demand this year exceeding pre-pandemic conditions from 2019. However, actual attendance continues to be capped by the reservation system, which shows no sign of being removed.

Speaking about the domestic parks Chapek said, "They continue to fire on all cylinders. Powered by strong demand, coupled with customized and personalized guest experience enhancements, that grew per capita spending by more than 40%, versus 2019."

Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy elaborated, "We continue to be pleased with the overall demand, and attendance trends at our domestic parks. In fact, there were many days in the quarter, where we saw demand exceed 2019 levels; however, we are continuing to control attendance, through our reservation system. With an eye on delivering, a quality guest experience. As Bob mentioned earlier, per capita guest spending at our domestic parks increased by over 40%, versus, Q2, of fiscal 2019. And by 20% versus Q2 of fiscal 2021. With increases across the board, on admissions, food and beverage, and merchandise. Looking ahead to the third quarter, our forward-looking demand pipeline at both Walt Disney World, and Disneyland remains robust. And while attendance, from international visitation is still in the early days of recovery, we are beginning to see some improvements. We are also thrilled that, as of the end of March, all of our domestic resorts are now open. A major milestone, as we continue to move through the impacts of the pandemic."

Asked about concerns about rising inflation during the remainder of 2022, Chapek said, "We continue to see really strong demand and we're encouraged by the trends that we're seeing particularly, we're going to get some improvements to international visitation. But, we're controlling our attendance as Christine mentioned in her comments, using our reservation system to optimize the guest experience, but that domestic yield strategy, and we're also seeing it in Paris -- is really exceeding our expectations. If you remember last quarter we mentioned that we had some high hopes for it, but we were seeing well above what we had anticipated, while I'm happy to say that in Q2, we're even as you say "we're lapping" those numbers again even higher, so we're very, very encouraged by the continuation of the trends that we're seeing in terms of number of people, for example, the sign-up for GB + plus the willingness to come to the parks with our balanced reservation system which helps us manage our price per day, if you will so that domestic yield strategy has really structurally allowed us to increase that per capita spending meaningfully, without having to rely solely on raising ticket prices and we don't see any end in sight for that. "

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MisterPenguinMay 16, 2022

Reaction of focus groups.

denyuntilcaughtMay 16, 2022

Then either 1) early-out buzz is indicative of a solid first season run and thus warranting a second season renewal or 2) the production costs were better spread out over multiple seasons. The latter happens more often then you'd think.

VJMay 16, 2022

what if it's renewed before the first season premieres?

CastAStoneMay 16, 2022

Bob Chapek would fit in extremely well as a CEO of most large American businesses. Disney is a poor fit because it’s creatively driven and because it’s built on product quality, which is foreign to most companies.

Dad 2 M & MMay 16, 2022

Definitely have plenty of them wonkers round here….some must be approaching majority shareholder status….

LilofanMay 16, 2022

Some keep thinking the sky will fall and some are disappointed it hasn't.

AnteaterMay 16, 2022

I've been watching for this tipping point for more than 5 years now. I'm amazed that we still haven't hit it...

GhostHost1000May 16, 2022

My guess (and that’s all it is), is we are seeing a rush of guests back to the parks since Covid. Many having saved up for this trip not traveling much if any for 2 years, but with all the price hikes, genie+, etc challenges….we will see attendance go down eventually. Of course that would be after the overseas guest come back as well which will also help make the parks look like they are awesome and making a ton of money…I just think eventually guests are going to hit a limit on spending, return trips, and frustration on what it takes to plan a day at Disney anymore

LilofanMay 16, 2022

Pressler and made a few millions as CEO at Gap for several years and left with a little nest egg when forced out.

SirwalterraleighMay 16, 2022

Let me be clear: I totally agree with your assessment. That’s sound economics. What it’s not is riverboat gambling…which is what all our stock wonk “experts” around here want. Laughably saying Disney is a “buy” at $160 😂

HauntedPirateMay 16, 2022

$lappie would be a great leader for The Gap... Didn't another similarly foul P&R guy end up there? 🤔 ;)

Dad 2 M & MMay 16, 2022

Still rather have them make me more money than send it back ….. as saying we’ve done all we could with your $$$ and you can have it back Maybe in a decade or so the $$$ sent back will be more attractive ….. for now grow $ into $$ then $$$…etc….sustainable as always, right?

SirwalterraleighMay 16, 2022

Because it’s quick and easy…

pdude81May 16, 2022

Gotcha. I wasn't sure you were taking my earlier post as intended. I was responding to a prior poster saying that the stockholders are happy about the dividends.