Disney CEO Bob Chapek comments on Disney park superfans and how ticket prices are a direct reflection of demand

12 days ago in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Monday September 12, 2022 12:58pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Disney CEO Bob Chapek talked about a wide range of issues impacting the Disney company.

Specifically of interest to Walt Disney World fans was a question about how superfans have objected to price increases and how that blowback impacts the company.

The Disney CEO says that "Our ticket prices and constraints we put on how often people can come and when they come is a direct reflection of demand. When is it too much? Demand will tell us when it's too much."

Here is the question with Chapek's full esponse, and visit The Hollywood Reporter to read the full interview.

You're known as a guy who cuts costs and raises prices. You've raised the prices pretty stiffly [for some streaming plans] and the parks. And you've gotten some blowback from superfans. How much can you keep raising prices and does ill will from them create a problem for the brand?

We love all our fans equally. We love the superfans, obviously. But we also like the fans that don't have the same expression of their fandom. We want to make sure that our superfans who love to come with annual passes and use [the parks] as their personal playground — we love that. We celebrate that. But at the same time, we've got to make sure that there's room in the park for the family from Denver that comes once every five years. We didn't have a reservation system and we didn't control the number of annual passes we distributed and frankly, the annual pass as a value was so great that people were literally coming all the time and the accessibility of the park was unlimited to them and that family from Denver would get to the park and not be let in. That doesn't seem like a real balanced proposition. I guess it's possible that the superfans look at that as a disadvantaging of the way they consume the park, but we've got to make sure that not only are we heeding the needs of our superfans, but we're heeding the needs of everyone who travels from across the country one time every five years. We have a real high-class problem: We have much more demand than there is supply. What we will not bend on is giving somebody a less than stellar experience in the parks because we jammed too many people in there. If we're going to have that foundational rule, you have to start balancing who you let in. … Our ticket prices and constraints we put on how often people can come and when they come is a direct reflection of demand. When is it too much? Demand will tell us when it's too much.

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DVCmemberUK1 day ago

Just an insight from a United Kingdom DVC member since 1995. Every time Chapstick opens his mouth he manages to offend someone or some group. He had a dig at 'superfans' then tried to disguise it with a fake love for them. So let's look at Superfans; They turn up come rain or shine, they spend their hard earned money through out the year, even during the quiet off season. They then do things like purchase 235 DVC points, become part of the Disney Family and then visit every year, spending around $5000 to $8000 annually including DVC dues. Just a bit more commitment than your once in every 5 years visitors. They then start to experiance a change, nolonger able to have the travel insurance as you are not a resident of the USA and not able to enter prize draws. Can't visit due to Covid because we couldn't enter the country until November 2021 and then lose all your points. Nice family now. Then Chapstick swings into action, limits numbers in parks, book your daily park choice and hop after 2pm, Genie+ was the perfect programme to take away the spontaneity of a day and turn into a military operation. Then he tells me that I am ruining a vacation for a family who visits every 5 years. Thanks Chappy, you know how to treat your 'family'. It is now all about the $ and absolutely nothing else! GH, United Kingdom.

imagineer boy2 days ago

Spookie20183 days ago

That's awesome!

Sirwalterraleigh4 days ago

I think you are far overestimating what their operational capabilities are.

Chi844 days ago

I don’t disagree with that statement. My disagreement was with another poster’s statement that there were more than enough people willing to purchase a $150+ option to make it workable at WDW. If you water it down to Disney having the potential to offer a premium Genie+ service there’s really nothing to disagree with.

MickeyLuv'r4 days ago

Disney often seems averse to (user) simplicity.

MickeyLuv'r4 days ago

We're now talking past each other. As much as I enjoy reading the rantings of my fellow forum members, much of what they post simply isn't true, especially when they try to predict what WDW will do, won't do, or supposedly can't do. People tend to project their desires. If WDW wants to create some type of 'premium' Genie+ service, they could do it. I'm not saying they will, only that the potential exists.

MickeyLuv'r4 days ago

I'm not quite sure why you quoted my post in this case. My post was a list of things people said back in 2019 that have since proved to be incorrect. But I agree with your first sentence for sure. Hectic mornings are less than ideal.

Chi844 days ago

Good heavens, I didn't say NOBODY ever said it; I said I didn't remember too many people saying it would never become a paid service. Of the quotes above, only three can be interpreted as saying it would never be a paid service. The ones who said it would be a PR hit, people would go into meltdown and it wouldn't work are correct. If I get incredibly bored I'll try to find how many predicted free fast pass would eventually be paid.

TQQQ4 days ago

as an example, I did pay for Express Pass and loved the any time, any ride option even though it was expensive, i felt like i got my moneys worth WDW needs to find that balance between price and performance and I think its been a total failure so far

TQQQ4 days ago

I don't necessarily disagree with paying for Genie+, but if I am paying, I want it to make it easier for me, not more difficult I just do not like the other aspects of it....waking up early, time on phone, no return times, etc, etc, etc

MickeyLuv'r4 days ago

I only have a limited amount of time to devote to this, but here is a quick search of certainties people posted and curious things they did or did not think would happen in regard to FP: 2019: This post was deleted, but it was quoted by another forum member: Disney would take a huge PR hit for a mass introduction of paid FP... Another forum member said if WDW added paid FP, they would also have to continue to offer free FP: Nope. They wouldn't be taking anything away. Just like Disneyland it would be an added option. A very repeatable Forum member said this: The free benefit wouldn't be taken away, just reduced in reach. Much like the gradual removal of EMH, although in some form it is still available. Here's an interesting take: WDW, by the way likes having people prebooked for rides, that allows them to prebook for sit down meals etc etc...more money. Love this: See there is the rub, it's hard to take something away from someone what is free now. One more: But the Boarding Groups are here to stay. There's no way they'll get rid of them. And they can't do an upcharge specifically for a boarding group and not guarantee admission. As RoTR doesn't operate reliably (the real reason for Boarding Groups in lieu of FP+), that'd be another kind of nightmare. (Yet we now have paid ILL's for RotR.) This one is correct! These forums would go into meltdown. And last, this one: If is offered as a paid add on, the price would need to be... practically an additional 100$ possibly more.

crazy4disney4 days ago

personally the biggest factor is this... people for most part will go to Universal parks for 2 days... so spending an stupid amount to skip the line becomes maybe a 1 day purchase and call it a day and a family can be okay with that because its a shorter trip... now Disney is say a weeklong trip different mindset 4 parks etc.... just part of why i feel it works at Uni

Jrb19794 days ago

That's part of it. Universal doesn't have a lot of attractions either so it's not totally that. A big part of it is the different type of guest each park gets. I