Bob Iger on Disney's Next Big Moves: Parks Expansion and Competition From Universal Epic Universe

30 days ago in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Wednesday May 15, 2024 11:00am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

In this morning's MoffettNathanson Media and Communications Summit, Disney CEO Bob Iger provided detailed insights into the company's strategic approach to its parks and resorts while highlighting significant upcoming projects and investments.

Iger emphasized the return on invested capital in Disney's parks and resorts, describing it as one of the company's highest-yielding segments. "I looked at the return on invested capital in our parks and resorts unit over my tenure, and it was extraordinary," he said.

During the interview, Bob Iger highlighted the performance of Disney's parks in the last quarter, noting that all parks achieved record revenue, per capita spending, and attendance, with the sole exception of Disney World. "We had record revenue in all of our parks, record per capita spending, and record attendance in every one of our parks except Disney World, which was still strong," Iger stated. 

International Growth and Development

Iger provided updates on Disney's international parks, emphasizing their growth and potential.

Opened in 2016, Shanghai Disneyland has become the top tourist destination in Shanghai and significantly boosted Disney's brand affinity in China. "Shanghai Disneyland has had a huge impact on brand affinity in China. It's the number one tourist destination in Shanghai," Iger said.

Hong Kong Disneyland has seen steady growth, with recent expansions and continued development. At Disneyland Paris, the second park, previously known as Walt Disney Studios, has undergone significant investment and expansion. Iger noted, "We've been investing nicely in the second park in Paris, which will ultimately be renamed, and there are a lot more attractions being built that will open in the next two to three years."

Competition and Future Growth

Iger addressed the competition from Universal's new Epic Universe park in Orlando, expressing confidence in Disney's IP and the strategic investments made over recent years. "We've had competition for a long time. I'm mindful of what they're doing, but I'm confident in what we've built and will continue to grow," he stated. He continued that Galaxy's Edge, the expansive Star Wars-themed land, has been a significant draw, featuring two e-ticket attractions that have wowed guests since its opening. Similarly, Tron Lightcycle Run, a coaster inspired by the Tron franchise, has become a popular addition, first debuting in Shanghai and later in Disney World. 

Finally, Iger touched on the continued popularity and multi-generational appeal of Disney's parks and cruises, highlighting their resilience and the lasting value they provide. "The experience that we deliver, whether it's at a park or on a cruise ship, is an extraordinary experience that I think where the value is not going away. It's showing no signs of ebbing at all," he said.

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Jrb19798 hours ago

To be fair 20 years ago Cedar Point opened a coaster that was 17 seconds long and it had a 3 hour wait

eddie1049 hours ago

All in your head. 😂

DonniePeverley9 hours ago

Show me on one advert where you saw the quote 'family friendly coaster'. You won't because, there is none that use those headlines. Is family friend, or child friendly just another term/excuse for an attraction being rubbish? You know, build a rubbish attraction (mainly due to cut backs) but spin it by calling it a family attraction. Don't families have a rite to be entertained?

DonniePeverley9 hours ago

Wow. I never thought i'd see someone defend a 20 second brand new roller coaster. You haven't been in Asia. Frozen land, including this coaster is printed all over the place. There was simply no excuse to build this attraction the way they did. You build an attraction as a legacy for 20-30 years. Something went very amiss with it, and we all know the reason.

Sirwalterraleigh10 hours ago

…it’s cute that you think “chappie” had that much pull….

JMcMahonEsq10 hours ago

Every advert for it I have seen/read calls it a "family friendly" coaster, or in official HK website a family friendly carnival coaster. I don't know many carnival rides, or family friendly coasters that are all that long or full of large drops/thrills. The ride itself seems to be a perfect delivery on 1) great frozen themeing; 2) accessible to almost all ages with a very low height requirement; 3) gets up to some speed/trill, but nothing to extreme. To give a subjective example I was forced/blackmailed/guiltripped into riding 7DMT my last trip at MK. I don't like roller coasters/thrill rides, but had to do it, and found it to be basically at my limit of comfort. I did it, made it through and was ok, but i wouldn't want to ride anything "bigger" HK Frozen gives you some of the speed similar to 7DMT, but i thought the drops on 7D were a bit bigger (full admission I haven't checked actual drops on ride, just subjective veiewpoint/feel.) This is the perfect ride for young kids to get into coaster. Great theming, good speed but not going to shake anyone up too badly, and even if your not enjoying it, its not going on so long as to really effect you. Flight of Pandora it is not, but for young kids, to me it beats the hell out of barnstormer or flight of the hippogriff.

DonniePeverley10 hours ago

Even juniors demand more than a 30 second coaster - especially when the hype is so high, and you queue for 2 hours.

Stripes10 hours ago

WDI has been posting a lot of applications for people to submit expressions of interest for roles that suggest major projects are coming to WDW. All of the EOI listings are either for both Glendale and Orlando or just Orlando. Also, LinkedIn is reporting that WDI has grown headcount by 10% in the past 6 months. Here’s the listings currently open, although there’s been more that have since closed.

Gusey15 hours ago

It was originally going to be a sled version of Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters, but they upgraded it to a themed junior coaster, like the Barnstormer, something the park needed. Frozen in Paris won't get either the coaster or the trackless dark ride, just Frozen Ever After

BrianLo16 hours ago

That would be all well and good if this coaster was cut back… but it wasn’t. The original plans did not call for a second attraction. It was added late in the game and ‘we’ (or at least me), have known it was a Jr coaster for the better part of 5 years. If you want to gripe about something, maybe Universal cloning their bare bones Flying Unicorn over and over and over. People constantly complain that Disney doesn’t build B/C tickets anymore… but when they do (and actually apply effort to them), complain they aren’t a D or E ticket.

MisterPenguin16 hours ago

Oh well. Anyway. Your disappointment at a presumed lack of advertisement that this coaster was a kiddie coaster is off topic for this thread. Good day.

bwr82716 hours ago

Did they cut back, or did they add expense to apply great theming? Maybe the project started as “let’s add a barnstormer” and thanks to the majority owners the imagineers were tasked with making it something more. I agree it’s too bad about what might have been. I’ve always loved family coasters — and this could have been an amazing one.

DonniePeverley17 hours ago

I don't remember seeing 'child coaster' on the adverts they are plastering all around Asia. Even if it is a child coaster there is no excuse for it being 30 seconds, after queuing for a few hours. Child coaster in disney terms is just an excuse for it being 'cheap'. But you know what - that coaster had real potential. You do get some brilliant 30 seconds, and it's absolutely shocking it being that short. You literally come to the end of the ride and universally the whole reaction is 'is that it?' All they had to do was invest in the coaster, and you could have had a worldcass attraction there, but nah always scaling back and cutting back.

bwr8271 day ago

You described my thoughts - by the great theming I assumed family coaster.