Disney plans to create an avatar at Disneyland
Walt Disney Co. plans to add an Avatar experience to Disneyland and explore other options at its theme parks as it looks for more ways to attract guests.
While Disney announced last week that it does cut about 7,000 jobs As part of an ambitious company-wide cost-saving and “strategic reorganization” plan, the company is pleased with the performance of its domestic theme parks and is actively looking for ways to grow the business. In the most recent quarter, Disney’s Parks, Experiences and Products segment rose 21% to $8.74 billion from $7.23 billion a year earlier.
CEO Bob Iger said during the company’s first-quarter earnings call that the success of the latest “Avatar” movie is driving the development of “Avatar” at Disneyland in California. Avatar: The Last Airbender is currently the fourth-highest-grossing film of all time worldwide, having grossed nearly $2.2 billion at the box office.
While it’s unclear what type of Avatar will be created at Disneyland, Iger said that when Pandora – The World of Avatar launched at Walt Disney World in Florida, it encouraged more people to visit Animal Kingdom, the park where Pandora is located. Pandora includes two rides: Avatar – Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey.
“We learned that if we invest in capacity, the Star Wars lands are a good example of that, Pandora was a great example of that, we can grow our business. In fact, if you look at the results when we’ve put Pandora in Animal Kingdom year after year, they’ve been staggering in terms of how many people have visited Animal Kingdom,” Iger explained.
Iger, who returned as CEO in November after the difficult two-year tenure of his handpicked successor, Bob Chapek, said he had spoken with Josh D’Amara, Disney’s chairman of parks, experiences and products, to look at all of the company’s franchises to see where Disney could invest in them at its theme parks to increase capacity while maintaining guest satisfaction.
In another bid to keep guests happy, Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy said on the call that Disney was able to achieve significant growth in revenue and operating income in the quarter, despite a targeted reduction in capacity at its theme parks during individual peak holiday periods of approximately 20%. compared to pre-pandemic levels to prioritize guest experiences.
“Throughout the quarter, park attendance at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort is up year-over-year, and based on bookings, we expect that trend to continue,” she said.
While Disney’s theme parks are doing well, many visitors have been highly critical of the company’s price hikes and other moves over the past two years, including the discontinuation of the Magical Express bus route from the airport in Orlando, Fla., to Walt Disney World. Disney World Resorts, implementation of the Genie Trip Planning and Reservation System and Theme Park Reservation System.
Listening to guests’ concerns, Disney said last month it was doing just that several changes to its domestic theme parksincluding several simpler reservations.
Among the changes: It will no longer charge for overnight self-parking at Walt Disney World resorts; Walt Disney World Annual Passholders will be able to visit the theme parks after 2:00 PM without the need for a park reservation (except Saturdays and Sundays at the Magic Kingdom), and people who purchase the Genie+ service will receive digital downloads of their park ride photos for the day their purchases at no extra charge.