This past holiday weekend marked a 10-year-low for attendance at Disney’s Florida resort.
- Travel agencies and analysts are reporting that this year’s July 4 celebration marked one of the least trafficked for Disney World in recent years, The Wall Street Journal reports.
- Disney fans visiting the park over the holiday weekend told The Journal that foot traffic was unusually low.
- MickeyTravels, a Florida-based travel agency, reports that bookings are down and have shifted towards cruises and European vacations.
- Touring Plans, a travel company that tracks waiting times for amusement park rides, says that the average July 4 wait time at Disney World decreased from 47 minutes in 2019 to 27 minutes in 2023, making it the third slowest day this year.
- A recent Time2Play poll of 2,000 Disney World enthusiasts found that 92.6% say vacationing at the park is too expensive for average families, with 70% claiming the park has lost its magic, The Washington Examiner reports.
Why It’s Important
The Disney Corporation has faced severely declining valuations and stresses over the past few years, as previous CEO Bob Chapek was ousted for a year of severe declines and low profitability for the company. Returning CEO Bob Iger has attempted to consolidate the company, increase productivity, and jumpstart safer film projects that are likely to return higher revenues to the company while laying off thousands of employees and curbing remote jobs.
The company faces multiple ongoing crises, from ongoing legal battles with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to streaming losses with Disney+ and declining park revenue. The parks have attempted to curb the issue by increasing ticket prices and relying on a smaller number of high-paying customers, increasing multiday ticket prices by 9%, from $255 to $285—reducing the number of customers who can afford tickets.
A great deal of the problem may come down to Disney fatigue. Under Bob Iger, Disney became the largest studio in Hollywood and owns 27% of the entire film industry—with major franchises including Marvel and Star Wars. Getting caught up in recent culture war battles and relying on relatively safe inoffensive family films is likely contributing to diminishing box office returns.
Recent films like Indiana Jones And the Dial Of Destiny ($250 million), Elemental ($251.9 million), Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania ($476.1 million), and The Little Mermaid ($543.4 million) have underperformed at the box office on multi-hundred million dollar budgets.