Disney CEO Bob Chapek Suggests More Price Hikes at Theme Parks to Meet Consumer Demand

    In a chat with CNBC, Disney CEO Bob Chapek talked about the future of The Walt Disney Company. Following the announcement that Disney+ will be more expensive later this year, Chapek was asked about pricing at the theme parks. CNBC’s Julia Boorstin noted that anytime Disney announces a price hike for its theme parks, backlash on social media shortly follows. Here’s what Chapek had to say about pricing in the theme parks:

    Well we always watch our demand. When you’re playing a yeild game like we are right now and you have the flexibility with our reservation system, we can move on a dime. We read demand. If demand goes up, we have the opportunity to do that. We have no plans to announce right now in terms of what we’re going to do, but again, we operate with a surgical knife here. We’re at a level of sophistication with our pricing that not only does it maximize shareholder value, but it enables us to provide a value to guests no matter what time of year they want to come.

    It’s all up to the consumer. If consumer demand keeps up, we’ll act accordingly. If we see a softening, which we don’t think we’re going to see, then we can act accordingly as well.
    Bob Chapek, Disney CEO

    Right now, demand remains strong. The theme parks division of the company just posted more than $7 billion in quarterly revenue and per guest spending is up by more than 40% over pre-pandemic levels. Executives report that demand remains strong too, with bookings and intent-to-return following pre-pandemic trends. In short, there is a lot of demand and, in some cases, artificially limited supply thanks to the Disney Park Pass system. In simple supply/demand terms – prices can be expected to go up.

    It’s also worth noting that Chapek is correct in describing pricing as operating with a surgical knife. Disney already has demand-based pricing thanks to date-limited tickets. Furthermore, Disney is able to continue to say that they aren’t raising ticket prices from the base of $109 if they continue to offer at least one day at that price. While the base ticket price hasn’t increased, the cost of tickets has.

    Month-by-Month Breakdown of 2022 Disney World Ticket Price Increases
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    1. Higher ticket prices are _never_ a “value to guests.” They are _always_ to please shareholders – and increase the likelihood of higher exec bonuses. Disney has fallen under the control of scoundrels whose only talent is maximizing shareholder value, guest experience be damned.

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