Disneyland Attendance Jumps

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The OC Register reported on the earnings report that Disney released earlier today…

Attendance at Disneyland Resort parks jumped about 15 percent in winter months compared to the same period the previous year — the second quarter in a row that Anaheim venues experienced the same increase.

The Walt Disney Co. today released its earnings for the first quarter of 2010, which runs from Oct. 4 to Jan. 2.

Top Disney officials credited the attendance hike partly to the big-drawing New Years holiday, which fell in the second quarter of the previous year. The week between Christmas and New Years Day is traditionally among the busiest of the year at the Disneyland Resort.

But late summer and early fall months also had a big jump in attendance with a 15 percent hike in the last quarter of the 2009 fiscal year.

Without the shift of the New Years dates, Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure’s attendance would have jumped about 15 percent and Florida parks would have seen a 1 percent drop in attendance, said Jay Rasulo, chief financial officer for the Walt Disney Co., during a conference call with investors.

Overall, domestic park attendance went up 9 percent in the first quarter.

Fewer visitors, however, stayed at Disneyland Resort’s three hotels: Grand Californian, Paradise Pier and Disneyland hotels. There, occupancy was about 78 percent — 7 percent lower than the prior year, Rasulo said. Disneyland Resort hotel guests also spent less money.

So far since January, hotel bookings are down 10 percent compared to the previous year, Rasulo said.

Last year, Disney parks ramped up discounts, offering free nights, dining and gift cards with hotel packages as a way to bring in more tourists during the economic downturn. Southern California residents also could get multi-day passes at reduced rates. But Disney officials are starting to reduce the discounts and are unsure when they will stop offering such promotions.

“We look at every quarter as we can, gauge the response to the consumer and act accordingly,” Rasulo said.

Worldwide, revenues stayed flat for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, taking in about $2.7 billion. Profits dropped about 2 percent to $375 million, mostly because of decreased attendance and hotel stays at Disneyland Paris.

Last month, Disney released its annual report, which gives more specific figures for the Disneyland Resort. Here are some of the key numbers from fiscal year 2009:

  • Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure’s attendance jumped 7 percent. Overall, domestic parks’ attendance was up about 2 percent, the same as the year before.
  • Disneyland Resort visitors spent 9 percent less than they did the previous year.
  • Occupancy and spending also were down at the three local hotels. About 80 percent of the rooms were filled on average, compared to 88 percent the year before.
  • Hotel visitors per room spent about $315 on average — $24 less than the prior year.
  • You can find the official report from Disney Here

    Update: Disney attendance jumped 20%, not 15% as reported above