The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger touched on Disney Parks during a question and answer session at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference.
Iger emphasized that reducing crowding was an important part of improving the guest experience, alluding to Park Pass reservations. “It’s tempting to let more and more people in,” he said, “but if the guest satisfaction level is going down because of crowding, that doesn’t work. We had to figure out how we reduce crowding but maintain, obviously, our profitability, and we did that well.”
Acknowledging the controversy surrounding Park Passes, Iger added, “But we have to be careful about that as well, ’cause in doing that, [you] actually end up increasing the price or putting features into your pricing that are viewed by some consumers [as] perhaps being a little too aggressive and that’s what we’re being careful about.”
He went on to talk about how much growth is possible at Disney Parks around the world, including in California, bringing up the new “Avatar experience” that he announced on the recent earnings call.
“As we continue to invest in those businesses,” Iger said, “which is essentially building out new capacity or new attractions, it gives us the ability to, one, service more people. The more attractions you have, obviously the more people have to do. We can also mine our IP [intellectual property] more effectively.”
“Those are really important,” he continued, “because those franchises that we do well with in film and in television are truly leverageable at the parks level as we learned with the ‘Star Wars’ investments that we’ve made, the ‘Avatar’ investment we made in Florida, the ‘Toy Story’ investments that we’ve made. And that creates growth for us because it increases capacity and it improves our marketability.”
Iger said that while they obviously don’t have endless IP, they do have plenty to still take advantage of, which leads to growth opportunities.
“And if you price all of that right, and market it well,” he said, “and manage your costs so that you can maintain pretty decent margins, [it’s] a business that, you know — obviously we’re betting on — I would bet on.”
Read more of Iger’s comments from the Q&A session:
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