MickeyBlog News for May 16th, 2022
The Walt Disney Company reported its revenue for the most recent quarter, introduced two superheroines at Avengers Campus, and clarified some rules about its roller coaster.
Let’s talk cold, hard cash in this week’s MickeyBlog News.
Disney Earns the Big Bucks
Disney needed a win after seemingly playing defense for the past three months.
I’m happy to report that the company got one, as Disney earned $19.2 billion for the quarter.
For the first six months of the fiscal year, Disney has already grossed nearly $41.1 billion, putting it on a record pace.
The company has never managed more than $75.1 billion in a year. It’s currently pacing for $82.2 billion for fiscal 2022.
If you’re wondering why Bob Chapek is still CEO, there’s your answer. Money matters the most in businesses, and that’s his strong suit.
Of course, if you’re reading this site, you’re most interested in how the parks did. The short answer is “spectacularly well.”
Disney’s theme parks more than doubled their revenue from the same time last year. Meanwhile, net income increased by more than $2 billion.
That number is a bit misleading since Disney operated at a $400 million loss last year. Still, the parks netted nearly $1.8 billion for the quarter.
Disney also reported that per capita profits increased more than 20 percent since last quarter and increased more than 40 percent since 2019.
In other words, Disney is earning more money per theme park visitor than it ever has before now.
The company has also had the last laugh with Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser.
For whatever reason, a smear campaign started against this hotel early in 2022. People who were never going to go to the place talked about how cheap it looked.
Once the resort opened, Disney proved its excellence once again. Now, Disney expects sellouts through at least the first four months in operation.
Disney’s Streaming Dominance
Perhaps the best news came from Disney’s streaming services. Netflix famously collapsed in value after it reported a drop of 200,000 subscribers.
Netflix obviously claims more subscribers than Disney+. So, it’s not a one-to-one comparison anyway.
Also, the hidden part of the Netflix story is that it stopped selling in Russia. If not for that, the company would have gained subscribers for the quarter.
Still, the narrative in the headlines involved the slippage of streaming numbers across the board.
Disney stopped that narrative with its announcement. Disney+ subscriber totals grew 7.9 million to 137.7 million overall.
The service has grown 33 percent in a calendar year! Also, Disney’s three streaming services combine for 205.6 million subscribers.
Netflix totals 221.6 million, which means that Disney will pass its competitor in total streaming subscribers soon, barring something unforeseen.
As a reminder, Disney pivoted to a streaming company in 2020. That decision appears totally justified now.
Disney Park Updates
Beyond the earnings report, Disney has experienced a thankfully slow news week. I think we’re all happy about that after recent events.
By the time you read this, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will have held its official sneak preview, which was a paid ticketed event.
However, even before then, park officials provided clarification about Disability Access Service (DAS) rules for the roller coaster.
DAS participants will need to reserve a Boarding Group, just like everyone else. This one will work differently than other DAS attractions as well.
You won’t receive a return time as with other rides. Instead, you’ll arrive when your Boarding Group time allows and enter the Lightning Lane queue.
I would imagine that’s preferable for most guests, as you don’t need to return twice. Once your reservation window opens, you’ll ride quickly afterward.
Elsewhere at Walt Disney World, Cirque du Soleil’s Drawn to Life is on a break until May 24th.
When Disney revealed the show’s details, management indicated it would take occasional breaks.
As an FYI, the show will perform throughout the summer and then go on hiatus again for a time in September.
More Park Updates
In other park news, Disney has removed Red Carpet Dreams from Disney Genie+. In the short term, guests must use the standby queue instead.
I presume that Disney has done this to mitigate the extreme demand for character interactions. After the hubbub dies down a bit, Disney may bring it back.
The other Walt Disney World update for this week isn’t a surprise in the least. Three people sued in the wake of the Reedy Creek Industrial District legislative change.
However, like the legislation itself, this lawsuit functioned as political theater. One of the people suing is running for office.
A federal court dismissed it for an inarguable reason. It’s literally impossible to show damages on a law that hasn’t gone into effect yet.
So, that suit could feasibly come back later, but it’s not applicable yet.
West Coast Disney News
At Disneyland Resort, Avengers Campus has added some new features.
Wanda Maximoff is currently roaming the grounds in her more menacing, magical Scarlet Witch outfit from Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Meanwhile, her counterpart in the movie, America Chavez, is also making appearances.
In fact, Chavez occasionally participates in the Mysteries of the Mystic Arts show starring Dr. Strange.
This one isn’t permanent, and it’s also not every show. So, you may need to ask when she’ll appear.
Then, next month, Ms. Marvel will start roaming Avengers Campus. Kamala Khan will arrive just in time for her show’s debut on Disney+ on June 8th.
Disneyland is also bringing back Tale of the Lion King for an extended, possibly even permanent run.
Disney California Adventure hosted a temporary version as an outdoor musical for a few months in 2019. Now, the show will run at Fantasyland Theatre at Magic Kingdom.
Finally, much further west, Aunty’s Beach House at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, will reopen on May 25th.
Disney can call this children’s clubhouse whatever it wants, but let’s describe it as what it is: free babysitting!
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Feature Photo: Four Seasons