Bob Iger’s Vision of the Disney Park’s Future
One of the most contentious topics amongst Disney Park’s fans, is the company’s park reservation system.
Introduced in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the reservation system requires guests to book their park days ahead of time, and limits the amount of guests allowed in the park on a given day.
While Disney has previous claimed the park reservation system allows them to provide a better guest experience, by managing crowds and predicting levels more accurately, longtime Disney fans have called the system an unnecessary hassle.
The Reservation System Is Here to Say
While Bob Iger didn’t specifically mention the future of the park reservation system on today’s earnings call, he did give some insight into his vision of the Disney Park’s future.
One of the most common complaints about Iger’s predecessor Bob Chapek, was that the former CEO was nickle and diming long-time Disney fans.
Under Chapek’s reign, the Disney Parks saw a large increase in ticket prices, during a time when many felt that the Disney product was worsening. These price increases, in addition to the advent of the park reservation system, soured many Disney fans on the current state of the parks.
A Problem of Perception
During today’s earnings call, Iger seemed to acknowledge these concerns.
“We were not perceived to be as accessible or affordable as we probably should have been.”
While the Disney Parks proved to profitable in Q1, Iger knows that the company cannot withstand a large shift in public perception.
Last month, the CEO announced that Disney would be removing parking fees from Walt Disney World, and reintroduced a slew of benefits for annual passholders.
With that being said, it doesn’t sound like the park reservation system is going away anytime soon. Throughout the call, Iger warned against overcrowding the parks, and once again used the “capacity management” buzzword.
“If we let more people in it’s going to affect our guest experience.”
Instead of removing the park reservations, it sounds like Disney will make adjustments to their current strategy, while keeping the same framework in place.
Iger stated that the company would continue to “mange capacity very very carefully”, and talked about having an increased mix of APs and rarer (ticked) visitors.
While the retention of the Disney park reservation system may not be the news many Disney fans were hoping for, it sounds like Iger is cognizant and sympathetic to fan’s larger concerns.
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I honestly get why the reservations. last trip it took 45 minutes to get into park AFTER going through security. CM told us they hadn’t expected this many people. only 2 turnstiles open .
It is definitely easy to see why Disney likes the system. It certainly lets them get a better feel for crowd expectations. The question is, whether that benefit outweighs the hassle for guests.
I actually agree with Park reservations however, I believe Park hopping should be set at 11 AM like they do at Disneyland. This way, Disney gets what they want and we have a little more flexibility in being spontaneous during our day.