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Disney parks’ earnings get big boost from California’s Cars Land

@jclampet

Skift Take

Significant changes made to Disney’s domestic parks in 2012 drove profit increases in the first quarter of 2013, which suggests operations and attractions at its international properties need similar pruning before they begin pulling their weight.

— Samantha Shankman

The Walt Disney Company released its first-quarter results for 2013 today and reported revenue of $3.4 billion, up 7 percent year-over-year, for its parks and resorts segment. Operating income for the parks grew 4 percent to $577 million.

Growth was driven by domestic resorts. Disneyland’s California Adventure drove the positive results after significant changes to the park, and the addition of Cars Land, increased ticket prices and guest numbers.

Similar expansion is taking place at Disney World’s Fantasyland, where its size is set to double by 2014. Although the expansion won’t be completed for at least another year, Disney has already seen a slight increase in ticket prices and guest attendance.

With Lucasfilm now officially integrated into Disney and Fantasyland set for growth, once can’t help but wonder if a Star Wars theme park is on the horizon.

International resorts

Domestic operations performed than international parks and resorts in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Paris. Although guests spent more money than the previous quarter at the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, increased operating costs at Disneyland Paris and Shanghai Disney Resort led to the lower results. Executives expect Shanghai to makes its “gigantic splashi” in 2015.

The introduction of the Disney Fantasy cruise ship in March 2012 helped drive profits, while its sister ship Disney Magic hurt profits with lower ticket prices due to a change in port location.

Other key figures from Disney’s 2013 Q1 earnings call:

  • Total revenue increased to $11.3 billion, up 5 percent year-over-year.
  • Net income, or profit, decreased to $1.4 billion, down 6 percent year-over-year.
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