Disney fans have not yet found the limit of what they’ll spend to visit the company’s theme parks, at least in the U.S.
The Walt Disney Co. reported Tuesday that revenue for its parks and resorts segment jumped 6 percent to about $5.2 billion in the third fiscal quarter. Operating income for the segment leapt 15 percent to $1.4 billion compared to the same time a year ago.
Company-wide, revenue for the quarter that ended June 30 was up 7 percent to $15.2 billion, lower than analysts had expected. Profit soared 23 percent to $2.9 billion.
Parks results were driven by higher spending on ticket prices, food, drinks, merchandise, and hotel rates in the U.S. The trends reflect broader consumer sentiment in the country, as the Commerce Department data showed spending rose again in June.
The bump in spending offset higher costs at Disney’s domestic theme parks and the negative impact of an earlier Easter this year than last year.
At international parks, Shanghai Disney Resort saw higher attendance but lower ticket prices and higher food and drink spending. Operating income was higher at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort thanks to an increase in attendance, occupied room nights, and average ticket prices. Disneyland Paris was essentially flat.
With expansions coming at parks around the world, the company sees plenty more spending increases ahead.
“Particularly given the fact that we’ve launched some very, very attractive new properties, including Toy Story Land, and the Star Wars land’s going to open sometime in calendar 2019, that’s going to give us some pricing or revenue yield opportunities as well,” said CEO Bob Iger during a call with analysts.
Much of the earnings call focused on the entertainment giant’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox, which shareholders approved at the end of July.
Iger said the assets included in the $71.3 billion purchase, which include FX, 20th Century Fox Film, and National Geographic, “fit perfectly with our plans to substantially grow our intellectual property portfolio and to bring our products to market in ways the consumers as well as the creative community find extremely compelling.”
He didn’t discuss implications for theme parks, but Iger did say Disney plans to support expansion of the National Geographic brand, with some travel in mind. In addition to parks, Disney owns a cruise line and a guided group travel operation.
“We see numerous other exciting opportunities for this brand across our entire company, including in the eco-tourism space,” Iger said.