Disney CEO Bob Iger has admitted that the theme park was too “aggressive” in many of its recent price increases, shortly after the theme park slashed prices for his $20,000 two-night stay at a themed hotel. of Star Wars when the reserves ran out.
During remarks at Morgan Stanley’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference on Thursday, Iger said Disney made the grave mistake of putting profits first in recent years, leaving even its most enthusiastic fans disenchanted with the happiest place on earth. Land.
Iger said: ‘I always believed that Disney was a brand that needs to be accessible.
“And I think in our drive to increase profits, we may have been too aggressive with some of our pricing.
“And I think there’s a way to continue to grow our business, but be smarter about how we price to maintain that accessibility brand value.”
Some of those scams included top-access park tickets going up to $244 for a single day pass, a ticket that in 2017 cost just $124.
Iger, who previously retired as Disney’s chief executive in 2021, returned as the company’s top executive in November after his successor, Bob Chapek, was ousted amid falling stock prices and anger from the clients.
On Thursday he said his focus would be on cost-cutting measures at Disney to make it more affordable for customers, announcing a plan to reorganize the company and find savings of $5 billion. Part of that plan is to eliminate 7,000 jobs.
Disney CEO Bob Iger has admitted that the theme park was too “aggressive” in many of its recent price increases.
Some of Disney’s most recent scams included having the park’s main access tickets jacked up to $244 for a single-day pass, a ticket that in 2017 cost just $124.
Iger said Disney became so focused on profit that it undermined the brand that had gained such a devoted following.
“In our eagerness to increase profits, we may have been too aggressive with some of our prices,” he said.
“I think there is a way to continue to grow that business, but be smarter about how we price so that we can maintain that accessibility brand value.”
In announcing those intentions, he vowed to “continue to listen to consumers (and) we will continue to adjust.”
The parks have already begun lowering some of their prices, including returning free overnight parking for hotel guests and increasing the number of days Disneyland offers its lowest-priced $104 adult ticket.
At Disneyland, free downloads of photos taken of guests on attractions have been returned to all ticket admissions after patrons were forced to pay an extra fee for them. At Disney World, Genie+ tickets will once again include free downloads.
Iger said the parks will also focus on regulating how many people they let in to preserve the quality of the indoor experience.
“One of the things we had to do was improve the guest experience by reducing crowding,” he said.
“It’s tempting to let more and more people in, but if guest satisfaction levels are slipping due to overcrowding, that doesn’t work. We have to figure out how we reduce overcrowding but maintain our profitability. And we did it well.
Walt Disney recently opened its Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser experience in Florida, which puts guests in a story set on the Halcyon spaceship. Above is one of the 100 Starcruiser cabins that guests can stay in.
The ‘bridge’ of the hotel ship, where guests can interact with the action taking place on the screen
But Iger said that not everything was priced too high; to the contrary, he said that Disney’s streaming platform was launched at too low a price.
“One of the key things we have to figure out is a pricing strategy that makes sense,” he said. ‘In our quest to grow global subscribers, I think we got it wrong in terms of that pricing strategy. And now we’re starting to learn more about it and adjust accordingly.’
When Disney+ started in 2019, subscribers were charged $6.99 per month, but the platform now charges $10.99 for its ad-free subscription after it started losing billions and helped plunge Disney stock prices.
Iger also said that Disney may have hurt its Star Wars and Marvel brands by making too many movies. He said that in the future those movies and shows would be looked at more closely.
“Marvel has 7,000 characters, so there are a lot more stories to tell,” he said. What we have to look at in Marvel is not necessarily the volume of Marvel storytelling, but how many times do we go back to the well on certain characters? Sequels usually work well for us, but do you need a third and fourth (installment) for example? Or is it time to turn to other characters?’
The exterior of the windowless $20,000 Disney Star Wars-themed hotel in Orlando
Bunk beds inside rooms at expensive Star Wars-themed immersive hotel
His comments come after Disney rearranged the hours of its billion-dollar Star Wars-themed hotel due to low demand.
The hotel, which opened in March 2022 in the Orlando area to much fanfare and sold-out ‘trips,’ charges guests between $5,000 and $20,000 for an immersive two-night experience in which they are swept up in a story that takes place in a galaxy. very far.
The Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser booking portal shows that there are reduced dates during October, November and December.
Starting in the fall, the hotel is only open for reservations three to four times a week. Many hardcore Disney and Star Wars fans have long criticized the resort’s exorbitant prices and the fact that it has no windows.
Pricing that takes place inside the hotel includes $13 beers and $23 cocktails, as well as $99 for an official Star Wars-themed photo. The New York Times reported at the time the park opened.