Disney CEO Bob Iger admitted that a theme park was too “aggressive” on many of its recent price hikes shortly after it slashed prices on his $20,000 two-night stay at a Star Wars-themed hotel when bookings fell. dried up.
During remarks at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference Thursday, Iger said Disney has made the grave mistake of putting profit first in recent years, leaving even the most zealous fans disenchanted with the happiest place on earth.
Iger said, “I always believed that Disney was a brand that should be accessible.
And I think in our zeal to grow earnings, we may have been a little too aggressive with some of our pricing.
“And I think there’s a way to continue to grow our business, but be smarter in our pricing so that we keep that brand value of accessibility.”
Some of those rip-offs included the park’s top admission tickets being increased to $244 for a single day pass — a ticket that cost just $124 in 2017.
Iger — who previously retired as Disney’s CEO in 2021 — returned as the company’s top executive in November after his successor Bob Chapek was ousted amid plummeting stock prices and irate customers.
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 $5 billion in savings. Part of that plan is to cut 7,000 jobs.
Disney CEO Bob Iger admitted the theme park was too ‘aggressive’ on many of its recent price hikes
Some of Disney’s latest rip-offs included raising the park’s top admission tickets to $244 for a single day pass — a ticket that cost just $124 in 2017.
Iger said Disney was so focused on profit that it was undermining the brand that had won so many devoted fans.
“In our zeal to grow earnings, we may have been a little too aggressive on some of our pricing,” he said.
“I think there’s a way to keep growing that business, but be smarter about how we price so we keep that brand value of accessibility.”
When announcing those intentions, he promised to “keep listening to the consumer” [and] we will continue to adapt.’
The parks have already started cutting some of their prices, including bringing back free nights for hotel guests, and increasing the number of days Disneyland offers its cheapest adult ticket of $104.
At Disneyland, free downloads of photos taken of guests on rides were returned to all admission tickets after customers were forced to pay an additional fee for them. At Disney World, Genie+ tickets come again with free downloads.
Iger said the parks are also going to focus on regulating the number of people they let in to maintain the quality of the experience inside.
“One of the things we had to do was we had to improve the guest experience by reducing the crowds,” he said.
‘It is tempting to let more and more people in, but if guest satisfaction goes down due to crowds, that doesn’t work. We need to figure out how to reduce crowding but maintain our profitability. And we did that well.’
Walt Disney recently opened its Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser experience in Florida, which puts guests in a story set on the Halcyon spacecraft. Upstairs is one of 100 Starcruiser cabins for guests to stay in
The ‘Bridge’ of the hotel ship, where guests can interact with the action taking place on screen
But Iger said not everything was priced too high — on the contrary, he said Disney’s streaming platform was launched at a price that was far too low.
“One of the most important things we need to figure out is a pricing strategy that makes sense,” he said. In our zeal to grow global subs[cribers], I think we were wrong on that pricing strategy. And we are now starting to learn more about that and adapt to it.”
When Disney+ launched in 2019, subscribers paid $6.99 per month, but the platform is now charging $10.99 for its ad-free subscription after it began bleeding billions and contributing to falling Disney stock prices.
Iger also said Disney may have hurt its Star Wars and Marvel brands by making too many movies. He said those movies and shows will be further explored in the future.
“Marvel has 7,000 characters, so there are many more stories to tell,” he said. “What we have to look at at Marvel isn’t necessarily the volume of Marvel stories, but how often do we go back to the pit for certain characters? Sequels usually work well for us, but you need a third and a fourth [installment] for example? Or is it time to look at other characters?’
The exterior of the windowless $20,000 per stay Disney Star Wars themed hotel in Orlando
Bunk beds in the rooms of the expensive Star Wars-themed immersive hotel
His comments come after Disney rearranged the schedule of its billion-dollar Star Wars themed hotel due to low demand.
The hotel, which opened to much fanfare and sold-out “trips” in the Orlando area in March 2022, charges guests anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 for an immersive two-night experience that immerses them in a story that unfolds. takes place in a galaxy. far far away.
The booking portal for Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser shows that there are reduced dates in October, November and December.
From the fall, the hotel will only be open for bookings three or four times a week. Many hardcore Disney and Star Wars fans have long been critical of the resort’s exorbitant prices and the fact that it has no windows.
Among the price metrics that take place at the hotel are $13 beer and $23 cocktails, as well as $99 for an official Star Wars themed photo, The New York Times reported at the opening of the park.