Disneyland drop in attendance blamed on passholder visits, 'Galaxy's Edge' concerns

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Posted at 5:37 PM, Aug 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-07 20:56:12-04

(KGTV) — Even with the opening of "Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge" this summer, Disneyland reported a drop in attendance last quarter.

Disney reported the data during an investor's call this week, noting that domestic parks saw a 3% drop in attendance in its third fiscal quarter ending on June 29. However, per-capita guest spending increased 10%, thanks in part to high ticket prices, and spending on food, beverage, and merchandise.

Disney added that the lower attendance at Disneyland, specifically, was fueled by fewer annual passholder visits as the park managed the demand for "Galaxy's Edge."

RELATED: Disneyland offering annual passholders a 'bring a friend' discount

At Disney World, the company says guests are waiting to visit until after that location's "Star Wars" land opens.

"There was tremendous concern in the marketplace that there was going to be huge crowding when we open 'Galaxy's Edge.' So some people stayed away expecting it would not be a great guest experience," Disney CEO Bob Iger said during the call.

Iger added that local hotels also increased their prices around that time expecting more visits. The park also raised ticket prices "substantially" over the course of a year, Iger said.

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"That said, guest satisfaction, interest in the attractions and the land is extremely high. They're among the most popular thing at the park, so long term ... we have no concerns whatsoever about them," Iger said.

Disney's domestic parks also experience a decrease in operating income, attributed to higher costs associated with labor and "Galaxy's Edge" expenses.

The company says decreases in volume and operating income domestically was partially offset by the increase in average per capita guest spending. Per room hotel spending was also up 3% and occupancy increased 2%, the company added.