ORLANDO, Fla. — Disney's U.S. theme parks saw a rise in attendance and revenue in the first quarter, the company announced Tuesday in an earnings call.
- Disney's US theme parks see attendance, revenue rise
- Attendance was up 2 percent in the first quarter
- Revenue increased 8 percent to $7.4 billion
- PREVIOUSLY: Disney: Revenue up, attendance flat at parks
Revenue for the company's Parks, Experiences and Products division increased 8 percent to $7.4 billion in the three months ending in December. Segment operating income also increased 9 percent to $2.3 billion.
Disney's domestic parks, which include Disney World and Disneyland, had a 2 percent increase in attendance, executives said during an earnings call with investors.
The growth was attributed to guests spending more money because of "higher ticket prices and an increase in food, beverage and merchandise spending."
Disney CEO Bob Iger touted the overwhelming response to the latest Star Wars attraction, Rise of the Resistance, as part of that success. The complex new attraction opened at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disney's Hollywood Studios in December to crowds, with visitors arriving hours in advance for a chance to ride.
A version of the ride opened in January at Disneyland's Galaxy's Edge.
Hotel spending at Disney's U.S. parks was up 4 percent, while occupancy was at 92 percent, executives said.
In its earnings report, Disney also mentioned higher costs at its domestic parks. The increase was due to "new guest offerings, driven by Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, and the impact of wage increases for union employees."
Iger also briefly mentioned the situation at Disney's theme parks in Asia, which have temporarily closed because of concerns over the coronavirus.
"Our hearts go out to all those affected by this devastating outbreak, including the thousands of people who worked for us in the region," Iger said.
The rise in attendance at its domestic parks comes as Disney gets ready to open new attractions and experiences at its parks, including Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway at Hollywood Studios and a Ratatouille-themed attraction in Epcot. Other projects underway include a Guardians of the Galaxy coaster at Epcot and an Avengers-themed land at Disney California Adventure.
Elsewhere in the company, Disney's new streaming service Disney+ reached more than 28 million subscribers as of Monday. The platform debuted in November and offered classic Disney films, TV shows as well as new original content like The Mandalorian.
The second season of the Star Wars series, which introduced audiences to "Baby Yoda," arrives in October, Iger said.
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