Disney to Invest Billions to Expand Theme Park and Cruise Capacity

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Disney is betting billions of dollars over 10 years on the long-term growth of its popular theme parks and cruises.

Disney plans to invest billions of dollars into expanding the capacity of its theme parks and cruise lines, executives said during a first-quarter earnings call Wednesday.

“You can pretty much conclude [the investments] will be all over, meaning every single one of our locations will be the beneficiary of increased investment and thus increased capacity, including [Halloween] on the High Seas, where it’s building three more ships,” said Disney CEO Bob Iger.

Disney plans to invest $60 billion in its parks and experience division over the next decade. About 70% of that investment is earmarked for incremental capacity-expanding investments. Every Disney theme park and cruise line will receive a portion of the investment.

Iger continued to build on comments he made last November that he wants Disney to focus on “turbocharging growth” at its parks and experiences division.

During the first quarter, Disney Parks and Experiences operating income and revenue reached “all-time records,” said Iger. The division generated $9.1 billion in revenue, up 4% from last year.

Operating income on the domestic side totaled $2.1 billion, down 2% from last year. Disney executives largely attributed the decline to lower attendance and fewer room nights spent at Walt Disney World Resort.

For the international side, operating income amounted to $328 million, up from $79 million last year. Higher attendance and average ticket prices at Shanghai Disney Resort and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort were major contributors to the growth in operating income.

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