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Disney US theme parks: Rise of the Resistance drives increase in attendance and revenue

star wars rise of the resistance

Disney has reported first quarter earnings for fiscal year 2020. Attendance, visitor spending and revenue increased at Disneyland and Walt Disney World following the launch of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.

Attendance increased two percent at Disney’s US theme parks in the company’s first quarter. Spending was also up 10 percent at the US parks, with Rise of the Resistance contributing to an increase in per capita spending.

In the parks, experiences and products segment, revenue for Q1 increased eight percent to $7.4 billion, while operating income rose nine percent to $2.3 billion.

Operating income growth for Q1 has been attributed to increases in merchandise licensing at US parks and resorts, partially offset by lower results at international parks and resorts.

Attendance rose two percent at US theme parks

rise of the resistance star wars galaxys edge

Higher merchandise licensing results were due to an increase in revenue from sales of Frozen, Star Wars and Toy Story merchandise. This was partially offset by lower sales of Mickey and Minnie merchandise.

Growth at Disney’s US parks and resorts was due to higher guest spending and increased attendance, which was offset in part by higher costs.

As for guest spending growth, this was mainly due to higher average ticket prices and a rise in spending on F&B and merchandise.

According to Disney, higher costs were due to new guest offerings, particularly Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. They were also due to the impact of wage increases for union employees.

Revenue in Q1 increased to $7.4 billion

Hong Kong Disneyland expansion Castle

The decrease in operating income at international parks and resorts was due to lower results at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, partially offset by growth at Shanghai Disney Resort.

Lower results in Hong Kong were put down to decreases in attendance and occupied room nights, reflecting the impact of the ongoing protests in the country.

At Shanghai Disney Resort, higher operating income was driven by a rise in attendance. China’s coronavirus has resulted in the temporary closure of Shanghai Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland, which could result in a $175 million loss in Q2.

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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