Disney CEO Bob Iger says he’s “not at all concerned” about thinner crowds at Walt Disney World, suggesting that lower attendance is due to more competition post-pandemic.
In a televised CNBC interview on Thursday (13 July), Iger responded to reports that visitors are staying away from Disney parks as ticket prices remain high.
He said the lower foot traffic in Florida can be put down to comparisons with 2020, when the state “opened up early during Covid, and it created huge demand”.
“It didn’t have competition because there were a number of other places – states – that were not open yet,” Iger added.
He told CNBC that “Florida was the only game in town” in 2020, saying that wait times may have dropped because “there’s much more competition today”. Iger said he’s “not at all concerned” that visitor numbers would continue to decline.
Via the Wall Street Journal, data from the analysis firm Touring plans shows that average wait times at Disney World’s four parks have reduced since 2019.
In 2019, the average wait time for a ride at Magic Kingdom was 47 minutes. In 2022, it was 31 minutes, and this year it is 27 minutes.
“The article that you referred to was not accurate actually,” Iger told the publication. “It was measuring attendance at Disney World on July 4, which didn’t really factor in temperature, which was about 100 degrees and 99 percent humidity on that day. But there are other factors as well.”
“Pricing is not an issue” at Disney parks
When asked if the ongoing feud with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis could be impacting attendance, Iger said: “No. We see no sign of that at all.”
Iger’s interview comes after his CEO contract at Disney was extended for another two years. Since he returned as CEO in November, Disney has changed some of the most unpopular policies at its parks in the US.
Iger has also admitted that Disney’s park pricing strategies were “too aggressive”. Speaking to CNBC yesterday, he said “pricing is not an issue” at the parks.