CEO Bob Chapek Discusses Price Increases, Passholders, And Parks Demand In New Interview
News - Parks 11-Sep-2022
The Hollywood Reporter interviewed Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek where the reporter, Kim Masters, did an incredibly good job asking some good questions including a question relating to Walt Disney World pricing. She starts off by acknowledging that Bob Chapek is known for his cost cutting and price rises, and asks for some insight at pricing at the parks.
You’re known as a guy who cuts costs and raises prices. You’ve raised the prices pretty stiffly [for some streaming plans] and the parks. And you’ve gotten some blowback from superfans. How much can you keep raising prices and does ill will from them create a problem for the brand?
Bob Chapek replies:
We love all our fans equally. We love the superfans, obviously. But we also like the fans that don’t have the same expression of their fandom. We want to make sure that our superfans who love to come with annual passes and use [the parks] as their personal playground — we love that. We celebrate that. But at the same time, we’ve got to make sure that there’s room in the park for the family from Denver that comes once every five years. We didn’t have a reservation system and we didn’t control the number of annual passes we distributed and frankly, the annual pass as a value was so great that people were literally coming all the time and the accessibility of the park was unlimited to them and that family from Denver would get to the park and not be let in. That doesn’t seem like a real balanced proposition. I guess it’s possible that the superfans look at that as a disadvantaging of the way they consume the park, but we’ve got to make sure that not only are we heeding the needs of our superfans, but we’re heeding the needs of everyone who travels from across the country one time every five years. We have a real high-class problem: We have much more demand than there is supply. What we will not bend on is giving somebody a less than stellar experience in the parks because we jammed too many people in there. If we’re going to have that foundational rule, you have to start balancing who you let in. Our ticket prices and constraints we put on how often people can come and when they come is a direct reflection of demand. When is it too much? Demand will tell us when it’s too much.
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