Bob Iger says Disney’s ‘aggressive pricing’ for theme park was driven by profit at customer cost

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA: Disney CEO Bob Iger has agreed that the theme park has been too “aggressive” in many of its recent cost increases after slashing rates for its $20,000 two-night stay in a Star Wars hotel when bookings stopped pouring in. Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference on Thursday, March 9, Iger claimed that Disney had recently made the major mistake of prioritizing profits, which caused even his staunchest supporters.

“I’ve always believed that Disney was a brand that needed to be accessible,” said Iger, owner of the happiest place in the world. “I think in our zeal to increase profits, we may have been a bit too aggressive on some of our pricing. And I think there’s a way to continue to grow our business but to be smarter on how we set our prices to maintain that brand value of accessibility.” Some of these scams included raising the price of the park’s top passes from $124 in 2017 to $244 for a single day.

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What is Bob Iger’s plan?

Iger, who previously stepped down as Disney CEO in 2021, returned to his role as the company’s chief executive in November after Bob Chapek was fired amid falling stock prices and disgruntled customers. On Thursday, he announced a plan to restructure the company and find $5 billion in savings. He said he would emphasize cost-cutting measures at Disney to make it more affordable for customers. This strategy includes 7,000 job cuts.

“He promised to continue to listen to consumers”

Iger claimed that Disney was so preoccupied with making money that it was eroding the reputation of a company that had attracted large audiences. “I think there’s a way to continue to grow this business, but be smarter about how we’re evaluating to maintain that brand value of accessibility.” He promised to “continue to listen to consumers [and] we will continue to adjust” when announcing these plans, reports Daily Mail.

What costs have been reduced?

The parks have already started to lower some of their prices, such as bringing back free overnight parking for hotel guests and increasing the number of days Disneyland is open to visitors who purchase an adult pass at the highest price. low of $104. Free Disneyland guest ride photo uploads have been reinstated for all ticket entries after guests previously had to pay an additional fee. Genie+ passes to Disney World will once again include free downloads.

“To reduce clutter but maintain profitability”

Iger said that in order to maintain the level of the experience, the parks will also focus on controlling the number of visitors they allow. “One of the things we needed to do was improve the customer experience by reducing clutter,” he said. “It’s tempting to let in more and more people, but if customer satisfaction levels go down because of the crowds, it doesn’t work. We have to find a way to reduce the crowds while maintaining our profitability. . And we did it well.”

What happened to the Star Wars hotel?

Iger’s remarks come after Disney decided to adjust the hours of its billion-dollar Star Wars hotel due to low demand. The hotel, which opened in March 2022 to much fanfare and has been selling “trips”, charges visitors between $5,000 and $20,000 for an intense two-night experience. The Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser booking portal shows reduced days in October, November and December. The hotel will only accept reservations three or four times a week starting in the fall.

The resort’s high costs and lack of windows have long drawn criticism from many ardent Disney and Star Wars fans. The New York Times reported when the park opened that prices inside the hotel ranged from $99 for an official Star Wars-themed photo to $13 for beers and $23 for drinks. cocktails.

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