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Disney To Invest $60B In Theme Parks And Cruise Business


The Walt Disney Co. is planning to nearly double its capital investment in its theme parks and cruise operations over the next 10 years to nearly $60B altogether, the entertainment giant said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.

The company said in the filing it is “investing in expanding and enhancing domestic and international parks and cruise line capacity,” asserting that its financial condition is strong enough to do so.

Disney didn't specify in the filing how much of the increased investment would go to which theme parks or cruise operations. The company has 12 theme parks in California, Florida, France, China and Japan.

Disney also owns 1,000 undeveloped acres near its existing theme parks, The New York Times reports — about the size of seven Disneylands. Some expansion plans are already in the works. If the city of Anaheim signs off on it, the company intends to redevelop land adjacent to Disneyland, greatly expanding the capacity of its original park, which opened in 1955.

In August, Disney reported that revenues for its theme parks and cruises increased 13% to $8.3B during its third fiscal quarter of 2023, compared with the same quarter a year earlier. At the company's domestic theme parks, operating income was up 24% compared with pre-pandemic results in fiscal 2019, but declined 13% versus Q3 2022.

Attendance at Walt Disney World in Florida dropped compared with a year ago, but that was offset by increased attendance at its Shanghai and Hong Kong theme parks.

“Both Shanghai Disney Resort and Hong Kong Disneyland have experienced stronger-than-expected recoveries from the pandemic,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said during the earnings call in August.

“We saw softer performance at Walt Disney World from the prior year, coming off our highly successful 50th anniversary celebration,” Iger said. “Also as post-Covid pent-up demand continues to level off in Florida, local tax data shows evidence of some softening in several major Florida tourism markets.”