Disney will invest $60 BILLION in its parks and cruise ships over next decade - double the amount spent on them in last 10 years - as boss teases plan to build Wakanda and attractions themed on Coco and Encanto
- The Walt Disney Company has announced it will spend $60billion over the next decade on its parks and cruise lines
- In the last 12 months to July 2023, Walt Disney Corp. turned over $32.3 billion in revenue thanks to its lucrative experiences
- The parks business has become a reliable profit engine for the company and has helped cushion losses in the Disney+ streaming business
The Walt Disney Company has announced it will spend $60billion over the next decade on its parks and cruise lines.
The move comes as Disney discusses selling off ABC and finding a partner with ESPN, potentially moving it away from TV and more toward a new core of theme parks, movies and cruises.
Disney has also faced criticism from some for moving too far to the left and pushing a 'woke' agenda.
Now, the company is focusing on its investment in experiences and the products side of the company. The plans were revealed in an SEC filing Tuesday - and showed that Disney is 'prioritizing projects anticipated to generate strong returns,' including their parks and cruises.
In the last 12 months to July 2023, Disney turned over $32.3 billion in revenue thanks to its lucrative experiences.
Disney has announced it will spend $60billion over the next decade on its parks and Disney Cruise Line. The plans were revealed in an SEC filing Tuesday - and showed that Disney is 'prioritizing projects anticipated to generate strong returns'
Disney has proposed and expansion of its Disneyland park in California that includes growth in the theme park areas, retail and parking
Disney's newest cruise ship is set to launch in 2024 and can hold 4,000 passengers
The filing read: 'We believe that the company’s financial condition is strong and that its cash balances, other liquid assets, operating cash flows, access to capital markets and borrowing capacity under current bank facilities, taken together, provide adequate resources to fund ongoing operating requirements, contractual obligations, upcoming debt maturities as well as future capital expenditures related to the expansion of existing businesses and development of new projects.'
The company's shares were down more than 3 percent by midday Tuesday after the plans were revealed.
Disney has not yet fully said how it plans to spend the $60billion at its parks and cruises.
Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, told the New York Times that films such as 'Coco,' 'Zootopia' and 'Encanto' have not yet been incorporated into its parks.
'Imagine bringing Wakanda to life,' D'Amaro told the outlet about bringing the 'Black Panther' setting to the real-world. 'In terms of bringing the latest Disney-Marvel-Pixar intellectual property to the parks, we haven’t come close to scratching the surface. And we have learned that incorporating Disney I.P. increases the return on investment significantly.'
The parks business has become a reliable profit engine for the company and has helped cushion losses in the Disney+ streaming business, which is expected to become profitable only next year.
In the last 10 years, Disney opened the Shanghai Disney Resort and more than doubled its cruise line capacity.
Its parks in Paris and Hong Kong have also been pumped with investment.
Recently, Disney announced plans to expand its Disneyland in California, and the city of Anaheim released an environmental impact report on the proposal this week, according to ABC7.
The expansion of the California park includes growth in the theme park areas, retail and parking.
The report found that the expansions biggest impacts will be to air quality, greenhouse gas emissions and noise.
A public hearing on the expansion plan is set for October 9.
Disney has not fully disclosed how it fully plans to spend $60 billion. But, officials suggest creating Wakanda from the movie 'Black Panther' to life
Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products said that films such as 'Coco,' 'Zootopia' and 'Encanto' have not yet been incorporated in its parks. Pictured: A scene from the movie 'Coco'
Journey of Water, a new walk thru attraction Inspired by the film Moana, Opening at Epcot Center at Disney World in Florida
Disney's cruise line expansion is already underway with the company's sixth ship set to set sail from Florida in December 2024. The Disney Treasure is currently being built in Germany.
The 4,000-passenger ship, which measures 1,119ft (341m) in length and weighs approximately 144,000 gross tons.
The vessel, a sister ship to Disney Wish, which launched last year, promises to ‘unlock the far-reaching realms of Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel and embrace dynamic tales from beloved Disney Parks attractions, through captivating and immersive experiences on the high seas’. A statement adds that Disney Treasure will ‘harness a design concept that calls upon the bold and heartwarming stories of beloved Disney characters’.
First-of-its-kind features on board include a restaurant inspired by the film Coco, an Aladdin-themed 'grand hall' and a Zootopia-inspired sweet shop.
The overriding theme of the ship is ‘adventure’, a decision made to ‘honor Walt Disney’s legendary passion for travel and exploration.’
It's said that most of the ship’s 1,256 staterooms will offer an ocean view, and 70 percent will feature a verandah space.
There are four different styles of ‘royal’ suites on board that are designed to ‘pay tribute to the faithful feline companions of daring Disney characters’. For instance, the Bagheera Royal Suites are inspired by the panther from The Jungle Book and the lush forests he calls home.
A new addition to the cruise line will be Sarabi, a two-story entertainment hub named after the lioness matriarch from The Lion King
Guests can take a spin on the ship's AquaMouse ride, which ‘follows Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse on a zany misadventure into an ancient temple’
A statement says the ‘luxurious accommodations aboard the Disney Treasure will strike an inviting balance between modern design and nostalgic charm
Bob Iger's tenure as CEO has not been smooth sailing, however. He has come to face legal battles in Florida concerning Disney World and Ron DeSantis.
Earlier this month, it was announced that Disney dropped a massive chunk of its federal lawsuit against Florida's Governor - leaving only a fight over if the media-giant's First Amendment rights were violated.
The Walt Disney Corp. asked a federal judge for permission to file an amended complaint focusing just on the First Amendment claim, which has been approved.
The claim contends the House of Mouse was retaliated against because of its criticism of the so-called 'Don't Say Gay' bill.
After Disney criticized the DeSantis' backed law, the governor shot back against the company and Chairman Bob Iger and accused them of being 'woke.'
DeSantis targeted Disney's special tax district that basically let the company self-govern the land of its Disney World theme park.
DeSantis led the charge to change the name from the Reedy District to the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District - as he also replaced the board with his allies.
However, before the new board took control, Disney created development contract for future investments. Those were thrown-out when the DeSantis board took control.
That led to the federal lawsuit.
Bob Iger's tenure as CEO has not been smooth sailing, however. He has come to face legal battles in Florida concerning Disney World and Ron DeSantis
The parks business has become a reliable profit engine for the company and has helped cushion losses in the Disney+ streaming business, which is expected to become profitable only next year
Iger has also been left to pick up the pieces from former CEO RObert Chapek as the company has lost $900million in box-office flops that some have called too 'woke.'
According to an analysis by Valliant Renegade, which aims to look at the business and financial side of Hollywood, the last eight studio releases put out by the company have not performed as well as expected.
Guardians of the Galaxy and its most recent endeavor, a live-action version of The Little Mermaid, have failed to meet expectations, while two other recent films, Strange World and Lightyear were complete failures.
The 'Little Mermaid' remake was controversial right from the start, with the casting of 23-year-old Black actress Halle Bailey as the title character, Ariel.
The casting led to a wave of racist remarks, claiming her casting wasn't accurate to the character from the original 1989 animated film, voiced by white voice actress Jodi Benson.
Benson herself defended the casting, revealing in July 2019, 'The most important thing is to tell the story.'
'And we have, as a family, we have raised our children, and for ourselves, that we don't see anything that's different on the outside,' Benson added.
The film was produced on a budget of reportedly $250 million, with reports claiming the film would need to earn $560 million worldwide before turning a profit, after considering other costs including a massive marketing spend.
In other recent films, Lightyear, released one year ago with a reported budget of $200 million, brought in a modest $226.7 million in worldwide ticket sales and received a decidedly mixed critical reception.
By contrast, The Incredibles 2 in 2018, which was reported to have had a similar production budget, had worldwide box office sales of $1.2 billion.
Lightyear could not be shown in 14 Middle Eastern and Asian countries because of its depiction of a same-sex relationship. That also had an impact on its global box office performance.
Iger - who previously served as the CEO from 2005 to 2020 - took over from fired ex-boss Bob Chapek (pictured) in November after two years of complaints from fans
Disney has also talked about selling off ABC and finding a partner for ESPN.
Iger has previously said that the two 'may not be core' to the future of the company.
'There’s clearly creativity and content that they created at its core to Disney, but the distribution model, the business model that forms the underpinning of that business and that has delivered great profits over the years, is definitely broken,' Iger said.
When Iger had first left the company - in 2020 before returning following Chapek's departure- he had a 'very pessimistic' view of the future of traditional TV. He has since come to find that not only was he right, but it's worse than he every imagined.
He said the future of TV is worse than he expected.
'We've gotten a lot done very quickly, significant cost reductions and significant realignment of the company,' Iger said to CNBC. 'But dealing head on with some of our biggest challenges.'