Disney Wants to Pour Billions Into its Parks and Cruises

(Photo by Kaleb Tapp on Unsplash)
(Photo by Kaleb Tapp on Unsplash)

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Bob Iger wants less streaming and more screaming on Space Mountain.

Disney said in an SEC filing on Tuesday that it plans to invest $60 billion into its parks and cruises business over the next 10 years, presumably to secure a cruise-ship-sized lifeboat as its streaming business continues to struggle.

The Happiest Place on the Earnings Report

Disney’s transition into the 21st-century media landscape hasn’t exactly been hunky-dory. Its stock price is hovering at a 9-year low as the company faces multiple challenges: It just suffered its worst summer box office performance in years, its streaming business lost roughly $3.7 billion over the last 12 months, and a historic labor strike continues to disrupt. Disney has even loudly mused about selling off some declining TV properties, including ABC — long one of its primary business pillars.

Luckily, Disney’s tourism business, once pounded by the pandemic, has become something of a bright spot. Or, at least, a less-bad spot:

  • The parks, experiences, and products segment generated about 80% of Disney’s 12-month operating profit, despite accounting for about only a third of total revenue.
  • In its most recent quarter, division revenue increased 13% year-over-year to $8.3 billion, almost entirely due to growth at parks outside the US; Orlando’s Disney World saw a dip in operating income while Disneyland business just barely ticked up.

Country Bears: In a blog post Tuesday touting the investment, Disney said its parks division has over 1,000 acres of undeveloped land to tap. It also plans to double its worldwide cruise line capacity in the coming years, adding two ships over the next four years, with plans to open a homeport in Singapore. In semi-related news, several sections of Disney World on Monday temporarily closed after a black bear stumbled into the park. So let’s just hope some of that $60 billion goes toward some bear prevention. And hey, Disney could use some protection from bears on Wall Street, too.