Disney to Double Investment in Theme Parks & Cruises Amid International Resorts Boom

Revenue from the company's international theme parks almost doubled from a year ago in the latest quarter

Walt Disney World, Orlando, FL

BRYAN R. SMITH?/?Contributor / Getty Images

Disney (DIS) is doubling its investment in theme parks, cruises, and experiences over the next ten years amid a surge in revenue from its international theme parks.

Key Takeaways

  • Disney said Tuesday it plans to double its investment in theme parks and cruise lines to $60 billion over the next decade.
  • The money will go towards expanding its footprint and attracting more visitors to its resorts, among others.
  • Revenue from international theme parks in the latest quarter almost doubled compared to a year ago, far outpacing a 4% gain from domestic theme parks.
  • The company's flagship Walt Disney World resort in Orlando, FL, has seen declining visitor attendance amid high ticket prices and increased competition.

What's Disney Spending On?

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday, Disney said it plans to double its investment in theme parks and cruise lines to $60 billion over the next decade. This capital expenditure will go towards increasing its footprint, attracting new fans to its resorts, and improving commercial spending at resorts among others. The company said it has more land for future development in Europe, Asia, and Australia.

The company also said that its addressable market is greater than 700 million customers, estimating that for "every 1 park guest today, there are 10+ consumers with Disney affinity who do not visit the parks."

Disney's International Resorts Are Booming

Revenue from international theme parks surged 94.4% year-over-year in the latest quarter ended July 1, which far outpaced a 4.2% increase for U.S. theme parks, according to a detailed revenue breakdown from VisibleAlpha. There have been 1.3 billion visits to Disney's international theme parks so far this year, with guest spending per person up almost 70% over the past five years.

Growth was particularly strong at Disney's Shanghai resort, which recorded record revenue, operating income, and margins last quarter. The theme park had the highest operating income growth among all of Disney's international resorts.

Strong growth in international theme parks helped power a 13% annual increase in revenue from the broader parks, experiences, and products (DPEP) segment.

Revenue from the DPEP segment totaled $8.33 billion for the latest fiscal quarter ended July 1, which was up from $7.39 billion in the same quarter last year and a nearly identical amount in the first quarter of 2020, just before the pandemic hit.

However, not all of Disney's theme parks have outperformed. Walt Disney World, the company's flagship U.S. resort, has seen a decline in visitor attendance this summer amid high ticket prices, extreme heat, increased competition from rival theme park operators, and a political dispute with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. The slump in attendance at Disney's biggest U.S. resort has weighed on domestic revenue growth.

Disney shares were down more than 3% as of 3:50 p.m. ET Tuesday. They've fallen more than 5% so far this year, compared to a 34% gain for the broader S&P 500 consumer discretionary sector.

Disney (DIS) vs. S&P Consumer Discretionary Sector


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Article Sources
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  1. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. "Form 8-K: The Walt Disney Co. (Filed Sep. 19, 2023)."

  2. The Walt Disney Co. "Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products: Highlights and Updates (Sep. 2023)."

  3. The Walt Disney Co. "Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products: Highlights and Updates (Sep. 2023)."


  5. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. "Form 10-Q: The Walt Disney Company (Filed Aug. 9, 2023)." Page 13.

  6. CBS News. "Disney World's crowds are thinning. Growing competition — and cost — may be to blame."

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