He said a number of factors affected the attendance numbers.
“I think a number of things happened,” Iger said during Disney’s Q3 FY19 earnings result webcast, according to ComicBook.com. “First of all, helped in part by some of our efforts, there was tremendous concern in the marketplace that there was going to be huge crowding when we opened Galaxy’s Edge. So some people stayed away, just because they expected that it would not be a great guest experience.”
Iger said people were worried that there would be massive crowds at Galaxy’s Edge, so they purposefully stayed away.
- “At the same time that that was going on, all of the local hotels in the region, expecting a huge influx of visitation, raised their prices,” Iger noted. “So it simply got more expensive to come stay in Anaheim. In addition to that, we raised our prices, we brought our daily price up, so if you think about local visitation, we brought the price of a one-day ticket up substantially from a year ago.”
- “And then we opened up Galaxy’s Edge with one attraction instead of two; the second attraction is going to open in January,” Iger explained. “And so all of those factors contributed to attendance that was below what we would have hoped it would be. That said, guest satisfaction, interest in the attraction in the land is extremely high, it’s the most popular thing at the park. And so, long term, we build these things for the long term, we have no concerns whatsoever about them. We’re opening Galaxy’s Edge in August in Orlando, the second attraction there will open in December, and, as I said, the second attraction in Anaheim will open in January, so we feel great about the product we’ve created, it just takes some time to, basically for us, to work themselves out in terms of how the marketplace is reacting.”
The other side: As I wrote for the Deseret News, Disneyland has become something of a “ghost town” because of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. People have flocked to the new Star Wars land, leaving the rest of the park wide open.
Similarly, guests said they’ve noticed decreased wait times since Galaxy’s Edge opened, according to The Orange County Register.
Disneyland confirmed the shorter wait times, saying the launch led to a higher guest capacity at Disneyland overall.
- “We are incredibly focused on delivering a great guest experience for the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge,” Disneyland said in a prepared statement. “This land has added 20% more capacity to Disneyland Park, and together with all of our new offerings, advanced planning and innovative technology, has resulted in incredible feedback and satisfaction from our guests.”