Media giant Walt Disney (DIS) – Get Walt Disney Company Report turned a corner for its parks business at the beginning of this year, as tourism in the U.S. and other parts surged after pandemic restrictions waned.
For the three months ended Jan. 1, the Burbank, Calif., company doubled revenue from its parks, experiences and products segment to $7.2 billion from $3.6 billion during the same period a year ago.
Operating income swung to a profit of $2.5 billion compared to a loss of $120 million in the year-ago quarter.
“Over the last several years, we’ve transformed the guest experience by investing in new storytelling and groundbreaking technology, and the records at our domestic parks are the direct result of this investment,” said Disney Chief Executive Bob Chapek during the company’s last earnings call.
Chapek is referring to the introduction of two new digital assets, Genie+ and Lightning Lane, that cost $20 each.
They are designed to help customize guest trips and offer features to place food and beverage orders in advance.
While the return of guests has turned this flagship division into a money spinner, the company has other problems brewing that cannot be overlooked.
Disney’s Tax Status Conundrum?
Disney may now lose its special tax status in Orlando, Fla.
Scroll to Continue
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is urging state council members to consider ending the Reedy Creek Improvement District’s special status, which oversees much of Walt Disney World.
Disney has had this special status since 1967, allowing the firm to operate under its own government surrounding Walt Disney World in central Florida.
Disney’s special district would be dissolved on June 1, 2023, according to a bill introduced by a Republican senator shortly after DeSantis’ press conference.
Last month Disney publicly said that it was against the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, signed by DeSantis, which prohibits the teaching of gender identity or sexual orientation to students in public schools in the state.
“Florida’s HB 1557, also known as the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, should never have passed and should never have been signed into law,” Walt Disney said via a spokesperson.
“Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that,” Disney said.
“We are dedicated to standing up for the rights and safety of LGBTQ+ members of the Disney family, as well as the LGBTQ+ community in Florida and across the country.”
DeSantis signed the bill into law on March 28.
“Parents have every right to be informed about services offered to their child at school, and should be protected from schools using classroom instruction to sexualize their kids as young as 5 years old,” DeSantis said in his remarks.