March 10, 2023 | 11:18
Bob Iger regained control of Disney last November.
Getty Images for AFI
Disney CEO Bob Iger admitted the Mouse House went too far with theme park price hikes that annoyed customers last year.
One of the first steps Iger took when he returned as Disney’s CEO last November was to roll back the price increases implemented under his predecessor, Bob Chapek.
“I’ve always believed that Disney was a brand that needs to be accessible,” Iger said during an appearance at a Morgan Stanley media conference Thursday. “And I think in our eagerness to increase profits, we may have been a little too aggressive about some of our pricing.”
“I think there’s a way to continue to grow our business, but be smarter about how we price so that we maintain that brand value of accessibility,” Iger added.
In January, Disney reinstated many affordable perks the company had previously scrapped, including free self-parking at resort hotels and free photo downloads for theme park rides.
The entertainment giant also “significantly” increased the number of days Disneyland tickets are sold at their lowest price of $104.
Iger said the company’s price rollbacks have “resonated extremely well with consumers.”
The Disney executive also said the company has taken steps to “enhance the guest experience by reducing crowding” at parks.
“It’s tempting to let more and more people in, but if guest satisfaction goes down because of congestion, then it doesn’t work,” Iger said. We need to figure out how to reduce crowding but maintain our profitability. And we did that well.”
A series of price hikes had sparked outrage among Disney parkgoers who complained about sticker shock as well as long lines and poor service they encountered on site.
Last November, the Wall Street Journal reported that Iger had been “alarmed” by price increases ordered by Chapek during his time as CEO.
“He’s killing the soul of the company,” Iger reportedly told insiders about the price hikes.
Disney’s theme parks remain an important driver of its overall business. In fiscal 2022, the segment generated $28.7 billion in revenue and $7.9 billion in profit, beating its pre-pandemic performance.