Disney business model

I’ve been reading a lot about all the new hotels in the works (riviera, Epcot main gate, river country site, plus Star Wars). Got me to thinking, it’s not a zero sum of course, but sure looks like disneys business model is being in the resort business. The theme parks are a vehicle to fill the hotels, especially deluxe, which are probably very profitable, or they wouldn’t keep building more. It is one of the reasons the Florida project was conceived in the first place. Doesn’t mean they don’t invest and care about the parks, more of a chicken/egg thing. I thought it was interesting. Thoughts?

I think it is all connected. They are investing big time in the parks. They want to maximize that investment by ensuring all the new guests stay onsite, buy food, spend all their souvenir money at Disney. They need more rooms since they have been selling out. I also expect all of those rooms will continue to increase in price.


This. I’m not sure they’re really ready for the onslaught that will come with SWGE


I’m getting my three trips in this year and then I’m hiding until the SWGE hype dies down a bit


SO many things I could say here - but I’m tired and it’s late. Short version: Make as much money as possible while spending as little as possible. They have learned that they can jack prices up as much as they want, and attendance numbers and hotel reservations will still go up - even as things close, good deals go away, and services are curtailed.


I can’t remember what financial review I read this on, but it states that WDW is very much a resort business that happens to have theme parks.
I think that says it all.

1 Like

Just my thoughts.
Family of 4 stay 4 nights in a mod @ $250 a night ($1,000) spends an additional ($100) on qs. Total=$1,100

Family of 4 buys 4 day park hoppers ($1,750) spends an additional ($800) on food, drink, snack and Souvenier. Total = $2,550

Operating costs to calculate profit= ??

I think Disney is a Theme park first who provides accommodations as a tool to keep you in their parks where you will spend a majority of your money.


They are building more resorts in order to get more people staying onsite. They have no problems filling the resorts they have just now, but why watch other hotels take guests who would otherwise come and stay onsite.

I don’t think it’s coincidence they’re building more deluxe hotels and DVC properties. That’s the demographic they want, those who are willing to spend the extra money.

The proportion of offsite visitors is way, way higher than onsite. All they want to do is entice the high paying guests to come onsite instead of staying at the grander hotels in Orlando.


Do we know even approx what percentage of guests are onsite vs offsite?

I’d guess at 20% onsite, maybe more if you include the DS hotels now.

Disney doesn’t release the numbers, and some suggest as much as a third stay onsite, but I think with the huge boom in condos and holiday homes, that the number coming from offsite is higher.

dont get me wrong, I know it all goes hand in hand and this part cant thrive without that part. but I see speculation about wanting another park to offset crowds and it makes me think, they dont really care about crowds, they want as many people as they can. the onsite vs offsite numbers were very interesting to me. of course they will continue to invest in the parks with new and bigger attractions that boost demand. Heck, it’s just $10 a day to go from a 5 day ticket to a 6 day ticket, etc., but that same night in a deluxe hotel is much more than that. ROI wise, it does seem that DVC and the Deluxe resorts is where they see the profit growth being driven. at least in my amateur opinion, which is what started this.

Just want to know how you feed family of 4 at a qs for $25

1 Like

2 kids breakfast @ 6.29 ea (appx $14) pancakes, bacon, sausage, fruit and a drink. 2 adults eating bagel with cream cheese and a coffee (appx $12) total of $26. Prices are from food court @ POR. I was just giving averages. 1 qs a day at the hotel (most likely a cheap breakfast so you can spend more time in the parks seems pretty common) and 2 meals in the parks, 1 ts and 1 qs/snack for lunch and dinner. Add on the Souvenier and you can reasonably estimate about $200 a day

1 Like

The four parks are the world’s largest mall, decorated as theme parks. Every attraction exits, through a market area.

I think Disney would argue it is all about the experience. They do theme-ing, and they do it well, and they will charge you for the experience – resorts, parks, restaurants.

I would argue they do in deed need larger investments into the parks, EPCOT future world revamp and certainly Holiday Studios (I hate that park).


Sorry I was thinking dinner or lunch. QS breakfast you could use snack credits for a bagel with cream cheese if you have trouble using up snack credits. For us we are driving so we will bring bagels and cream cheese and some other breakfast stuff.

When Disney started in Florida, it wasn’t in the resort business. It was a theme park destination. It was later, when they saw all the hotels that were profiting off their theme park business that they then really started in the resort business.

In fact, if you look at the original EPCOT concept, it appears that they were thinking of creating a Utopia on their property, not a bunch of resorts.

Today, all the aspects of Disney are synergistic with a single goal in mind: Take as much money from their customers as they possibly can while simultaneously making their customers happy about it!

The theme parks draw the crowds, which require accommodations. Offering benefits to resort guests draws more crowds into the Disney Resorts, which generally cost twice as much for a room that’s half as nice as what you can get outside of Disney property. Keeping people on property (and having charging more for the privilege) means people are trapped to have to buy food on property. This makes food big-business for them as well, because the don’t want anyone to leave property.

And now, of course, they are charging people who bring cars to the resorts to dissuade people from driving so that you will stay on property exclusively, where they can spend more money on food, etc.

And shopping, as was mentioned…it is everywhere. Every aspect of the parks is to get you to buy things…even the placement of those products. (For example, the “I AM the Rebel Spy” T-Shirt placed on the end-cap as you exit Star Tours to convince parents to buy the T-shirt for their child who was the Rebel Spy on the ride.)

And then there is the theming of the rides themselves, which has, over time, grown more and more movie-centric. And those rides that weren’t movie centric they made movies for! (Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc.)

1 Like

My son has a rebel spy T shirt…

Last visit, my DS6 was selected as the rebel spy during our “trip”. (Which, of course, was a delight and surprise to him!)

So, I noticed the well-placed T-shirt as we exited immediately. I then commented to my wife about how well thought out the placement was for Disney to get parents to buy the shirt. But the force is strong with this one (me!). I’m not weak-minded: their Jedi mind tricks will not work on me! :wink:

The idea is cute…but I also recognized that at his age, he’d get to wear it at most a year before it was too small, and for the same price, we could buy an entire closet of T-shirts for him! (Truthfully, our experience with the quality of Disney clothes for kids has not been good. Most of what we’ve bought with the Disney label shrinks terribly after just one wash.)

He paid for it, I was surprised he wanted it actually. He was really excited to be the rebel spy though. Of course he never wears it.

:smiley: :laughing:

1 Like