A familiar face is back at Disney. That may be good for investors & theme park fanatics


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Disney Parks Are Buffering

Earlier this month, entertainment goliath Disney (DIS) reported lower-than-expected revenue and profit for the previous quarter. For certain segments, like its streaming service Disney+, big losses aren’t a surprise. In fact, Disney+ has lost over $8 billion since it launched in 2019 and it remains unclear when it will become profitable.


But what surprised investors was that some of Disney’s other divisions are struggling as well. One segment that saw its profit margins decline significantly over the previous quarter specifically shocked analysts. The one synonymous with the Disney brand: theme parks.


Disney relies on strong profit from its parks to help offset the losses associated with Disney+. For reference, the Happiest Place(s) on Earth typically account for around 66% of all Disney’s operating revenue.

Park Changes

In apparently upbeat news, Disney’s parks division posted a record quarterly revenue. But its slimmer profit margin left investors feeling alarmed.


This decrease in profitability could be due to added expenses like the online reservation system that Disney has implemented in the past few years. This system, called Genie+, permits guests to pay extra to skip lines.


Disney could also still be reckoning with the effects of COVID-19, including inconsistent demand for crowded destinations such as theme parks.

Bob’s Back

But which one? Bob Chapek took over as Disney’s new CEO at the beginning of 2020, shortly before the pandemic hit, kicking off a challenging two year period. But, in a blindside, Disney recently replaced the New Bob with the Old Bob – Chapek’s predecessor Bob Iger. Iger previously served as Disney’s CEO for 15 years and oversaw a period of success for the company.


With Bob Iger back in the driver’s seat, investors will hope that he can pull Disney’s falling share price back up. Meanwhile, Disneyphiles will hope that Bob’s plan includes cutting a different price.


The average ticket price for a high-demand day at a Disney park currently sits at $189, which makes visiting the Magic Kingdom nearly twice as expensive as buying a share of Disney stock. Many believe the latest price hikes have priced average families out of the Disney experience. So if the company is to remain the family friendliest name in the Fortune 500, it may be time to wave its magic wand once again.


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This article originally appeared on SoFi.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.


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Intriguing secrets about Disney parks


Disney parks are known to house many secrets to keep the park alive and magical. Here are 36 of my favorite things about the park.


Related: Here’s how to make Disney’s famous Dole Whip at home



smckenzie / istockphoto


When Disney first opened, feral cats would sneak onto the grounds and catch the mice that inhabited the parks. Instead of fighting the problem, Disney embraced it.  During the day, up to 200 cats are lounge around on their own special feeding stations.  At nights, the cats are let out to keep the grounds free of mice.


And the cats are well cared for, too. Males and females are spayed and neutered, and any kittens that join the family are put up for adoption.


aureliefrance / istockphoto


Jump on one and see what music it plays! Hint: the sounds correspond with the instruments on the fountain these covers surround.



Matt Walker / Flickr


At least not with a single finger, as it’s considered rude in some cultures. Most often, they gesture with two fingers or a sweeping hand.





Next time you’re there, see how many you can find!



philinnz4 / istockphoto


This not only helps keep characters from being in the wrong “land” (i.e. a Cowboy in Tomorrowland) but prevents guests from seeing two of the same characters (i.e. two Cinderellas) at once during a shift change.



Manakin / istockphoto


Another small piece of evidence the attention to detail in the parks. Each night, the highly touched hitching posts are stripped and repainted so they look fresh the next morning for the next round of guests.


In fact, the starting time these posts are painted is based on the humidity and temperature to ensure they’re dry in the morning and no one gets sticky fingers.


George / Flickr


Designed to give a fun experience for all, pick an orange teacup with diamonds if you want to spin fast and pink one with hearts if you want to go slower.



ugajewel / Flickr


They study the animals and their behaviors. One one trip to Africa, they discovered a special call elephants make in relation to alerting each other about bees.



awl11 / Flickr


The stones near the bottom of the castles are larger than the stones at the top. This optical illusion gives observers the appearance that the castle is actually taller. This effect is also used on the Haunted Mansion and buildings on Main Street.



EnchantedFairy / iStock


If you’re lucky and ask the right person, you may just get a private tour.


Related: Disneyland vs. Disney World — which is right for you?



BR WDW / Flickr


For example, at the Polynesian Hotel, Polynesian plants are used to create a true and authentic feel of being on the Polynesian Islands. At the Wilderness Lodge, moose tracks and large, native vegetation are used to create a cooler environment, like you’re out west.



john koenig * / Flickr


Hand stitching and fabrics relevant to a specific period in time is used to create authenticity. To add, gold thread is used on relevant costumes to create a special sparkle. This not only gives each character extra pride in what they’re wearing, but rings true that attention to detail is everything.



smckenzie / istockphoto


If you’re polite and ask nicely, you may be able to drive the Mark Twain Steamboat. While it’s technically on rails, it’d still be fun to spin the wheel and ring the bell!



Scott Barlow / Flickr


Walt believed the future would be self-sustaining, so each plant is edible.


Public Domain


Whether a guest is lost, needs a family photo or a child drops an ice cream cone, cast members are encouraged to help whenever and however possible to each guest has a wonderful and magical time at the park.





It’s been said that Disney was disgusted over how dirty theme parks and festivals were. He made a point to watch how far people carried trash before dropping it. The magical number? 30 steps.



tastemaven / Flickr


Kodak did a study with Disney and painted the ground to make each photo appear more vivid.



Matthew Cooper / Flickr


Why? To help disguise the intent of his grandiose plans. Today, you can find the names of these fictitious companies, like Tomahawk Properties, Compass East Corporation and Bay Lake Properties, throughout the park – cleverly disguised as store and shop names.



adameq2 / DepositPhotos


Dressed in common civilian clothes, these sneaky officers monitor the safety and well-being of park-goers without disturbing the magic.



cholprapha / iStock


Designers and engineers determined an oil rig was one of the strongest structures and thus used it for this attraction.



James Palmer / Flickr


Yes, there’s a secret basketball court on the third level- how cool is that?



Aneese / iStock


For the record, this has and never will be allowed at Disney. Yet it still hasn’t stopped people from trying.



Russell102 / iStock


If you look closely, the time is correct too.



Joe Penniston / Flickr


  1. It’s a Small World
  2. Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  3. Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade
  4. The Hall of Presidents
  5. Mad Tea Party
  6. Peter Pan’s Flight
  7. Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
  8. Swiss Family Treehouse
  9. Jungle Cruise
  10. Country Bear Jamboree
  11. Walt Disney World Railroad
  12. The Haunted Mansion
  13. Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
  14. Tomorrowland Speedway


Rick Vink / Flickr


Originally intended to be an apartment for Walt Disney, it’s now only used for special promotions and giveaways, so don’t expect to be able to book it for a night while staying at the resort.



Chris Dikos / Flickr


This is another way to help keep the park clean and free of gum being stuck to its masterful pieces, streets, and rides.



Mark Walter/ Flickr


Next time you’re at the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, you’ll notice a faint, yet obvious smell of salty air. On Main Street, you may smell baking cookies or vanilla.



RK*Pictures / Flickr


Hmmm tasty, right? Thankfully, I don’t believe they use smellitizers here…



Mickey Views / Flickr


Talk about a huge electric bill – for one street alone!



Eat My Disney Dust / Flickr


Unless a mustache or beard is fully grown before being hired or grown while away on vacation, men cannot have stubble or facial hair.



Jodi Renshaw / Flickr


There’s only two places an adult can get a cocktail: one is the Little Mermaid-themed restaurant, and the other is a super secret speakeasy, Club 33. But don’t expect to bop in there for a quick drink – there’s a ten year waiting list. Open since 1967, the club costs $10,000 a year and has a $25,000 initiation fee per person.



Justin Barton / Flickr


They’re more perky and peppy in the morning and more mellow in the evening to match the moods of their guests.



Disney Dan / Flickr


As a child, he sold guidebooks then later advanced to working at the Magic Shop.



MichaelGordon1 / iStock


When first opened to the public, fake skeletons look well, rather fake. Replacements were ordered, all issues from a medical institute that had been used for study. According to Buzzfeed, there’s still a real skull there today.



David Bjorgen / Wikimedia Commons


There are approximately 28,000 cast members that work at Disneyland.



Ron Thorp / Flickr


Fans can stay up to date with the current news, events, and activities via By The Numb3rs.

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Courtesy Disney’s Art of Animation Resort



Viktoriia Hnatiuk / istockphoto


Featured Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.