May 4, 2015

Universal Rocks the Theme Park World While Thrilling Investors

Call it a strategy Disney should adopt...

This article on Universal's success should be ringing a bell in the ears of Robert Iger and company. Disney once thought this way regarding their parks but no longer...

"Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley drove a 33.7 percent year-over-year increase in first-quarter theme-park revenue, which was $651 million. Operating cash flow increased 54.6 percent to $263 million for the division.

At the biggest highlight of all may have been at the theme parks,” Comcast Chief Executive Officer Brian Roberts told analysts Monday morning.

Nearly 80 percent of Orlando visitors chose two-park tickets –the only way guests can ride the Hogwarts Express train between Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure next door. Season pass sales, meanwhile, were at an all time high.

Over half of the capital expenditures at Comcast’s NBC Universal division will be directed at theme parks this year. The parks have become an increasingly important part of Comcast’s business – making up 20 to 25 percent of the company’s operating cash flow. The parks are expected to generate more than $1.3 billion in operating cash flow this year.

The company expects to open one new attraction a year at each of the major theme park locations. Comcast also owns Universal Studios in Hollywood."

Wouldn't Disney be smart to think a bit like them?

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