Recently, Disney has fallen out of the top online searches for travel destinations. Prices continue to rise across Disney’s parks and resorts amid an economy still enduring historically high inflation levels.
The Street recently summarized a new study that analyzed internet searches for tourist attractions in each state, and the results were disappointing for Disney. The findings were so dismal that Disney didn’t even appear in the results of state-by-state searches. According to The Street:
The results range from national parks, such as Glacier, Acadia and Grand Canyon, to beaches like Rehoboth and Myrtle, to regional favorites like Graceland. The Elvis Presley home and museum is tops with people in Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas.
But, intriguingly, Walt Disney World in Florida didn’t even make the list at all. And Disneyland, in Anaheim was the most popular in only one state: California.
Perhaps more troubling for Disney was that its growing rival in Florida, Comcast-owned Universal Orlando Studios, was among the most frequently searched attractions.
In four states, including two really big ones, Universal Orlando was the most frequently researched destination, according to the study. The states were Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts and Texas. There are several potential reasons of course. One is that Universal Orlando has been moving to grow its park footprint in Florida and plans to open an entirely new park called Epic Universe in 2025.
One reason consumers choose other travel destinations might be Disney’s price increases at their parks. A common problem with famous theme parks is overcrowding, and hiking prices is one of Disney’s methods to avoid this issue. However, this can alienate potential visitors and cause them to seek other travel destinations, such as Disney’s competitors like Universal Studios. Even CEO Bob Iger has suggested Disney’s theme parks could be overpriced.
Another reason people may be avoiding Disney is the company’s political activism. The Street writes, “A second is that Disney may have seen its popularity in Florida dim since it has become a political football, serving as a whipping boy for Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis as he gins up a run for president in 2024.” Disney has made it very clear where they stand politically. For example, the company made it very clear it would oppose Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ Parental Rights in Education Law, which prohibits young children from being exposed to woke gender ideology in the classroom. Not only does this alienate the general conservative, but parents of young children may want to avoid having their kids indoctrinated into a leftist political agenda. Therefore, they may avoid Disney’s theme parks and prevent the company’s content altogether.
This is evident in many of Disney’s box office flops and struggling streaming content. Breitbart reports:
Disney has suffered a string of woke flops, including the animated environmental movie Strange World, which featured a gay teen protagonist, and Pixar’s Toy Story spin-off movie Lightyear, which featured a lesbian kiss.
Lightyear‘s box-office performance prompted a lot of soul searching at Pixar, though Pixar Chief Creative Officer Pete Docter claimed the movie’s woke theme did not play a role in the fiasco.
On top of all that, Disney’s streaming service is still losing tons of cash. Last month it was reported that the streamer lost more than $1 billion a quarter.
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