Central Florida theme parks help boost Disney’s strong first quarter

Video: Theme park attendance helps boost Disney with strong first quarter

Blockbuster movies, state-of-the-art theme park attractions and hit new streaming services led to a strong first quarter for Disney, the company reported Tuesday afternoon.

Solid theme park attendance here in Central Florida helped fuel a 36% jump in revenue for the company’s first quarter of the fiscal year that began Oct. 1. In early December, thousands lined up to be among the first to experience “Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance” at Stars Wars: Galaxy’s Edge inside Hollywood Studios.

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Other key components that led to a strong year included the releases of “Frozen 2” and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" just a few weeks apart.

In November, Disney also launched its own on-demand, ad-free streaming services with Disney+ and ESPN+. While both have been wildly popular they’ve actually pulled earnings down. Disney attributed that to start-up and operating costs that totaled millions.

Going into January, Disney+ has racked up nearly 27 million subscribers.

“I’m enormously proud of what we have accomplished in a relatively short period of time and believe we’re now well positioned to, not only withstand the disruptive forces of technology, but thrive in today’s increasingly dynamic media environment,” Robert Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Co., said in a statement.

Disney said it expects its Hulu and Fox assets to offset those losses, along with its growing international channel investments. Next month, Disney+ will begin launching to several worldwide markets, including India.

Last week, Disney announced it was closing its theme parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong until further notice due to the spread of the coronavirus. Any impact those closures will have will be reported in second-quarter numbers.