Is Disney a Greedy Business?

PostScott

New Member
Original Poster
Okay, I'm posting this because I'm genuinely curious but I also don't want this to become some "lets talk trash about Disney" tread. I've been defending Disney's decisions for months and almost years now about raising prices and cutting costs. I get it, they're a company and they need to make money, after all this is a capitalistic country. However, I've read multiple articles of how Disney used to be. The parks weren't nearly as crowded, WDW wasn't filled with part time college student employees, and they didn't price out alot of people who used to be able to afford Disney. Now they fill the parks to the brim, trying to make the most amount of money possible. I've been saying that Disney isn't greedy because they are a business and they need to make money but I'm just getting a feeling that its more about the shareholders now than the guest experience (of course it is but I'd like to think not). I mean, they invested billions into these park expansions across the world and who am I to know how to run a multi billion dollar company with multiple theme parks. Just wanted to hear y'alls thoughts about this. Please be civilized, but oh well I'm sure someone won't be.
 

Big Phil

Well-Known Member
I know Walt himself tended to ignore the desires of the shareholders as he wasn't the "business-savvy" type that his brother Roy was. But even then it was a business and they had to make money. Disneyland back then in comparison was cheaper than today. But so was going to see a Yankee game, and you got to see Mickey Mantle then.

Disney is a lot like the sports world in general. It costs a lot to see everything. Sports have gone up faster than the rate of inflation too. The thing is, essential needs in this part of the world are affordable, but a vacation that you want isn't always. This is what you have to choose in life. I haven't been since 2018 and not because I didn't want to either. It is what it is.

I remember in 1997 spending a day at Disney cost you $40 per person and I remember thinking how I am glad my parents could afford this as a teenager because it sounded expensive. Who here would kill to have it be $40 again?
 

Rosanne

Active Member
Of course, any business is there to make money. And I have no problem with them making it. I look at all 4 of these parks and I cant imagine how much it costs to run them, pay employees and do maintenance on them. I'm sure its lots of $$$$. You cant compare the entrance fee now with what it was 50 yrs ago. Like everything - it just costs more now for everything. My only gripe is the long lines and access to rides and fast passes. With all the technology we have today, I would think someone could come up with a better plan. Of course they could always limit the amount of people that go into the park daily. It is sad that after paying a big gate fee, some people can only get on 3 or 4 of the bigger rides, spending most of the day waiting in lines. I also dont like the "Magic Hours" because its only Magic for people that dont mind paying an additional fee along with the gate fee. It was always "Magic" when you could walk around Disney in the late evenings & listen & dance to the music. But, now some nights are limited by the Magic Hours. People on this forum are obviously Disney fans or they wouldnt be here. But, some of us feel that some of the Magic has gone out of the parks because of the crowds and long lines. You rarely heard a kid cry or a parent yell in Disney because everyone was having a great time. But, waiting in line with small children for hours makes everyone grumpy. I know there must be an answer. They just have to find one.
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
I've always stated that there is a connection between what Disney charges and the cost of living. Nothing could be further from the truth. Going to a Disney Park is pure unadulterated example of a luxury item. No one needs it to survive, it is strictly for pleasure. All those types of items or activities are not in anyway beholding to a cost of living. It is, if anything, a cost of living well. Cost of living is such a bogus measurement anyway. The last I heard the increased costs of heating oil is not even considered in the measurement. Try living up north in the winter without it.

Disney can and does charge whatever they can get, if we cannot afford it, it is not life threatening. It is not a necessity. Socially, perhaps, but not governed by anything other then what the public will pay. Even with my believing that I know that they have crossed a line with me, not necessarily what I have the money to do, but what it is worth to me and that is the only thing that matters to me. I know that they have lost a lot of big spenders (I'm not one of the BIG spenders) but, others have fallen in to take our place. That will hold up for as long as nothing bad happens with the economy, which will happen and why anyone would think it won't really needs to pull their heads out of the sand.
 

Heppenheimer

Well-Known Member
For the first several decades of its existence as a publicly traded company, Disney was always one flop away from being broken up or bought out in a hostile take-over. The company didn't even become consistently profitable until the 50s (there was a lot of boom-bust before Walt got into the regular revenue stream that TV offered), and it didn't start to become an entertainment behemoth until maybe the 80s. So, I can forgive the company for trying to maximize profit. It's not just a matter of greed, it's a matter of survival.

EDIT: For some reason in my head, I thought Disney first went public in the 30s to finance Snow White. A little internet research showed me that their IPO wasn't launched until 1957.
 
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seascape

Well-Known Member
Yes. Greedier than they were ? Yes.

But that’s Wall Street.
In November I got to ride MFSR. In January I got to ride RotR. In April, I have fastpass for MMRR. In Septet I get ride Ratatouille. 4 visits, 4 new rides in one year. Disney is investigating billions in WDW, so are they ready? No. They will make more money but they are reinvesting in their property, so we should all be happy. If they were greedy they could have opened fewer new rides and made more profits.
 

marni1971

WDW History nut
Premium Member
In November I got to ride MFSR. In January I got to ride RotR. In April, I have fastpass for MMRR. In Septet I get ride Ratatouille. 4 visits, 4 new rides in one year. Disney is investigating billions in WDW, so are they ready? No. They will make more money but they are reinvesting in their property, so we should all be happy. If they were greedy they could have opened fewer new rides and made more profits.
Whoopie doo.

By the way, you left out a g;
so are they ready?
 

John park hopper

Well-Known Member
As a publicly traded company Disney is in the business of making money for their investors. However it is a balancing act between satisfying the stockholders and satisfying the guests who generate the revenue for those stockholders. IMO the scale has tipped considerable in favor of the stockholders. Yes, many people go but how many are one and done and how many repeat guests have said enough is enough?
 

Lilofan

Well-Known Member
Of course, any business is there to make money. And I have no problem with them making it. I look at all 4 of these parks and I cant imagine how much it costs to run them, pay employees and do maintenance on them. I'm sure its lots of $$$$. You cant compare the entrance fee now with what it was 50 yrs ago. Like everything - it just costs more now for everything. My only gripe is the long lines and access to rides and fast passes. With all the technology we have today, I would think someone could come up with a better plan. Of course they could always limit the amount of people that go into the park daily. It is sad that after paying a big gate fee, some people can only get on 3 or 4 of the bigger rides, spending most of the day waiting in lines. I also dont like the "Magic Hours" because its only Magic for people that dont mind paying an additional fee along with the gate fee. It was always "Magic" when you could walk around Disney in the late evenings & listen & dance to the music. But, now some nights are limited by the Magic Hours. People on this forum are obviously Disney fans or they wouldnt be here. But, some of us feel that some of the Magic has gone out of the parks because of the crowds and long lines. You rarely heard a kid cry or a parent yell in Disney because everyone was having a great time. But, waiting in line with small children for hours makes everyone grumpy. I know there must be an answer. They just have to find one.
Disney also has a big 🎯 that some want to cash in on. That's why it has many lawyers on their payroll fighting off or settling lawsuits.
 

JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
Just as greedy as the car dealership whose car prices have gone up.
Just as greedy as your grocery store chain whose prices have gone up.
Just as greedy as your utilities providers are whose rates have gone up.
Just as greedy as any entertainment venue you pay for whose tickets have gone up.
Why dont all of these businesses ( and all others) lower their prices so all families could walk in any time to buy what they want without having to save, budget or scrimp to afford them. If you operate a business its not a charity. You do what you need to in able to remain solvent.
Disney greedy? No. Just being run responsibly.
 

hopemax

Well-Known Member
About 5 years ago, I realized one of my biggest issues with Disney Parks is that the employees are not efficient and proficient, reliably. These are different than "friendly." Which seems to be the metric many guests judge by. I don't care how friendly you are if it takes 15 min to ring up my Dad's transaction, because you don't know what a Spouse Maingate Pass is.

Most businesses seem to understand that you need to have competent staff in order to service your customers. If your staff isn't up to par, you simply can't service the number of people that you wish your business would. This is one of those accepted "costs of doing business. In the real world, when I notice the competency of the staff drop, the number of staff drop, it seems like that company is short for the world (or is dieing). Circuit City and Sears during Black Friday was eye-opening. Biggest shopping days of the year and they can't have more than 2 registers open? Things.Are.Not.Good.

At Disney, the College Program leads to such high of turnover there is no way for there to be proficiency. The five most basic tasks? Maybe, but everyone knows that in the course of a job there are things you only see once a day, once a week, once a month, once a quarter, etc. And when those things come up at Disney...grinds to a halt. The full-time staff is just about putting in their hours doing as little as possible, so if they have an excuse to go backstage, or huddle in the corner, they will. So no efficiency by the staff who should be proficient. My Mom worked at WDW for 9 years, and the story she would tell about her co-workers... And now we're hearing that because of an issue every single corporation in the world is dealing with, the response by Disney is to damage their operational businesses with even more cuts.

I would like to think Disney is greedy, but I can't give them even that much credit these days. Just a complete lack of awareness by Burbank, and complete incompetence in local management.
 

FutureCEO

Well-Known Member
Disney is 55 on the Fortune 100 list as of 2018 so there is 54 bigger companies out there. Disney makes chump change compared to some of them.
 
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