COMPANY TOWN

Disney's Bob Iger feels 'pretty good' about those Disneyland price adjustments

Walt Disney Co. annual shareholder meetings tend to draw an eclectic blend of attendees, and this year's event in Chicago was no exception.

One child stockholder asked Chairman Bob Iger his favorite Disney movie. Another young attendee asked why the company doesn't hold tours at Pixar Animation Studios (Iger promised her a personal tour). 

Live coverage: Disney talks 'Star Wars' and more at shareholders meeting

The reception for Iger was generally positive on Thursday morning, even amid Wall Street concerns about the future of the company's cable business.

But some took the opportunity to grill Iger on issues including price increases at Disney's theme parks. 

One shareholder, who identified himself as Dwight Morgan, complained about Disneyland's 35% price increase for its top-tier annual pass, to more than $1,000 -- a move that has upset many hardcore fans.

-------

For the record: 

An earlier version of this post misidentified the gender of the shareholder who asked about Pixar tours.

-------

Disney has also introduced a "demand pricing" scheme that reduces ticket costs on low-demand days and boosts entrance fees at more popular times at its parks. The company has painted the move as a way to manage surging crowds at the popular parks.

But Morgan's main concern, he said, was the price hike for annual passes.

"That's the one that really hurt and didn't do any good," he said, adding that Disney should instead "remove the interest-free monthly payment option on the purchase of those passes."    

Iger responded that the company would take Morgan's comments into consideration. 

As for demand pricing, Iger said one of the hoped-for "byproducts" from that move is the reduction of crowds during peak times. 

"We actually feel pretty good about what we've just announced because it provides so many different variables for the guests and it may end up providing a slightly better guest experience during the most popular days."

Other shareholders brought up offbeat issues including the possibility of another "National Treasure" sequel (nothing in the works, Iger said) and R-rated superhero movies (also nothing planned, Iger said). 

One Chicago woman brought up the topic of income inequality and asked if a crew member credited with "caffeination" for the blockbuster "Frozen" made a "living wage." 

Iger, one of the most highly compensated executives in Hollywood, responded that the company treats its workers fairly "across the board" in terms of wages and working conditions.

"We feel we have a very good record in this regard," he said.  

Follow Ryan Faughnder on Twitter for more entertainment business coverage: @rfaughnder

MORE:

Disneyland to start building its 'Star Wars' land in April

Disney has lots to brag about at annual meeting but may feel some heat

ESPN is a 'healthy business,' but growth prospects tempered at Disney shareholders meeting

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
Loading
72°