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Disney's theme parks are thriving, and Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge isn't even open yet

Key Points
  • Higher ticket prices at Walt Disney World don't deter tourists from visiting Disney theme parks.
  • This is good news for Disney as it is about to open Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge in California and Florida.
  • Guests spend more and stay longer during their time at Disney theme parks during the quarter.
Walt Disney World
Getty Images | Dan Anderson

Higher ticket prices didn't deter tourists from taking trips to Disney theme parks during its second quarter.

The company, which reported earnings Wednesday after the closing bell, said guests spent more and stayed longer during their time at Disney parks and on cruises in the quarter, boosting revenue 5% to $6.2 billion during the three-month period ended March 30.

This is good news for Disney as it is about to open what some consider its most anticipated theme park expansion land ever — Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.

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The company said the spike in spending was primarily due to increases in average ticket prices, which jumped an average of 8% in January and upwards of 15% in March at Walt Disney World. Parkgoers also spent more on food, beverages and merchandise while visiting the parks.

Sales of consumer products on Disney's cruise line and higher attendance and hotel room occupation at the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort were also factors, the company said.

Earlier this month, free reservations for entry into Disney's new theme park land Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge in California filled up in less than two hours. Fans were permitted to sign up for a 4-hour window to visit that area of the park through the online reservation system.

A rendering of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disney.
Disney

Disney is only instituting this reservation system for days between May 31 and June 23 but is anticipating high demand to continue through summer and the rest of the year.

If crowds get too big, Disney said some experiences in the land will be restricted or unavailable. A second Galaxy's Edge will open in Orlando, Florida, in August.

The new land is set on Batuu, a planet not yet seen on film. It's a thriving port filled with rogue traders, droids and unique alien species.

Disney park guests will be able to explore the planet's Black Spire Outpost and shops as well as pilot the Millennium Falcon on the Smugglers Run ride. They can also take part in an epic battle between the First Order and the Resistance on the Rise of the Resistance ride.

A rendering of Oga's Cantina at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.
Disney

Shops and restaurants will offer an array of unique merchandise and food and beverages not available in any other location. This can entice "Star Wars" collectors, who may venture across the country and the world to visit these lands just for the exclusive collectibles.

Galaxy's Edge's first location in California opens in the third quarter, while the Florida location will open in the fiscal fourth quarter. Both lands are expected to drive massive foot traffic, ticket sales and food, beverage and merchandise sales.

Without Galaxy's Edge, Disney's theme parks and resorts took in more than $20 billion in revenue last year.

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