Disney Parks representatives confirmed Thursday that Walt Disney World has seen a substantial decrease in tour groups during the month of August, approximately 92 percent lower than August 2015, citing the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio as the primary cause for the deflated attendance numbers.
“Based on thorough research and analysis, we have reason to believe that the Rio Olympics has significantly caused Disney Parks to see a major loss of tour group attendance during the month of August,” Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, said in a monthly meeting with shareholders at Epcot.
This news comes on the heels of a report finding that Orlando area Walmart stores have seen an extreme decrease in Disney t-shirt sales, as well as minimal wait times at checkout. Walmart is also attributing the phenomenon to the Rio Olympics.
When pressed for comment concerning how significant the drop in attendance has been to overall revenue for Disney Parks, Chapek stated that it was too early to tell and that he didn’t want to “make rushed assumptions on how much this hit is hurting the company.” However, sources close to Disney business analytics estimate the loss could be well into the Brazillions.
Shareholders expressed their concerns to Chapek, as well as Walt Disney World President George Kalogridis, who assured them that there was no need for panic, stating that there was not enough information yet available to fully understand how this would affect the company.
“We are fully committed to resolving this situation and providing a detailed report as soon as we are capable of doing so,” Kalogridis said.
Despite the staggering figures, Kalogridis stated that this month has seen many positive results, including decade-high guest and Cast Member satisfaction rates.
“According to our in-park researchers, guests and Cast Members alike are enjoying their Disney experience unlike they ever have,” Kalogridis said. “There is evidence that there is a strong correlation between satisfaction rates and the decrease in tour groups.”
Less chanting, fewer scuffles between teenage girls of rivaling South American countries, não falo Português, and
having to deal with less bull crap in general were listed amongst the top reasons why visitors and employees were enjoying their time in Disney more than ever.
At press time, Kalogridis and Chapek were seen being escorted into a backstage area as the sound of a competitive cheerleading squad approached the meeting area.