Company execs think people are more likely to flock to a familiar story. And they're right.
You know what the Disney parks needed more of? Star Wars. Technically, everything in life needs more Star Wars, but since Disney owns the massive billion-dollar franchise, it was a bit surprising that the films and characters didn’t have a more prominent place in the theme parks. But no more – the parks will see a “significant” increase in Star Wars themed attractions throughout the coming years.
With the pending release of Episode VII, Disney plans to increase franchise presence across the parks.
The announcement was made by Disney chairman and chief executive Bob Iger, via the LA Times, at an earnings meeting with analysts on Tuesday.
"As we spend MONEY at the parks on new attractions that are based on known brands, the likelihood of their success is greater," Iger said. "You're going to see better bets being made."
Jay Rasulo, Disney’s finance chief and senior executive vice president, explained that attractions based on familiar franchises can be the deciding factor for many potential patrons, when considering a visit to the parks.
"They pull people from, 'Gee, I'm gonna go someday,' to, 'I'm gonna go this year,'" Rasulo said.
Even without the potential revenue from Star Wars attractions, the parks have grown significantly since 2013. Disney's parks and resorts unit posted operating income of $848 million, a gain of 23% from a year earlier, partly due to growth from the domestic parks.
Meanwhile, fans eagerly await the release of Star Wars: Episode VII, which will premiere on December 18, 2015.
Feige thinks a "new thing" could be on the horizon.
The Netflix original series is in hot waters with mental health experts.