Lower attendance a Disney theme

By David Cogswell

ORLANDO -- Walt Disney Co.'s Parks and Resorts segment recorded flat revenue of some $1.5 billion in the March 31 quarter and the primary villains were lower theme-park attendance and declining occupancy at the Walt Disney World Resort, the company said.

Higher costs at Walt Disney World and the Disneyland Resort also impacted the bottom line, Disney said.

And operating income for Disney's Parks and Resorts declined 45% to $155 million, the company reported.

Sluggish attendance and escalating costs were partially offset by increased guest spending at Walt Disney World, and increased theme park attendance and hotel occupancy at Disneyland, according to the company.

Disney said "increased attendance at Disneyland reflected the continued success of the Annual Passport program, as well as the opening of new attractions and entertainment at Disney's California Adventure."

Disney chairman and CEO Michael Eisner noted that the Iraq conflict and terrorism fears "clearly had a near-term impact on a number of our businesses."

He added that Disney is "in a solid position when economic conditions improve."

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