I recently took a look at three dates that Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) investors should keep an eye this month. Those dates include Disney World kicking off an 18-month celebration as well as the debut of the latest season of The Bachelorette on ABC and Ron’s Gone Wrong on the big screen later in October.
But that’s not all. Let’s go over a few more dates that Disney shareholders should watch in October.
After keeping its films out of the multiplex for nearly a year, Disney has embraced theatrical releases again. You won’t have to wait long for Disney’s next entry. The Last Duel hits theaters this weekend.
It’s a star-studded affair. Ridley Scott is directing. The movie’s cast features Matt Damon, Adam Driver, and Ben Affleck. Disney already has this year’s two highest-grossing films with Black Widow and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
There’s a reason why Disney is a leading entertainment stock. The Last Duel isn’t likely to approach the ticket sales of the company’s superhero blockbusters, but with folks returning the theater, it’s a great time to put out a new movie.
Disney is taking theme park tech to the next level on Oct. 19 when its Florida resort introduces Disney Genie. The free planning tool within the official My Disney Experience app will let park guests single out rides, dining establishments, and other experiences they want to check out during the day. Disney’s algorithms will use historical data to crank out optimized itineraries. There are also some nice surprises including audio tour snippets and augmented reality filters to make the app even stickier.
The refreshed app is intuitive and snazzy. I was able to kick the tires last week. However, the real features that could be needle-movers here are Genie+ and Lightning Lane+, premium add-ons to get folks willing to pay on more rides faster.
Genie+ will cost visitors $15 a day, giving them expedited access to old FastPass lanes on most of the park’s rides and attractions. A couple of the most popular rides are not included in that plan. This is where Lightning Lane+ kicks in as folks pay between $7 and $15 per person initially for one-time access to the expedited queues.
Disney World has more than two dozen on-site lodging options on its resort, but next year it’s getting a premium-priced option that’s out of this world. Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is themed as a two-night cruise through outer space. It’s a fully immersive experience with interactive storylines and familiar characters out of the Star Wars franchise.
The experience officially kicks off in March, but general bookings start on Oct. 28. There are just 100 rooms and suites available per two-night experience. This normally wouldn’t be a material addition, but folks are paying more than $5,000 for a party of two for the next-gen experience.
General bookings are more than two weeks away, but demand is strong. Disney’s been letting pass holders, folks with Disney credit card accounts, and members of other affiliated parties get early access to booking. Some nights have already sold out. The sticker shock is real, but with just 100 rooms to fill every other day, it should continue to be a popular and lucrative booking for Disney.
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.
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