Disney Gator Crisis Hits Perception But Parents Still Consider Going

Ted MarzilliCEO YouGov Direct
June 30, 2016, 8:51 PM GMT+0

Disney World's horrific alligator attack dragged the theme park down to its lowest consumer perception mark in three years. But a little more than two weeks later, parents’ willingness to consider visiting the parks is near holiday-time levels.

While parents had a harsher initial reaction than the general public about potentially buying Disney park tickets after the incident, after a few days, they seemed to reconsider, and perhaps unexpectedly, pushed the Disney brands to their highest purchase consideration levels since last holiday season.

The general public and parents demographics have reacted to the incident in different ways, and this may be good news for Disney’s bottom line if they are counting on the latter group.

YouGov BrandIndex used two metrics on the Disneyland and Disney World brands: Buzz score, which asks respondents: "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?" A score can range from 100 to -100 with a zero score equaling a neutral position. The other is Purchase Consideration, which is a key measurement of potential revenue.

General Public (adults 18 and over)

Disneyland/Disney World’s Buzz score plummeted from 22 on June 13th – just before the gator news broke – to -16 ten days later. As of June 28th, the Buzz score crept up to -10.

On June 15th, 20% of the general public would consider buying admission to Disneyland/Disney World the next time they wanted to go to an amusement park, and then just dropping down only one percentage point after the incident broke. They are currently at 21%.


Disney theme parks saw their Buzz score drop from 30 on June 13th down to -8 nine days later, making it equal to the fall the score took for the general public. The Buzz score is currently 2, still well below its normal range.

On June 13th, 33% of parents considered buying tickets to Disneyland or Disney World the next time they were buying tickets for an amusement park. One week later, that percentage had fallen to 26% and stayed there for a few days. The Disney park brands then shot right back up to its present 38% purchase consideration, not only 17 percentage points higher than the general public, but equal to the same score late last December.

Disney World Buzz- Parents vs. General Population

Disney World Consideration- Parents vs. General Population