Disney World sets the reopening date

Disney World sets the reopening date

The Disney theme park, which employs approximately 70,000 people, plans to reopen gradually on July 11th for its Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom parks and on July 15th for EPCOT and Hollywood Studios, the company said Wednesday.

Walt Disney World and the Disneyland Disneyland resort in Anaheim, California closed in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Disney is implementing several measures to safely reopen and prevent the spread of coronavirus in its parks

The plan was approved on Wednesday morning by the Orange County government. He still needs the approval of the mayor of Orange County and Florida governor Ron DeSantis.

All 12 Disney parks in North America, Asia and Europe have closed due to the outbreak in several places this year. Shanghai Disneyland, the company’s largest international park, reopened its doors on May 11 after being closed on January 24.
Disney Kingdom Magic Kingdom, which is home to attractions such as Cinderella’s Castle and Space Mountain, is the most visited theme park in the world, with over 20 million visitors in 2018, according to a report by AECOM. Disney invested billions of dollars in its theme park business, opening up Star Wars themed lands in Florida and California last year and building new rides like “Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway”.

The reopening of Disney World represents an important cultural and commercial initiative for the company. Disney generated over $ 26 billion in sales in its Parks, Experiences and Products unit in fiscal 2019, representing 37% of the company’s total revenue.

But the company revealed in its latest earnings report that its Parks and Experiences unit was particularly affected by the outbreak of last quarter. The segment’s operating profit fell 58% from last year, losing a billion dollars in profit in a few weeks in the global close.

“Theme parks define Disney for millions of fans around the world,” ThemeParkInsider.com editor Robert Niles told CNN Business. “Bringing its parks up and running indicates that Disney is returning to full capacity as a company.”

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The large reopening of the park is a big problem for Disney and the entire world tourism industry. Sends a message to the industry “that a safe reopening is possible”, according to Niles.

“Disney is the market leader not only in the theme park industry, but in tourism around the world,” said Niles. “It tells the industry that tourists are likely to return soon because nobody attracts tourists like Disney.”

Reopening its premiere park won’t be easy, however. Getting Disney World back to work presents risks, both financially and in terms of public health, according to Trip Miller, Disney’s shareholder and managing partner of Gullane Capital Partners.

“The risk is that coronavirus cases will reappear after opening. What do you do then?” Miller said. “Also, managing the health of the cast members and keeping adequate staff is a big challenge. If a Disney cast member contracts the virus, do you close the entire park? An area where he was? Refund tickets? Simply you don’t want the happiest place on earth to be seen as a dangerous place. “

The opening of Disney World is also a great test for the new Disney CEO Bob Chapek, who was the former head of Disney’s parks and resorts division before taking over from Bob Iger in February.

“I think Chapek is getting a real fire trial that nobody could have foreseen,” added Miller. “However, his familiarity with the park business is an advantage in managing this. He will have a unique perspective on how to manage Disney parks as they reopen in this new world.”

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