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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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. “
“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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