Shanghai Disneyland’s Opening Success Bodes Well for Disneyland, But What About Disney World?
As of today, there is zero information regarding Disneyland CA or Disney World FL opening. Even with the very limited opening of Disney Springs in Orlando, potential guests can only speculate on any of the parks opening. But, Shanghai Disneyland opened this week after over four months of closure and under some very strict guidelines. Even with these restrictions in place tickets sold out in minutes and guests were waiting at the gate on opening day.
Shanghai Disneyland was the first to close in mid-January and it is no surprise they are the first to open. Restrictions like the requirement of masks, temperature screenings, limited capacity for rides and shows and the very lengthy process to even enter the park did not deter guests. As guests wait and see what will happen in the states, everyone is considering Shanghai as a possible blueprint. So, the opening successes there might translate here.
“I would say it generally bodes well for Disneyland because Disneyland is more of a local visitation Disney park — but there are no guarantees,” says David Miller and analyst for Imperial Capital speaking to The Hollywood Reporter. Disneyland is a draw for the locals, but Disney World is a place visited by travelers from all of the country and world. Will people spend a week and a very expensive vacation as Disney World with these restrictions? So, the plan may not be as a success for the Florida parks.
Also, maximum capacity at Shanghai is 80,000 visitors. With the opening the capacity was restricted to only 24,000 visitors. About 30%. Bob Chopek, CEO of Disney, has already stated the parks will open at 20% capacity and work their way up. That is still lower than Shanghai’s opening. And with Disney World’s four parks how will that look?
“For Parks & resorts we calculate Disney will lose between $1.5 to $1.8 billion,” reads the report from The Hollywood Reporter. “We assume Disney parks can save 60 percent of its costs through the staff furloughs as well as saving other variable costs such as food and beverage and utilities.”
All eyes will be on Disney World in Florida. It is very much the machine that generates the most income, and a place where guests expect impeccable service. Will the Shanghai plan work there?
“By our estimations, 80 percent of parks and resorts operating income is Orlando,” David Miller said. “Orlando is a multi-headed monster. It completely dwarfs any other park operation in size and scope. But the trick for Disney is most people have to fly there.” Which is why, Miller adds, the China theme park reception likely means little for Disney World. “You can’t look at Shanghai and say, ‘This is how it’s going to go down in Florida,’ because in Florida, you have to fly there.” (Hollywood Reporter)
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