Disneyland Expected To Reopen At 15% Capacity Even Though It Won’t Be Profitable
Yesterday, we here at MickeyBlog shared the news that the state of California is easing re-opening restrictions allowing theme parks to open earlier than expected. This means we could see Southern California theme parks including Disneyland and Disney California Adventure start to welcome back guests beginning on April 1st.
However, there are a few BIG caveats to amended plans released by California Governor Gavin Newsom yesterday. Firstly, indoor dining and attractions are still off limits and the theme parks can ONLY open to 15% capacity.
Due to the large restriction on crowd numbers, Disneyland is unlikely to turn a profit on either of the California theme parks. So will it reopen anyway? A recent piece in the LA Times says “Yes!”
John Gerner, managing directort of Leisure Business Advisors told the Times, “Fifteen percent is not sustainable as an operating level.” The theme park advisor continued, “But as a transition toward fully opening … it makes sense.”
As we previously mentioned here at MickeyBlog, the 15% restriction is based is based on Orange County’s placement in the red re-opening tier. Counties are placed into one of four tiers based on the number of new COVID cases recorded in the county per 100,00 people.
When Orange County progresses from the red to the orange tier, the theme parks can adjust capacity to 25% and then again when it reaches the yellow tier of 35% Though these restrictions still seem quite stringent, it should be remembered that under the previous rules the theme parks were required to remain closed until the county reached the yellow tier.
At the moment Orange County (where Disneyland Resort is located) remains in the purple tier (the most restrictive) but it looks set to move to the red tier shortly which is why the April 1st reopening date has been suggested.
As the LA Times points out, the rule changes were praised by theme park operators yesterday who said that the year-long theme park closure has not only been a massive hit to the parks but also workers and nearby businesses.
Since last March, Disneyland Resort hast been forced to lay off nearly 10,000 of its 31,000 employees. Since then more than 1,000 have been rehired for the A Touch of Disney event which is slated to take part on select dates at Disney California Adventure starting on March 18th.
Though 15% capacity doesn’t seem enough to justify the massive operation that is Disneyland Resort, it does give Disney a warming-up period. Garner suggests that starting small like this will actually make the reopening easier saying that many Cast Members that were laid off have gone on to other employed which means that Disney now has to rehire and train people.
Martin Lewison a theme park expert and professor at Farmingdale Stage College in New York said, “Everyone is rusty.” He continued, “They have to knock the rust off of things.” Lewison also went on to tell the times that even though Disney WILL NOT make a profit at 15% some revenue is better than none added that the theme parks still incur costs from taxes and utility bills to routine maintenance even while they remain closed.
So how many people will be allowed in the parks each day? LA Times estimates that under the new state regulations only about 12,000 guests per day once Orange County reaches the Orange Tier.
So if you reopen at 15% capacity will people come? All signs point to YES! Let’s look at the A Touch of Disney dining event being held at Disney California Adventure. Tickets, which are $75 to enter the park for shopping and dining ONLY, sold out on the day proving that Disney fans are clamoring to return to the parks, in whatever way it might be operating.
Though Disneyland Resort has yet to announced a reopening date, Disneyland President Ken Potrock did release a statement yesterday saying that more details will be released soon. Though indoor rides and dining will remain off limits initially, many are excited about a return of parades and stage shows which may be enough for Disneyland to sell out quickly once reopening plans are announced.
This is a story that we here at MickeyBlog will continue to follow closely! Keep checking in with us for further news and updates.
Thinking about a visit to Disney? Getting started is easy! Simply fill out our form below to get your FREE, no-obligation quote from MickeyTravels.
Why not consider working with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner? As an agent with MickeyTravels, I can help you get the best discounts for your Disney World vacation package, assist with making dining, and Fastpass reservations and can even help you plan an itinerary filled with extra special seasonal touches. Best of all my services are absolutely FREE! Contact me at 1.800.801.4025 via email at email@example.com or on Facebook and let’s get planning!