At this time, it is still unclear when Disneyland Resort in California and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida will officially reopen, Disney shared during the The Walt Disney Company’s Fiscal Second Quarter 2020 Financial Results Conference Call.
On Tuesday, current Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company Bob Chapek shared that Shanghai Disneyland will reopen next week on May 11. He also stated that Disney continues to work toward reopening the domestic Disney Parks, although he did not mention a reopening date at the time.
Christine M. McCarthy — Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of The Walt Disney Company — shared that even though Shanghai Disneyland is reopening this month, that doesn’t mean the same will happen for Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. She said that there is currently “limited visibility” for when Disneyland and Disney World will reopen.
“As you know, we’re dealing with a situation that’s very fluid and things are changing,” McCarthy said in response to a question regarding the financial impact of the park closures.
“We are doing everything we can to mitigate the impact of the cash burn while we are in this situation,” Chapek added.
When asked at what capacity the parks can operate at once they do open in order to break even or profit, Chapek answered said that Disney is look to make a positive contribution at the net contribution level. He said Disney “will not reopen any park” unless they can make a positive contribution at the net contribution level.
“We had a lot of really big plans in the parks, and we still continue to have big plans,” Chapek said. He mentioned that Disney will need to do “certain trimmings” from a financial standpoint, and Disney will continue and take a “slightly finer tooth comb” through their expenditures, but will continue to invest in the parks.
Chapek also shed some light on how the theme parks will be staffed in anticipation for the reopening. He said that Disney will staff the parks according to guest capacity. So if the theme parks will open at a 10%, 20%, or 30% capacity, for example, then they will be staffed according to the need. For example, in Shanghai Disney Resort, the park capacity is around 80,00 per day, though China will want the capacity to be no more than 30% of that.
When it comes to U.S. park attendees, Disneyland Resort has much more of a market for families who drive for the day but don’t stay overnight, with many more annual passholders than Walt Disney World. On the flip side, Walt Disney World Resort has many, many more guests who fly to the resort and stay overnight, though they still have a robust AP program. It was indicated that Disney will approach the capacity of the U.S. parks based on what will work best for each of the resorts.
However, it has been made clear that it is not clear right now when the U.S. Disney Parks will reopen, and Disney did not yet share at what capacity the parks will reopen, either.
This is a developing story.