Disney World Impacted By Florida’s Dismal Tourism Numbers

in Disney, Walt Disney World

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The state of Florida suffered an over 60% drop in tourism in Quarter 2 of 2020, according to a new report by Visit Florida.

The Sunshine State has been a hotbed throughout the pandemic, which has deterred many people who would normally go to Florida for an annual vacation to enjoy the beaches or Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando.

Related: Report Says Universal Parks Beat Disney in Attendance

cinderella castle transformation finished
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

According to an Orlando Sentinel article that referenced the Visit Florida tourism report:

Florida’s tourism industry suffered an estimated 60.5% drop in visitors as the coronavirus pandemic hit hard during the year’s second quarter, with international travel off more than 90%.

And the outlook remains dim for the state after the nearly 20 million visitor drop from April through June. The tourism industry must combat ongoing negative perceptions of Florida’s handling of COVID-19, international travel bans, people slow to return to entertainment venues and double-digit unemployment.

What does this mean for Disney?

Following the May reopening of Disney Springs, Disney World began its phased reopening on July 11, with Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The reopening process continued on July 14 with EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Going to Disney’s flagship Florida theme park has changed, with Guests now required to book a reservation through the Disney Park Pass System. This ensures that Guests visit just one park per day due to capacity limitations.

Animal Kingdom
Credit: Disney

The lack of park hopping options, couple with face mask requirements and no fireworks or character meet-and-greets, has deterred certain Guests, especially those from out of town, from going to Walt Disney World right now. Many of these families are opting to wait to take their yearly or bi-yearly vacations until some restrictions have been lifted.

During Disney’s recent Q3 earnings call, Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek acknowledged that Disney World has seen less demand than Disney executives anticipated.

He noted that the current crowd is comprised of about 50% out-of-town visitors and 50% Florida locals, with more out-of-state visitors than expected cancelling their Disney theme park vacations at this time. Some of these cancellations are likely due to travel restrictions, while others are personal preference.

In an effort to fill the parks to their current allowable capacity, Disney has begun offering a number of perks to Disney World Annual Passholders, including a limited-time 30% discount on most Disney Parks merchandise.

The base ticket price for a single-day theme park ticket has not changed since the Disney resort‘s temporary closure, however.

What does Visit Florida have to say about their report?

For their part, Visit Florida has indicated that the numbers used to create their Q2 Florida tourism report may require more revisions than are typical for a report of this type, saying:

Please note that due to the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it has had on data used to produce visitor estimates, the numbers provided … are likely to face larger-than-normal revisions as new data become available.

Whether or not the Visit Florida report ultimately changes at all, the fact of the matter is that Disney World has clearly suffered due to the coronavirus pandemic. Currently, only time will tell how long it takes the world’s best theme park destination to rebound.

How crowded is Walt Disney World right now?
Credit: @bioreconstruct

What do you think about the impact low Florida tourism has had on Disney World? Are you a Florida resident or out-of-state Disney fan?

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