Disney CEO Calls Out CA for Keeping Disneyland Closed

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Credit: ITM

Disney’s fiscal full year and Q4 2020 earnings results webcast has been a highly anticipated call for many Disney fans, especially since the ongoing pandemic has taken such a hit on Disney’s finances.

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Credit: Disney

One of the parks that has lost the most money is, of course, Disneyland Resort in California, having never opened since its closure back in March, even with CA state officials and health and safety officials approving their safety plan.

Disney CEO Bob Chapek took to discussing Disneyland and mentioned:

“Unfortunately, we are extremely disappointed that the State of California continues to keep Disneyland closed despite our proven track record of our health and safety protocols. We have the support of labor unions representing 99% of our hourly cast members. Frankly, as we and other civic leaders have stated before, we believe state leadership should look objectively at what we’ve achieved successfully at our parks around the world, all based on science as opposed to setting an arbitrary standard [preventing] our Cast Members from getting back to work while decimating small businesses in the local community.

Governor Newsom has, unfortunately, locked-in theme park reopening guidelines which will force Disneyland Resort to likely stay closed through to summer 2021 due to the fact that Orange County cannot reopen Disneyland until they hit Tier 4. The county currently sits in Tier 2 and will need to have under 1 positive case per 100,000 for at least 2 weeks in order for Disneyland to reopen with restricted measures.

If Disneyland continues to stay closed, further Cast Member layoffs may be expected to occur, on top of the 11,000 we just saw from the massive 28,000 laid off. Small businesses are also facing massive losses and will continue to falter without the tourism that Disneyland brings.

Disney alongside the Mayor of Anaheim and the CAPA have all begged Newsom to reconsider his guidelines, and it seems Chapeck wants to continue to allow CA and Newsom to know that their actions are causing catastrophic results.

Does Disney think Disneyland Resort will reopen soon?

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Credit: Disney

“We currently anticipate Disneyland resort will remain closed at least through the end of the fiscal first quarter,” Disney CFO Christine McCarthy said during the earnings call today.

It seems that for now, Disneyland does not project an upcoming opening date, which, given the reopening guidelines, is to be expected.

“Our parks and experiences business continues to be impacted by COVID-19,” the CFO stated. “We do not have visibility into how long it will last.”

So far, only Downtown Disney at Disneyland Resort has reopened, with Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure reopening for dining and shopping soon, and with the Disney Vacation Club villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Resort & Spa reopening next month.

For now, it seems we will just need to stay tuned to Orange County’s movement in the Tier system and hope it can make it to Tier 4 safely and as soon as possible since Newsom is not budging on his stance.

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