Disney CEO Says Park Capacity Increase Depends on Vaccine

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The Walt Disney Company just hosted its Q1 earnings call and discussed everything from revenue at the company as a whole, Disney+ subscriber growth, Disney Parks and Resorts revenue, and more.

Related: Disney Doesn’t Expect to Reopen Disneyland Anytime Soon

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Additionally, during the call, the company discussed the current limited capacity at the Disney Parks and if they would be increasing capacity again in the near future.

In case you missed it, Walt Disney World Resort confirmed on its Q4 2020 earnings call that it increased its capacity to 35% at all four theme parks, including Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT — Disney World’s capacity previously stood at 25% when the theme parks first reopened amid the pandemic in July 2020.

Related: Posted Wait Times vs. Actual Wait Times – How Accurate Are They?

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Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company, explained that the increase of capacity at the currently opened Disney Parks all depends on the how quickly the public gets vaccinated for COVID-19. Chapek stated the following during the earnings call:

“Okay, in terms of the outlook for the parks for the rest of the year, and the capacity, it’s really going to be determined by the rate of vaccination of the public. That seems like the biggest lever that we can have in order to either take the parks that are currently under limited capacity and increase it, or open up parks that are currently closed. So, that is — that is sort of the gating factor, if you will. As Christine suggested, we have ample demand for our parks.

Despite everything that’s happening with the pandemic, I think we’ve made a pretty big impression on our consumer base and prospective guests in terms of the safety measures that we’ve undertaken at our parks to give assurances to people that they should come and bring their families. And we’re very, very pleased with what we’re seeing in terms of future bookings.”

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Related: Disney World Wait Times Begin to Increase Once Again

“In terms of the cost savings and the technical side of things, not only has our industrial engineering team at Walt Disney world and some of our parks like Shanghai across the world figured out ways to have increased capacity with the same safety measures that we’ve had in place, which has enabled us to increase our, if you will, our attendance, but we have been able to substantially manage our cost side at the same time in to — if you will, our not only our fixed cost base, but also our variable cost base to match what’s happening. I think that’s evidenced by what Christine said that all of our parks, regardless of what conditions they’re operating under, assuming they are operating, are in positive net contribution aside. I would also add, you didn’t mention this, but I think it is important to add that given those per caps that Christine referenced in terms of a double-digit increase in per caps, this is sort of the ultimate situation where demand has exceeded supply.

We’ve had that — been fortunate enough to have that situation the last couple years we’ve learned how to yield this business, this is the ultimate situation where we’ve got supply greater than demand. So not only working on the cost side, but we’re also working on the revenue side. I think you see some of those results at play at Walt Disney World.”

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Related: Disney World Hits Capacity AGAIN, But It Isn’t Too Crowded

If you are planning to visit a public place, such as Walt Disney World Resort, during this pandemic, please remember to practice safety and health protocols in order to keep yourself and others safe during this time. Keep your distance from other Guests, wear your appropriate face coverings at all required times, wash your hands often, try to use paperless payment methods, and cover your mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing. View more information here.

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