During the ongoing pandemic, if there is a theme park that has had to prevail through incredibly tough circumstances, it was Disneyland Resort.
Disneyland was closed for over a full year, leaving Guests unable to enter Disneyland Park at all and only able to experience Disney California Adventure partially. That being said, on April 30, Disneyland Resort finally opened up the gates and welcomed back Guests. Now, nearly two weeks after the parks have returned to making magic, during The Walt Disney Company 2021 second-quarter financial earnings report, Disney CEO Bob Chapek shared some positivity and hope for the reopening and recovery of the Disneyland Resort.
“We are especially excited that after being closed for 412 days, we welcomed our first guest back to Disneyland two weeks ago. And the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Bob and I stood on Main Street USA on opening day and it was so wonderful to see the joy on our cast and guests’ faces and feel the excitement in the air.”
CEO Bob Chapek and Executive Chairman Bob Iger were both at the grand reopening of the park, alongside Disneyland President Ken Potrock and Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Josh D’Amaro. The executives posed for pictures with elated Guests as they finally were able to return to the Happiest Place on Earth.
Chapek continued to discuss what it has been like to bring back Cast Members, which is an important subject considering how tens of thousands lost their jobs during the pandemic, many of which coming from Disneyland Resort.
“It’s been fantastic to see cast members back at work. Most recently at Disneyland, we were able to quickly recall more than 10,000 furloughed cast and restrain them to be able to operate to the state of California’s new health and safety requirements.”
Knowing that approximately one-third of all Cast Members returned to Disneyland Resort alone is fantastic news and shows that the company is making an effort to return to normal operations. Considering Disney Parks, Experiences and Products earnings shrunk by nearly 50% in the second quarter, seeing Cast Members is a great sign for the theme park recovery as the demand for the theme parks are there. Chapek continued:
And since we’ve opened up Disneyland Resort, intent to visit is actually growing as well. So we’re thrilled with the Guest response to that. So, as capacity limits increased we don’t think we’re going to have any problem at all sort of increasing our attendance to match that capacity. That is not something that keeps any of us up at night.
Christine M. McCarthy, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of The Walt Disney Company also noted:
Disneyland Resort reopened on April 30th, and as Bob mentioned earlier, we are very encouraged by the initial guest response. Forward looking bookings for park reservations at both of our domestic parks are strong. Demonstrating the strength of our brands, as well as growing travel optimism as case counts decline, vaccine distribution ramps, and government restrictions loosen.
At the moment, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure are only operating for California residents at a 25% capacity, per state guidelines. Stay tuned to Inside the Magic as we continue to discuss further Disneyland Resort’s phased reopening.
Do you plan on returning to Disneyland this year if allowed? Let us know in the comments below!