With the COVID Delta variant continuing to spread throughout the world, many are concerned with how the Disney Parks will operate moving forward. Well, during the Walt Disney Company Q3 Financial Results Conference Call, Disney CEO Bob Chapek touched on just that.
When asked how the Delta variant may impact the Disney Parks, Chapek replied that despite the Delta variant continuing to spread, the company is still seeing strong demand for the Parks. “The primary noise that we’re seeing right now is around group or conference cancellations,” Chapek stated. “Right now we’re seeing above the Q3 attendance levels, they were pretty darn good.”
Chapek continued to explain that Disney has implemented a reservation system — known as the Disney Park Pass system — that is going to enable them to spread their demand, increase the yield, and improve the Guest experience all at the same time. A theme park reservation system is in place both at Disneyland Resort in California and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
He continued to say, “What will be the long-lasting impact is the improvement that we’re making with Guest personalization and Guest choices affecting the tremendous yield benefits that we’ve been able to extract over the last few quarters. That’s only going to grow in the future with our ability to do a world-class yield management system through the new reservation management system.”
Christine McCarthy, chief financial officer of The Walt Disney Company, also weighed in explaining that they will continue to monitor the trends of the Delta variant, but they expect the Parks to be staffed by the end of the 2021 calendar year.
McCarthy stated, “This is a never-changing landscape with COVID. We’re going to be particularly careful and also going to bring our capacity online aggressively and measured. We’re not going to just open up the doors and fling them open. We’re doing this in a measured fashion for the health and safety of not only our Guests, but also our Cast Members in the parks”.
It seems as though, at this time, Disney is not planning to make any other changes in its operations due to the Delta variant. So far, the latest change was made a few weeks ago when Disney announced that face coverings would once again be required indoors for all Guests ages two and up, regardless of vaccination status, following an update to CDC recommendations. If you are planning a visit to Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resort, be sure to read the official rules and regulations prior to traveling.
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