As Disney has continued the phased reopening of Walt Disney World and Disneyland, we have seen the Parks come back to life, and as time moves forward, more attractions and offerings are returning for Guests as well.
One of the biggest changes at both theme parks has had to encounter a reduced capacity. Both Disney World and Disneyland continue to run at a reduced capacity; however, both resorts have continued to increase their capacity as time has gone on.
Walt Disney World Resort was given the green light to return to full capacity a while ago as Florida Governor DeSantis allowed for it, but Disney World has not yet increased capacity to the extent of removing its cap. However, we do know that they have and will continue to increase their capacity. The last confirmed number released was 35%, but as we mentioned, Disney World has already admitted to increasing its capacity since then.
Disneyland Resort is also operating at a reduced capacity, and on June 15, Governor Newsom lifted the state’s COVID-19 restrictions, allowing Disneyland to operate as usual once again. Like Disney World, Disneyland is not yet back to full capacity and is gradually continuing to increase.
Today, during the Disney earnings call, Disney has reported on their fiscal third-quarter results. While discussing their earnings, capacity numbers for the theme parks were touched upon as well.
At the moment, we still have yet to hear an exact number when it comes to capacity, however, during the earnings report call, it was noted that the reservation system that is in place is meant to deal with an increased yield when it comes to adding more Guests to the Park.
It was also mentioned that the per capita is continuing to increase, and Disney is seemingly complying with the demand and continuing to allow Guests to experience the parks. It was also mentioned that Disney World, which has been open for more than a year, it still seeing a “strong per cap growth continue in the Park”.
When discussing capacity increase as a whole, Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy discussed that capacity increase will be aggressive but also highly monitored as we continue to move through the pandemic. With the increase of Guests, will also come the increase of Cast Members. By the end of 2021, it seems that Disney Parks will be running at a pre-pandemic state in terms of staffing, as McCarthy noted that the company wants to increase staffing to 100% by the end of this calendar year.
McCarthy said that “This is an ever-changing landscape with COVID. We’re going to be particularly careful and also going to bring our capacity online aggressively but measured.” Although the increase will be aggressive, McCarthy also noted that the theme park doors will not just “fling” open, and all measures are being made to uphold both Guest and Cast Member safety.
It seems that the capacity increase at Disney World and Disneyland has not slowed down as of yet, and will continue to increase through the end of the year.
With the new Delta variant causing COVID-19 cases to spike, it seems that Disney is not choosing to slow down their return to normal. We have seen mask mandates return for indoor locations and certain queues in compliance with the CDC’s recommendation, as well as mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for non-union and salaried Cast Members.
What do you think of Disney World and Disneyland’s increasing capacity? Would you feel comfortable visiting the parks with the increase in crowds?