Bob Chapek sees theme parks returning to full capacity this fall

From the New York Post-
Disney’s chief executive said he believes Disney World and Disneyland will reach full capacity this fall — but admitted that the theme parks are still hammering out some of the details.

At a virtual tech-and-media conference hosted by JPMorgan on Monday, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said theme park guests will experience more relaxed safety protocols from now until the end of September as COVID-19 restrictions ease nationwide and vaccinations rise.

Already, Disney World customers are experiencing those changes as the park dropped its outdoor mask mandate.

Nevertheless, the Mouse House also is debating social distancing policies like “the famous zero feet, versus six feet versus three feet,” Chapek said. While those issues are being hammered out, the CEO noted that international travel remains a “wildcard” and that a full-capacity global reopening would vary by park.

For instance, while Disneyland Paris is reopening its doors on June 17, there’s a new Covid surge in Japan that has caused Tokyo Disneyland to cap its hours and attendance.

Disney World in Orlando, Fla., reopened at limited capacity last July, while Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., only opened its doors in late April at reduced attendance.

With the increase in vaccine distribution, coronavirus cases have been on a steady decline, which prompted the CDC to loosen safety protocols nationally earlier this month.

The road to recovery has been a tough one for Disney. Parks were forced to close a year ago in March and were crushed financially, as a result. The company took a $6.9 billon hit in its parks division last fiscal year, and continued to be get beat up in the January and March quarters.

But Chapek said the division is resilient and he quoted an “intent to visit” survey that indicated that customer interest in visiting Disney World has returned to 2019 pre-Covid levels.

Stay tuned for more updates!

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Michele Atwood is the Owner/Editor of The Main Street Mouse and it’s subsidiaries and author of the books “Moving to Main Street U.S.A.” “How Many Sleeps Till Disney?” and “How Many Sleeps Till Disneyland?” Michele also contributes Disney news to the Joe Kelley Morning Show on 107.3 WDBO in Orlando. She and her family made the move from Michigan to the Orlando area to pursue their Disney dreams. Michele is a life long Disney fan, and has two sons who have followed suit, each going on their first Disney trip before their first birthday’s. Part of the goal Michele has for The Main Street Mouse is not only to keep members informed, but to create somewhat of a Disney Family by relating to others through personal experiences and opinions. Also, Michele is making it a priority to share stories of inspiration and hope to other Disney Fans in an effort to share the Magic and hopefully make a difference in the lives of others. ~ I enjoy writing personal perspective blogs, doing TMSM Meet Ups for our readers, and keeping the constant interaction going with others, sharing the Disney Magic to people when they can’t be at their Happy Place.

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