At Disney World, ‘Worst Fears’ About Virus Have Not Come True
It’s important for Disney to get the Anaheim, California complex back on stream as other areas of the company – movies, cruise vacations – have been severely disrupted by the pandemic and are facing a stronger recovery. Disneyland had estimated sales of $ 3.8 billion last year, according to Michael Nathanson, a media analyst.
Last week, a frustrated Disney CEO Robert A. Iger resigned from an economic group set up by Mr. Newsom at the start of the pandemic. California wants theme parks to remain closed until the rate of new daily coronavirus cases in their counties falls below one per 100,000 residents and counties have a positivity rate of less than 2 percent for testing – what the governor has classified as a “minimum” for four Coronavirus risk level scale. Theme park owners, including NBCUniversal and Six Flags, have rolled back this standard as unrealistic, saying it will effectively keep them closed until a vaccine is deployed.
“We will be persistent,” Newsom said at a briefing on Wednesday, noting that he wanted a “health first” approach. “There is no rush to issue guidelines,” he continued. “It’s very complex. They are like small cities. “
Every other Disney resort has reopened, including those in Paris, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo.
Coronavirus cases in Florida have steadily declined since Disney World reopened in mid-July. Florida had about 11,800 new cases a day when Disney’s theme parks opened their doors. One month after commissioning, it was around 6,400. On Friday, Florida added 2,908 cases. The Orlando area has shrunk even more. According to Disney, Floridians have hit about 50 percent of the attendance since reopening.
“The data shows that we opened responsibly,” said Dr. Pamela Hymel, Chief Medical Officer of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, on the phone. “We didn’t cause an increase.” In response to Mr. Newsom’s comments, Dr. Hymel: “We absolutely reject the suggestion that the reopening of the Disneyland Resort is incompatible with a” health first “approach.”