While plenty of businesses are suffering financially as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there’s one company that is, perhaps, hurting more than the rest.
Even though Disney is one of the largest and most diversified companies in the world in terms of its assets, two of its biggest branches – the film division and the company’s numerous theme parks – have been severely impacted because of the coronavirus, and it hasn’t been smooth sailing for the House of Mouse as a result. As we already reported, all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 4 movies have been delayed (along with several other blockbusters, like Mulan), and Pixar’s most recent release, Onward, bombed at the box office as a result of theaters closing and the general public staying indoors, forcing Disney to release the film on their own streaming service and other digital storefronts months ahead of time.
It’s looking rather grim for the company’s movie division, then, and the same can be said for their collection of 12 theme parks. With large public gatherings banned across the globe, Disney was forced to close down their resorts and attractions, and now, there’s a chance that they won’t be reopening until next year.
According to the Los Angeles Times (via ScreenRant), Swiss banking giant UBS told its clients earlier this week that the House of Mouse might have to wait until January 1st before they can reopen.
“Walt Disney Co. is likely to wait until Jan. 1 to open its theme parks,” adding that they predict “the Burbank media company will see only about 50% of 2019 attendance” once they reopen as well. Their report went on to explain that they “now believe the lingering effects of the outbreak — including crowd avoidance, new health precautions, etc. — will dramatically reduce the profitability of these businesses even after they are reopened until a vaccine is widely available.” Not to mention, the implementation of stay-at-home orders “by state and local governments will dictate when parks can consider reopening.”
It’s not entirely clear when the doors to the happiest place on Earth are going to reopen, but when they do, it seems the parks will be enforcing preventative measures including sanitizing rides and installing sanitizing stations, conducting temperature screenings and even limiting the number of parkgoers. One thing’s for sure, and that’s that with the company losing an estimated $20 million every day, it’s likely that Disney will try and push for reopening as soon as possible, even if the world at large isn’t ready to being attending theme parks just yet.