Disney CEO Bob Chapek recently explained what the future of Disneyland looks like, and how the company wants to use the park moving forward.
What’s going on?
Per The Orange County Register, Chapek recently spoke with analysts about the future of Disney, Disneyland and the annual passholder program.
- The discussions came as Disneyland remains closed because of the coronavirus pandemic and as the company changed the annual passholder program.
Everything we do, the first lens we look at is to exceed guest expectations. And it’s very tough when your park has more demand than supply, we have to put limits on it. Well, as you know, we have a wide variety of (profit) margins depending on the nature of the guest and how they visit and when they visit.
So with a lens toward maximizing the guest experience, we are now able to essentially reset many pieces of our business. Both on the cost and revenue side of the business in order to say, if we had a blank piece of paper, how would we set up our parks business and be a little bit more aggressive than we typically might be able to be without the impetus of, unfortunately, a year-long closure. So we’ve had a lot of time to think, particularly at Disneyland, about what could be.
Earlier this week, reports surfaced that Chapek said mask mandates and social distancing will remain at all Disney theme parks until 2022, as I wrote for the Deseret News.
- “Dr. Fauci said earlier today that he hopes there’s vaccines for everyone who wants them by April this year,” Chapek said. “If that happens, that is a game changer, and that could accelerate our expectations and give people the confidence that they need to come back to the parks.”
- “Will there be some overlap until we know that we’ve hit herd immunity?” he said. “Sure we will but do we also believe that we’ll be in the same state of 6-foot social distancing and mask wearing in 2022? Absolutely not.”
Disney will still have to wait to maximize the experience for Disneyland. Disneyland has remained closed since March 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Disney considered opening the park in July 2020 to celebrate the park’s 65th anniversary. But California didn’t issue any guidelines for theme parks in the state by that date, so Disney had to keep its doors closed.
However, Disney announced Buena Vista Street at California Adventure would reopen for outdoor dining, as I explained for the Deseret News. More recently, Disney said that California Adventure Park will have a limited reopening in March, too, as I wrote for the Deseret News.