As Disneyland remains closed and the last Disney Park to reopen, Disney CEO speaks out concerning the state’s reopening guidelines. Check out his concerns regarding the “arbitrary” reopening guidelines and what this may mean for further Cast Member layoffs.
Disneyland Reopening Guidelines
Governor Newsom shared recently, “We feel like there’s no hurry putting out guidelines. We’re continuing to work with amusement parks…it’s very complex.
We don’t anticipate in the immediate term any of these larger theme parks reopening until we see more stability in terms of data.”
Weeks ago we shared that Newsom and his Task Force had drafted reopening guidelines for Theme Parks. Certain details emerged from these reopening guidelines that were acceptable, including that California Theme Parks remain at 25% capacity.
This week Disney CEO shared that Walt Disney World has remained at 25% capacity during the Park’s phased reopening.
More concerning would be that the Parks may not reopen until their county has reached the least-restrictive “minimal risk level.” To further restrict Park attendance, Guests would be limited to those who live within 120 miles of each Park.
As California Theme Parks learned of these restrictions, they requested to negotiate the Park reopening guidelines. This week Disney CEO, Bob Chapek, appeared on CNBC’s Closing Bell. Chapek shared, “It’s not much of a negotiation, it’s pretty much a mandate that we stay closed.”
“It’s not much of a negotiation, it’s pretty much a mandate that we stay closed.”Bob Chapek
“Undercover Health Officials”
This week we learned that the California Health and Human Services Agency had sent “Undercover Health Officials” to Walt Disney World to monitor health and safety protocols.
Kate Folmar, spokesperson for CA Health and Human Services Agency, shared, “We sent health officials to open and operating theme parks out of state last week, independently of operators, to assess the health safeguards in practice. These visits will help inform our pending theme park guidance.”
Cast Member Layoffs
Earlier we shared that over 28,000 Cast Members would be affected by massive Disney layoffs.
Regarding additional Cast Member layoffs, Chapek shares, “Obviously, we’re watching very carefully what the state of California does as an indicator of whether we can retain some of our Cast Members that are on furlough now.”
Chapek went on to state, “We’d like to put our Cast Members back to work-as many as possible- as soon as possible if the government will let us.”
“We’d like to put our cast members back to work-as many as possible- as soon as possible if the government will let us.”
Stringent Reopening Guidelines
Regarding the “arbitrary” reopening guidelines put forth by the California Task Force, Chapek shared that these have been set up “without regard for actual fact.”
Chapek spoke out on these guidelines by stating, “It seems to me that the guidelines that are set up by the state of California are more stringent than any state across the country.”
“If you look at the history of Disney and what we’ve been able to do during the reopening- rather than arbitrary standards set up without regard to actual fact- and what we’ve been able to do as a company, I think you’d come to a different decision about reopening Disneyland.”
“it seems to me that the guidelines that are set up by the state of california are more stringent than any state across the country.”Bob Chapek
Disney Theme Parks have successfully reopened in China, France, Japan and Florida. Recently, Walt Disney World hosted the NBA Playoffs inside the “NBA Bubble” at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
Chapek commented, “I look across our Disney properties- be it Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Paris, Walt Disney World, the Disney bubble for the NBA- and all I see is that we’ve been able to open up responsibly using the guidelines that health care experts have given us.“
“As a result, we’ve been very, very successful at reopening without having issues that would preclude us from staying open.”
With the success of Disney Theme Parks across the globe, we hope that Disneyland may be able to reopen sooner rather than later. We know many Cast Members are ready and willing to return to work.
“I look across our disney properties…and all i see is that we’ve been able to open up responsibly using the guidelines that health care experts have given us.”Bob Chapek
What do you think of Bob Chapek’s comment that this is more of a “mandate” than a “negotiation?” Do you think reopening plans may change after the report from the “Undercover Health Officials?” Share your thoughts with us on our Facebook Page.