As Guests continue to flock to Disney World, it seems as if there is no slow season anymore. We are all wondering what capacity Disney is operating at and whether or not changes will be made to that soon. Now, Disney CEO Bob Chapek has commented on capacity at Disney World.
In Disney’s first quarter earnings call, Disney shared that they’ve had huge increases in earnings, despite many aspects of its Theme Parks operating with changes due to the global pandemic. While Disney expected revenues of $20.91 billion in the first quarter, the company is reporting revenues of $21.82 billion!
Chapek praised Disney’s Genie+ as a strong contributor to their financial success, stating 50% of Guests are upgrading to use this service!
Ever since Walt Disney World reopened in July 2020, capacity has been reduced in order to mitigate the risk due to the ongoing pandemic. Since that time, Disney has slowly increased capacity in its Theme Parks, but is often tight-lipped on just what that capacity is.
Chapek noted that there are now two big reasons why capacity is still limited in the Parks, and they may not be the reasons you’d expect!
According to Chapek, “self imposed capacity restraints are a function of food and beverage and live entertainment.”
Staffing Shortages and Live Entertainment
Chapek specifically noted that Disney’s Food and Beverage departments are struggling with staffing shortages, specifically with short-order cooks. He noted that “85% of Cast Members returned to work when they were asked to return,” but there are still severe shortages in this area.
Chapek also stated that live entertainment is also impacting capacity in Disney’s Theme Parks.
One of the last things to come back for us in a post covid world is live entertainment. We are self regulating that because we don’t want our guests to feel an excessive level of density. The places you get that is parades, etc. I expect we will be increasing capacity in time.Bob Chapek, CEO Disney
When will capacity return to prepandemic levels?
Chapek says Disney is working on restoring both live entertainment and the food and beverage Cast Members so capacity can return to its former levels.
And it appears we won’t be saying goodbye to Park Pass reservations any time soon. Chapek stated, “Our ability to increase Guest experience through the park pass system has been something we really like. Guaranteeing our Guests have a great experience no matter when they come is really important to us.”