Home Latest News Disney World Set to Reopen in July - The New York Times

Disney World Set to Reopen in July – The New York Times


Main Street U.S.A. entrances, loom large in the popular imagination as symbols of Americana. Disney World has been closed since March 15 because of the pandemic, and its reopening carries a certain symbolism in itself, an attempt by fans to reclaim a semblance of normal life and an effort by a coronavirus-battered Disney to demonstrate that a visit will remain a cultural rite of passage for many children.

deal with the league. (Disney-owned ESPN is a broadcast partner of the N.B.A.) Major League Soccer is also in talks to restart its season from the resort’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which Mr. Chapek noted had high security and “turnkey” broadcasting capabilities.Shanghai Disneyland reopened on May 11, the government limited attendance to one-third of normal capacity.41 percent of the city’s work force, according to the trade organization Visit Orlando. Central Florida’s other theme parks will begin reopening on June 1, when Legoland, owned by Britain’s Merlin Entertainments, unlocks its gates. NBCUniversal’s three Orlando theme parks, home to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, will reopen on June 5. SeaWorld, which offers aquatic zoo exhibits (“Dine with Orcas”) and looping roller coasters, will restart operations on June 11.roasted turkey legs annually.

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Credit…Aly Song/Reuters

Theme parks have high costs. It takes a minimum number of people to operate the rides and a minimum amount of electricity to power them. Then add in upkeep, taxes and insurance. To cover those expenses — just to break even — Disney must sell a certain number of tickets. The company also makes money by selling food and merchandise and renting hotel rooms, all of which are driven by attendance.

So how can Disney make money if the resort opens to low capacity?

The media analyst Michael Nathanson said in an email that he had little clarity on the matter. (“None, zero!” was his precise answer.) Jessica Reif Ehrlich, a Bank of America analyst, said Disney could “cut down capacity for a period of time and still be profitable — well, well below 50 percent somewhere.” She added, “There are more things that Disney can do to contain costs than you might think. Fewer cashiers on duty. Fewer ride vehicles in operation. Some hotels still closed.” There will be no signature fireworks displays or parades, which involve hundreds of performers and pose crowd-control challenges.

  • Updated May 27, 2020

    • What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

      Common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and stuffy sinuses are less common. The C.D.C. has also added chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache and a new loss of the sense of taste or smell as symptoms to look out for. Most people fall ill five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days.

    • How can I protect myself while flying?

      If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)

    • How many people have lost their jobs due to coronavirus in the U.S.?

      Over 38 million people have filed for unemployment since March. One in five who were working in February reported losing a job or being furloughed in March or the beginning of April, data from a Federal Reserve survey released on May 14 showed, and that pain was highly concentrated among low earners. Fully 39 percent of former workers living in a household earning $40,000 or less lost work, compared with 13 percent in those making more than $100,000, a Fed official said.

    • Is ‘Covid toe’ a symptom of the disease?

      There is an uptick in people reporting symptoms of chilblains, which are painful red or purple lesions that typically appear in the winter on fingers or toes. The lesions are emerging as yet another symptom of infection with the new coronavirus. Chilblains are caused by inflammation in small blood vessels in reaction to cold or damp conditions, but they are usually common in the coldest winter months. Federal health officials do not include toe lesions in the list of coronavirus symptoms, but some dermatologists are pushing for a change, saying so-called Covid toe should be sufficient grounds for testing.

    • Can I go to the park?

      Yes, but make sure you keep six feet of distance between you and people who don’t live in your home. Even if you just hang out in a park, rather than go for a jog or a walk, getting some fresh air, and hopefully sunshine, is a good idea.

    • How do I take my temperature?

      Taking one’s temperature to look for signs of fever is not as easy as it sounds, as “normal” temperature numbers can vary, but generally, keep an eye out for a temperature of 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. If you don’t have a thermometer (they can be pricey these days), there are other ways to figure out if you have a fever, or are at risk of Covid-19 complications.

    • Should I wear a mask?

      The C.D.C. has recommended that all Americans wear cloth masks if they go out in public. This is a shift in federal guidance reflecting new concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms. Until now, the C.D.C., like the W.H.O., has advised that ordinary people don’t need to wear masks unless they are sick and coughing. Part of the reason was to preserve medical-grade masks for health care workers who desperately need them at a time when they are in continuously short supply. Masks don’t replace hand washing and social distancing.

    • What should I do if I feel sick?

      If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.

    • How do I get tested?

      If you’re sick and you think you’ve been exposed to the new coronavirus, the C.D.C. recommends that you call your healthcare provider and explain your symptoms and fears. They will decide if you need to be tested. Keep in mind that there’s a chance — because of a lack of testing kits or because you’re asymptomatic, for instance — you won’t be able to get tested.

    • How can I help?

      Charity Navigator, which evaluates charities using a numbers-based system, has a running list of nonprofits working in communities affected by the outbreak. You can give blood through the American Red Cross, and World Central Kitchen has stepped in to distribute meals in major cities.


Mr. Chapek positioned the reopening as providing “positive net contribution” to the company’s parks business. That means Disney World may not be profitable at first. However, revenue from reopening at a limited level is expected to exceed the costs associated with reopening and offset a good portion of the property’s fixed costs. In other words, Disney may ultimately lose money until capacity can be increased. But not as much as it would if the parks remained closed.

especially hard hit from the pandemic, with its theme parks shut, movies postponed and ESPN cable channels without live sports to televise. Total profit in the most recent quarter declined 91 percent from the same period a year earlier.surprisingly strong moneymaker for media companies. For the 2019 fiscal year, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts had an operating profit of more than $4.5 billion, an increase of more than 100 percent from six years earlier. The top five theme park companies in the United States — Disney, Universal, Cedar Fair, Six Flags and SeaWorld — had combined attendance last year of about 288 million, up 4 percent from a year earlier, according to the Themed Entertainment Association.new attractions and resort hotels; fading worries about security in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks (and the 2015 attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, which prompted Disney and Universal to install metal detectors at their front gates); and the so-called experience economy, where people — millennials in particular — started to see memorable events as a mandatory rather than optional expenses. A high-season, single-park adult ticket at Disney World now costs $135, up from $82 a decade ago, and demand has not eased. Lines still stretch for an hour or more on popular rides like the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Avatar Flight of Passage.Theme Park Insider. “Given the expense, particularly in the middle of a recession and with huge unemployment, a lot of people may stay home until the experience gets back to normal.”

Sue Pisaturo, who founded Small World Vacations, a New Jersey agency that specializes in Disney trips, said interest had been “surprisingly strong” in recent weeks. “Some people are definitely raring to go,” she said.

But she predicted that mask requirements would keep some people away. Heather Abbott Vogel, an agent at Destinations in Florida Travel, agreed.

“I’ve had clients say, ‘If I have to wear a mask, I’m staying home,’” Ms. Abbott said.

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