Apr 25, 2020 - Economy

Disney parks might not reopen until next year

This image is an arial view of the Magic Kingdom

Walt Disney World on March 23 in Orlando, Florida. Photo: Alex Menendez/Getty Images

A financial analyst at the Swiss banking giant UBS advised Monday that Disney will likely wait until January 2021 to reopen its parks and resorts, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The big picture: At least 43,000 unionized Disney World workers have been furloughed since April 19, as the company began increasing its access to cash to weather the storm caused by the novel coronavirus.

  • When reopening, UBS predicted that Disney will only see half of the park attendance it garnered in 2019, per the Times.
  • "We believe Parks' profitability will be impaired for a longer period of time given the lingering effects of the outbreak and now assume an opening date of Jan. 1 as our base case," UBS managing director of investment research John Hodulik wrote in his Monday report, per USA Today.

The other side: JPMorgan analyst Alexia Quadrani told Barron's in mid-April that she assumed domestic parks would reopen on June 1, noting that Disney World hotels were accepting reservations on that date.

Flashback: Disney closed its parks and resorts on March 27 "until further notice," after originally shuttering them for a month.

  • The company said it would pay hourly cast members until April 18.

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