May 27, 2020 - Economy

Disney plans phased reopening of Disney World on July 11

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

Disney on Wednesday submitted a proposal for a phased reopening of its iconic Walt Disney World theme park in Florida beginning on July 11.

Yes, but: The plan, which was presented to the Orange County economic recovery task force, needs approval from Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis before it can officially be put into place.

Why it matters: As a global leader in entertainment and tourism, Disney's reopening is being watched closely by companies and consumers around the world to see whether a safe reopening of a major venue is possible.

Details: Disney's plan is to open its Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom parks on July 11 and to open EPCOT and Hollywood Studios on July 15, the company said on Wednesday.

  • The parks will take a number of safety precautions, including temperature checks of employees and customers. Disney plans to add hand sanitizing stations and will limit the parks' capacity.

The big picture: Disney closed its U.S. theme parks in mid-March. It has not yet released a plan for reopening Disneyland Park in California, as the state's phased reopening measures are behind Florida's.

  • Disney closed its theme parks in China in January. The company was lauded for the successful reopening of its Shanghai theme park on May 11.

By the numbers: Disney's parks and resorts sector, its largest business, saw a 10% decrease in revenue from the previous quarter. In an earnings report earlier this month, Disney said operating income from its parks division was down 58% from this time last year.

  • Disney World employs about 77,000 people, more than half of which (43,000) were furloughed in April.
  • In total, the company says it lost approximately $1 billion during the first quarter of 2020, primarily due to revenue deficits attributable to the pandemic.
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