While reopening their theme parks is a major step on the road to Disney’s economic recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s still a long road ahead.
According to StreetInsider.com, Deutsche Bank reported that worldwide Disney Park attendance remains down 80% year-over-year from 2019 per their proprietary geolocation data. For months, parks around the world remained closed due to the pandemic. Park re-openings began in May with Shanghai Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland in June (though it has since closed again), while the parks of Tokyo Disney Resort, Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney World followed suit in July, all with reduced capacity to help socially distance guests. The Disneyland Resort remains closed as of the writing of this article.
Deutsche Bank analyst Brian Kraft explained that Walt Disney World’s attendance may soon rise as Florida’s COVID-19 numbers continue to trend down, saying: “While Disney World appears to be lagging the COVID case reduction, we would expect the data to relieve some of the admissions pressure in the near future.”
Kraft also discussed Walt Disney World’s chief competition in Universal Orlando Resort, who he claimed was having an increase in admissions since they reopened in June, stating “Universal’s Orlando parks continue to see an uplift in admissions with Saturday having the best [year over year] change since reopening, at -64%. Given this ongoing improvement in Universal’s attendance and declining new daily COVID cases in Florida, we believe that Disney World will also soon see some benefit.”
Earlier this month, Disney said on their Q3 earnings call that attendance at Walt Disney World was lower than expected, though revenue still exceeded variable costs.
Keep reading WDWNT for more news on the effects of COVID-19 on the Disney Parks.