Disney CEO Bob Chapek Blames California’s “Stringent” Guidelines for Continued Disneyland Closure



Disney CEO Bob Chapek Blames California’s “Stringent” Guidelines for Continued Disneyland Closure

A story posted to The Orange County Register website details comments that Disney CEO Bob Chapek shared today on CNBC’s “Closing Bell.” In the interview, Chapek did not hold back his opinion of the reopening guidelines proposed by California Governor Gavin Newsom. Chapek labeled the guidelines as “stringent” and “arbitrary.”


After radio silence in the weeks following the mass layoffs, Chapek has been in the news quite a lot today. First, Senator Elizabeth Warren sent a scathing letter to Chapek and Disney Chairman Bob Iger. Disney responded by issuing a statement that sidestepped Warren’s points.

During his “Closing Bell” appearance, Chapek alluded to the success Disney has had at its reopened locations.

“I look across our Disney properties — be it Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Paris, Walt Disney World, the Disney bubble for the NBA — and all I see is that we’ve been able to open up responsibly using the guidelines that health care experts have given us. As a result, we’ve been very, very successful at reopening without having issues that would preclude us from staying open.”

Disney CEO Bob Chapek on CNBC’s “Closing Bell”

When discussing furloughed Cast Members, Chapek did not pull any punches. He placed the blame squarely on the state of California.

“We’d like to put our cast members back to work — as many of them as possible — as soon as possible if the government will let us.”

Disney CEO Bob Chapek on CNBC’s “Closing Bell”

While California has proposed a 25% cap on theme park capacity, it also wants to limit visitors to a 120 mile radius of Disneyland. That stipulation would make Disneyland a local draw. Chapek called the limits a “mandate that we stay closed.”

Will this attention and political pressure lead to Disneyland’s reopening? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

9 thoughts on “Disney CEO Bob Chapek Blames California’s “Stringent” Guidelines for Continued Disneyland Closure”

  1. I’m a stockholder and I believe CA is doing the right thing. Disney moaning about it is an embarrassment. As if an amusement park is more important than public health and life. I used to be a huge wdw fan but this continied behavior has soured me.

    • So in your opinion, should all theme parks across the country close? I personally don’t see why California is special and can not open theme parks responsibly.

      • Yes. Until covid is under control I believe theme parks are an unnecessary risk. Infections have started rising again here and around the world. If the whole country had shut down in March and everyone wore masks we’d be in a different position now i believe. But people had to be selfish so we’ll be dealing with this well into next year.

      • because California IS special. And is special because it is NOT Georgia, Alabama, Texas, Oklahoma, N Carolina, or any other freeking redneck state. Ask your children which state would they rather move or live?

        • I have lived in California, Ohio, and currently Florida, I’d take Florida over either of the other states. In fact, I think I’d take any state over California. I will agree that California is Special, because I remember the Special buses when I was a child.

    • So Disney wanting to get its 28,000 employees back on the payroll is considered moaning?! I went to WDW this past August and the requirements they have in place are working and they enforce the rules. If people don’t want to go they don’t have to because of what’s going that’s their decision. But to have the government make unrealistic opening requirements preventing people from working that’s the real embarrassment.

  2. Disney executives are blaming the state, but that blame is misplaced. It’s the people in the region who are holding back the opening. The state is doing the right thing while the infection rate keeps Orange County in the red. It being red means people aren’t meeting the mask, distancing, and gathering in groups requirements. If OC wants to get Disneyland open then they can do it – by getting the number of cases and percentage of positive down.

  3. I think all of Orange County residents that do not like Cali should move to Texas where THEY THINK will be happy.

  4. Newsom wants California to be the leading state to be covid-free which is unreachable in any type of diseases or regular flu. He is not only responsible for the layoffs but also for the closures of businesses around the area, school shutdowns, church shutdowns. So people, keep on voting those people back in, we may not have this beautiful state to come home too. Buy hey, the vagrants are having a grand time and so are the illegals.

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