California Governor Gavin Newsom promised last week that news about Disneyland’s reopening would be coming “very soon.”
But ‘soon’ is subjective and with nothing forthcoming, executives ramped up the heat during a webcast today for key stakeholders to provide an update on the parks business. D’Amaro and other execs shared progress across the parks’ operation with a focus on Walt Disney World in Orlando since it reopened in July. They discussed health and safety protocols and thanked cast members.
D’Amaro, speaking from Disneyland, pleaded with the state, saying the Anaheim park is ready to open and will follow any guidelines.
“To our California government officials, particularly at the state level, I encourage you to treat theme parks like you would other sectors and help us reopen. We need guidelines that are fair and equitable so we can better understand our future and chart a path toward reopening,” said D’Amaro, who took the top parks job in May.
“The longer we wait, the more devastating the impact will be to the Orange County and Anaheim communities and to the tens of thousands of people who rely on us for employment. With the right guidelines and our years of operations experience, I am confident that we can restart and get people back to work.”
“As you can see from this discussion today…we’re ready. And more importantly, it’s time,” he said.
Movie theaters and theme parks are among the entertainment businesses hardest hit by COVID. Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said at an investor conference last week that Universal theme parks are currently 70% of the media giant’s COVID problem. The Orlando and Osaka parks are operating at 25% of pre-pandemic attendance and Universal Studios – like Disneyland – has yet to open.
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