It’s tough to believe it right now, but one day, the worst of the coronavirus pandemic will be over and people will return to a life outside quarantine. Once again, we’ll line up at Disneyland and other theme parks, but what will it look like?
Bob Iger, the executive chairman of Walt Disney Co., on Tuesday told Barron’s that his amusement resorts are considering just that, almost a month after temporarily shutting down on March 14. One possibility is that guests could have their temperatures taken before entering, just as they have their bags checked for weapons.
“One of the things that we’re discussing already is that in order to return to some semblance of normal, people will have to feel comfortable that they’re safe. Some of that could come in the form ultimately of a vaccine, but in the absence of that it could come from basically, more scrutiny, more restrictions,” Iger said. “Just as we now do bag checks for everybody that goes into our parks, it could be that at some point we add a component of that that takes people’s temperatures, as a for-instance.”
He noted that Disney is closely following China’s post-coronavirus life.
“You can’t get on a bus or a subway or a train or enter a high-rise building there — and I’m sure this will be the case when their schools reopen — without having your temperature taken,” Iger said.
Shanghai Disneyland, set to reopen some hotels and shopping areas outside the park on April 9 after closing in January, has listed detailed guidelines for guests on its website. It notes that, during this phased reopening, properties will operate “under limited capacity and reduced hours of operation.”
“In accordance with relevant regulations, every guest entering Shanghai Disney Resort will be required to undergo temperature screening procedures and present their Shanghai QR Code,” a statement from park officials reads. “Only guests with a green Shanghai QR Code will be allowed to enter the resort. Guests must wear a mask during their entire visit (except when dining), and will also be reminded to maintain respectful social distances at all times while in stores, queues and restaurants.”
And with Disney typically leading the way for the theme-park industry, expect others to follow suit with similar guidelines.
While assessing Disney’s value as a company on Tuesday, Wells Fargo analyst Steven Cahall projected “zero park attendance” through the end of the current fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30. He said he expects “50 percent capacity” in 2021 and 24 months for attendance to get back to normal, according to Variety.
That’s despite the fact that Disney diehards are already missing their time at the brand’s theme parks.
i miss disneyland— j (@juliannadiaaz) April 5, 2020
Pretending I’m at Disneyland. pic.twitter.com/vNPStmF9cj— Bring back Star Trek: The Experience you fools (@ThemeParker104) April 8, 2020
Disney Parks did not respond to Yahoo Entertainment’s request for comment.
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