Although we’ve gotten initial details about the reopening guidelines, the release of the finalized guidelines was delayed following pushback.
The early details of the guidelines we saw indicated that theme parks would only be able to reopen only once the county they are located in reaches the least-restrictive “minimal” risk level, they must operate at 25% of attendance capacity, and they must limit visitors to residents living within a 120-mile radius of each theme park.
Now, Disney CEO Bob Chapek is commenting on the guidelines. According to The Orange County Register, in an interview with CNBC’s “Closing Bell,” Chapek said he feels the guidelines set up by California “are more stringent than any state across the country.”
Chapek noted, “If you look at the history of Disney and what we’ve been able to do during the reopening — rather than arbitrary standards set up without regard to actual fact — and what we’ve been able to do as a company, I think you’d come to a different decision about reopening Disneyland.”
In September, California Governor Newsom said the negotiations with theme parks were open ended. Chapek, however, has said the guidelines are “not much of a negotiation.” Instead, it’s “pretty much a mandate that we stay closed.”
Just a few weeks ago, Disney announced layoffs coming to the Parks, Experiences and Products division of the Company. Chapek has indicated that Disney is “watching very carefully what the State of California does as an indicator of whether [Disney] can retain some of [their] cast members that are on furlough now.”
He said Disney would like to put as many of their Cast Members back to work “as soon as possible if the government will let [them.]” Disneyland has already entered into some return to work agreements with several unions in preparation for a future reopening.
Chapek told CNBC he looks across the Disney properties “be it Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Paris, Walt Disney World, the Disney bubble for the NBA — and all [he sees] is that [Disney has] been able to open up responsibly using the guidelines that health care experts have given [them].”
According to Chapek, Disney has been “very, very successful at reopening without having issues that would preclude us from staying open.” Health officials have indicated that no cases of COVID-19 have been definitively traced back to the Orlando theme parks.
We’re on the lookout for more information about Disneyland’s reopening and the theme park guidelines set to be issued by the California government. We will let you know as soon as we see any further updates.