Now, the reopened theme parks are still operating at limited capacity, but those limits may grow as more people are vaccinated. Health concerns constituted a major drop in demand for travel, so how is a return to normal demand levels looking?
Recently, Disney CEO Bob Chapek sat down with Bloomberg to discuss demand and several other aspects of the business. When asked about current and expected demand levels, Chapek spoke with optimism.
He noted, “We’re thrilled with the response that we’re seeing from guests in terms of future reservations and intent to come back to our parks.” As a reminder, the Disney World parks have been open since July and at times have hit full capacity.
Chapek noted that the confidence in demand they have is a function of two things. The first is a “confidence that we’re seeing a light at the end of the tunnel for the pandemic,” and the second he noted is, “a tremendous trust in our brand.”
He explained that guests have confidence in Disney’s ability to keep them safe and that “that brand trust leads them to want to come back to our parks.” Chapek even noted that Disney’s “guest satisfaction score” since they’ve reopened across the world has shown that Disney’s guests “are even more satisfied than they were prior to the pandemic.”
Chapek’s statements echo comments he made to CNBC yesterday. In those comments, he noted, “We’ve seen the enthusiasm, the craving for people to return to our parks around the world. We’ve been operating at Walt Disney World for about nine months, and there certainly is no shortage of demand.”
It will be interesting to see if the expectations that Chapek is speaking to ring true. In the years following 9/11, Disney saw a significant drop in demand due to the subsequent financial effects and consumer reluctance to take air travel. The global health crisis has certainly had an effect on peoples’ finances and on the comfort level with planes.
We’ll keep an eye out for more comments from Chapek and on the trends of demand that we’re able to monitor. As always, stay tuned to DFB for the latest updates and analyses.
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What do you think of Chapek’s comments? Tell us in the comments!