A financial analyst who covers Walt Disney Co. says Disney World could open again by late July if the company follows the same timeline it used to reopen Shanghai Disneyland.
The Chinese park reopened this morning after being shut down since Jan. 25 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Downtown Disney in Shanghai opened on March 9.
Walt Disney World closed on March 16.
“There are still many unknowns, but if the timeline for reopening Downtown Disney in Shanghai and the Shanghai Disneyland is similar for Disney Springs and Disney World, it suggests Disney World would reopen July 22nd, 41 days ahead of our current forecast calling for the beginning of September,” said Rosenblatt Securities analyst Bernie McTernan in a new research note published Thursday, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
McTernan’s estimate was cautioned by saying “a lot of assumptions that go into this analysis” but noted it’s a good sign that WDW’s Disney Springs will have a partial reopen on May 20 to start a phased-in approach to eventually open the entire park.
There will be restrictions, of course. Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Chapek told analysts the company is reopening its Shanghai park but will limit crowds to less than 30% of normal capacity in the first weeks of operation. All visitors and employees must wear masks.
“While it’s too early to predict when we’ll be able to begin resuming all of our operations (at Disney World), we are evaluating a number of different scenarios to ensure a cautious, sensible and deliberate approach to the eventual reopening of our parks,” Chapek said on Tuesday’s earnings call.
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