“We are going to be very prudent and disciplined and then we are going to ramp up and increase. Right now, it’s a government cap so the plan is to go up 5,000 a week until we get to the point that we can operate under guidelines in a way that’s responsible and when the government raises that we will walk it up again, but slow and steady for us,” he said in an interview today on CNBC.
“We are going to see how it goes. A lot of that depends on the guests and our guests have been extraordinarily diligent. If the guests continue to behave in the way that they are I think we might be able to approach [full capacity].”
He declined to give a timeline for the U.S. parks’ reopening but said it’s “a good sign” that the Disney Springs dining and shopping area at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando will begin a phased reopening on May 20 – ahead of the park. The company did the same in Shanghai, opening adjacent Disneytown, also shopping and dining available to the general public, first. “We stuck our toe in the water with Disneytown. The guests cooperated and hopefully we will see this in Disney Springs and this will be the beginning of a great new rebirth of Disney parks,” said Chapek.
On May 6, Disney announced that the coronavirus had taken a $1.4 billion bite out of earnings last quarter, with most damage coming from theme parks where the gates have been shut since March.