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Disney CEO Bob Chapek Says Attendance is Up at Orlando Theme Parks, Coronavirus Precautions Will Stay in Place Through 2021

Photo: Disney Parks Blog
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Disney CEO Bob Chapek says average daily attendance and future bookings at Disney World grew significantly from the fourth quarter of last year to the first quarter of this one.

Chapek says guests want to visit the Orlando theme park even with limited capacity. 

He says families feel confident about the health protocols that are in place including mandatory face masks and temperature checks.

“It’s clear that people want to reconnect with loved ones and spend time together doing things they enjoy and given the demand we’re seeing now, we’re confident it will only grow once the pandemic is behind us.”

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Chapek says capacity at the Orlando theme parks will be determined by the rate of vaccination of the general public. Right now, the parks are operating at 35 percent.

But he doesn’t expect the visitor experience to change much at the parks in 2021 when it comes to mandatory social distancing and face masks unless vaccines become more readily available this spring.

“Will there be some overlap until we know we’ve hit herd immunity? Sure there will. But do we also believe that we’ll be in the same state of six foot social distancing and mask wearing in 2022? Absolutely not.”

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Chapek says even with pandemic restrictions, construction has continued on new attractions including Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind roller coaster at Epcot. 

Progress is also being made on the new Epcot nighttime show Harmonious which will replace IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.

Listen tothe earnings call here.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.