Disney Parks expects to take a hit as the global pandemic spreads around the world.
According to a CNN report, Disney Shanghai and Disney Hong Kong are entirely closed to visitors, leaving them as ghost towns and surrounding communities.
The shutdowns are under directions by the Chinese and Hong Kong governments to halt the spread of coronavirus. Ironically, governments are also the majority of stakeholders in both theme parks.
The report indicated Disney Parks projects that if Disney Shanghai resort could lose up to $135 million in operating income in the next thirty days from this shutdown.
Since opening in 2016, the attendance climbed from 5.6 million annual visits to 11.8 visits in 2018. The announcement to close the park was on January 25 this year for at least two months.
The 3.9 square kilometers park themes include Fantasyland, Adventure Isle (similar to Adventureland), Tomorrowland, Toy Story Land, Fantasyland, and a Spanish-themed Treasure Cove.
As for Disney Hong Kong, the theme park suffered from the political unrest of the Hong Kong protests. The site will lose more with $145 million in operating income this quarter.
Disney Hong Kong reported 6.7 million in 2018 since its opening in 2005. The park themes included Main Street, U.S.A., Adventureland, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Toy Story Land, Grizzly Gulch, Arendelle (from Frozen), and Stark Expo Hong Kong.
There are discussions concerning the 115-acres them park with Tokyo Disney Resort. For now, employees and visitors are allowed to wear masks and urged to wash their hands regularly. There are no plans to shut down the park at this time despite 159 confirmed cases and one death in Japan.
Despite the success of Disney+ and Disney films, Disney Parks division went on its rollercoaster ride. The parks received higher income due to rising average ticket prices, along with food, beverage, and merchandise. However, the expansions with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge offered lower than expected results.
Last September, the mixed results led to the ouster of Catherine Powell, president of Disney Parks Western Region, after 15 years of Disney service.
On the good news front, Disney may shift focus towards theme parks in the future. Bob Chapek, previously the chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, was promoted to be the new Disney CEO. He replaced Bob Iger, who suddenly resigned yesterday after 15 years of service.
Chapek expects to keep Disney Parks as the happiest place on Earth.