Can Disney Still Provide The Magic When The Theme Parks Reopen?

Theme Parks in central Florida will begin reopening this week with Disney holding off longer than most. Disney is planning to start a phased reopening on 11 July and will be the last of the main theme park operators to reopen its doors to the public.

Walt Mickey Magic Kingdom

Disney is facing some very challenging times ahead.  Many of the health and safety changes being made risk impacting the very core of the Disney theme park experience.

The lack of character interactions, social distancing measures, guests being required to wear face masks, shows and parades either being modified or cancelled can all detract from that magical experience.

How does Disney still put on a magical show and bolster public confidence to encourage guests to stay and play at the resorts and theme parks? At the moment there seems to be more questions than answers but one thing you can probably be assured of is Disney will be doing everything within its power to put on a great show.

“It is a whole new emerging world, with a new way to experience things.”

I don’t think maximising profits is going to be at the top of Disney’s agenda, well not in the short term. I think it is more about assuring guests that there is a magical experience waiting for them. I’m sure Disney will be pulling out all the stops to minimise any inconveniences and maximising guest enjoyment.

Shanghai Disneyland has been open for about 3 weeks now and Disney will have learnt much from the new procedures and guest reactions that they will no doubt be porting over to Walt Disney World with any appropriate amendments being implemented.

With Shanghai Disneyland running at a capped capacity of 30% one might think that the lines would be shorter. However with social distancing being in place on the rides and with the additional sanitisation measures for ride vehicles, the hourly throughput of guests is reduced. This has led to lines being similar to before the pandemic closed the parks.

So with reduced capacity, additional restrictions and altered guest experiences it would at first seem like it is going to be a hard sell, but then there are plenty of hard core Disney fans that are desperate to get their Disney ‘fix’. There are also many people that have been looking forward to their Disney vacation for so long that nothing is going to stop them. 

What is encouraging is that guests still want to visit and experience what Disney can offer. It is a whole new emerging world with a new way to experience things. It does seem that guests are coming away from the reopened Shanghai Disneyland having had a positive experience.

With Disney Reopening the Orlando theme parks sometime after its rivals, this may give Disney an edge in this new altered market. Data gathered from Shanghai Disneyland and whatever insights they can gather from observing their rivals will no doubt put Disney in an excellent position.

What are your thoughts? Do you feel that even with the enforced restrictions that Disney will still be able to pull off a magical experience?

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