Disney (DIS) has revealed how its Shanghai Disneyland Park will implement the new Covid-19 restrictions when it reopens on May 11. The park has been shut since late January.
Visitors will have their temperature checked before entering, go through a security screening, and wear masks at all times.
“We will have cast members, throughout the park, doing continuous wiping down, sanitizing and disinfecting all the high-touch surfaces,” Andrew Bolstein, senior VP of operations for the Shanghai park, said. “We will have cast members at the entrance of every attraction reminding our guests to maintain social distancing.”
On the rides “we have put markers on all the rows, all the benches, to indicate where your seat is. And if they don’t have markers, that’s not a place to sit. So, it’s greatly reducing capacity of the ride, but allowing for social distancing which is most important at this stage” he added.
Under government restrictions the park will only be able to operate at 30% of its total capacity i.e. 24,000 people per day. However Disney revealed that it will limit capacity even further and slowly ramp up to the 30% limit over the coming weeks.
Tickets for the Shanghai park’s first few open days were released on May 7 and sold out very quickly. “Guests are required to purchase admission tickets valid on a selected date only and Annual Pass holders must make a reservation prior to arrival,” Disney said.
As for the US, Disney announced that Disney Springs, part of Disney World, will begin a phased reopening on May 20th.
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 22, notes Rosenblatt analyst Bernie McTernan. This would be 41 days ahead of his current forecast calling for the beginning of September.
Reopening Disney World 41 days early would add $210M to operating income estimates in 4Q20 (currently -$1.2B) or $315M if the reopening also included Disneyland, calculates the analyst.
“There are a lot of assumptions that go into this analysis, but we reiterate the broader key takeaway is positive that Disney is taking an initial step to opening the domestic parks” he concludes.
Overall, Disney scores a Moderate Buy analyst consensus, with 11 recent buy ratings vs 10 hold ratings and 1 sell rating. Meanwhile the $120 average analyst price target indicates upside potential of 10%. Shares have sunk 25% year to date. (See Disney stock analysis on TipRanks).