Disneyland to open with coronavirus safety measures next month

COVID-19 pandemic forced parks to close in March

Disneyland will start reopening next month, but the experience will look a bit different.

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In a statement sent to FOX Business, the company said after shutting down Disneyland Resort in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic it will aim to reopen it starting early July.

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Downtown Disney is set to reopen July 9, with the entire park reopening July 17. That park includes the popular California Adventure. The hotels are set to open again July 23.

All plans are subject to state and local government approvals.

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“We are purposefully taking baby steps during this very intentional phased approach,” Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D'Amaro said in a separate note Wednesday. “We have been deliberate about keeping the health and safety of our cast, guests and local communities top of mind. And as we look forward to bringing our cast members back to work, and welcoming you back as cherished guests – we know it will take all of us working together.”

Officials at the theme park are planning to take a number of safety measures to mitigate the spread of the virus, such as limited capacity. Attendance will be handled with a new reservation system that requires guests, including Annual Passholders, to book in advance if there are tickets available.

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Other robust health and hygiene measures, like face covers and temperature checks, will be implemented. Parades and character meet-and-greets will also be suspended as guests and employees will be expected to follow social distancing guidelines.

“While certain aspects of your visit may change, I assure you the quality of our storytelling, magic of our experiences and the caliber of our cast members has not,” D'Amaro added. “We recognize the trust that you have in the Disney brand, and we will continue to earn your trust every day.”

The Anaheim theme park has been closed since March as the COVID-19 outbreak skyrocketed in the United States, notably in California.

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Those theme parks are huge revenue drivers for the company, racking up more than $26 billion in sales for its Parks, Experiences and Products division in fiscal 2019, according to Disney's 2019 annual report. That’s roughly 37 percent of the company's overall revenue.

As for this year, in its second-quarter 2020 earnings report Disney noted that Parks, Experiences and Products saw a 58 percent drop in operating income versus last year. Shares for Walt Disney Co. were down 1.4 percent Wednesday and 10 percent on the year.

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