Disney is estimated to be losing $20 million a day because of shutting of their U.S. theme parks due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Since the WHO declared Covid-19 to be a global emergency, the world has witnessed a lockdown resulting in several events cancelled and shutting down of public places to contain the spread.
Although Disneyland in Anaheim initially remained open, when California’s Governor Gavin Newsom instituted a gathering ban last week, the park was shut down. In addition to Disneyland, Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida and Disneyland Paris in France have shut down, similar to Disney theme parks across the world including Shanghai and Beijing.
It’s the fourth time in Disneyland’s history that the theme parks have been closed down with the other occasions being the national day of mourning after President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, the Northridge earthquake in 1994, and the 11 September terrorist attacks in 2001. Both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park will remain closed until the end of March. Beyond that, authorities will decide whether or not to continue the ban.
The House of Mouse makes a huge amount of money annually not only from its theme parks, but also its cruises and consumer product sales. But due to the virus spread, the company is expected to get a blow. As per Variety’s report on how Hollywood at large could be changed by the Coronavirus outbreak, Disney is expected to lose as much as $20 million to $30 million a day from shutting down their U.S. theme parks. By the end of this month, Disney would potentially lose hundreds of millions of dollars from closing Disneyland and Walt Disney World alone.
In order to protect public health and safety, shutting down Disney’s parks temporarily was the right call. Despite the heavy losses of the company, if Disneyland and Walt Disney World had continued to operate, it would have further contributed to the spread of Covid-19, considering more than 400,000 people attend these parks worldwide on a daily basis.
However, Disney has announced to be paying their theme park workers during this period, which includes all cast members of hotels, cruise line employees and others. Most theme park workers earn hourly wages and are not highly paid. The same is for hotel and cruise line workers. By paying its employees, Disney is helping them stay afloat until normal working conditions resume.
Besides theme parks, Disney will be facing a financial low at the box-office as it has pulled the release dates for several films that were scheduled to open recently including Mulan and Black Widow. This comes as most countries have temporarily closed down theatres due to ban on public gatherings.
Meanwhile, it’s hoped that once situations get better and Disney reopens its theme parks, there’s a good chance people will turn out in larger numbers than usual, after being quarantined and forced to stay home for a longer period of time. The company is banking on these assumptions and plans to open its Marvel attraction ‘Avengers Campus’ at Disneyland in Anaheim later this year.