Disney Springs Orlando Walt Disney World to reopen May 20

Following the announcement of the May 11 opening of Shanghai Disneyland, Disney announced the phased reopening of its dining and shopping district Disney Springs in Orlando. One analyst said it might be a signal that the domestic parks could open in July or earlier.

Disney this week said Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort will begin its phased reopening on May 20. It will include a “limited number” of dining and shopping experiences.

The company will employ increased cleaning procedures there, and require employees and guests to wear masks. Employees will also undergo additional safety training, and guest-employee contact will be limited. Capacity, parking and operating hours will be limited.

J.P. Morgan managing director Alexia Quadrani viewed the news of both openings as positive.

In a note to investors, Quadrani noted that Shanghai Disney Resort opened on a limited basis for shopping and dining on March 9.

“If we apply the same timeline for Walt Disney World, the theme parks could reopen around July 20, although we believe there could be a shorter timeline for domestic theme parks as Disney will have had more time in preparing for an accommodated opening and extensive experience from reopening Shanghai Disneyland,” the note said.

MoffettNathanson senior research analyst Michael Nathanson said there isn’t a question that people will want to return to Disney’s theme parks, but the debate comes with regard to how long of a downturn the pandemic will cause.

He also warned that history suggests revenue tends to lag after major incidents, which “means that we have to wait awhile to return to some normalization of financial metrics.”

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