Why Doesn't Disney Be Upfront About Closure Duration?
The Coronavirus pandemic has taken the world by storm, and Disney is not immune. The Walt Disney World theme parks and resorts have all shut for the longest period of time in their existence as the world stays at home to help stop our hospitals from being overrun.
The Walt Disney world theme parks closed on March 16th, and at the time Disney said they were closing until the end of March.
In line with state and federal guidance, Walt Disney World theme parks and Disney owned-and-operated hotels are currently closed through March 31.
You might have read "with an abundance of caution" once or twice, too.
A two-week closure seemed incredibly optimistic, especially as the virus spread was doing nothing but growing exponentially. Even early UK government models didn't see the peak of the virus until May. With the USA being a week or two behind us, there's no way Disney could reopen their parks.
Surely Disney know that, too. So why give such an unrealistic timeframe in the first place?
1. Nobody really know what will happen
The virus is spreading like no other virus has spread since 1918. Even though governments can predict what might happen, every day something changes to make it hard to predict. Disney aren't going to announce a closure duration for longer than it needs to. They want to open their doors again as soon as possible. They will be taking advice from health and government officials on when it can reopen, and that advice usually changes daily.
2. Cast member pay & unions
When Disney decides on set dates to close, it has its' cast members to think about. Disney is paying all their cast members during the closure (which is fantastic and should be applauded), however Disney is a huge company with many different types of staff salaries, hourly wages etc. Then you have union employees to which adds to the complication, all has to be agreed and sorted out ahead of time.
3. Shareholders & stock price
At the end of the day, the Walt Disney Company is for-profit company. That company has the responsibility to its' shareholders, and a lot of the time, the top executive pay and bonuses are based on stock performance. And while the general stock market is incredibly volatile in these unknown times, Disney stock will take bigger hits if more bad news (like extended closures) has to happen, whether it's inevitable or not. Doing it in smaller chunks sends less of an initial shock to Wall Street creating a panic sell of stock.
4. Dealing with refunds and reschedules
From what I hear, Disney are working hard to offer people refunds or rescheduling, and phone wait times are hours long. If you've had to call, you'd have experienced this. Imagine if they announced they were closing until June 1 straight away. They'd have 2 months of guests bookings to sort out. Doing it in smaller stages allows them to deal with the most upcoming bookings first.
Join the FREE Mickey From The UK email club & never miss any of our Disney content
Tick the box to confirm you want to signup to our email club
HTML Link: Click the text box above which will highlight, and then copy/paste the link.
In case you didn't hear, Bob Chapek has been fired and Bob Iger has returned to the Walt Disney Company CEO role for at least two years. Social media exploded as fans (primarily Disney Parks fans... Read more >
In a new SEC filing, it was confirmed the board of directors of the Walt Disney Company fired ex-CEO Bob Chapek. On November 20, 2022, The Walt Disney Company (the "Company") appointed Robert A.... Read more >
News broke on Sunday that Bob Chapek has left the company and Bob Iger has returned as CEO. CEO Bob Iger (via SA) is wasting no time to begin reorganising the company. Kareem Daniel, the head of ... Read more >
The Walt Disney World company last night announced the firing of the controversial CEO Bob Chapek with immediate effect. Bob Iger will return to the Walt Disney Company as their CEO. Full stateme... Read more >
Walt Disney World has changed their table service restaurant cancellation policy starting this week. Previously, if you didn't show or cancel your table service booking within 24 hours you would ... Read more >
The Disneyland Paris 30th Anniversary celebration and Mickey’s Dazzling Christmas Parade each took home a IAAPAHQ Brass Ring Awards last night! Disneyland Paris was recognised last night by t... Read more >
Disney Cruise Line has announced the purchase of a partially complete cruise ship to add to its fleet. The ship will be based outside the US - likely targeting the asian market - and will be addi... Read more >
CNBC has obtained a memo from Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek he sent to staff. The memo announces plans to initiate a hiring freeze as well as some job cuts. Hiring for the small subset of th... Read more >
Disneyland Paris has shared with us their upcoming food & beverage offerings for the upcoming winter season. These food & beverage items will be available across the parks and hotels starting Nov... Read more >