We are all ready to move towards some normalcy since the start of the COVID 19 pandemic started back in March. A big part of that will be the opening of Walt Disney Resort in a little over a month. A lot of talk on Wall Street is when Disney will be able to see a profit from the opening of the park? According to a wall street analyst, it will be a while or until social distancing measures need to be loosened up more.
UBS analyst John Hodulik said an earlier-than-anticipated opening of parks had boosted his revenue estimates but that he’s keeping operating income flat due to limitations on attendance required by social distancing. He stated that current guidelines call for 40 % of average attendance or about 25% of peak attendance. He also believes that spending form annual pass holders will decrease as well because they won’t have as easy access to the parks.
Mr. Hodulik says that he believes the September quarter attendance will be about 25% of what it was in 2019 pre-COVID-19. He also stated that he thinks it will take over a year to return to normal numbers. He assumes that social distancing rules will stay in place through the calendar year 2020 unless we see a vaccine. The company took a satellite image of The Magic Kingdom park to gather its information to make its determination of park capacity. The study calculated all available indoor and outdoor space and usable and unusable areas for visitors. It also determined maximum capacity under different social distancing rules and attendance assumptions, like for families or groups. It created social distancing parameters for individuals or groups. It plotted different attendance scenarios for individuals, couples, and various sizes of groups.
The information was gathered from all the data assuming 70 % were families 25% couples and 5 percent solo, guests. With that being said, Hodulik figured the most they could have in the park and practicing social distancing was about 25000 guests. This example was given not knowing what will happen with travel state to state and international travel. He believes the rebound will take longer in Florida because most of its travelers are from out of state, about 55-60%. He did say that he believes Disneyland will rebound quickly as most of its attendance (roughly 50% ) are from in-state.