Hong Kong Disneyland will shut once more on Wednesday to adjust to a government-directed rollback of public actions within the area after a rise in coronavirus infections, the Walt Disney Company stated on Monday. Disney referred to as the closing of the theme park “temporary” and stated its resort lodges on the Lantau Island complicated would stay open.
With attendance of 6.5 million final 12 months and an estimated 5,000 workers, Hong Kong Disneyland is the smallest park in Disney’s portfolio. Shutting it down once more means little for the corporate’s backside line. In reality, the theme park and resort lodge property has misplaced cash for the final 5 years. Losses totaled about $13.5 million final 12 months. Pro-democracy demonstrations within the metropolis have resulted in a pointy decline in tourism.
But it’s re-closing at a extremely awkward time for Disney. Over the weekend, Disney executives in Florida cited the sleek reopening of Hong Kong Disneyland and different Disney parks in Asia as proof that the corporate’s largest resort, Walt Disney World, might reopen safely, at the same time as coronavirus circumstances in Florida surge to alarming ranges. On Monday, Florida officers reported 12,624 new infections, one of many largest every day jumps within the state because the pandemic started.
Hong Kong Disneyland, 53 p.c of which is owned by the native authorities (with Disney controlling the stability), initially closed due to the virus on Jan. 26. It reopened on June 18 with restricted capability and different security measures, together with temperature checks for guests and workers. The 14-year-old complicated contains three lodges with greater than 1,700 whole rooms. Attendance has been very mild because it reopened.
In re-closing Hong Kong Disneyland, Disney is complying with authorities restrictions introduced on Monday by Carrie Lam, the territory’s chief government, after native well being authorities reported 52 new circumstances of coronavirus. (Since late January, Hong Kong has reported 1,522 circumstances.) The park’s closure was “required by the government and health authorities in line with prevention efforts taking place across Hong Kong,” Disney stated.
Gyms, mahjong parlors and cinemas may even shut on Wednesday. Hong Kong additionally prohibited all eating inside eating places each night from 6 p.m. Health officers stated the territory’s new spate of circumstances was primarily related to taxi drivers, eating places and nursing properties.
Disneyland Paris is scheduled to reopen on Wednesday.
Disney also plans to reopen two more Florida theme parks, Epcot and Hollywood Studios, on Wednesday, a decision that has been greeted by enthusiasm from many fans and extreme dismay by others, including some Disney workers. Disney World, which attracted more than 50 million visitors last year, has recalled roughly 20,000 furloughed union employees for its phased reopening, which includes an array of safety protocols.
County and state officials in Florida approved Disney World’s reopening plan. NBCUniversal reopened its three theme parks in central Florida more than a month ago.
“Covid is here, and we have a responsibility to figure out the best approach to safely operate in this new normal,” Josh D’Amaro, Disney’s theme park chairman, said in an interview last week. “Businesses across the country are open, whether it’s a local pizza shop in Orlando or an airline taking on new guests.”
But authorities in California have slowed down the entertainment company’s plan to reopen the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. After an increase in coronavirus cases in California and an outcry from some Disneyland workers about safety, Gov. Gavin Newsom made it clear that he would not give theme parks in the state a green light to reopen in time for Disneyland to come back online this Friday, as Disney had hoped.
No new timeline has been given.