Disney’s theme parks in the United States could be closed until May as the country scrambles to get the coronavirus outbreak contained, analysts warn in a new research paper.
An analyst report from JPMorgan estimates that the shuttering of Disney’s theme parks in Anaheim and Florida amid the COVID-19 pandemic could extend until May 1.
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Disney’s two Anaheim theme parks and four Florida parks remain closed through the end of March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The shuttering of Disney’s domestic parks was preceded by closures of Disney parks in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Japan.
The announced 18-day closure of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure could stretch even longer. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends an 8-week ban on all public gatherings.
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California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order for residents to shelter in place could extend the closure of Disney’s domestic theme parks from March 31 to May 1, according to the JPMorgan analyst report.
Disney’s theme parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong have been closed since late January while Disney parks in Japan have been closed since late February — with no reopening dates announced. The Disneyland Paris resort in France closed March 15 through the end of the month.
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The JPMorgan analysts expect Disneyland Paris to remain closed through May 1 while Hong Kong Disneyland is expected to remain closed until the end of June.
The analysts now expect Shanghai Disneyland to reopen on April 15 with limited traffic after initially estimating the China theme park would remain shuttered until the end of June. The earlier reopening date of Shanghai Disneyland is expected to generate an estimated $35 million in operating income, the report said.
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Disney’s theme park division is the most exposed segment of the entertainment company during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the potential for a large profit hit if its domestic parks see a meaningful drop in attendance or close for a prolonged period, according to the report.
“Disney park closures are a fluid situation and our assumption of reopening dates may change based on updated information from the various regions,” according to the JPMorgan analyst report.