ORLANDO, Fla. – Disney’s theme parks continue to experience a loss of revenue due to the ongoing pandemic, but there are signs of recovery.

What You Need To Know

  • Disney's theme park division still seeing losses due to the pandemic

  • Revenue fell 53% to $3.58 billion in the 1st quarter

  • Signs of recovery: Disney World attendance grew significantly

  • New attractions on the way, some set to open this year

The company released its first quarter earnings report on Thursday.

Revenues for Disney’s Parks, Experiences and Products division fell 53% to $3.6 billion, according to the report. The division had an operating loss of $119 million. For Disney’s U.S. parks, where Disneyland in California has remained closed, revenue was down 70%.

Disney said the COVID-19 pandemic had an estimated $2.6 billion impact on the division during the quarter. The loss was due to park closures or parks operating at a reduced capacity.

Despite the loss, the quarter was an improvement from previous quarters in 2020.

At Disney World, where the theme parks have been open since July, average daily attendance grew “significantly” in the first quarter due in part to demand. During Disney’s previous investors call, CEO Bob Chapek said the parks were operating at 35%. The parks, according to Disney, are still operating at that capacity level.

Future park capacity increases would be determined by the rate of vaccinations of the public, Chapek said Thursday. Vaccine rollout would also play a role in reopening closed Disney parks.

Disneyland Resort in California remains closed due to the pandemic. Disneyland and Disney California Adventure have been closed since last March and the company expects the parks to remain closed through the second quarter. Disneyland has been hosting a vaccination site. Chapek said the site has administered more than 100,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine so far.

But even with the vaccine, Chapek said the company expects face mask requirements and social distancing at the parks will likely stick around through the end of the year. Disney World recently updated its face mask policy to say that visitors who have received the vaccine will still need wear a face mask.

Meanwhile, Disney is still working on a number of projects at its parks. At Disney World, two new attractions are set to open at Epcot—Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. Although a timeline for those attractions was not given during the investors call, Remy’s is expected to open sometime this year. And even though Disneyland is still closed, Disney plans to open Avenger Campus, its superhero-themed land, later this year at Disney California Adventure.


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