Hey there, hi there, ho there -- it’s looking like more Disney days could be ahead for fans of the Magic Kingdom. Thursday, during a call to discuss Disney’s fourth-quarter earnings, CEO Bob Chapek announced that the Orlando, Florida, theme park is now increasing its park capacity from 25 percent to 35 percent. Disneyland in Anaheim, California, will remain closed at this time.
“The Happiest Place On Earth” reopened back in July and has been running at 25 percent park capacity ever since. They continued at that level even after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced in September that all theme parks in the state were allowed to open at full capacity.
In a statement from Disney:
“We received the Governor’s executive order and are evaluating it to determine what it may mean for our business. We are not making any immediate changes. As a reminder, face coverings are still required at Walt Disney World Resort.”
But on Thursday, despite no known changes in the CDC’s recommendations, the home of Mickey and Minnie Mouse announced the 10 percent increase.
Disney insider Blog Mickey reported the following statement from Chapek.
“Our operators, which you know are the best in the world, are becoming much more efficient and effective in operating under COVID guidelines. And we’ve been able to pretty materially increase our capacity and still stay within the guidelines that local governments are giving us, for example, 6-foot social distancing, and this is happening across our parks across the world,” he said.
“In fact, Walt Disney World, which was at a 25 percent capacity constraint, which was our industrial engineering estimates to keep 6-foot social distancing, now has been able to increase to 35 percent of capacity. [That is] almost a 50 percent increase in the number of guests that we can allow in, and still adhere to the local guidelines and the guidelines that are stipulated by the CDC.”
Chapek also said he believes that changes to the park’s layout and installation of plexiglass additions on rides also contributed to their ability to increase the visitor count.
Still On Hold In California
But, while the more Disney fans may be able to enjoy the fun in Florida, the story is not the same in California. Disney watchers have been monitoring the hotels in Anaheim since March, when it was announced that reservations would not be accepted through June 1.
Now, The Orange County Register is reporting that Disneyland Resort’s three hotels are no longer accepting reservations and will remain closed indefinitely as the continuing coronavirus closure of Disney’s two adjacent theme parks stretches toward eight months.
The continued closures are in response to the state’s COVID-19 health and safety reopening guidelines.
But, the news isn’t all bad for anyone hoping to travel to Disneyland and members of the Disney Vacation Club.
The Register reports that plans continue for Disneyland’s phased reopening on December 6, with the return of the Disney Vacation Club villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa, according to a letter sent to DVC members.