Disney World increasing capacity at Central Florida parks

Florida

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (WESH) — Disney CEO Bob Chapek said Thursday that the company’s theme parks in Central Florida are increasing capacity.

Chapek said the parks in Central Florida are now operating at 35% capacity, up from 25% capacity.

He said the increase in capacity has been made as park operators have gotten better at navigating the COVID-19 requirements, and the parks are still following local government guidelines.

“We’re very pleased with how we’ve become adept at operating under these constraints,” Chapek said.

Chapek said he’s also encouraged by the growing demand for the parks.

The company held its earnings call late Thursday afternoon.

Officials say for the Parks and Experiences section of the business, operating incomes were down $2.4 billion for the quarter and $6.9 billion for the year.

Revenues were down 61% for the last three months. The Disney parks, cruises and other experiences brought in $1.4 billion in this quarter last year; however, this year it was negative $1.1 billion.

The company blames COVID-19 for the losses but also faults the government of California for not letting Disney reopen its parks there.

The company says at the parks that are open, like Disney World, there are promising signs for its earnings.

“At Walt Disney World we are also encouraged by the booking trends we are seeing. Park reservations at our reduced capacity limits are already 77% booked for Q1, with Thanksgiving week booked close to capacity,” chief financial officer Christine McCarthy said.

Cruise line shutdowns are also dragging down income for Disney.

The company did say the success of Disney+ has brought in 73 million paid subscribers.

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