Bob Iger recently spoke with Barrons.com about Disney and how they’re handling the COVID-19 pandemic. The interview touched on Disney’s current mood in regards to the pandemic, what they’re doing with films that were already in production and, perhaps most noteworthy, what they’re thinking about doing when the theme parks reopen.
Iger mentioned that he believes people will have to feel safe if they’re going to return to Disney theme parks, which may mean significant changes in order to make that a reality. That may mean Disney will take guests’ temperatures before letting them into the theme parks.
Iger also mentioned that Disney is watching what China is doing in their efforts to return to normal. He states that just like 9/11 changed security screening procedures throughout the United States and at Disney parks, COVID-19 may have a similar lasting impact.
Taking temperatures is just one example from Iger, but it indicates Disney is considering a wide range of possibilities to keep guests healthy and feeling safe. Realistically, Disney would have to roll out a large number of new tactics to keep guests safe within the parks. Taking a temperature prior to a guest entering the Magic Kingdom may not do too much if that same guest took a crowded bus or Monorail over to the park in the first place.
This is a story that will continue to evolve. Disney will likely need to reopen their parks in a way where large crowds are prevented and guests aren’t confined in tight spaces with one another. That may mean the elimination of parades, fireworks shows, theaters and some queues. Those operational decisions are still very much undecided and won’t be finalized until we’re closer to things reopening.