Disney CEO Bob Chapek spoke with CNBC following Disney’s decision to restructure their entertainment segment and focus on streaming. In addition to Chapek’s comments on Disney+ and the company’s pivot, he noted that Disney parks are operating at 25% capacity.
Unfortunately, Chapek briefly touched on the reorganization producing additional layoffs, but we’re going to focus on park capacity.
Disney CEO says theme parks operating at 25% capacity. Says reorganization of its media and entertainment businesses may result in more layoffs.@CNBC— Danielle DiMartino Booth (@DiMartinoBooth) October 12, 2020
Chapek’s comments may come off as a surprise as many have noticed attraction wait times getting longer and the parks feeling more congested in recent weeks. Crowds have been noticeably larger over the holiday weekend with many wondering if the cap increased.
But, according to Chapek, Walt Disney World’s overall capacity hasn’t changed. This means the small crowds we saw when the theme parks initially reopened had to represent a fraction of total capacity. The actual numbers were likely far lower than the anticipated 25%.
Chapek said Disney won’t change their capacity until the CDC issues new guidelines. The current 25% capacity is reportedly the maximum that still allows for appropriate physical distancing for all guests. Increasing capacity might mean scrapping social distancing, which isn’t likely at this time.
It’s worth noting that Disney’s 25% figure is difficult to evaluate as 100% capacity is rarely seen at Walt Disney World’s theme parks.
What is 100% capacity?— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) October 13, 2020
Magic Kingdom only hits 100% capacity maybe 4-5 days during a normal year. But what about the other parks? Per @TouringPlans:
“DHS and AK have each only closed once in the past 10 years. Both hit a Phase 2 closure on Dec. 28, 2011.”
As always, this is an evolving situation and may change with minimal notice.