Disney shares tumble as company postpones reopening of California parks and workers’ revolt in Florida
Walt Disney Co shares fell 2.4% on Thursday after the company delayed the reopening of its California theme parks and Florida employees pushed to postpone the return of guests to Orlando’s Disney World until mid-season. ” an increase in COVID-19 cases.
The company had hoped to reopen Disneyland and Disney California Adventure in Anaheim on July 17 after a four-month shutdown due to the coronavirus.
However, California officials have indicated that they will not issue guidelines for the theme parks to reopen until July 4, given the growing number of COVID-19 infections statewide.
âWith the time it takes to get thousands of cast members back to work and restart our operations, we have no choice but to delay the reopening of our theme parks and resort hotels until we were receiving approval from government officials, “Disney said in a statement Wednesday.
They did not provide a new reopening date for its California parks.
Walt Disney Co shares fell 2.4% on Thursday after the company delayed the reopening of its theme parks in California. Pictured: Disney California Adventure, which has been closed for the past three months amid the COVID-19 pandemic
Daily COVID-19 infections in the United States hit record highs, fueled in part by surge in diagnoses in Southern California
Anaheim is located in Orange County – one of four counties in California with a “dangerous increase in COVID-19-related hospitalizations” according to the Los Angeles Times.
The death toll in Orange County has increased every week since early June. In the past two weeks alone, there have been 90 deaths from COVID-19.
California as a whole saw its biggest spike in new confirmed cases on Tuesday, fueled in large part by the surge in diagnoses in Orange County and surrounding districts of southern California.
The state has seen a huge 69% increase in new cases this week.
Gov. Gavin Newsom spokesman said he “appreciates Disney’s responsiveness to concerns about the reopening amid recent increases in COVID-19 infections in many counties in southern California.”
COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the country. California and Florida are experiencing particularly dangerous peaks
Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. Will remain closed until further notice, after Disney was forced to delay reopening amid rising COVID-19 cases in the region
Meanwhile, coronavirus cases also continue to skyrocket in Florida – but Disney has not announced plans to delay the reopening of Disney World in Orlando on July 11.
However, the company suffers from a strong reluctance on the part of a significant number of employees.
Katie Belisle, a Disney World Attractions hostess, created a petition last week to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer urging the government to delay Disney’s plan to reopen the park.
As of Thursday morning, more than 9,500 people had signed the petition.
“This virus has not gone away, unfortunately it is only getting worse in this state,” the petition says.
“With a record 4,049 new cases of COVID-19 in a single day on June 20, 2020, we are now moving back from where we were originally.”
Belisle further wrote: “Going back to an earlier phase of reopening is our best option so as not to expose the virus to thousands and thousands of theme park workers and their families.”
Data shows COVID-19 cases on the rise in Florida – sparking fears among many Disney employees ready to return to work in just over two weeks
Coronavirus cases also continue to skyrocket in Florida – but Disney has not announced plans to delay the reopening of Disney World in Orlando on July 11. The park is pictured before it closes on March 12
Meanwhile, the union representing the Disney World cast has also urged executives to postpone welcoming guests to its Florida park.
The Actors’ Equity Association said it was not clear how Disney World could reopen “responsibly” as coronavirus cases continue to skyrocket in the Sunshine State. Florida reported having more than 114,000 confirmed cases as of Thursday, a jump of about 5,000 cases from the previous day. The state has recorded at least 3,327 coronavirus-related deaths.
The union represents around 600 Disney World players out of a total workforce of 77,000 theme park employees.
âFor weeks we have made it clear to Disney that testing is a fundamental part of maintaining a safe and healthy environment for everyone from guests to actors,â said Mary McColl, Executive Director of The Actors’ Equity Association in a press release.
“It is deeply disturbing that, as Florida coronavirus cases increase, Disney refuses to provide regular testing to one of the few groups of park workers who by the very nature of their work cannot use personal protective equipment. “
However, any further delay in reopening Disney World will cause more financial headaches for the company.
The company’s shares have fallen more than 22% this year alone.
Last month, the company estimated that global lockdown measures to curb the spread of the contagion cut its profits by $ 1.4 billion, mostly from its closed theme parks.
Disney last month excitedly revealed plans to reopen its Orlando park on July 11.
The company insisted it would implement a number of security measures to ensure the safety of employees and guests.
Executives claimed that Disney World would have a new “social distancing team” to help separate customers, and visitors would be required to wear a mask at all times.
Frequent hand washing would also be encouraged, while parades and ‘night shows’ such as fireworks will not return until a later date.
Disney is still negotiating deals with its California employee unions, some of whom have raised safety concerns over reopening.
Disney Parks Chief Medical Officer addresses safety concerns in a blog on June 17.
“We are taking a multi-pronged approach to our reopening, after considering advice from various government authorities and health agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and recommendations from our team of experts. in health and safety, âDr. Pamela Hymel wrote in a blog last week.
Disney is still negotiating deals with its California employee unions, some of whom have raised safety concerns over reopens