Chapek talked to CNN Business about how the park will reopen and how the park will change under the new health guidelines.
This interview has been edited and compressed.
I am the annual pass for Disney World. Tell me why I and my family can safely return to Disney.
Well, I think what we can say is that we have made every effort to open up in a responsible manner. Under the guidance of local health officials, state health officials, national health officials, and our own qualified doctors, create an environment for creating new operating procedures, new policies, new training, and new health standards. In this way, when the guests come in, we can continue to have the trust of the Walt Disney Company with the guests and enjoy the fun of the park, so that they can leave unforgettable fantasy memories for a lifetime.
According to the new health guide, what will the park look like?
Well, the first thing that looks different is that our actors and guests wear masks, which is obviously something we are not used to in the park. However, you will also see a lot of tapes at a distance of six feet from the queue line and throughout the park, so that people can know the actual situation of six feet long. It is very important that we will help our guests help us maintain this distance from society.
Obviously, central Florida is very hot in the summer. Since this is a mandatory code, how do you plan to plan for people wearing masks in the park?
Well, our experience so far is that the guests are very cooperative when wearing masks. I think this will indeed be part of a contract to join Walt Disney World in any capacity. We will implement the rule. For everyone’s safety. We have extensive experience in Shanghai. So far, after just a week, the Disney Spa experience is that guests are willing to wear masks because they know that it is beneficial to everyone. You know that I wear this mask almost all day, and soon you forget it, I think it will be part of keeping the magic.
The plan said today that the first phase will be in limited capacity, but did not specify how much limited capacity will be. Can you tell me, is it 25%? 50%?
Well, unlike Shanghai, in Shanghai, the government strictly stipulates the capacity for reopening, but Walt Disneyland does not. Therefore, we are using a social distance of six feet to set the capacity. Therefore, our industrial engineers have been busy looking for possible appearances for the past few months, and the capacity we are about to open is actually slightly lower than the actual capacity we think can accommodate 6 feet. .
Obviously, there is no profit in operating a theme park with limited capacity. But where is the break-even point?
Well, unless we can pay for variable costs (essentially the cost of operating the park), we will not open the park. So beyond that, this is the problem of trying to make up for your overhead and capital expenditures. We will take some small steps towards this goal, but when you are open, as your assumption says, we will basically not lose money. We just do n’t necessarily run at full capacity.
You have opened Shanghai and are now planning to open Walt Disney World in Orlando. Do we have information about Disneyland? Or is it a park in other parts of the world?
We once again received guidance from local governments (Orange County Government and California). When we can reopen, they will advise us. We just learned this week that we will enter the third phase determined by California, which I think is good news for Disneyland fans. But, specifically, it will depend on all interpretations, and we will work with state and local officials to ensure that this is done in a responsible manner.
If you close the park, you can eliminate the risk of guests or employees getting sick. Unfortunately, this makes many of your employees unemployed. How do you balance these risks?
This is essentially a million-dollar question, and I think all municipalities and people who run theme parks must be as big as Disney theme parks. To some extent, Disney has built trust, and when we decide to open up, we will operate responsibly. However, we already have countless kinds of defense measures against this virus.
When the actors go to work every day, we will check the temperature every day. But we also sent [each cast member] Their own personal thermometer, so that they can even take temperature measurements before they appear to work. We talked about masks, about social estrangement, about new and improved hygiene and sanitation, even better than Disney ’s habits. We have many levels. We believe that even if there is a risk, we can open up responsibly. Everyone should evaluate this risk based on their own personal circumstances.
If there is a second wave of tide later this year, will Disney prepare to close again?
One of the reasons we act so slowly, deliberately and cautiously is that we want to avoid this situation, and we think that by acting very cautiously and carefully, we can mitigate the chance of this happening.
Well, I think, you know, you are back to your roots. You are back to the fact that I am envious of every company. This is one of the most powerful (if not the most powerful) brands on earth. The incredible cast is passionate about their work They are delivered to our guests.
We have a lot of incredible franchise rights and content that can be created to places like Disney + or movie theaters. Therefore, in fact, our past strength is our future strength. This is what motivates us to restore magic. Therefore, I have full confidence in the future. I am very optimistic about Disney and its ability and mission to create magical memories that last a lifetime.
I think what we are going to talk about is the vigorous recovery of the travel business, the enthusiasm of guests returning to the Disney experience all over the world, and the recovery of the magic that all people desire.
When the park reopens, what is your first trip?
Do I have to move on? I like Pirates of the Caribbean. That is a classic attraction, I will ride as much as possible.
As long as the pirates keep six feet away from each other.
The pirates must keep each other six feet away.