Walt Disney World is closed for the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus outbreak, but what happens to all the projects Disney had underway and those that were in the pipeline? The company is taking a massive hit financially, and it’s clear that it won’t be the same on the other side of this.
But just how different will a trip to Disney be? And just how many projects are Disney looking at canceling?
The rumor, according to insider WDW Pro on the WDW Magic forums is that several projects are potentially on the chopping block, and Disney World will not be 100% back-to-normal whenever it actually does re-open.
Here’s what is supposedly being discussed internally at Disney…
What’s Likely to Be Completed:
- Tron Coaster
- Guardians of the Galaxy Coaster
- Cinderella Castle Retheme
- Space 220
What’s Likely to Be Delayed:
- Innoventions Demo
- Smuggler’s Run Update
What’s Currenty Being Looked at for Abandonment:
- Mary Poppins Expansion
- Moana Expansion
- Unannounced Journey Into Imagination Upgrade
- Star Wars Hotel
- Galaxy’s Edge Expansions / Upgrades
- Spaceship Earth Refurb
- Wonders of Life Pavilion Retheme
- Coco Attraction
- Reflections Lakeside Lodge
- Every other potential addition not listed here
Disney World won’t be 100% at re-opening, and Epcot could stay closed longer.
WDW Pro continues to outline how Disney is planning on rolling out the Parks’ eventually re-opening, and it’s clear that Disney won’t just “flip a switch” and everything returns to normal.
Furthermore, Disney is currently working on a plan for what re-opening WDW looks like. Every week it is shut down, it becomes more difficult to reopen. In the best case scenario where WDW can be reopened in May, while still taking massive precautions during a global pandemic, this is the general outline:
- Magic Kingdom reopens with 50% capacity. No parades, no fireworks, no indoor theaters, significant number of rides down.
- Epcot not currently planned to reopen with the other parks.
- DHS reopens with 40% capacity. No parades, no indoor theaters.
- Animal Kingdom reopens with 50% capacity. No indoor theaters.
- No plans to reopen Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon in the near term.
- All ride vehicles would require mandatory wipe down once in station.
- No character meets.
- Distancing encouraged.
Could Disney go BANKRUPT?
Now, here’s where it gets scary. Since Parks and Resorts makes up such a large part of Disney’s annual revenue, keeping the parks offline into the summer could have dire consequences for the company.
WDW Pro seems to think Disney could actually be facing a bankruptcy scenario if the shutdown drags out for an extended period of time.
Disney Cruise Line could be down even longer. Could Disney cancel some of its new cruise ships?
If Disney is looking to cut some expense, I’d wager they’d cut back on cruise. The cruise industry has been the most affected by the pandemic, and one has to wonder what kind of demand there will be for cruises in the near future.
Expect Layoffs and Cutbacks at Disney.
Despite agreeing to pay its staff through April 18, the unfortunate truth is we can absolutely expect more layoffs and cutbacks as the shutdown drags on. It’s inevitable.
Walt Disney World may never be QUITE the same, but it will come back online.
If you told me three months ago that Disney’s record-shattering 2019 would lead into a 2020 where the company is fighting to survive, I would have laughed at you.
But here we are.
While we’re all hoping things will return to normal soon, it’s unlikely to happen this year. In fact, it may take a few years for Disney Parks to be firing on all cylinders again, and unfortunately, operations may NEVER be quite the same.