Disneyland and Disney World may remain closed until sometime in 2021, according to an analyst.
Walt Disney Inc., the owner of the two theme parks, hasn’t responded to a request for comment.
Swiss bank UBS analyst John Hodulik wrote in a note to his clients that he doesn’t believe that Southern California’s Disneyland and Florida’s Disney World will be open until January 2021.
“Moreover, we now believe the lingering effects of the outbreak—including crowd avoidance, new health precautions, etc.—will dramatically reduce the profitability of these businesses even after they are reopened until a vaccine is widely available,” Hodulik wrote Monday, changing Disney’s stock rating to “neutral” from “buy,” reported the Los Angeles Times.
During the onset of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, a novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, Disneyland and Disney World shut down, although Disney announced the intention to reopen them on April 1. However, Disney later changed the date to “closed until further notice,” but as of Friday, it’s still not clear when the theme parks will reopen.
Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger told Barron’s that the parks will need “more scrutiny” and “more restrictions” if they open.
“Just as we now do bag checks for everybody who goes into our parks, it could be that at some point we add a component of that, which takes people’s temperatures, for instance,” Iger said.
Other than Disney’s parks, Universal Studios also announced the closure of its theme parks. Both Universal Studios Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood will stay closed until May 31, the company said.
“This includes our theme parks and Universal CityWalk at both destinations. The Universal Orlando Resort hotels have also temporarily suspended operations through this time period,” the statement said.