A couple waits in line on July 9, 2020 to enter Downtown Disney in Anaheim, California. This is the first day that the outdoor shopping and restaurant complex is open to the public. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK / AFP via Getty Images)
When you walk up Main Street to Cinderella’s Castle at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, the Koronvirus pandemic may look a little different, but that doesn’t seem to dampen the spirits of Disney or its zealous fans.
On Saturday, Disney began gradually reopening its Florida theme parks amidst a record number of new Covid 19 cases in the state. The company is well aware that all eyes are on it this weekend, but its leadership has expressed confidence in the increased security measures and changes in operations.
"There is a lot of trust here, both from our performers and our guests, and we have a responsibility to make that trust come true," said Josh D & # 39; Amaro, President of Parks, Experiences and Products at Disney.
While D & # 39; Amaro refused to provide certain ticket numbers, he noted that guests are booking reservations to visit Disney's parks and resorts until 2021.
"People love Disney, they love the experiences here," he said. "They understand that the world is different, they watch how we put these great plans together, and we see them book in the short and long term."
D & # 39; Amaro was officially appointed chairman in May, about four months after Bob Chapek resigned from his position as successor to Bob Iger as CEO. He took the helm of Disney's parks, resorts, cruises, experiences and consumer goods, less than three months after the company was forced to close all theme parks due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It's not an easy task to restart so much of Disney's business. The entire segment accounted for 37% of the company's total revenue of $ 69.6 billion last year. While the rival parks Universal Studios and SeaWorld reopened in early June, Disney postponed the reopening to mid-July to bring the large number of employees back and re-train them in the new security practices.
When Disney was preparing to reopen its parks, D & # 39; Amaro spent the last week interacting with performers and guests during smooth opening events in its Florida parks. He said that the performers are familiar with Disney's new safety measures, which include a mandatory mask directive and temperature testing, and that guests were "cooperative" with the park's new rules.
At Disney Springs, which reopened in late May, "all guests wear their face masks and everyone understands their shared responsibility," said D & # 39; Amaro.
Disney has hired certain performers to keep an eye out for guests who "may have had a little slip" and haven't replaced their mask after eating or drinking, D & # 39; Amaro said. Because of the company's signage and communication of expectations and rules, he doesn't expect too many incidents.
Disneyland in California is still waiting for government officials to issue guidelines before it announces its new reopening date, but guests in Anaheim can expect similar security measures, said D & # 39; Amaro.
In addition, construction of the Avengers Campus, a new country due to open in July this year, will "definitely go ahead" and "look fantastic," he said. D & # 39; Amaro did not announce a precise schedule for the opening of this new Marvel theme to the public.
Saturday's Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom in Florida will reopen to the public, followed by Epcot and Hollywood Studios on July 15th. Disneyland Paris is slated to reopen on July 15th.
"We feel really good about everything that is available," said D & # 39; Amaro.
Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of Universal Studios and CNBC.