Walt Disney World is scaling back its hours after experiencing lower-than-expected attendance and multiple cancellations. The world-famous theme park re-opened its doors back in July after being shut down since the middle of March. Disney fanatics were excited to finally get back into the park, while others were a bit more on the cautious side and decided against going for a visit so soon. The park is located in Orlando, Florida, which, like a lot of other cities in the United States, has been seeing big surges in cases over the past several weeks.
The new hours for Walt Disney World are, Magic Kingdom: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, Epcot: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Hollywood Studios: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Animal Kingdom: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The new hours are two hours less a day from now, and are set to go into effect on September 8th. They will run until October, which is when things will reportedly be reassessed to see if attendance is back up or not. One of the major reasons for the smaller crowds at Disney World is due to less out of state travel taking place all over the country.
Disney lost nearly $5 billion the last quarter alone and things aren’t really looking any better for the near future. Walt Disney CEO Bob Chapek and CFO Christine McCarthy revealed earlier this week that Walt Disney World has seen an increased number of cancellations, which was far more than they were anticipating for the Florida park. The safety measures that the park has been using have been criticized by some, while others are just happy to finally get back into the park to experience some normalcy.
Shortly after reopening, Hong Kong Disneyland had to shut its doors again and the Anaheim, California park remains closed. There were plans to open Disneyland back in the middle of July, but those plans were quickly thrown away as California’s case numbers started to surge, particularly around the Orange County area where the park is located. For now, there is no timeframe to reopen the park, even though the Downtown Disney area has been going strong since reopening in July. Disneyland is waiting for a unified plan from Governor Gavin Newsom, but movie theaters still aren’t even allowed to open currently, so it could be a while.
Even though Walt Disney World is cutting back on hours, it should still give visitors plenty of time to get to everything they want to do. Plus, crowd sizes are reduced by Disney, and less people are showing up, which means that social distancing, along with wait times, should be no problem. Visitors must wear masks at all times and have to have their temperatures checked before stepping foot in the park. The official Walt Disney World website was the first to announce the change in operation hours.