Not Even The Happiest Place On Earth Is Safe From The Coronavirus

The Walt Disney Company is feeling the repercussions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, in what was supposed to be one of their biggest years. Every major division of the company has been affected by the virus.

Disney has closed all of its amusement parks. The company owns 12 parks, which are distributed across six resorts worldwide.

According to USA Today, three resorts in Asia were the first to close. The Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and the Shanghai Disney Resort closed on Jan. 26, while the Tokyo Disney Resort followed suit on Feb. 28. 

The remaining Disney parks around the world shut down in March. The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando closed on March 16, The Disneyland Resort in California, Disneyland Paris and The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando closed on March 14-16.

This comes at a huge cost for Disney. Forbes estimates the company could lose as much as $13 million per day from the closure of parks and resorts located in the U.S. alone. 

The shutdowns also affect the long-term plans for the parks—especially The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, which was supposed to celebrate its 50th anniversary next year. The construction of new attractions, entertainment, merchandise and more has been delayed until further notice.

In addition, The Walt Disney Company’s Disney Cruise Line has suspended all new departures. 

There are fears that travelers could contract the virus when leaving the U.S., and spread it when they come back. According to Disney Cruise Line, the impacted sailings include seven cruises in the Disney Magic ship, six in the Disney Wonder ship, eight in the Disney Dream ship and five in the Disney Fantasy ship. 

Disney’s film division has also been negatively impacted. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the production shutdowns of big-budget films like Little Mermaid could cost The Walt Disney Company up to $350,000 a day. That fear has led the company to delay the releases of Marvel Studios’ Black Widow and the live-action remake of Mulan

Films that have already been released are making less money than expected. An example is Onward, the latest release from Pixar Animation Studios. The movie has grossed $103.2 million worldwide according to Forbes, making it one of the lowest-grossing Pixar movies in the company’s history. By comparison, Aladdin grossed $1.051 billion worldwide, according to the magazine. 

Cancellations in the sports industry are also hurting the company. The suspension of sports programming will cost them $481 million in ad sales on channels such as ESPN and ABC, estimates Orlando Weekly.

Disney is already warning investors about how the COVID-19 virus will impact the company. 

According to The Wrap, The Walt Disney Company has raised $6 billion in debt offerings by promising to repay investors at some point in the future. 

Financial issues keep adding up for Disney, as stock market shores plummet under $100—a first since 2017. Uncertainty has reached the company’s leadership as Bob Iger, who served as The Walt Disney Company’s CEO for 15 years, announced in February that he was stepping down. Bob Chapek, who was originally in charge of theme parks, will be his successor.

As The Walt Disney Company continues to work its way through the effects of the coronavirus virus, the company’s goals for 2020 have taken a serious hit. We can only wait and see how long it takes the company to restore itself to its former glory.