The Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the shutdown of Disney’s parks and resorts have affected the company greatly. The impact of the shutdown continues as this article was written. It is unknown when The Walt Disney Company will be able to open its doors to guests. Another unknown is whether guests will return to the parks and bring guest levels back to where they were before the shutdown.
When the parks and resorts open, The Walt Disney Company will be watching to see if guest levels return to normal. A strategy for a restart will need to be implemented to ensure that company is able to adapt to any changes in guest levels. The following are some ideas that could be implemented to ensure that the company is able to return to normal or better guest levels.
1. Open back up with no changes in overall operations.
The company will open the parks and resorts with the same pricing strategy/levels that they had before. During the reopening week, Disney will monitor performance to see if guests are returning to the parks at normal levels.
2. After two to three weeks, reevaluate.
After a few weeks, the organization would reevaluate guest attendance and its performance metrics to see where it stands. If everything is good, Disney could continue as normal. If performance is down, the company will have to introduce measures to bring performance back to normal levels.
3. Attendance Down: Lower Prices and Add Value
If attendance is down, the company may need to lower prices to see if they can get attendance to rise to normal levels. This would only be necessary if attendance is significantly down. Other value-added offers may also be need to help.
4. Attendance Up: Ramp Up to Support Demand
There is a good possibility that guests will return to the parks and resorts in droves. Most people who wanted to attend the resorts during the shutdown will come back to parks all at once, which could strain the resources that the company has in place. Disney has a very strong parks and resorts brand that guests are willing to pay a premium for. If there is strong demand, the company will need to increase support resources and may have look at other ways to control the crowds.
Above is a photo of the Walt Disney World Entrance by David Aughinbaugh II and NavFile.
Other Strategies and Ideas
The company may want to implement a cleanliness campaign to reassure guests that the company is doing all they can to make sure that they remain safe. Most companies are already doing this and this may be something that will need to be done to bring guests back to the parks.
Social Distancing practices are another topic that has been floated around on the internet. The company could maintain some level of social distancing policies that help comfort guests. The main thing is to make sure that the company works with the medical community that has dealt with the virus. By working with them, Disney can ensure that they are implementing the best practices to keep everyone safe.
Working With Travel Partners
The company may need to work with those that are needed to allow guests to travel to the parks. The main group of travel providers that will need help is the airlines. The Walt Disney Company needs to work with them to ensure that people feel comfortable flying and are able to travel to the parks and resorts. This will be important for resorts like Walt Disney World as those resorts attract guests from outside of the local market.
Those are some of the ideas and strategies that could be used to help The Walt Disney Company restart operations at its parks. Disney may not have to do much to bring back people to the parks as its brand is one that is loved by its guests. On the day before the closure of Walt Disney World Resort, the park was packed with guests. It may be very likely that this will be the case when the parks reopen.