Disney theme parks took a big hit last year due to the pandemic. Now, analysts say the parks are rebounding faster and better than expected.
Despite a $2.6 billion hit to operating income, Disney’s Parks, Experiences and Products division did better than expected in the first quarter of 2021. That is due to increased theme park attendance, higher visitor spending and cost-cutting initiatives.
Attendance at Walt Disney World increased during the Christmas holidays and early this year. Pent-up demand to visit Disney theme parks and the rollout of the COVID vaccine have attributed to the strong rebound.
“Vaccine progress, pent-up demand and pandemic-driven cost efficiencies position the parks segment for a strong rebound in FY22 and record profits in FY23,” according to a UBS analysts report.
Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disneyland and Shanghai Disneyland have all reopened with COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Hong Kong Disneyland will reopen for the third time during the pandemic on February 19. Disneyland Paris has reclosed due to a spike in COVID-19 cases.
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure have remained closed for almost a year now with no reopening in sight.
According to a Rosenblatt analyst report, if the COVID-19 vaccine rollout is largely complete in 2021, Disney parks could return to pre-pandemic levels of profitability in 2022.
Source: OC Register