ORLANDO, Fla. - The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is taking a financial toll on Central Florida's largest employer. Disney reporting that it has lost more than $1 billion because of coronavirus.
This as Disney officials say Disneyland in Shanghai opens next week. It will be a phased re-opening and crowds will be kept to a minimum.
Theme park experts think that will be case in Orlando when Disney World re-opens. They also think Disney World could be back in business sooner rather than later.
“I'd be shocked if they remained shut through the summer, to me that would be devastating both to the region’s economy and for the company," UCF economist Sean Snaith told FOX 35 News.
Disney’s earnings are down nearly 90-percent compared to this time last year. The company says they lost more than $1 billion since shutting its doors because of COVID-19 and thousands of workers are furloughed.
Theme park experts and economists think fear of an outbreak and bringing in guests are the biggest hesitations in the park re-opening.
“I think that is the biggest obstacles is, ‘will people be afraid to stand in a line with a bunch of people, will they be afraid to get on a crowded plane,'" said Snaith.
When Disney does re-open, experts think there will be limits on crowds.
“A go-slow controlled, soft opening, maybe, rather than just try something on a huge scale all at once," Robert Niles with ThemeParkInsider.com said. "Let’s just try to build up and get some data, get some information.”
Orange County’s Economic Recovery Task Force could have a big say in how and when theme parks re-open.