Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger recently spoke with Barron’s about how the coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected their business, including what may need to be done when the parks reopen.
In the edited online interview by Jack Hough, Iger mentions how they may need to add more inconveniences at the theme park security stations before entering the park, and that may include taking the temperatures of each guest. He said these enhanced restrictions may cause more guest inconvenience and may slow down the time to enter the park, but guests may insist on it in order to feel safe.
Here’s an exerpt from the interview:
One of the things that we’re discussing already is that in order to return to some semblance of normal, people will have to feel comfortable that they’re safe. Some of that could come in the form ultimately of a vaccine, but in the absence of that it could come from basically, more scrutiny, more restrictions. Just as we now do bag checks for everybody that goes into our parks, it could be that at some point we add a component of that that takes people’s temperatures, as a for-instance. …
So we’ve asked ourselves the question, let’s prepare for a world where our customers demand that we scrutinize everybody. Even if it creates a little bit of hardship, like it takes a little bit longer for people to get in. Just as the case after 9/11 where people ultimately lived with the notion that in order for them to enter a building, if you’re in an office building you have to show a picture ID or get your picture taken and be screened.Barron’s
Stopping guests from coming into the theme parks with a fever is only one part of the problem, as some people are said to be carriers and can spread the virus without showing any symptoms. As Iger mentioned, things won’t be back to “normal” in the parks until a vaccine is widely available, tests can be done for virus carriers, or those who have already had it can prove they are immune.
In the interview, Iger also talks about how the virus is affecting the mood at Disney, their films, Disney+, and other challenges. You can read the full interview here at Barrons.com.