This week at Walt Disney World, Disney increases capacity after confirming a big theme park loss, Disney's Animal Kingdom reopens a long-closed attraction, and fireworks testing kicks off at the Magic Kingdom.
Outside Walt Disney World, Universal releases a walkthrough of their new holiday tribute store and SeaWorld offers some deep discounts for black Friday.
1. Disney-owned theme parks lose $1 Billion during most recent quarter
This week, the Walt Disney Company released quarterly financial results, and as you might expect, the news was not good as revenues for the quarter were $14.71 billion, with a loss per share of 20 cents, which is less than what was projected by some financial analysts. Disney has estimated that the impact of COVID-19 for the fourth quarter has been $3.1 billion in total, with $2.4 billion of that coming from slowdowns in the Parks, Experiences and Products segment, which saw a 61% reduction in revenue year over year to $2.58 billion. For the theme parks specifically, the operating loss during the quarter is $1.1 billion, largely due to the ongoing Disneyland and Disney Cruise Line closure.
2. Fireworks testing happening this week
Several weeks ago Universal Orlando Resort began testing a return of nighttime spectacular shows during park hours, and though it looks like they won't be bringing shows back in a meaningful way in 2020, it looks like Disney will be doing some tests of their own, as fireworks testing is scheduled for the Magic Kingdom area early next week on Monday night after hours. Of course, this isn't by itself a sign of a return to nighttime spectaculars just yet, but we do know that Disney is looking to a return to a more status quo experience....
3. Disney officially increases theme park capacity
Earlier this week Disney CEO Bob Chapek confirmed that the Walt Disney World theme parks will be increasing theme park capacity to 35%, up from 25% ahead of the holiday season. Right now it unclear if the parks are transitioning to higher capacity or have already moved to higher capacity, but either way, the next time you visit the theme parks, expect more guests than what was previously seen since the theme parks reopened in July.
4. Affection Section petting zoo reopens at Disney's Animal Kingdom
This weekend the animal petting zoo "Affection Section" area of Rafiki's Planet Watch reopened, giving guests the opportunity to once again get up-close with the park's resident goats and sheep. This reopened area should now be available daily at this park for the foreseeable future as we head into the holiday season.