Walt Disney World Post Coronavirus…Adapting to a ‘Whole New World.’
𝗪𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐢𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐧 𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐠𝐞r.
Today, I read an article about the future safety of Walt Disney World and its guests.
In a quote from Bob Iger, former CEO of Walt Disney Company; “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. Just as we do bag checks for everybody that goes into our parks, it could be at some point we add a component of that that takes peoples temperatures as a for-instance.”
“And one of the things that’s obvious is they’ve conscripted a large segment of their population to monitor others in terms of their health. You can’t get on a bus or a subway or a train or enter a high-rise building there—and I’m sure this will be the case when their schools reopen—without having your temperature taken.”
In the interview he did with Barron’s, Iger spoke about not only the business aspect of the Walt Disney Corporation but also the fact that they as a company are eternal optimists, a trait that I find extremely inspiring, although they also have to face reality. “Optimists, because we have faith in the long-term prospects of our businesses, and our brands, which I think are important here. We know they have always been a place for people to go, whether it’s a movie or a park or ESPN, to enjoy their lives and to distance themselves from whatever daily issues they may be facing. I love how he is super honest about the confidence not only in the brand but in the people behind the brand. I also appreciate how he is taking this difficult time head on, not treating it like a catastrophe (which Disney has taken a huge hit across its parks, entertainment and sports platforms) but is constantly looking at new and innovative ways to weather the storm, re-inventing things for the audience, much in the same way Walt Disney himself did during dark times.
“It’s the biggest by far in terms of challenges. Although you take it on in ways that are similar to other challenges. You have to be honest with yourself, with the people who work for you, and the public. You have to be realistic about the size of this and the impact of it all. And you also have hope that it will end eventually, and that when it does, that at some point, we’ll be looking at a return to business as usual, even if we know that’s a ways away. More importantly, you have to have empathy for what everyone is experiencing, not just our customers, but certainly our people.”
Bob Iger also spoke about how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the film portion of the company and steps being taken in releasing films such as Onward and Artemis Fowl on Disney+, which is doing very well. He also spoke about the financial stability and business as a whole moving forward.
“Disney will take this opportunity to look for ways to run our businesses more efficiently when we come back. So what we’re doing is thinking, OK, as things start to return, one, what must we address in terms of making people feel safe, but secondly, what must we address in terms of running the company more efficiently, given what we believe business conditions will dictate.”
Just as many companies, Walt Disney Corporation is looking for the best way in regards to not only safety for its guests and cast members but also a long term plan for the stability and growth of the brand itself, from the parks around the world to its entertainment platforms. Walt Disney World has been through hard and difficult times in the past, especially at the inception of the creative park process when Walt first built Disneyland. Back then he kept moving forward, pressing on with a driving passion and learning from the situations at hand. I feel that we can also be confident and assured that those behind Walt Disney Company are looking ahead with that inspiration; and that gives me hope.
What do you guys think? Do you feel a change like this is necessary, and would it make you feel more safe in the parks? Let me know.
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Barron’s: written by Jack Hough; Spokesmayne