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Walt Disney World increasing park capacity as the company sees a decrease in revenue

During a fourth-quarter earnings call, Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company, Bob Chapek said the Orlando theme parks have been able to increase to 35%.
Credit: Kent Phillips, photographer
Cast members who continuously interact with guests at Walt Disney World Resort theme parks in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., such as seen here at the main entrance of Magic Kingdom Park, will wear both face coverings and face shields when the theme parks begin their phased reopening July 11, 2020. (Kent Phillips, photographer)

ORLANDO, Fla. — As we push into the holiday season, The Walt Disney Company is balancing increases in its parks and decreases in its revenue.

Disney CEO, Bob Chapek, sharing during an earnings call that Walt Disney World has been able to increase to 35-percent capacity and still adhere to social distancing guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic. 

This is an increase from a 25-percent park capacity cap that the parks faced earlier this year when Disney World reopened in July. 

"People have shown a willingness to visit our parks which I believe is a testament to the fact that they feel confident in the measures we've taken," Chapek said on the call.

The CEO also touted Disney's ability to responsibly run its parks across the world while adhering to guidelines imposed by health experts and local governments. 

"We're actually very encouraged by what we're seeing right now in our parks across the world," he said, before taking a jab at California where restrictions do not allow them to operate Disneyland.

But, that does not mean this "year unlike any other" has paid off big for the Walt Disney Company's purse strings. 

Fourth-quarter revenue for the company is down 23-percent to $14.7 billion compared to 2019's showing of $19.1 billion. While the year-to-date revenue has dropped six-percent, according to earnings documents.

Those same documents show other areas including Parks, Experiences and Products, and studio entertainment are experiencing a decrease in cash influx too.

But there is one bright light at the end of the tunnel-- Disney+.

Chapek said the streaming platform has exceeded their expectations with a 41-percent revenue increase. 

"I'm pleased to report that, as of the end of the fourth quarter, Disney+ had more than 73 million paid subscribers - far surpassing our expectations in just its first year," he said.

Overall, Chapek is content with how business is fairing during these challenging times, especially when worldwide parks were closed for a good portion of the year.

“Even with the disruption caused by COVID-19, we’ve been able to effectively manage our businesses while also taking bold, deliberate steps to position our company for greater long-term growth," Chapek said.

You can read The Walt Disney Company's full reports and listen to the earnings call here.    

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