NEWS: Disney CEO Bob Chapek Says ‘Arbitrary’ Disneyland Reopening Guidelines Aren’t Based On ‘Actual Fact’

With Disneyland Park and Disney’s California Adventure still closed, Disney CEO Bob Chapek has commented on the state’s reopening guidelines.


For the past few weeks, Disneyland and other California theme parks have been in a contentious dispute with the state regarding reopening guidelines. Governor Gavin Newsom noted in a recent news conference that there was “no hurry” to release the theme park guidelines needed to allow those businesses to reopen. This week, however, he announced that he would be sending teams to tour “larger theme parks” in the state. And now, Disney’s CEO has commented on the early version of the state’s proposed guidelines.

In an interview with CNBC’s “Closing Bell,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek commented on the rigidity of California’s theme park reopening guidelines. It seems to me that the guidelines that are set up by the state of California are more stringent than any state across the country. If you look at the history of Disney and what we’ve been able to do during the reopening — rather than arbitrary standards set up without regard to actual fact — and what we’ve been able to do as a company, I think you’d come to a different decision about reopening Disneyland.”

Disney California Adventure

Initial draft guidelines from the state reportedly call for reopening theme parks at 25% capacity once their county reaches the least-restrictive “minimal” risk level and limiting attendance to guests who live within 120 miles of each park. In response to the guidelines, Chapek said, “It’s not much of a negotiation. It’s pretty much a mandate that we stay closed.”

Disneyland Health and Safety Measures

Chapek also commented on the impact the extended closure could have on the company’s Cast Members, “Obviously, we’re watching very carefully what the state of California does as an indicator of whether we can retain some of our cast members that are on furlough now. We’d like to put our cast members back to work — as many of them as possible — as soon as possible if the government will let us.”

Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland ©Disney

Chapek also pointed to the successful reopenings of the company’s other theme parks across the world, “I look across our Disney properties — be it Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Paris, Walt Disney World, the Disney bubble for the NBA — and all I see is that we’ve been able to open up responsibly using the guidelines that health care experts have given us. As a result, we’ve been very, very successful at reopening without having issues that would preclude us from staying open.”

Disney World Theme Parks Reopened in July 2020

He also commented on the company’s commitment to operating based on the CDC’s guidelines, “We’re limited by the six-foot social-distancing guideline of the CDC and that translates, essentially, to about a 25% park capacity. Every day, that’s about where we’re at — 25% — and that won’t change until the CDC guidelines change.”


Did you have 2020 travel plans to the Disneyland Resort that were impacted by the closures? Let us know in the comments!

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2 Replies to “NEWS: Disney CEO Bob Chapek Says ‘Arbitrary’ Disneyland Reopening Guidelines Aren’t Based On ‘Actual Fact’”

  1. Had plans to visit for our 25th anniversary. Lined up with the avengers opening and my first visit to dca. Now they are jeopardizing my wife’s annual birthday visit on New years eve if they don’t stop grandstanding. California needs to look at what Disney has done around the world and realize they are more experienced with pandemic theme park operations.

  2. Was supposed to come in may 2020 but not only is disney closed so is the border . Which allows flights to USA but not by car which is the way we were going to see the beauty of USA .