In a recent interview with Roger Dow of the U.S. Travel Association, Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro talked about the new safety measures, expanded technology, the economy surrounding the parks, and the status of the Disneyland Resort theme parks.
First, D’Amaro talked about trust. He said that the idea of people trusting Disney is a big responsibility and that he feels that weight on his shoulders, putting the safety of guests and Cast Members at the top of everything they do.
As they prepared to reopen the parks, D’Amaro said they looked at ways to make changes in five different categories:
- Health & Wellness – limiting attendance, social distancing, face coverings, temperature checks
- Cleaning & Disinfecting – “we’ve taken that to another level in terms of cleanliness in our parks and resorts and what that looks like”
- Technology Solutions – limiting as much contact as they can by using park reservations, mobile order, queue reservations, contactless payment
- Cast Member Training & Employee Safety – new protocols and training were created, workplace safety “is at a completely new level”
- Working Together – making sure guests know what to expect and what their role is
D’Amaro says that he’s proud of where they stand right now when it comes to safety. He added that the guests have been very accepting of the new protocols, but also said that Disney is watching how guests are moving around the parks and experiencing them in different ways, then making adjustments.
He also talked about the impact Disney has “beyond the berms,” calling the theme parks an “economic engine,” not only affecting airlines and large hotels, but also local pizza shops.
When we get these engines, particularly these Disney Parks back up and running, the rest of the ecosystem starts to work as well.
When asked about reopening Disneyland, D’Amaro said that the don’t have guidelines yet from the state of California.
As soon as a date and those guidelines are set, I can tell you we’re ready. Needless to say, we’re eager to get the engine going again. I want to get Cast Member back to work as quickly as I can.
Finally, Dow asked D’Amaro when he sees things getting back to normal.
Oh, I wish I could answer that simply. What I do know Roger though, and you know this too, we will recover. There’s absolutely no question about this. If there’s a resilient industry, this is it. We’re living in it right now. People will always need to travel. People will always need to experience that our industry delivers. So there’s no question in my mind that people need what we do, and I think based on everything that we’ve talked about here, the new protocols, the way that we’re moving faster, the way we’re communicating more effectively and transparently, we’re going to come out stronger.
D’Amaro added that they are ready to invite guests back and he’s “looking forward to that day.”
The full interview is below. It’s only about 9 minutes long and worth a look.
Tom is the host and producer of the DIS Unplugged: Disneyland Edition podcast, plus Disneyland Editor of The DIS. He enjoys traveling with his wife and teenage son. At this point, their favorite destination is Alaska, with a FIFTH cruise there planned for the Summer of 2019. In his spare time he volunteers with Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts, and help found his son's former Cub Scout Pack. His favorite Disneyland attraction is Space Mountain.