Just earlier this week, the FT’s Alphaville wrote about ‘Introducing, the Disney Park Indicator’ as ‘the ultimate economic indicator of whether the world has returned to its 2019 “normality”’ – citing that ‘a visit to Disney, and in particular Florida’s Disney World, requires that a consumer does everything they’re not doing right now’. Going to Disney is an expensive affair (avg visitor spends $1500), making it truly a discretionary expense, something that people are unlikely to jump at when their futre incomes are uncertain. Furthermore, it involves travel for most people and being amongst crowds for extended periods of time, both likely to raise the risk of infection. Yet, NPR reports that Shanghai Disneyland is sold out for its first day of reopening, this coming Monday suggesting that Chinese consumers are happy to put their fears aside and get on with their lives. Yes, Shanghai hasnt reported a single case in days and the park will enforce physical distancing and operate at lower capacity. But still, this gives some sense of how consumers may behave when the lockdown is lifted elsewhere across the world and help assess how soon demand is likely to recover.
“It took only minutes for Shanghai Disneyland to run out of tickets to Monday’s reopening as people jumped at a chance to visit the amusement park for the first time since the COVID-19 outbreak forced it to close in late January.
… Ticket prices for the theme park start at 399 yuan (around $56) for a standard weekday fare; prices rise to 499 yuan ($70) for weekend visits. After the Monday tickets were snapped up, other days in the reopening week were also sold out.
The move comes as Shanghai prepares to lower its emergency alert level to its third-highest setting; the Shanghai Daily reports that the city said it has not had a new confirmed local COVID-19 case since early March.
Large Disney parks and hotels in the U.S. and elsewhere remain closed. But as Florida relaxes some of its shutdown orders, the Walt Disney World Resort said stores and restaurants in its Disney Springs waterfront development in Orlando will begin a “phased reopening” on May 20.”
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