COVID-19

Disney theme parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong are closed due to coronavirus

Jasmine Garsd Feb 4, 2020
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Disney closed down its Hong Kong and Shanghai parks due to the spread of the coronavirus. Ayaka McGill/AFP via Getty Images
COVID-19

Disney theme parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong are closed due to coronavirus

Jasmine Garsd Feb 4, 2020
Disney closed down its Hong Kong and Shanghai parks due to the spread of the coronavirus. Ayaka McGill/AFP via Getty Images
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The spread of coronavirus has led Disney to close both its Shanghai and Hong Kong parks until further notice, a move that will likely have an effect on its profits this quarter.

The entertainment business is notoriously fickle. But John Gerner, a leisure industry expert at Leisure Business Advisors, said theme parks are generally more stable than movie or TV. But that’s been reversed, here.

The spread of the coronavirus means tens of thousands of people won’t be visiting two of Disney’s major theme parks in Asia. According to Olivier Ponti, vice president of insights at travel analytics company ForwardKeys, this will affect more than just Disney.

“A crisis of this magnitude, can send ripples across the whole tourism ecosystem,” Ponti said. “China is the world’s number one market in terms of travel spending.”

The epidemic began raging in the middle of the Chinese Lunar New Year, which is peak tourist season. But Disney is used to weathering crises. And weathering weather crises, said Gerner of Leisure Business Advisors.

“It’s similar to a situation that theme parks deal with all the time, with weather,” he said. “Suddenly, you’ll have a particularly bad weather period — the park underperforms or may even have to close.”

Unlike stormy weather, the coronavirus has captured global attention, and it’s not clear when it will pass. The virus has also shut down nearly every movie theater in China — that’s around 70,000 screens that won’t be showing Disney movies.

“At this point its really hard to quantify what the impact will be, from a financial perspective,” said Tuna Amobi, an analyst with CFRA Research. “It’s going to depend on how much, how long this closure remains.”

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

What do vaccines mean for economic recovery?

COVID-19 is not going anywhere anytime soon, according to expert witnesses who testified at a recent hearing held by the Joint Economic Committee. Put simply, we can’t eradicate the virus because it infects other species, and there will also be folks who choose not to get the vaccine or don’t mount an immune response, according to Dr. Céline Gounder at NYU School of Medicine & Bellevue Hospital. “That means we can’t only rely on vaccination,” Gounder said. She said the four phases of recovering from the pandemic are ending the emergency, relaxing mitigation measures, getting to herd immunity and having long-term control.

Can businesses deny you entry if you don’t have a vaccine passport?

As more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the economy begins reopening, some businesses are requiring proof of vaccination to enter their premises. The concept of a vaccine passport has raised ethical questions about data privacy and potential discrimination against the unvaccinated. However, legal experts say businesses have the right to deny entrance to those who can’t show proof.

What do I need to know about tax season this year?

Glad you asked! We have a whole separate FAQ section on that. Some quick hits: The deadline has been extended from April 15 to May 17 for individuals. Also, millions of people received unemployment benefits in 2020 — up to $10,200 of which will now be tax-free for those with an adjusted gross income of less than $150,000. And, for those who filed before the American Rescue Plan passed, simply put, you do not need to file an amended return at the moment. Find answers to the rest of your questions here.

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