Economist shares hopeful prediction for Disney parks reopening

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This might not be a Disney-free summer after all.

While some have predicted that the parks in California and Florida won’t reopen until next year, a new, more hopeful prediction has surfaced even though, at this point, it’s still unclear when the Disney theme parks will reopen after they temporarily closed their doors due to the coronavirus outbreak.

University of Central Florida economist Sean Snaith spoke with Fox 35 and explained the issues that he believes Disney World in Orlando, Fla., will face when it comes to reopening. While he does expect that things won’t go back to normal immediately, Snaith did say that he doesn’t expect the park to stay closed throughout the summer.

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“I’d be shocked if they remained shut through the summer,” Snaith explained. “To me that would be devastating both to the region’s economy and for the company. I think what we know and continue to learn, doesn’t warrant that kind of dramatic lockdown.”

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He does expect there to be some issues, however.

“I think that is the biggest obstacle is will people be afraid to stand in a line with a bunch of people, will they be afraid to get on a crowded plane," he said. “Frankly, there aren’t going to be a lot of people flying into Central Florida from outside the region or outside the country for a while."

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This could lead to lower park attendance than normal, which Snaith explained could cause more problems. “Now you’re losing an enormous amount of money because you recalled all those employees, you restocked all your kitchens, fired up all your operations, and you still have no income,” he said. “Now you’re losing a lot more money than if you kept everyone furloughed and kept the parks closed.”