Disney reports $1.4B hit last quarter due to COVID-19 shutdown

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Disney, Florida’s largest single-site employer, took a $1.4 billion quarterly hit due to the COVID-19 shutdown last quarter, the company announced Tuesday.

In a call with investors, Disney said the cuts were made because of zero attendance at the theme parks and hotels. ESPN, which is partially owned by Disney, has no live sports. Movie theaters that show the company’s biggest blockbusters are also closed.

The quarterly report only encompasses two weeks of the closure, which means next quarter’s losses could be even greater.

Long before Gov. Ron DeSantis or President Donald Trump shut down businesses, Disney shut down its parks. A week after that, Disney filed a notice with the Securities and Exchange Commission of the sale of $6 billion in bonds to cover the cost.

But there is a silver lining: Disney+. The online streaming service showed growth and profit, as did the company’s television services.

However, that’s not nearly enough.

As of now, there is no timeline for reopening domestic parks. Shanghai Disneyland, which closed weeks before Walt Disney World, has announced it will reopen May 11 with new guidelines such as enhanced screening of guests and cast members, increased sanitation, mandatory masks for casts and visitors and limiting the number of guests in the park at any given time.

Adam Poulisse,

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.