Disney Parks Are Profitable For The First Time Since COVID Began
Joshua Sudock/Walt Disney World Resorts via Getty Images

Disney’s theme parks are profitable for the first time since the arrival of COVID-19 in the United States.

On Thursday, the entertainment conglomerate announced that it earned $0.80 per share — exceeding the $0.55 per share estimate from analysts — in its fiscal third quarter of 2021. Disney also earned $17.02 billion in revenue, surpassing a predicted $16.76 billion.

“We ended the third quarter in a strong position, and are pleased with the Company’s trajectory as we grow our businesses amidst the ongoing challenges of the pandemic,” said Disney CEO Bob Chapek in a press release. “We continue to introduce exciting new experiences at our parks and resorts worldwide, along with new guest-centric services, and our direct-to-consumer business is performing very well, with a total of nearly 174 million subscriptions across Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu at the end of the quarter, and a host of new content coming to the platforms.”

In particular, revenue from Disney Parks reached $4.3 billion — compared to $1.06 billion during the same period last year. 

CNBC reports:

Disney’s domestic parks eased restrictions in April, which led to a boost in attendance. While guest capacity wasn’t at peaks seen before the pandemic, it’s improving as mask mandates were loosened during the quarter.

In each of the previous five quarters, Disney has reported a loss in operating income in the segment because of the Covid-19 outbreak. During the third quarter, the company’s operating income from parks, experiences and products reached $356 million, compared with a loss of $1.87 billion during the same quarter last year.

The resurrection of the theme park industry is critical to Disney’s bottom line. After all, in 2019, the segment, which includes cruises and hotels, accounted for 37% of the company’s $69.6 billion in total revenue.

Disney recently mandated COVID-19 vaccines — including for employees working in Disneyworld and Disneyland.

“At The Walt Disney Company, the safety and well-being of our employees during the pandemic has been and continues to be a top priority,” explained Disney in a statement. “Toward that end, and based on the latest recommendations of scientists, health officials and our own medical professionals that the COVID-19 vaccine provides the best protection against severe infection, we are requiring that all salaried and non-union hourly employees in the U.S. working at any of our sites be fully vaccinated.”

Disney also moved 2,000 theme park jobs to Florida — explicitly citing the state’s business-friendly climate.

“This new project will create a dynamic environment to support our expanding business — a brand-new regional campus which will be built in the vibrant Lake Nona community of Orlando, Florida,” Disney Parks executive Josh D’Amaro told staff. “In addition to Florida’s business-friendly climate, this new regional campus gives us the opportunity to consolidate our teams and be more collaborative and impactful both from a creative and operational standpoint.”

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