Though the Disney Parks in the United States aren't set to reopen yet, Disney CEO Bob Chapek says to expect changes when they do.
In a CNBC interview published on Twitter Monday, the CEO weighed in on how guests are going to have to adapt to coronavirus safety precautions when the American theme parks reopen.
One major change the CEO expects is the requirement for guests and cast members to wear face masks.
“Along with social distancing, one of the things we’re likely going to require is masks for both the cast and the guest,” he said.
In Shanghai Disneyland, which reopened Monday, Disney is limiting visitor numbers, requiring masks and checking for the virus’ telltale fever.
“In Asia, as you know, it’s fairly commonplace, even before COVID, for folks to walk around in public with masks on. That is not the case in the U.S.,” Chapek said. “So that will be something that will be a little trying, I think, for some of the guests, particularly in hot, humid summers that we tend to have.”
Though no reopening date is set for the American parks, the CEO added the phased reopening of Disney Springs, planned for May 20, is "a good sign." Disney Springs is a large shopping and dining complex located outside of Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
'A very special moment': Shanghai Disneyland reopens with precautions after coronavirus shutdown
"We're not going to comment on any specific date to a certain extent and a large extent is going to depend on guidance we get from the federal government, the state government, the local government, health care experts, as well as the immediate hospitals that are in the area of where we operate and what their capacities are,” he said.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Chapek said Disney fans have a strong desire to return to the parks while adhering to safety precautions.
Need a dose of Disney magic? Disney Springs plans May 20 reopening
“I get countless number of emails and correspondence from guests saying how much they can’t wait for us to open up, because to them it represents some semblance of normal, maybe the new norm,” he said. “We certainly want to open up as soon as we can across the world, but we’re going to do so in a responsible way.”
Chapek also said he wants cast members to get back to work "as soon as possible."
“This is a first step," he continued. "It's a baby step, and we're moving slowly, but we're very encouraged by what we see in Shanghai."
Disney World and Disneyland reopenings are still uncertain. Here's what the parks could look like when they do