Shares of Disney rose as much as 5% in late-day trading Monday after California provided new guidance allowing amusement parks to reopen in the state from April 1.

Disneyland DIS and other parks in California have been closed for about a year due to coronavirus-related restrictions.

The state has kept its health guidelines regarding theme parks strict as California has faced over 3.5 million cases of coronavirus and 53.5 thousand deaths. On Friday, the state's Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly announced that amusement parks can reopen with capacity limits, starting April 1st. They will be able to operate at 15% capacity, but attendance will only be limited to California residents. Masks and other health precautions will still be required.



The imminent reopening made Wall Street optimistic as Investors on Monday pushed Disney shares to an all-time high of $203.02. The stock ended the session up by 6.3% to $202.02. The volume of roughly 24 million shares was stronger than the average daily volume of 12.3 million shares.


Disneyland Resort President Ken Pentrock released this statement following the news:

"We are encouraged that theme parks now have a path toward reopening this spring, getting thousands of people back to work, and greatly helping neighboring businesses and our entire community. With responsible Disney safety protocols already implemented around the world, we can't wait to welcome our guests back and look forward to sharing an opening date soon."


Disney's Parks, Experiences & Products segment lost as much as $1.9 billion in fiscal Q3 2020

Profits for the company have taken a huge hit as the company reported $29 million in the first fiscal quarter of 2021, down 99% from $2.1 billion last year. With its theme parks and other in-person businesses either limited in capacity or entirely closed, Disney has relied on ventures such as the Disney+ streaming service to keep business going.

Disney reported last month that Disney+ subscribers climbed to 94.9 million as of 2nd of January up from 86.8 million on the 2nd of December.


Disney+ subscriber growth has exploded thanks to popular shows like "The Mandalorian" and "WandaVision," helping lift Disney stock.


Gains have been so fast that Disney recently boosted its subscriber estimate of 230 million to 260 million by 2024 from its prior estimate of 60 million to 90 million.


Although there's no specific date for the reopening yet, Bob Chapek, Disney CEO hinted at late April. Bob made the Disneyland announcement during the annual meeting of Disney shareholders.

"While last week's announcement stated that theme parks may open starting on April 1, the fact is it will take some time to get them ready for our guests," Chapek said.

He said that the company will recall more than 10,000 furloughed workers, who will need to be retrained according to new state requirements. An opening date will be announced in the coming weeks, he said.


The United Food and Commercial Workers labor union applauded California's Friday announcement as well.

"Our Disney cast members are heartened by this good news today that the Disney parks will be reopening in a month," said Andrea Zinder, president of UFCW's Local 324, in a statement.

"They have been furloughed or out of a job for a year now and are excited to go back to work to provide Californians with a bit more magic in their lives."

Last year, 28,000 Disney world workers were laid-off due to the coronavirus pandemic in the United States.


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