Disney To Reopen California Theme Parks

Walt Disney is planning to reopen Disneyland and other California theme parks, stadiums, and outdoor entertainment areas by as early as April 1, 2021. The move comes after the California health officials updated new rules on Friday. Disney Stock was up about 3% in the pre-market session on Monday.

Per the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), outdoor ballparks, stadiums, and theme parks will be allowed to open from April 1 with limited capacity, abiding by health and safety protocols.

As a result, Disney’s (DIS) theme parks, including Disneyland Resort will be allowed to reopen at 15% capacity in the red tier, which implies the second-highest risk level. However, only people residing in California will be allowed for the time being.

Outdoor stadiums, ballparks, and performance arenas will also be permitted to reopen by April 1, but with a limited capacity of up to 100 people. Furthermore, only regional visitors will be allowed to enter.

Following the positive news, Disneyland Resort president Ken Potrock said, “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.” (See Walt Disney stock analysis on TipRanks).

On March 2, Merrill Lynch analyst Jessica Reif Cohen maintained a Buy rating and a price target of $223 (17.4% upside potential). In a note to investors, the analyst said that the company “is well-positioned for a reopening in the economy.” She further expects Disney to benefit from increased demand in the future.

Overall, the rest of the Street has a bullish outlook on the stock, with a Strong Buy consensus rating based on 19 Buys and 5 Holds. The average analyst price target of $206.59 implies upside potential of about 8.7% to current levels. Shares have gained about 59.4% over the past year.

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