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

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Disney, the state’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 hit was due to 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.

Read: How the timeline of tourists’ return will impact Orlando’s economic recovery

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.

However, that’s not nearly enough.

Read: How soon could theme parks reopen? Officials provide no clear timeline

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, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.